Incarcerated Jamaican entertainer, Vybz Kartel continues to boast his stronghold in dancehall despite serving time on a murder conviction as word Tuesday came that his newly-released EP from behind bars, VIKING (Vybz Is King) has reached third on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, his best ever placing on the chart.
The news comes just a week and a half following the one year anniversary of his conviction for the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams and less than two weeks to the anniversary of his life sentence for the crime.
VIKING, released digitally on March 10, is produced by Linton ‘TJ’ White, head of acclaimed record label, TJ Records in collaboration with Adidjaheim Records and Short Boss Musik and features 11 tracks, including Conjugal Visit (featuring Spice) and Ordinary Servant. The majority of the EP features never before heard material from the self-professed ‘Worl Boss,’ who has gone by the moniker ‘Addi Innocent’ since his sentencing.
This is Kartel’s fifth entry on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, having appeared on it previously with compilations such as Vybz Kartel Roots & Culture: The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, Kartel Forever: Trilogy, Reggae Love Song & Other Things and Kingston Story. The latter two peaked at number seven on the chart.
Only Bob Marley’s Easy Skanking in Boston and Protoje’s newly-released album, Ancient Future are above Kartel’s EP on Billboard, with the latter also released on March 10 and currently topping the chart
Just last month, Kartel won four awards at the 2015 Youth View Awards, an award show which allows young people to nominate and vote for their favourite artists and media personalities.