After nearly a decade behind bars, infamous dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel broke his silence in an exclusive two-part interview with Fox 5 NY reporter, Lisa Evers.
Jamaican reporters and international interests have tried relentlessly to reach the artist since he was first incarcerated, including Lisa, who says she got a surprising call one night from the deejay who was finally ready to talk after several years of trying to contact him.
In the interview, which aired on Fox 5 on August 18, Vybz Kartel described the conditions of his prison cell as “dark and hot” and “like a dungeon”, but said that he is and always was in a good place mentally. “I know I am innocent so I know I am coming out,” he told Lisa.
Vybz Kartel asserted that the only reason he is behind bars is that “the system” has always wanted him in prison because of his massive influence, which transcends music.
Kartel stated that he wasn’t convicted because of a murder charge but rather to “get rid of Vybz Kartel”. He continued, “If you remember when me and Mavado had that little feud, we went to King’s House and they [government officials] told us that we’re leading the kids astray and if we continue, we weren’t going to get permission to do any more shows and stuff like that”.
Some Jamaicans believe that Vybz Kartel was responsible for the increase in sexually explicit content and violence within the genre of dancehall. Evers pointed to the graphic violence of dancehall music and the heavy sexual content of the lyrics.
The artist has always been adamant about his innocence and says he spends his time talking with new friends, reading, writing, watching movies and listening to music to keep his spirits up. He said he has written thousands of songs over the past ten years and is aware that the amount of work he has done may not all be released over the span of his career.
Vybz Kartel’s attorney, Isat Buchanan, recently filed an evidence appeal based on the findings of a British digital expert, who found that his cell phone was tampered with prior to his trial. The appeal is expected to go before the Privy Council in the United Kingdom.
“God save the Queen because she is the only one that can save me now”, he chuckled in closing.
Vybz Kartel will get candid in part two of the exclusive which will air later today, August 19, with Lisa Evers.
In the meantime, the Department of Correctional Services, the Ministry of National Security Inspectorate, and several other law enforcement agencies in Jamaica are investigating the authenticity of the interview and how it took place. Mobile phones are considered contraband in prisons in Jamaica.
Vybz Kartel is currently located at the Catherine Adult Correctional Facility.