Vybz Kartel inspires prison warder's song


November 29, 2016
Vybz Kartel
Contributed Prison warder Reack

Dancehall artiste Reack has waited a long time to get his break in the competitive world of dancehall, but a stroke of good fortune may just change all that.

A video of Reack, who has a nine-to-five as a warder, performing at a monthly event at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre, has gone viral, racking up over 150,000 views on various online platforms in only two weeks.

The video, titled 'Warder Clashing Vybz Kartel', has been making the rounds on social media.

"The video was actually up already, one year ago, and it went 100,000 on its own; but somebody changed the headline and it went viral in a week. It was 150,000 when I checked it a few weeks ago," he said.

"Mi never say nothing about Kartel, and I asked the superintendent if me can cuss, and him say yes. Mi deejay and cuss a bad word. That was the day the superintendent was being sent off in retirement. I don't know who was videoing it and how it reach YouTube."

Although he didn't place the video online, Reack is making use of his new-found fame.

He has recorded a new single called Prison Rock, which he will be releasing online later this month.

"The idea came from a Kartel fan who said, 'Dancehall de a prison since Addi lock up'. So mi reason if Kartel deh deh and Reack deh deh, so a prison it deh; every gal waan come a prison. The actual line in the song goes, 'A true Addi de a prison, Reack work a prison, every gal waan fi get lock down inna prison/ gal a road miss dem man a prison/ keep a big party a prison'," he said.

Born Kevin Manning, Reack grew up in the Kingston 13 area, where he attended Norman Manley and St Andrew Technical high schools. He wrote his first song 23 years ago and always knew he was destined to be an artiste.

He first generated buzz through a collaboration with an artiste, Eldie Anthony, called Party Life on the Music Factory label that did well overseas. He also raised eyebrows at stage shows with a song called Oral, released by Ambitious Entertainment years ago.

Reack has also performed at community stage shows in Waterhouse, St Elizabeth and Spanish Town, even while holding down a nine-to-five as a warder employed in the island's correctional services department.

"It's been tough, but I have to support my family and reinvest my money in my music," he said.

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