May 24, 2012
Portmore Empire is no more
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
Amid Vybz Kartel's legal battles, there comes even more news from the 'Gaza' camp as the 2007-formed Portmore Empire has been disbanded.
Shortly after his much-publicised fallout with Alliance head honcho Bounty Killer, and his exit from the group, Vybz Kartel looked to his hometown of Portmore, St Catherine, to raise his own musical force, which would later be aptly titled the Portmore Empire.
At the time of its origin, the group consisted of mainly young artistes like Blak Ryno (now Ryno), Craig Dennis (deceased), Omeil, Lisa Hype (now Lisa Hyper), Nuclear, Dosa Medicine, Shawn Storm, and Deva Bratt, who was touted to be Kartel's right hand and the one who was "leading out the Empire".
A few fallouts and scandals later with artistes like Deva Bratt, Lisa Hyper, Gaza Kim (now Kym), Jah Vinchi, and Ryno, the size of the group has dwindled.
In recent days, the Empire came to boast acts like Popcaan, Gaza Slim, Sheba, Gaza Indu, Shawn Storm, and Tommy Lee.
However, in a recent release sent to The STAR, Adidjahiem Records announced news of the disbanding with a statement from incarcerated boss, Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer.
It read: "Dancehall fans worldwide, it is with great regret that I, Adidja Palmer, have decided to disband the Portmore Empire. These artistes have been under the Adidjahiem leadership for years, where they have honed their craft and made their mark, and as such, are well on their way to becoming major forces in dancehall."
It continued: "They have reached a level where they are more capable of taking on their careers by themselves, and it would be unfair to them, based on the limited resources of Adidjahiem Records, and the current legal woes of the Adidjahiem CEO, and team members. I wish them the best, and I am confident that they will live up to my expectations. In the future, Adidjahiem will continue to bring out new acts and groom them for stardom. Thank you."
It also stated that members of the Portmore Empire, Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler and Leroy 'Tommy Lee' Russell are moving on with their careers under a newly formed label, PG 13.
"PG 13 is the new name right now. a just deh so di ting deh, and that's all mi haffi say," Gaza Slim told THE STAR.
When pressed as to how she felt since the group has now been dissolved, Gaza Slim said she had no comments and would only be focusing her attention on the new PG 13 label.
In similar manner, Tommy Lee said PG 13 was where he would now be based.
"A PG 13 me say straight. A dat me a say," he told THE STAR.
Both artistes have been part of the Portmore Empire since 2010.
The 'gaza prefect', Popcaan, who rose to the heights of fame under the guidance of Palmer, has been doing well for himself. Efforts to contact him, however, since Kartel's incarceration proved futile.
The other standing member, Shawn Storm, was whisked away by the authorities as he is said to be implicated in the legal woes with Kartel.