July 7, 2012
Kartel tells all in new book
Addresses why he bleaches among other topics
Hasani Walters, STAR Writer
The chapter 'Where Is The Love For The Black Child?' is tipped by Michael Dawson, co-author of Vybz Kartel's The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto, to make a shocking, interesting read, as the extreme 'hate him or love him' entertainer will explain why he 'bleaches'.
Since the announcement of the book that would highlight the 'isms and schisms' in today's Jamaica, there have been a lot of mixed reactions from the public.
The words 'Incarcerated but not Silenced' is printed on the front cover.
Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer has been in custody since October last year and has since been slapped with several charges. His voice will now be heard as he asks, "50 years of what for poor people?" among other questions.
Dawson told The STAR about the book's main topic saying, "The prominent theme is the ghetto experience from someone who has a voice, from someone who has lived there. The theme is why our life is as tough as it is, why we suffer the way we do. It also has an educational value as it explains a lot about the history of Jamaica and probably how the circumstances that we have today ended up this way."
He went on to say that every word of the book is based on songs from the incarcerated deejay and is an explanation of or expansion on the songs.
The book was developed, he said, through discussions between himself and Vybz Kartel about what those songs meant.
For him, the book mums the popular belief of many about Vybz Kartel having the power to influence society, but not using it for anything good or positive.
Another plus, he said, is that "for the first time one from the genre (dancehall) has said I'm going to stay in Jamaica and I'm going to do it this way."
Dawson has lived a life in contrast to that of Kartel. He was a Campionite and later attended the University of Miami. With that, the book makes him happy to see that someone from 'his side' has stepped up with Vybz Kartel.
The book was copyrighted on August 5, 2011. Dawson shared that Kartel saw the manuscript before it was edited and he was very happy with it.
"I asked Kartel ... because he doesn't have a death wish, but he always feels that like 2Pac, Biggie, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh ... he was going to die before his time. And I asked him, how would you like to be remembered? [He said] a freedom fighter and he said this book will really capture that for him because he is going to put everything on the line to hit out against the system and that's what he has done and that's how he feels," said Dawson.
The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto will be printed in seven languages such as Dutch, French, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese will be sold for $1,950 and should be available today. He shared that they have been facing some difficulties, however, as a lot of the expected sellers changed faces when they realised that the book is critical of the 'system'.
The book will be officially launched today at a car wash near to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre where the entertainer is jailed.