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July 30, 2014
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Kartel song used in gay video

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter


Vybz Kartel - File

Much outrage has been coming from fans and associates of Vybz Kartel following the use of one of his songs as the soundtrack for a video showing crossing-dressing and homosexual men in New Kingston.

The four-minute long video surfaced on YouTube on Monday with Kartel's Beautiful Girl being used as the soundtrack. It showed men dressed as woman modelling dancing and parading along Trafalgar Road in New Kingston and the gully close by. The video was posted by Noisey.com that also did the Snoop Dogg Reincarnated documentary, as well as other documentaries with dancehall artistes like Popcaan, Vawnessa Bling and Konshens.

Since hearing about the video, So Unique producer Elvis Redwood said he is appalled by the actions of Noisey, which is the music channel for a magazine called VICE.

"We disapprove of this. We distance ourselves from it. They didn't ask for clearance and we have nothing to do with it," said Redwood, who says he is the man in charge of Adijaheim Records and Short Boss Records.

"We are just disappointed that they used the artiste's song in a video like that without approval. We are against homosexuality and it is illegal in Jamaica."

In the video description, Noisey acknowledged that they did not get approval from Vybz Kartel, however, it said, "Kartel was unable to sign off on this video as an official promo, but we licensed the song and are putting it out there to show people a rarely seen side of one of our favourite places in the world."

They also offered more explanation in the description.

The Gully Queens of New Kingston documentary

"While making a documentary on The Gully Queens of New Kingston, a growing community of gay and transgender youth living in the Jamaican capital's storm drain system on Trafalgar Road, we met people that had been driven below the depths of the city by desperation. This unique community has found solace in the lyrics of street life and struggle of the recently incarcerated singer Vybz Kartel, a national hero of sorts and considered 'The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto' by many," it said.

But that did not stop fans of Vybz Kartel from voicing their anger.

"There is no way Vybz Kartel would approve of this video. Not saying I agree with his views but it's nonsensical to pair these visuals with his music," one viewer said.

Another viewer added, "Kartel would not want this done to his music!!!! This is a big insult to him!"

As the comments flowed, another of the 313 comments that were generated in little over 24 hours said, "This is an insult to Vybz Kartel legacy. Noisey I don't know if y'all know but Kartel don't promote homosexuals at all. Dancehall don't promote homosexuals at all. Keep that in your own circles, don't try to contaminate dancehall with this."

"Now you are trying to bring man down when he already down!!! This video will bring out the worst out of Kartel, that is not what he promotes and never has!!!! Stop using BIG artist name on a SMALL concept video to make it popular," another viewer said.

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