Archive for vybz kartel illuminati

We Gettin’ Dancehall Moneyyyy!

Posted in General Talk, MallyRemarks, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by #1

Addi. Dancehall King?

Not sure how accurate this is, but i recently stumbled on this list of the supposed richest dancehall, reggae, bashment/Jamaican music (or whatever you call it) stars. Was both surprised and shocked by some of the figures, individuals and rankings on this list. If anything it speaks VOLUMES of the nature of the dancehall industry. It is interesting to see that few of the dancehall artist’s who are currently relevant make the list i.e. Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Aidonia even to a lesser extent Elephant Man.

Pree the list below:

1. Shaggy Net Worth US$22 Million ( Ja $ 1.870 billion)
2. Jimmy Cliff Net Worth US$18 Million (Ja$ 1.530 billion)
3. Sean Paul US$ 11 Million (Ja$ 935 million)
4. Ziggy Marley Net Worth 10 Million (Ja$ 595 million)
5. Sean Kingston Net Worth US$ 7 Million (Ja$595 million)
6. Damian Marley Net Worth US$ 6 Million (Ja $510 million)
7. Maxi Priest US$ 4.6 Million (Ja $391 million)
8. Buju Banton US$ 4 Million (Ja$ 340 million)
9. Beenie Man US$ 3.7 Million (Ja$ 314.5 million)
10. Bounty Killer US$ 3 Million ( JA $225 million)

Hotshot: Shaggy's 2001 album which propelled him as a reggae heavyweight

Surprised??? I was, bearing in mind Shaggy has not had another successful album since 2001’s Hot Shot which sold more than 20 million units world wide. I remember buying it myself! Jimmy Cliff’s figures however are not surprising however he is arguably the second most iconic figure in reggae behind Bob Marley; whose fortune would no doubt eclipse the figures on this list.

COMMERCIAL BANGER. Sean Paul’s 2006 banger Get Busy. I used to love the vid. lol

It is easy to grasp what distinguishes the artist’s on the lists income. CROSSOVER APPEAL! Shaggy and Sean Paul are the ‘bashment’ artists of recent times who have enjoyed the widest audience and appeal. Both artist’s music received heavy rotation in the US & UK at their respective peaks. I know you remember that period of time when ‘Shanga Paul’ or ‘Dutty Yeah!’ was heard on every b****clart RnB and Hip-Hop remix! Conversantly you could argue that Sean Kingston’s inclusion on the list is questionable as he is more RnB; once again…CROSSOVER APPEAL.

Shanga Paul whose fortune is estimated at US $11million

What I find quite *thinks of word* upsetting? perhaps..are the figures for Beanie Man and Bounty Killa. Like, DPMO (I feel to get hood on this topic but i’ma hold it down lol) Beanie Man has been active since the late 1970s! He has been ‘toasting’ (form of rap branded to dancehall) since he was five years old! He is a consistent artist, to date releasing 22 studio albums, 5 compilation albums as well as numerous mixtapes. He has  never really fallen off and is still at the age of 37 holding his own with the younger generation of dancehall artists! Bounty Killa also a certified vet, is considered to be the most influential figure in dancehall, having brought current favourites such as Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Busy Signal and others onto the scene.

Killa’s track with Alliance artist Busy Signal ‘Summn’ Ah Guh Gwarn’

I don’t feel their fortunes are in any way reflective of the effort they put in for their fans!

If you’re a follower of dancehall you know that songs which are often released on Riddim EP’s are easily obtainable for download and though increasingly Riddim’s are retailed digitally via iTunes etc. dancehall fans do not purchase them!

As stated earlier the more affluent individuals on this list have obtained their fortunes due to sales in the west, due to their crossover appeal. Success which artists such as Bounty Killa and Beanie Man have not received as their image are moreover not marketable to such audiences. They, despite relatively low reward make music for the enjoyment of their fans and choose not to ‘sell out.’ But would you blame them if they did?

Beanie Man’s 2005 Crossover Hit ‘Dude’

I’d have to assert that the life of a bona fide dancehall artist is not all its cracked up to be! Amidst revocation of visa’s (via which a large proportion of revenue is earned by artist through overseas tours), scrutiny from police, robberies, shootings, and little or no record sales. The only ups are job satisfaction, from knowing your song gets a club vibing…and the groupies, I guess.

Kartel: Entrepeneur

What is annoying is the fact that a bumbling Hip-Hop artist with a fifth of Beanie or Bounty Killa’s talent can emerge in America and amass their wealth with one album, *see soulja boy, see Gucci Mane*. Why? Because fans support such genres.

Popularity: Kartel's Clarks video which has 257,442 views (Sept 12, 2010. 19.10)

I’ve heard people say that bashment/dancehall does not have commercial appeal due to the subject matter of the songs. I say Don’t Piss Me All The Way Off (DPMATWO) #newtings. Hip-Hop is full of the same messages, if not worse at times. The reason dancehall music has not been marketed IS because there is no demand for it, if there was more artists would be getting signed to big labels and getting the right marketing and exposure that would warrant hefty sales. Record executives obviously make decisions based on money, and if people were demanding to have access to dancehall music in record stores and wanted to buy dancehall artist’s music they would give them a deal. Go on Youtube. Search for a Kartel song. See the amount of views they get! NO MUSIC VIDEO! People love the music…no one is buying it AND often you could not find the songs for retail if you wanted to! & THAT is a problem. Vybz Kartel’s smash hit ‘Clarks’ inclusion on dancing show So You Think You Can Dance indicates the genre’s popularity.

Such phenomenon are the reason that Hip-Hop is the billion dollar industry it is now and it is the reason why ‘Grime’ artists in the UK are gaining publicity and selling serious units. There is a demand! You may (and I may say, can’t lie lol) such and such has sold out but he’s doing what he has to do to secure his future!

Shaggy’s smash ‘Angel’ which has *wait*…15,320,760 views! I can’t lie i liked this song, might have to go buy a copy of Hot Shot again! lol

Get Your Money In!

Dancehall artists are often being forced to lead lives which are not reflective of their talents, the effort, the passion they have for their music and ultimately the audience they have! Let’s not have our artists get locked up, killed or maimed whilst they try to make extra money to support themselves and their families due to a lack of support.


R.I.P. O’Neil Edwards