Vybz Kartel continues to grip mainstream airwaves with “Fever” which reached number one on iTunes reggae chart.
“Fever” is one of the biggest dancehall singles this year and it has already made an impact on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. The song peaked at No. 36 on the chart making it Kartel’s second single to make an entry onto Billboard over his career. Perhaps his biggest achievement in recent years was when the song took the number one spot on iTunes reggae chart last week. The song has slipped to 13th place on the chart this week but it just shows the share growth over the past few months.
Since being added to major radio stations in the U.S. earlier this year, “Fever” has grown substantially while amassing over 50 million combined views on YouTube and over 10 million streams on Apple Music. What’s even more interesting is that Vybz Kartel did it all while he has been behind bars for over six years. Vybz Kartel is already searching for his next big hit by releasing four new singles since the start of this month. Some dancehall artists are wondering how did he manage to stay so relevant half a decade after his incarceration.
Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, scored his first Billboard hit with his 2009 single “Romping Shop” featuring Spice. Between 2009 and 2011, the dancehall star scored a number of hits and sparked some controversy including skin bleaching and beating up members of his Portmore Empire crew like NotNice, Black Ryno, and Gaza Kim. He even had a bitter fallout with former Vybz Rum business partner Corey Todd and even threatened him. His downfall wouldn’t come until September 2011 when he and several of his cronies were arrested in a massive police operation in Kingston. He was slapped with two murder charges a short time after and although he was exonerated of one of those charges, he was convicted of the second murder charge during a lengthy trial in 2014 along with three others including his protege Shawn Storm.
Kartel and his co-convicts have appealed the murder conviction and are now awaiting their appeal case set for February next year.