Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Clarks, Benz and Cake Soap : The Kartel Syndrome‏


“Gimmie di benz punnani mek mi gwaan drive it out, all taxi pum pum gwaan guh cool out.” – Adijah Palmer

I was recently apart of a debate which sought to assess the “blackness” of Mr. Adijah Palmer, more commonly known as Vybz Kartel; in light of his tampering with the pigmentation of his skin. And while driving home on the yellow JUTC bus, the A/C type, (yup, maw #Hottaz), Kartel’s voice blared from the speakers, inviting all young ladies who felt their vaginas were synonymous with his benz to come forward so that he might “drive it out”. I began to reflect on the unprecedented influence Kartel has on the young people of this country and I became deeply saddened.

I shook my head in disappointment because I believe Kartel’s most popular songs of the last two (2) years have done nothing but glorify promiscuity, commercialism and disrespected the female body, indeed the black race. While the beats of his songs are engaging and stimulating, I have to draw a line where a child refuses to go to school because he or SHE (sas crise!) does not have a pair of Clarks. I have to draw a line where a woman is persuaded into believing that it’s cute to tattoo “benz punany” across her mid section. A strong line must be drawn!

I’ve heard an argument that it has nothing to do with Kartel’s influence, or what I call ‘Kartel syndrome’ but rather it has everything to do with choice, the choice of the individual. I’ve considered that argument and found it wanting. You see, for whatever reason a significant portion of the Jamaican population is swayed by “di teacha”. Whatever he states is taken as damn near law and in a society where our youth fear being rejected by their peers, they will fall in line with the views of  “di teacha”. I need not mention that any dissent against Kartel could get you stabbed (see Gully vs Gaza saga). On second thought, I should probably watch my back once this is posted.

And then there is the issue of altering the pigmentation of his skin. Frankly, that is his prerogative and I wouldn’t want to offer an opinion on that, but I’m compelled to argue against his endorsement of “di cake soap”. It cannot be acceptable that someone who is looked up to is actively promoting bleaching and encouraging our young people to follow suit. How is this beneficial? How does this advance our society? Oh, but wait; his aim is to make money, screw societal advancement. Isn’t that so? BULLSHIT! Whether Kartel wants to own up to it, he is a role model, he needs to set an example, a GOOD example for those who look up to him.

And then there are the idiots who say “a wi culture” & “art mirrors life”. To you I say, shut the hell up & have  a seat! It’s our culture until your son or daughter steals to buy a pair of shoes! It’s our culture until your daughter’s vagina becomes a taxi because she believes “when mi say gimmie pussy, yuh fi holla yes boss…”! And it certainly is our culture until the black child you brought home from the hospital turns white, or some horrible variation of white. (Non-smile).

So yes, I think Kartel needs to be more responsible about what he puts out. His audience won’t diminish, they’re like mindless drones. He could do gospel & they’d ‘dagga’ to it. Too many people have the “Kartel syndrome”, we need a cure.

“Cool like mi wash mi face wid di cake soap. Every time mi f%@k my c%@ky get suck!” – The Gaza Governor, Kartel

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12 responses

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Clarks, Benz & Cake Soap : The Kartel Syndrome‏ « Veritas. -- Topsy.com

  2. here here!!! *bangs on desk* glad a nuh me one have sense inna dis!!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm

  3. @DaProngs

    Well said!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  4. Christina

    Most Jamaicans are uneducated so what can you expect? Good article… I like.

    February 19, 2011 at 1:49 am

  5. Velz

    Good work here. I agree 100%
    A mi general still enuh dawdie but..yea.
    Expression – 5/5
    Topic – 5/5
    Creativity – 5/5 (clips had me sining, couldnt have moved on to a next paragraph until the song was over! lol)
    Grammar – 4/5 (I think there were at least 2 errors)

    This one had my attention from start to finish. Captivated for the entire read.

    February 20, 2011 at 1:33 am

    • Again thank you for your hawk like eyes lol. I have corrected them.

      February 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

  6. Karen Lloyd

    I personally have a liking for Vybz Kartel’s music… his lyrics are nothing short of thought provoking, and as a person that’s big on poetry, I am usually fascinated. With that said, I do not support a lot of the decisions he has made (personally or otherwise) and as such condemn said. This includes the bleaching of his skin (by the way his cake soap must be mighty potent to do his skin like that).

    It is evident that he has a VERY STRONG influence on our teenagers and even those on the older side (who are apparently mindless) and so I would encourage him to make more positive decisions for the upliftment of our youths.

    KUDOS for this post (5 stars)

    February 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  7. Pingback: The ‘Shebadarization’ of Kartel « Veritas

  8. what people choose to do with their bodies is their concern. As far I as see I will comment on their behavior but I won’t be the one to tell them what to do. If kartel’s influence is so strong why would he never be elected into an official position? this is something i want you to write on. If you can answer that question objectively then you will be one step closer to seeing the big picture.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    • Owen, come now. Seriously? Someone not being able to be elected to “an official position” is not an argument against their influence. The man has a cultural influence on our society. That is undeniable. If you continue to deny it, you are being naïve. And there is NO WAY for you to assert he would “never” be elected, from where do you form this conclusion? Have you surveyed constituents somewhere? It is quite possible for him to be elected. He’s reasonably intelligent and I’m sure he can be a voice of advocacy. That is an objective and reasonable answer.
      Now as it relates to what someone does to his/her body, I stated that it is an individual’s prerogative. My problem is the exportation of that negative value system. The exportation of a lack of pride, my assumption, in the colour of one’s skin. The vagina is NOT a benz, and leading someone to believe it is “cool” or desirable to tattoo “benz” across their mid section is not ok, at least not for me.
      His music influences our society. He is a cultural icon of sorts. He has his following. His influence cannot be denied.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

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