Alkatel, Akaline vs Vybz Kartel who is better?
By Amilcar Lewis
The genre of dancehall music has always fed upon the controversy that feuds between the players within that sphere create. An uber competitive field, it is virtually impossible to be known entity within dancehall and not have either been imitated by or receive a challenge or challenges from up and coming pretenders. While imitation could be seen as a sign of respect from the young act towards a veteran, challenges can be downright disrespectful as anything and everything is used in an effort to discredit and/or humiliate the target. Case in point, the highlighted audio above has a mix of Vybz Kartel’s ‘Box Lunch’ and Alkaline’s ‘One Inna Dem Head’ interwoven on Yellow Moon’s ‘Wul Dem Again’ riddim. Alkaline’s effort is allegedly response to the song ‘Faith’ by Kartel that has a highlighted line of “My yute weh yuh badmind mi fah…. Yuh can’t be me… Anyweh mi deh mi comfortable”. Alkaline’s reply within ‘One Inna Dem Head’ states ” How yuh fi comfortable …. Weh yuh deh man a wash yuh underpants”. To which ‘Box Lunch’, replies with generic references to age in addition to the fact that the title cleverly makes it known the type of ‘lunch’ this ‘schoolboy’ will be receiving.
As mentioned before, these sort of battle of wits are almost mandatory in this genre because as one act rises to receive the accolades and fame there is always another fighting to attain that level. But what is it about this battle that has so many people interested in its outcome? Well, take dancehall’s currently most popular and influential artiste who although has been in police custody for more than two years, still has the most played songs on the airwaves and at events. Place him with a young upstart who has primarily, in the eyes of the fans of the older act, taken the veteran’s image, lyrics and even cadence using them all as a platform for his own career ( All while consistently denying that he was even inspired by said artiste). And what do you get? A pretty volatile situation that has both fan groups at loggerheads as to who started it, who is winning and more critically is there really a clash going on because as I mentioned before one of the battle’s participants has been incarcerated from before the other had even released his first song.
My only advice is to stay tuned and enjoy, because controversy like this can only help bring back dancehall to the forefront of the public’s consciousness.