Adidja Azim Palmer, better known by his stage name Vybz Kartel, is a Jamaican reggae dancehall recording artist and entrepreneur. Some of his major hits includes “Clarks”, “Ramping Shop”, “Dancehall Hero” and the Major Lazer collaboration “Pon De Floor”. Kartel, who is from Portmore, Saint Catherine started his career as a teenager in 1993 with his first recording “Love Fat Woman”. He rose to prominence in 2003 after a string of hits in his homeland, Jamaica.
Crossover singles like “Tekk,” “Gun Session,” and “Ramping Shop” have earned Kartel international recognition. He has collaborated with Hip Hop and R&B giants such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, M.I.A, Pharrell Williams, Kardinal Offishall, Akon, Jim Jones, Lil Wayne and Eminem. His success in the US is evident by his hit single “Ramping Shop”, which debuted on the Billboard Top 100 Singles charts.
After splitting with Bounty Killer-led Alliance in 2006, Kartel established the Portmore Empire, a group of dancehall DJ’s and singers from his Portmore neighborhood that he signed to his label, Adidjahiem/Notnice Records. Revolving members of the group as of 2011 were: Popcaan, Deva Bratt, Gaza Slim, Shawn Storm, Sheba, Gaza Indu, Tommy Lee, Singing Maxwell, Singa Blinga, Lenny Mattic. Former members include Lisa Hype, Gaza Kim, Blak Ryno, Jah Vinci, Dosa Medicine and Merital Family.
After long-term international superstardom, Kartel was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, an associate. He is not eligible for parole for 35 years. Kartel, who is appealing the conviction is still dominating the Jamaican Dancehall scene – His album “King of the Dancehall”, released in June, 2016 has become one of the top selling reggae album on Billboard.