As Snoop Dogg once rapped in reference to his own trial, “Murder Was The Case” indeed for Vybz Kartel, a popular Jamaican dancehall artist. Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison after previously being convicted for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams according to the Associate Press. Apparently Williams’ murder was one of extreme cruelty – brutal – with the corpse never being recovered. While Kartel’s musical impact is more notable in Jamaica, Kartel has collaborated with highly regarded musicians in the U.S.A., including Missy Elliott (“Bad Man” from album The Cookbook), Rihanna (“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)” from album Music of the Sun), and Pitbull (“Descarada (Dance)” from album El Mariel).
Jail time typically doesn’t bode well for the artist. Usually upon release, the artist has become a has-been and washed-up. No matter the petitions and the excitement by the most loyal fans in support of the respective artist, regaining footing is perhaps more arduous than the jail time itself. Save for a few exceptions (T.I. and Lil Wayne coming to mind most notably), there seems to be little success after the pen – the penitentiary that is.
Kartel’s sentence without the eligibility of parole anytime soon (35 years into the sentence specifically), seems to end what has been described as a bright, though ‘controversial’ career. Being a musician personally, I truly hate to see the end of any artist’s career. That said, no matter whether you’re an artist or not, you must be/take responsibility for your actions. Unfortunately for Kartel, his actions – or involvement in those actions – have likely cost him his career. What a price to pay for controllable negligence.