The Kartel Business – A Look at Vybz Kartel As an Entrepreneur
Now, everyone knows that Vybz Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer is a Jamaica Songwriter and Singer but how much do you know about him as a Businessman? Well Karizmedia notes that Kartel is just as good of a singer as a businessman. His business tactics can be compared to those of Jay-Z, who was the CEO of Def Jam/Roc-a-fella records from 2005 to 2007 in 2007. Ironically, in that same year Kartel formed the Portmore Empire which have a few names on roster like Popcaan, Shawn Storm, Jah Vinci and more but Most Importantly Addi Di Teacher, Vybz Kartel himself.
In that same year, Kartel introduced Vybz Rum which is known as the Official Rum of Dancehall Music (the difference between Vybz Rum and Street Vybz Rum, not quite clear as yet). Although, Corey Todd (a shareholder of the rum distribution company) said that “…Kartel is like the Jay Z of the dancehall music world”, research shows that on this endorsement deal, it can be compared to Sean “Diddy” Combs endorsement deal with Vodka which happened the same year of Vybz Rum. Additionally, what endorsement deal done with a musical artist is not backed by the artist doing a song to advertise it? So, of course to boost public awareness Kartel has dedicated a song to the Rum and guess what the song is called. Well, if you guessed “Street Vybz Rum”, you aren’t wrong. Pretty straight forward, now when you see the name, you must know what it’s about.
Kartel must have got inspiration from somewhere because in 2008, he launched a new product, a very odd one, “Condoms”. Yes, Condoms – in 2008, it was publicly announced that as a campaign promoting Safe Sex, Mr. Palmer will be distributing Condoms.
Some popular brand names for Condoms are Trojan, Durex or the Jamaican brand Slambut. Kartel apparently likes to keep it down to earth and colloquial so his condoms are called “Daggering Condoms”. Yes, the word, “Daggering” the same word that was banned in 2008 or 2009 from Radio Airplay as it is a Jamaican slang use to refer to:
1. Having sex in a aggressive manner (hardcore).
2. Dancing and gyrating in an aggressive way
( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Daggering )
So what is the teacher doing for 2011? Why going into the Apparel industry of course, Jamaica Star reports that Kartel has launched his Addi’s merchandise which now has Gaza Dog Tags, Belt Buckles, T-Shirts and SHOES. Yes sir, Addi’s shoes from Kartel, hope Addidas don’t make claims with him. But Jamaica Star also reports that Kartel mentioned “I will also be giving away money via a contest. The prizes will be up to a $1 million. It’s pretty much like a raffle. You have a one in 10,000 chance of winning because for every 10,000 units sold, I’ll give a away up to a $1 million.” So, I know the merchandise has been out for a while now, but who knows maybe you might be lucky still.
The Gaza king has also taken over a club in portmore called “Club Blaze”, partnering with Corey Todd, same partner in the Vybz Rum deal. “We are in a joint venture, myself, Corey Todd and Mr Fagan Jr to pioneer Portmore’s second world-class night club series,” said Kartel and “Club Blaze will be opened on Wednesdays, Thursdays through Sundays. Portmore will now host its own Street Vybz party on Sundays while Street Vybz Thursday continue to shell down the building every Thursday night in Kingston. Club Blaze will not only welcome the Gaza fan, but is for anyone who wants to be where the vibes is at,” said Todd. Now, if Kartel plays his cards right he might be able to open a chain of clubs like Jay Z’s co owned “The 40/40 Club”.
Some may say that Kartel has enough but hey, why not throw a next beverage in their for the non-alcohol drinkers? And so, it was done, Kartel has launched a set of Fruit Drinks under Street Vybz company and Partyxtras reports that it is supposed that he is going to release own of brand of cake soap “Vybz cake soap”, if it hasn’t been done as yet.
Now, we all know that media moguls like Jay-Z, Sean Combs, Ludacris and Paris Hilton have branched their names into the Business sector in cases of beverages, clothes and accessories. So, it’s only smart to see Kartel doing the same to get back his return on his image. The Portmore Empire stands to make millions over the next few years if things go well. This is more of an inspiration to Caribbean Artists to try to do more than music, but spread their talents into the different avenues that life has made available to them. The Caribbean maybe small, but the talent is large.