Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
If you’re in Jamaica you already know. If you’re abroad you may be wondering if the rumors are true but yes, the unthinkable has happened. After trading a lot of grudgeful remarks about who was attending whose birthday part last weekend (seriously) Mavado called his former nemesis Vybz Kartel to join him onstage for an extended collaboration at the West Kingston Jamboree Monday morning. After a years-long feud that threatened to divide the entire island into “Gaza” (Vybz) and “Gully” (Mavado) camps, the war appears to be over just in time for the Christmas bashment season. Not coincedentally, Jamaican security forces allegedly put the word out that the two deejays would not be allowed to perform at the legendary Sting concert on December 26th unless their rivalry was officially squashed. Judging by the energy both artists brought to this performance, trading lyrics and providing back-up vocals to each other songs, we’re hoping this ushers in a new era of dancehall free from extra-curricular distractions ie press conferences with the Chief of Police.
On a personal note as a journalist who’s had to spend way too much time expounding on the finer points of this feud because the artists involved (not only Vybz and Mavado but at times Busy Signal, Aidonia and others) happen to be among the most innovative and prolific vocalists in dancehall, it feels extra-right that I’m turning in my first post on Large Up on this historic event.