Believe it, or not, one of Jamaica's most controversial Dancehall Artistes will be delivering a lecture at the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.
Vybz Kartel has been invited to lecture at that institution's Department of Literatures in English and the Centre for Gender and Development Studies which will be hosting the lecture, which takes place at the Undercroft of the Senate building.
Dr Carolyn Cooper, lecturer at the Mona Campus, will have Vybz Kartel as a guest lecturer at her class on Thursday at 7:00 pm.
The lecture will be entitled, "Pretty Like a Colouring Book: My Life and My Art", Vybz Kartel will focus on his creative work as an artist.
Dr. Cooper teaches a course on Reggae Poetry at UWI and students each year are asked to select any reggae/dancehall song they like and analyse its literary qualities. Students will therefore be awarded an opportunity to listen to, and question an artist whose work they analyse.
Update March 12, 2011
Vybz Kartel did not disappoint in his delivery of a speech to a well attended lecture of screaming students, where he spoke on a lecture entitled, "Pretty Like a Colouring Book: My Life and My Art".
Vybz Kartel spoke on who is Vybz Kartel, which he described as being Adijah Palmer, hero, businessman, Godfather of seven children - and counting, seventh child of his father, third of his mother, attended Waterford Infants School, Waterford Primary School, where he pass his common entrance to Calabar High School, but expelled in the tenth grade. He seemed more interested in the art of music.
Dancehall music has been recieving a lot of flack recently he said, describing his music as a friend to some, and a foe to others. Dancehall has always been social commentary reflecting the duplicitous foundation of the Jamaican society, he went on to say.
Jamaica is an economically, ethnically, politically, and religously divided society. Reggae music spoke to the Garveyite message of "One Love". Dancehall music, however, generally speaks to "rebellion" which Kartel believes is sometimes feared, scrutinized, and demonized by our post colonial masters, and their subordinates.
He said his music is controversial, but so was reggae, which he said was labelled "rebel music" back in the day. He said reggae was only accepted locally after it was accepted overseas. Kartel went on to say that the stone the that builder refused shall become the head corner stone. This was further explored as he likened it to Bob Marley who at the beginning of his career was rejected and called "rasta boy", "ganja smoker", but now he is poster boy for the Jamaican Tourist Board.
Vybz Kartel spoke to the media using his name in order to sell newspapers, and asked the question why they focus on the negative aspects of his life rather than the positive.
Case in point, he mentioned headlines such as "Kartel's Skin Colour", "Allegations of Feuding with Kartel" etc. He has begged the question why not the positives such as "Kartel's Regular Good Deeds", "Kartel first Deejay to open his own Rum Factory", "Kartel chooses business ventures to Employ Jamaicans".