Mixpak Records is set to push the boundaries of Jamaica’s singles-driven culture, with an expansive concept album that weds Jamaica’s reigning Dancehall champion with one of New York’s most innovative producers. Over the past six months, Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel has been in the studio with prized Brooklyn producer Dre Skull, forging a futuristic new sound that Mixpak will unveil in Spring 2011.
Dre Skull, noted for producing super-smart beats for the likes of Lil Scrappy and Sizzla, first collaborated with Kartel on 2009’s, “Yuh Love.” The sly, minimal club pulse of Dre Skull’s Smoke Machine rhythm laid bare Kartel’s sensual warble and forged a cleverly novel sound. The upcoming album takes the promise of “Yuh Love” a step further, showcasing Kartel’s lyrical dexterity – from crooning love tunes to spitting hardcore street anthems – and his ability to wrap his distinctively Dancehall style around pop-fused rifts and rhythms. The album promises to not only elevate Kartel’s repertoire, but show the world that contemporary Jamaican styles translate better than ever to crossover rhythmic radio.
“This album is different from what people are used to hearing from Vybz Kartel,” states Adidja “Vybz Kartel” Palmer. “It’s more of a Hip Hop/Dancehall fusion with traces of Pop music. I think this is definitely a Grammy-worthy product,” he boasts.
Vybz Kartel has long been a ruling force in Dancehall, dominating the streets from Kingston to Queens with his raw voice and gritty eye for detail for more than a decade. 2010 was pivotal year — fresh off the international success of 2009’s sultry single “Rampin Shop,” Kartel’s yardie hot-stepper anthem ‘Clarks’ gripped airwaves around the globe, remaining among the top 5 Reggae singles garnering the most radio play in North America for over 38 weeks. He also scored several street-bangers, including “Jeans N Fitted,” “Touch A Button” and “Dumpa Truck.”