Incarcerated dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel will be launching his clothing line this summer, using his brand to sell a variety of products including caps, shirts, and rags.
According to author and business associate, Michael Dawson, who was spotted marketing Vybz Kartel products in Miami recently, the business move was inevitable since fans of the deejay had already begun to create and sell their own Vybz Kartel products.
“All intellectual property of Vybz Kartel are owned by Tameka Jackson, otherwise known as ‘Shorty’. However, [a company named] Whirlwind has the licence to market the brand worldwide. This is the first time anybody has seen Vybz Kartel clothing, and we are giving people a taste of what it looks like,” Dawson said.
Illegal Gaza projects
The author also told THE STAR that Vybz Kartel’s brand will now be managed professionally and legitimately.
“We had people from all over the world saying they have Gaza products and we would also get complaints raising concerns about quality. So we decided to get involved and do it properly because persons have been using the brand illegally, and have also been selling items of poor quality. Launching the VK line is a step to do things the right way,” Dawson said.
Dawson also said the clothing line will be marketed strategically so as to curtail the effect of piracy. He also said the brand will intentionally target a specific class of people.
“We have issues with piracy so we will be using social media and Whatsapp to our advantage. Select stores will also offer the brand, and trust me, it means a lot to Vybz Kartel. He specifically said the youth who he wants to wear his clothing is the youth who always wanted to build a house for his mother and never have any money,” Dawson said.
“I know it’s going to be hard, but we want the brand to be real. Vybz Kartel is a youth that got arrested incorrectly and get in trouble when he never did anything, so we are being very meticulous with our marketing because we don’t want any and anybody to have it.”
Vybz Kartel and Dawson’s book, Voice of The Jamaican Ghetto, was recently ranked the number-one best seller locally. The year, 2016, also marks five years since the release of the book.
“There is a lot of social commentary in the book and it discusses issues relevant to today’s society, like child mortality, energy conservation, among other things. Some people did not bother to read and judged the product by the cover. However, a lot of the things Vybz Kartel wrote is now coming to reality,” he said.
A new album for Vybz Kartel was recently released, titled King of The Dancehall. His mentor Bounty Killer also stated during a recent interview that the artiste was fitting for dancehall’s crown.
“Kings come down different generation and he is the King of this generation. If he is not, then who is? For the last 10 years he is. So, him a di young king, den mi caan be biased,” Bounty Killer said.