article written by
Shereita Grizzle – Staff Reporter for The Jamaica Star.
Alkaline may have fired subliminal shots at incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel in his latest track, ‘ Nah Fi Like’, but instead of releasing a diss track of his own, the ‘Worl’ Boss’ has been opting to let his catalogue speak for him. In a number of posts made to the deejay’s page, the account holder has been showing off Kartel’s streaming numbers on YouTube, which show Alkaline lagging behind on the charts.
According to statistics calculated by YouTube, for the first quarter of 2020, the ‘Worl’ Boss’ amassed 12.5 million views, making him the most streamed artiste out of Jamaica.
Chronic Law came in at number two with a total of 6.05 million views, while Alkaline came in at number three with 5.09 million views. Alkaline was also behind on the weekly and monthly charts.
During THE STAR‘s research, it was also discovered that over the three-month period for 2020, Vybz Kartel amassed a total of 101 million plays on YouTube. That number reflects the number of times the artiste’s songs were viewed in different countries.
In the breakdown, which can be accessed via charts.youtube.com, it shows people as far away as Kenya have been listening to Kartel’s music. His biggest audiences were shown to come from the USA, Jamaica and the UK.
Although their geographic reach is the same, Alkaline’s numbers were significantly less. For the same three-month period, the Champion Bwoy singer amassed 38 million plays in total.
The difference in the numbers was the same when checks were made to statistics for the last 12 months. Over the last year, while Kartel managed nearly 500,000 plays in total, Alkaline only totalled 182,000.
Music analyst Donovan Watkis broke down the statistics as he pointed to reasons why, even from behind bars, Kartel continues to dominate the local music scene.
“Kartel put the marginalised and the unspoken for on a pedestal, and they in turn put him upon the pedestal of fame and notoriety. His reign won’t let up until someone else comes along with that kind of charm and lyricism in dancehall,” he said. “He is bold and willing to go all the way to please his fans. He consistently pushes the boundaries of society unapologetically. That’s his appeal and that’s why his streams are above others in Jamaica.”
Speaking to the alleged diss track released by Alkaline and, by extension, the ongoing feud between him and Kartel, Watkis expressed that Alkaline is only doing what is necessary to lay claim to the ‘dancehall throne’.
“Alkaline is focused on becoming the best in the genre, so just like Kartel did, he is going after the current king. The essence of dancehall is clash. Kartel did it and went up against King Beenie and Bounty. Dancehall is competition,” he said.
Still, while he welcomes a good lyrical battle, Watkis says that should not be the focus of either entertainer right now.
He explained that while streaming numbers in Jamaica reflect a dominance for one party, both artistes should be focusing on increasing their numbers in other countries.
“Who is at number one or number two should be based on the quality of music they make and how well they appeal and capture the imagination of the fans. Dancehall/reggae needs more conscious and calculated music that can stream in other territories than Jamaica. Both artistes should focus on building fan bases across the world. They should be making music that will have a greater impact on the world and not just with the core audiences,” he said.