b. Adidja Palmer, 7 January 1979, Portmore, Jamaica, West Indies. Vybz Kartel was hailed as one of the leading new artists to emerge from the Jamaican dancehall scene following the release of his 2003 debut album, Up 2 Di Time. Born in the Waterford district of Jamaica, the young DJ recorded his first single at the tender age of 12, releasing ‘Fat Women’ under the Adi Banton moniker. In 1996 he formed Vybz Cartel with his friends Mr Lee and Escobar, with the trio taking their name from a movie about gangster Pablo Escobar. After falling out with his band mates Palmer opted to continue performing as a solo artist, rebranding himself as Vybz Kartel. In the late 90s he began writing lyrics for established dancehall star Bounty Killer, including the hits ‘High Grade Forever’ and ‘Warlord Rule The World’. He also collaborated with Wayne Marshall on the major dancehall hits ‘New Millennium’ and ‘Why You Doing It?’, and began to make inroads into the lucrative North American market with a number of guest appearances for rap artists. Up 2 Di Time was recorded with Donovan ‘Vendetta’ Bennett and featured a vibrant mix of dancehall rhythms, hip-hop beats and Kartel’s slick lyrical flow, with Marshall and Bounty Killer protégé Kardinal Offishall popping up on a number of tracks. The 2004 release More Up 2 Di Time featured the original album fleshed out by five additional tracks. Later in the year Vybz Kartel was one of several Jamaican DJs investigated by the British police owing to the inflammatory homophobic content of some of his lyrics. He also had his nomination for Best Reggae Single at the UK’s MOBO awards withdrawn.