Over the years, Jamaica’s dancehall fraternity has always had two or three artists that have competed against each other to captivate the arena or be the real big man so to speak. Historically there have been conflicts between the more dominant figures in the entertainment industry. Back in the day, the likes of Supercat and Ninja man went at it in a toe-to-toe showdown at Sting in 1991, the DJ’s battlefield. There were also conflicts between Ninja Man and Shabba Ranks and Sizzla and Bounty Killer to name a few.
The most famous and long lasting conflict in the dancehall would have to be the never-ending battle between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. It is definitely the most financially beneficial of all feuds as it has made both artists more popular and in turn filled venues with eager fans waiting to see the show down of all showdowns.
The new generation of younger artists have brewed their own new set of conflicts, like the war between Aidonia and Busy Signal - Aidonia and Munga - Devra Brat and Munga. The most popular one for the moment however would have to be the Vybz Kartel and Movado conflict. This has seen the lyrical dispute manifest into physical “beef” in the streets crossing the line between lyrics and reality (something that never really happened with past rivalries).
Both Movado and Vybz Kartel have been recording diss tracks aimed at each other with their most recent lyrical onslaughts on Skatta’s new ‘Self Defense’ rhythm on which Mavado is adamant that Kartel is a homosexual and Vybz Kartel answers twice by telling him that he will send him to hell and he couldn’t be gay because he was in an intimate relationship with his (Mavado’s) mother.
The question remains - who is the man? Who is the most dominant figure in the dancehall at this moment? Is it the Alliance DJ Mavado or Portmore Empire’s leader Vybz Kartel?
This is what the public has to say about - Who is The Big Man?
Omar, 27, Store Clerk:
Earlier on up inna di year Mavado was the man carrying the title but right now mi affi give the title to Vybz Kartel. Both artistes have out some sick tunes that are running the place but at the end of the day there will only be one and I am betting my money on the Teacha (Vybz Kartel)
Tavares Fullerton, 23, un-employed:
Vybz Kartel mi seh all di way, him a di big man from day one fi me Mavado is a bad artiste but Vybz Kartel is more lyrical and that is what gives Kartel the edge over di singer. Vybz Kartel crew is also the hottest crew now, Javanchi a duh a thing and Black Rhino have more than four hot songs now. Portmore Empire to world.
Sheila Stanford, 20, Student:
This is a very difficult question, I love both artistes so mi never yet pree fi si who is the better deejay. To me I think it would be hard to compare Vybz Kartel and Mavado as one is a singer and the other is a deejay so I would seh Mavado is the singer a di year and Vybz Kartel di deejay a di year
Sashay Cohan, 26, Receptionist:
I don't think none of them is the clear leader as yet because the gap is always tight either ways. This week mi turn on mi radio and hear some bad Kartel and by next week Mavado back on track with him. Just like Bounty and Beenie Man can't do with out each other is the same thing with Vybz Kartel and Mavado.