By Marc Parc
Vybz Kartel's prized protégés from the Portmore Empire have insisted that despite their leader being charged for murder, they're still sticking by their leader.
On Monday, Kartel was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm regarding the shooting death of 27 year old businessman/promoter, Barrington "Bossie" Burton in Gregory Park, St. Catherine. To make matters worse, Kartel's reality show, Teacha's Pet lost its biggest sponsor as telecommunications outlet, LIME announced on Tuesday that they would no longer broadcast uncut episodes of the series. Additionally, producers of Teacha's Pet are discussing whether or not future episodes of Teacha’s Pet will be broadcast as a result of Kartel’s legal issues.
Despite the controversy surrounding the "Dancehall Hero", members of the Portmore Empire are showing loyalty towards their mentor. Empire artiste, Gaza Slim asked for law enforcement to release Kartel; insisting that she's praying for her mentor and that he will prevail despite his current troubles.
Meanwhile, another prized Kartel protégé, Andre "Popcaan" Sutherland said that he was stunned by the news that "Di Teacha" had been charged with murder, even though he did admit that he doesn't know how true the allegations are given that he doesn't fully know him personally. Furthermore, Popcaan said that he was hurt by the news and didn't expect such a thing to happen to his long-time mentor.
However, the "Ravin" deejay made it clear that the Portmore Empire was still intact and that he would remain strong during this tough time for the group. As for who will lead the "Gaza" camp going forward, Popcaan remains unsure.
The Portmore Empire was formed in 2007, months after Kartel left the Alliance. The group currently consists of Kartel, Popcaan, Shawn Storm, Tommy Lee and Maxwell along with Gaza Slim, Sheba and Gaza Indu.