Reflections in Cafe Blue from Gully to Gaza


“The now resolved Gully/Gaza feud which had the music industry split into two musical gangs, gave birth to two new dancehall icons.

However, the soldiers who traded lyrical bullets on their behalf gained nothing more than temporary popularity, while the bosses catapulted to the top of the dancehall ladder.”


In the year when dancehall had grown internationally but was still largely underground worldwide for many reasons, I Kwoth, a god was sent by Olorun to dwell on earth to and to replace Idi Amin who had fallen out of favour with the other gods.

Now, I Kwoth, am a god who is likened to a coin in a chair that is there but will never be found – a fly on the wall an apparition in the midst of men, a dweller in the air and sky.

I Kwoth came to earth as an immortal to dwell among mere mortals, a being of perfection to live among imperfection. And I looked upon the state of dancehall and was much displeased with what I saw. Ye, even the other gods, Olorun and the rest of the Orishas were greatly displeased.

And they said unto me: “why is there a feud between this Gully and Gaza? Are the leaders of the feud, Mavado the one from the  Brooks, and the Vybz in the Kartel also known as Addi the teacher not from the same tribe called the Alliance? Are they not sons of the griot Bounty the Killer?”


The sexually explicit and violent lyrics for which deejay Vybz Kartel – one half of the Gully-Gaza feud – is known affect how Jamaican teenagers think and view themselves, according to a recent study.

Numerous young people between the age of 10 and 18 have spoken of the negative influence of Kartel’s lyrics and music videos on them, communication specialist and former permanent secretary in the ministry of energy and mining, Marcia Forbes said her research had found.

Forbes, who put the issue in the context of the vicious Gully-Gaza feud between Kartel and his arch-rival Mavado, said the research showed that the deejay had power over what teenagers thought about and how they viewed themselves based on his lyrics. (See page seven for the full article)

“One girl was delighted with herself because she met Kartel’s standard by having a tight “pum pum” and not one that “placka like mud”, as

he disparagingly described vaginas with lax walls/ insufficient muscle tone,” Forbes said of a girl who “used Kartel’s lyrics to validate herself and

her sexuality”.

One boy, she said, explained that the deejay’s Tek Buddy song of some years ago was good because it gave power to men.

“To this boy, the song showed that men were taking back power from women

who were usurping men’s roles,” Forbes said, reiterating that “teenagers really listen to Kartel”.




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