He’s hijacked the look, garnered the attention and kidnapped the fans, but is Alkaline’s ‘contraband’ following now willing participants?

“I Feel like I’m betraying Kartel but I can’t fight it anymore, the yute (alkaline) bad!” -Amanda Allen (Youtube commenter and Vybes Kartel Loyalist)

From preeing his new single on youtube dubbed ‘Company’ and the comments that followed, it had me thinking; Are we finally at the place where we’re willing and able to admit that 22 year old Earland ‘Alkaline’ Bartley is to Dancehall what Chronixx is to Reggae Music - a true saving grace? The controversy, the vulgarity and straight up wit, skill and smarts - from 2013 til’ now Alkaline has remained on the charts, in the ears and on the lips of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Additional comments found under the ‘Company’ video echoes Kartel loyalists coming clean and ‘giving props weh props due’. LISTEN TO 'COMPANY"



Like him or not Alkaline has maintained his ‘integrity’ throughout strong public backlash, his fair share of bad decisions and hatred but has somehow managed to seemingly finally be coming out on top, paid and unscathed.

I think what it is is that we have finally bought into his unique sound and his unoriginal look and are now able to admit that the kid’s got real talent and cajones. It’s something to say about dancehall’s new heroes that they are now typically the unassumingly intelligent rebels with enough brain cells to understand the importance of marketing, consistency and crowd pleasing. They who have put aside the squeaky clean societally accepted images and careers to pen controversial, relevant and relatable lyrics lewd or not. Much like Vybes Kartel (the original ‘Teacha’) Alkaline is a High School Graduate still in pursuit of higher education who in fact not only graduated from Ardenne high but also played quiz during his primary years.

Identifying as an ‘in di streets yute’ Alkaline’s ears and eyes are clearly always glued to ground and light posts - peeping into the windows of the everyday Jamaican and volumizing the topics they care about most - money, pussy, war…  Alkaline has not taken his head out of the game since his first hit single ‘123’ from circa 2013. I myself admittedly know every lyrics, chords and bars for his 2014 hit ‘bagga tings’, I remain unashamed.

But I want to hear from you the more avid listeners and participants within the dance hall. Is Alkaline Dancehall’s new Teacha? Or is he merely a space holder for the still jailed emperor of the gaza empire Adijah Palmer?

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Until Kartel Is Released

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