Yeah I said it. The Artist born Earlan Bartley has been gaining some traction in Dancehall Music over the years. Despite the controversies, he still manages to have a large fan base, plenty bookings, and hit songs. With his buzz starting around 2013, he first caught the attention of many with his Music Video for “Not A Slack Song”. The video, which scored high on the raunchy scale, was met with a huge backlash online with many writing him off as an Artist who had to use controversy to get a “buss”. The songs that followed further got his name buzzing for better, or for worse.
Later that year going into late 2014, he got mentioned in the same sentence as the “World Boss” Vybz Kartel for sparking more controversy when his skin got noticeably lighter, and his pupils were said to have been tattooed, something that has been taboo in many cultures. Over time after many headlines, jabs from established acts, sleepy worthy disses from hungry Artists desperate for a “buss” off Alka’s name, and the revelation that his “enhanced” pupils were fake, the music kept coming in, and Alkaline is at the forefront of Dancehall. One thing to keep in mind, he mentioned “2016” in many of his songs, and we paid attention.
2016 also saw the release of his debut Album, “New Level Unlocked”. With 15 tracks, Alkaline saw his album making its debut on Billboard Reggae Top 10,and being a hot commodity for many listeners as all tracks spread like hot fire. From the 2015 “Champion Boy” single being an anthem to many the following year (thanks to Champs, Rio 2016…), girls loving his “Company”, to “City” causing a stir, Alkaline showed us that he was working on a “Formula” that would ensure him reaping much success not even a “Block & Delete” could stop. While controversy follows his career, his “City” Music Video saw Kartel comparisons (again), he fired a shot at the Gaza Boss himself in late 2016 to the surprise of many, fired shots at Popcaan, and ignored Demarco and Tommy Lee Sparta’s jabs. 2017 would see Alka facing more jabs.
Edit: He answered Popcaan, dissed Beenie Man, and may just be gearing to get at more people.
2016 was Alkaline’s introduction showing many that he has what it takes to become Dancehall top contender. While still using controversy to his advantage, he created a following just like the GAZA/Gully camps namely “The Vendetta”. With its advent in 2015, the following grew even more to supporting the baddest thing to grace the Dancehall since Vybz Kartel. I say since Vybz Kartel because no other Artist has come close to gaining such traction on his or her own climbing to the top of the airwaves like Alkaline. For 2017, if Alkaine wants to solidify his place in Dancehall he MUST perform for his Jamaican fans and deliver. Sumfest? Maybe, but let us see.
Edit: Alkaline announced his own event earlier, let’s see what happens.
Dancehall is the gift that keeps on giving. Talented people showcasing Jamaica’s culture now more than ever not just Alkaline but others we want to see them win 2017 and beyond.