One of the best compliments a celebrity can receive is when another luminary of great fame reveals they are a huge fan. This is the case of Ghana native and African dancehall artiste Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr, aka Shatta Wale and his admiration for Jamaican dancehall giant Vybz Kartel.
Shatta has gone to great lengths to show his love for the Worl’ Boss. For one, the self-proclaimed King of African Dancehall, unfollowed everyone on his Instagram page to leave one single individual, yep, you guessed it Kartel.
The 35-year-old Ghanaian singer also refers to himself as the ‘Son of Gaza King’ on the social media platform where he has a whopping 2.4 million followers. “Oh, I am his firstborn. I follow him only on IG,” Shatta said as he referred to the Worl’ Boss in an interview with the The Gleaner over the weekend from his home in the Motherland.
SocialBlade puts his prior ‘following’ count at around 200.
Wale’s affection for the Jamaican culture and music goes all the back to when he was a youth. His dad, who has half Jamaican relatives, is a fan of the culture as well and would play Reggae music in the house all the time. Eventually Shatta went to visit and spend time with his Jamaican family in the UK, which fueled his fascination for the music.
“When I was in school, my inspirations were King Shango, Sizzla, Culture, and CJ Lewis (British reggae singer),” Shatta told The Gleaner. Then when the emergence of Buju Banton and Vybz Kartel came around, dancehall just took hold.
Now blending the two genres (African and Jamaican) to establish his marque in music, he has made quite a name for himself. Making just 4 trips to Jamaica, Shatta would realize one of his biggest dreams having provided the opportunity to collaborate with Vybz Kartel through his association with Shawn Storm 4 years ago.
Shatta’s single with his idol debuted earlier this year in February, and is entitled Mansa Musa Money. This iconic pairing has been momentous for Shatta, even escalating his street cred in his homeland.
On the heels of the single’s release, plans were being made to shoot the music video in Dubai and South Africa but regrettably were put on hold due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The King of African Dancehall is slated to headline in the production of the compilation series, Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition. Just over a week ago, executive producer Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards disclosed that Akon was originally being considered to flagship the series but had been replaced by the Ghanaian singer.
Contractor later told The Gleaner,“The concept of the compilation has always focused on merging the talents of high-profile artistes and introducing a few new faces; Shatta Wale is the face of the album this year and, so far, the supporters in Ghana are giving great reviews.”
This year’s series is the largest with a total of 25 tracks and will showcase other Jamaican musicians such as Capleton, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Don Yute, Wayne Wonder, Tommy Lee Sparta and Skillibeng.
This Kartel super fan is busy in his studio these days, now working on his 2020 album titled, Gift of God. Shatta has been dropping a string of new singles back to back over the last couple weeks. Kimberly debuted 4 days ago and he recently previewed another unreleased track called Dweet Dirty, which has him spitting heavy dancehall deejaying and sounding a lot like his idol and ‘Teacha’ in his Sociopath single.