‘King of the Dancehall’ Vybz Kartel says he is no longer interested in YouTube views or ‘trending’ on the video platform, which is the go-to destination for music on the Internet. On the worldwide market, YouTube’s free, ad-supported format aggregates more streams than all of the other music services combined.
The Worl’ Boss was responding to comments being made by fans on his Instagram page on Sunday morning, a day after the release of his new rock song Not OK. The disgruntled fans had complained that they were sure some Jamaican artistes were buying YouTube views, as Not OK had not stormed to Number One or broken the top 10 on YouTube’s Popular In Jamaica channel as expected, but had instead trended backward in one fell swoop.
The song is now ranked at number 46 on Trending, a far cry from Kartel’s Magneato Medley featuring his sons Likkle Addi and Likkle Vybz, which racked up 1.8 million views on YouTube, and Scorched Earth which scored 2.7 million and World Government with 2.8 million, which rapidly soared to number one after they were released.
“This was #19 between 1am – 3am! YouTube Is NOT F—— OK. Or some guy a buy views,” blessyd_gazadiva complained on the Worl’ Boss’ promotional post of the song on Instagram.
She was supported by other fans who were furious about the situation.
“Fri it was #19 then it move go to #30. Something is wrong with f——- YouTube or some bwoy weh a nuh artiste a buy views,” one fan ranted.
Another Kartel fan, also sought to take the complaints a step further, claiming that YouTube was providing erroneous statistics. “YouTube a f*** itself, cause di boss song dem get more views dan nuff artist weh drop song yesterday and dem a trend and him nah trend. It a f*** itself,” he said.
YouTube, however, says it determines “Trending” by considering a number of factors, not just the view count.
Others predicted that the artistes who were allegedly guilty of buying views to the detriment of Kartel’s releases, would all end up broke by year-end, while another argued that Kartel was “bigger than YouTube” and became famous long before the video-sharing platform became a giant. “YouTube didn’t make him n sure as hell can’t break him!” he said.
Having caught wind of the comments, Kartel, whose single, Fever, was recently certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) replied: “VybzKartel is bigga dan YouTube trending…lef it fi di kids …Gold n Platinum ai pre.”
The drama surrounding the rock song not trending on YouTube comes several weeks after Kartel and the Gaza Nation led a verbal onslaught on upcoming deejay Intence, after the Papine native’s single Tears Dem Dry assumed the number one Trending Spot on YouTube Jamaica for several hours, following Kartel’s release of Up Top Gaza in collaboration with TeeJay.
At the time, Kartel, whose given name is Adijah Palmer, poured scorn on Intence for holding onto the coveted number one spot, and insinuated that he was buying YouTube views in order to trend. Up Top Gaza eventually took the No. 1 spot, nine hours after its release, and Intence has vehemently denied buying views.
Interestingly, over on the Apple iTunes Top 50, the Vendetta Boss Alkaline is the most dominant artiste out of Jamaica with a total of 11 songs. He currently holds the number one, two, and four spots with Cree, Nah Fi Like, and Ocean Wave respectively.
Reggae princess Lila Iké is also riding high with four songs from her recently released EP holding firm in the Top 10 with I Spy at number five; Solitude and Where I’m Coming From at seven and eight respectively and Stars Align at number 10.
Masicka is also doing well with a total of seven songs in Apple’s Top 50, including Grandfather at number three and Chance at number nine, while his friend Dexta Daps’ Breaking News is at number six.
Kartel has just four songs on the Top 50 in the form of Thickiana at number 31 and his collabs Up Top Gaza at number 24, Beat Dem Bad with Squash at number 27, and Like I’m Superman with Sikka Rymes at number 47.
Intence, who has dominated YouTube this year, has only one song in the iTunes Top 50, which is Yeng a collaboration with Zimi.
The Apple Music service was launched in Jamaica and other Latin American territories in late April. Spotify, the most popular paid service, is not yet available to consumers on the island.
Despite the stiff competition on YouTube this month, Kartel still reigns as the overall streaming King, likely due to his unmatched consistency in releasing new music.
Statistical data provided by YouTube shows the Worl’ Boss leading Jamaican entertainers with 6.46 million views over the last 28 days. Those following are Alkaline (4.09M views), Masicka (3.37M views), Chronic Law (3.35M views) and Intence (3.08M views).