Blak Ryno Open To Working With Vybz Kartel, Says Fallout Was Overblown

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Though he left Vybz Kartel’s Portmore/Gaza Empire more than a decade ago, dancehall singjay Blak Ryno isn’t opposed to working with him in the future.

On a recent episode of Dancehall Hot Seat, the ‘Real Stinga’ was asked about the possibility of collaborating if his former principal desired to, should he be released from prison. Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, is currently appealing a 2014 murder conviction before the Privy Council. 

“If ‘Teacha’ waan that, anything possible,” Ryno responded. “Why not?”

Blak Ryno (left) and Vybz Kartel

The entertainer rose to prominence in 2007 as part of the now-defunct Gaza enclave, standing out with a distinct singjay style and flair for versatile songwriting. In 2010, his exit from the group was heralded in the track Mi Lefin which he explained some of his headstrong reasons for ‘cutting’ ties.

Despite contributing a myriad of hits to dancehall like Thug Anthem, Badmind, Dollar Coin,and Bike Back, the industry has arguably treated him like an unwanted stepchild since he left the camp. Ryno has often described his predicament as a case of blackballing, but believes his decision to move on from the clique was overblown. 

“Everybody nuh keep one job fi too long; some people do, some people don’t,” he said. “That was Gaza; it was, to me, a job. If you have a label and you seh you waan sign me, you a sign me fi work fi you – it’s a job. Sometimes the worker and the boss have fallout and a one a dem thing deh, and the people dem blow it out of proportion when it’s simply that.”

A throwback photo of Blak Ryno (left) and Vybz Kartel

Curry-stained into his brand is the notion that he was disloyal to the Worl’ Boss, though it has never been substantiated. Ryno said he’s discouraged from explaining his side as he feels people will label him a liar anyway.  

“Mi a live wid a curse weh mi nuh do nothing…” he said.

“Up to now, dem people yah cya tell me weh mi do. Not even the man weh tell dem seh, ‘Yow, him sell we out’, not even you tell the people weh mi do…”

Despite the continued dark cloud over his career, Ryno said he will “always rate Kartel”, adding, “a Gaza mek me. Mi cya stop seh Gaza”. So loyal, is he, that he’s turned down opportunities to work with any nemesis of the Portmore Empire collective.

Singjay Blak Ryno

“You never see mi go do no song with no artist who we never link with before,” he said. “Mi still keep it dah way deh and it wasn’t no pride nothing. A just how mi grow, so, that is instilled in me.”

Now based in the United States, the singjay is gearing up to release new music, which he teased will bear Afrobeats flavour.

His last release was Ride, a collaboration with Chenphang that debuted three months ago. 

Blak Ryno

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Tu-Lox Launches Rebel 13 Foundation

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Twin of Twins member Tu-Lox is expanding his Rebel 13 brand with the launch of a charitable organization. 

The Dancehall artist shared the news on the latest episode of his My Tu-Sense ‘podclass’ on YouTube. 

“Mi set up the Rebel 13 foundation,” he started. “Now, that is where mi a go increase mi philanthropic efforts, so, you see if mi go suh boom now and pick up all The STAR and mi see a likkle boy or family or all these things weh fall pon hard times and all these things – yuh done know.”

Dancehall artist and fashion designer Tu-Lox

He continued, “We cya leave these things to (philanthropist) Aunty Donna dem alone. Everybody weh have the platform, fi do weh dem can do fi give back.”

Tu-Lox, whose given name is Paul Gaynor, has long been called a “rebel” for his personal and lyrical advocacy surrounding social injustices and the restoration of morals and values. It is from this nickname that he established Rebel 13 Collections in 2005 which currently houses a clothing brand. 

Per its website, the Rebel 13 brand is a fashionable clothing line that “cleverly fuses Paul’s rebellious personality with his roots”. His affinity for sewing and fashion designing traces back to when he was 13 living at Chisholm Avenue in Kingston. The story goes, he was embarrassed by a tailor when he couldn’t afford to pay for his school uniform, so, he learned to make them himself. In no time, he was sewing different kinds of clothing and offering paid tailoring services. 

The brand features graphic work as its signature, and caters to adults and children across a wide array of casual and contemporary wear. 

Tu-Lox and his brother CurlyLoxx (given name Patrick Gaynor) rose to prominence as Twin of Twins in the mid-2000s through humorous yet intellectual musical sketches on various events in pop culture. Interestingly, music was initially the sole pursuit and passion of CurlyLoxx, who shared in a recent interview that Tu-Loxx was more interested in being his manager. 

Tu-Lox (left) and CurlyLoxx of dancehall duo Twin of Twins

As their “twin trod” continued, they started making music together and formed a duo, with their most popular and acclaimed work being their Stir it Up mixtape series which balances entertainment and thought-provoking introspection on serious issues in society. 

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