FORMER members of the Vybz Kartel-led Portmore Empire are determined to continue their individual musical careers, even while their controversial mentor faces life behind bars.
On March 30, Kartel (given name Adidja Palmer) and three accomplices were found guilty of the October 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
Their sentencing, initially set for March 27, has been rescheduled to April 3.
At the peak of its popularity, the Portmore Empire attracted promising dancehall acts like Popcaan and Black Ryno.
For producer NotNice, who laid down several hit tracks for Kartel, it is business as usual. He continues to churn out dancehall rhythms.
“The work has never stopped. I’m here still producing hit rhythms and spreading my wings,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
NotNice (real name Ainsley Morris) said his latest projects include the Boom Box, a beat featuring Gal Bruck Out by deejay Alkaline, as well as the Spice and Busta Rhymes remix So Mi Like It.
The producer is also part of Alkaline’s creative team.
Singjay Black Ryno, who left the Empire in 2010, has found a new home with a group known as Garrison.
He points out that the name is not as ominous as it sounds.
“It’s not a gang or anything like that. It’s a music group which consists of young artistes, producers and musicians. Everyone knows that there is a lot of talent in the garrison and that’s the point we are bringing out with this new group,” he said.
Ryno (Romaine Anderson) plans to release a new single, Kawasaki, with Garrison artiste Kalsani. He is also working on songs with producers, including Serani and Johnny Wonder from Happilos Productions.
Vanessa Saddler, who uses the stage name Gaza Slim, made her departure from the Empire in 2012. She is currently promoting her latest single Touch Me Right. The track, produced by Bigga Don Don, was released last week.
According to Slim’s producer and manager, Elvis Redwood, the artiste is working on new projects, but her main ‘job’ at the moment is being a responsible parent for her child.