KINGSTON, Jamaica — Bad blood appears to be brewing between reggae/dancehall artiste Sizzla Kalonji and longtime collaborator, American record producer DJ Khaled.
This after Sizzla posted on social media videos of himself burning two plaques reportedly sent to him from Khaled’s team. The plaques commemorate two of Khaled’s albums gaining platinum certification and were presented to Sizzla for the part he played on the projects.
However, in the videos now circulating online, Sizzla dubbed the gesture a “diss” to him and the people of Jamaica, saying he could hardly see his name on the plaques.
Tearing the face of Khaled’s eldest son Ashad from the plaques, Kalonji declared that “babies are innocent” before proceeding to throw gasoline on the rest of the material. Referring to the child as his God child, the ‘Run Out Pan Dem’ deejay said he’d rather accept the photos of Khaled’s son as his plaques than the commemorative displays sent by the Recording Industry Association of America.
“Yuh insult me DJ Khaled. Yuh insult Jamaica. Babies are innocent. Ashad a di boss,” the deejay can be heard saying in the videos.
The footage has triggered a lot of discussions on social media, with users expressing shock at the reggae singer’s action. Some users believe Kalonji went overboard and said he should consider that DJ Khaled is one of the few international artistes who extensively feature Jamaican acts on projects.
“Wow…never expected this. From what I saw @djkhaled always showed Sizzla love and respect. If he didn’t appreciate it, return it. Simple,” said @GregyShao on Twitter.
“Why feed this level of ignorance and hatred? DJ Khaled has only ever shown Jamaican artistes and culture his respect and loyalty. I hope Khaled hears the message loud and clear. Your admiration is not welcome. Let the culture rot continue,” another Twitter user, @TheMacVillan posted.
The brouhaha caught the attention of dancehall producer Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell, who said it was “not a good look” for the industry. Skatta noted that while Sizzla may feel insulted, Khaled as an international producer who does not need to feature Jamaican acts on his projects.
“As a featured artist on a compilation album that went platinum I understands how he feels however, one must remember this is Khalid’s project he’s been doing for years and also has the biggest artist in Hip Hop e.g. Jay Z, Drake, Kanye, Eminem, Future, Lil Wayne on this album. For any Dancehall artist to be featured on this is something to be extremely proud of and celebrated. Until we as a people are able to market our music and show support for our own We will forever be relying on others to lend that support,” he wrote on Instagram. “I honestly think this album would still hit the platinum mark without that combination song wit the dancehall acts and Khaled did not need to record a single Jamaican on it, however his love and adoration for this culture that has been a major influence in his career is what drove him to visit this island.”
“Dancehall/ Reggae music needs bigger support, our artist needs better work ethics and Discipline, this is why Jamaica has so many talented artist that influences the entire world yet we continue to see little gains from the industry,” he continued. “Afro Beat is taking over and Africa is now the major music capital of the world. Khaled def won’t be back after seeing shoe stomping on his face.”
Skatta went on to say that he hopes Sizzla’s actions have not jeopardised future opportunities for other local acts.
“Hope this hasn’t jeopardised and opportunities for others who would have gotten the chance at another big feature. We really need more support from the international community. Let’s not forget this is a business. Managers are needed to get between artist and labels to squash these things before it gets out and hit the internet. NOT A GOOD LOOK,” he declared.