A controversial figure and a superstar in his homeland of Jamaica, Vybz Kartel was hailed as one of the leading new artists to emerge from the dancehall scene following the release of his 2003 debut album, Up 2 Di Time. Born and raised in the Waterford district of Jamaica, Kartel was only 12 when he released his first single, "Fat Women," under the name Adi Banton. In 1996, he formed Vibes Cartel with his friends Mr Lee and Escobar, but the group quickly dissolved. Vybz would keep the group's name in altered form and became a solo artist; he soon became the protégé of popular dancehall singer Bounty Killer. Kartel began writing for artists on Bounty's Alliance management roster, including the Killer himself, along with the Scare Dem Crew featuring Elephant Man. Vybz broke out on his own in 2002 with a string of solo hits including "Guns Like Mine," "Badman," and "Most High," along with some collaborative hits with reggae singer Wayne Marshall. Being crowned 2002 deejay of the year at the Stone Love Sound System's 30th anniversary party meant the singer had officially arrived amongst the Jamaican dancehall community, but a year later he would break on a worldwide level, releasing his debut Up 2 Di Time to wide acclaim while making headlines thanks to an on-stage clash with Ninjaman during the Sting festival in Kartel's hometown of Portmore. The planned clash was highly anticipated, but when members of Kartel's crew assaulted Ninjaman on-stage, chaos took over with numerous arrests and the future of Sting coming into question, forcing Kartel to make a public apology while announcing a truce with Ninjaman during a press conference held four days after Sting. If all the gun talk and curse words in the man's songs hadn't already labeled him a possibly "dangerous" artist, the Ninjaman incident surely did.