Trini Attilah Springer writes about Vybz Kartel's self-mutilation, all in the name of "freedom":
Like a ghoul out of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video that used to give me nightmares back in the 80s, Kartel haunts my mind, and I try to resist the desire to dance, because I can hear his words and they are far more terrible than what he has done to his face. It’s kind of funny when you really think about it. Vybz Kartel, the voice of emancipation for young people. In keeping with the level of hilarity that exists in this country. Because if you don’t laugh, the likelihood is that you might spend all your days weeping. Or hiding. Or hiding and weeping. If nothing else Vybz Kartel with his cake soap and his tattoos and his unfathomably banal lyrics represents either the failure or the success of past generations to pass on a sense of what a diaspora African identity is supposed to be. But this is what freedom is about I guess. To be so confident in your blackness that you attempt to erase every trace of it.?To be so sure of yourself that you feel no qualms about moving from disguise to disguise. Until there is no difference between you and the mask. The mask is you.?The mask is real. The mask is permanent. But that’s okay because it’s white and white’s alright.?That is true freedom. That is true emancipation. Because blackness is the prison that black people fear the most.