Jamaican Dancehall Beef Requires Intervention From The Government

'We're from a different culture,' Mavado says of feud with Vybz Kartel.

A typical hip-hop beef ends on wax, with both sides walking away with little more than words exchanged. Sometimes things escalate into actual violence, and in rare cases people lose their lives. In Jamaica, in the rivalry between dancehall stars [artist id="2476408"]Mavado[/artist] and Vybz Kartel, things have gotten so out of hand that the government has been forced to intervene to curb the violence inspired by the feud between the two.

On Tuesday, Jamaican National Security Minister Dwight Nelson warned that government sanctions will be taken against the two artists if their recently agreed-upon truce isn’t upheld. The minister brokered the peace accord between the two in response to the escalating levels of violence between supporters of the two stars. The pair — plus their groups Gaza and Gully — have been at odds since 2006, and the conflict often spills over between fans in the streets. As a part of the truce, the two plan to collaborate on a song and co-hosting an upcoming concert event to promote peace.

At the summit, Mavado insisted the same thing that he told MTV News back in February when we caught up with him: It’s always been about the music. “We’re from a different culture,” he explained. “So we only speak of what we know about or of what we see. If you have people out there that lash out against it … I can’t speak of something I can’t see or something I don’t know.”

Mavado scored an international crossover hit with “So Special” earlier this year, while Vybz has yet to make as big an impact outside of his home country. Even with the rivalry theoretically put to bed, Mavado won’t have any trouble moving forward. After all, he said that it was never about the feud in the first place. “I do music for myself, I do music for the people,” he explained. “But I still don’t get in certain things. Certain things I just leave it. It doesn’t really matter to me. But at the end of the day I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.”