Dancehall selector Tony Matterhorn is of the opinion that fast rising deejay Alkaline just revealed publicly what has long been suspected – there’s no love lost between the ‘Champion Boy’ singer and the man whose style he has been accused of copying, incarcerated superstar Vybz Kartel.
Over the weekend, social media blew up with a video showing Alkaline interrupting Matterhorn’s set at the deejay’s birthday party at a club in Florida, allegedly in response to the selector playing a Vybz Kartel song.
The video shows Alkaline calling Matterhorn a friend before ‘styling’ him with a derogatory term in front of a packed club. Another man also appeared to be intimidating the selector as the two are seen exchanging heated words with angry faces on camera.
In his defence, Matterhorn said it was ‘all about the music’ and he didn’t want “bad blood”.
“It’s all about the love and the music… Nuff man ah go say ah eediat ting, and mi wi get mad and diss up everybody. Then yu a go hear say Matterhorn mek him friend diss Alkaline, but mi nuh tek press and tek press button, at the time, mi feel fi quell the situation because you know none ah dem no bad like me,” Matterhorn said in a rambling response.
“Not because yu have yu gun or yu gang makes yu a bad person, is how yu deal with situations,” he added.
Matterhorn added that “Alkaline just made himself look bad”.
The selector said, “Your action showed everybody now what you were hiding all along – yuh nuh like Kartel… he made himself look like he has a problem with Vybz Kartel.”
Various clone accounts bearing Vybz Kartel’s image on Instagram appeared to respond to the brouhaha with a cryptic message : ‘what is a party without Vybz Kartel???!!! DWBCL’.
In the meantime, the issue has reopened the debate about the shifting rules for selectors in a culture where the tensions and rifts between artistes has created ‘politically charged’ situations for selectors, even high profile ones like Tony Matterhorn.
Is it fair not to play Kartel, the reigning club song deejay at a public event, even though it is the birthday party of another deejay?
“You know the rules, I know the rules, Matterhorn knows the rules. When the Kartel play, ‘None ah dem no dem pon mi level’, him fi know anything can happen, when yu go certain area, yu know say yu caan do certain tings, yu haffi respect the rules,” one selector, who asked not to be named, mused.
Another selector, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, was incensed that Matterhorn could have put himself in such a precarious situation as a seasoned selector.
“Why did Tony Matterhorn put himself in that situation in the first place? Ah farrin, no man caan carry no gun inna club, him shoulda defend it, give Alkaline a one loudas and mek the Internet go crazy. Instead, yu mek the man ah style yu, water down yu ting and yu never defend it. Yu never bill fi the ting, why yu go? He could have been harmed, him and dem man de anno friend, that’s why Alkaline style him,” he said.
However, another selector said Matterhorn got the exact reaction he was looking for. Tony Matterhorn is a known agent provocateur. He played Alkaline’s ‘Champion Boy’ at the ‘Vybz Kartel vs Worl’ Boss’ party held at Oniel’s Place on Hagley Park Road in January 2016 – then, to the malign of Kartel fans.
“When dem mix in the Kartel with the Aidonia, he knew that could happen. Tony Matterhorn wasn’t billed for the show yet him go. Why Tony Matterhorn never play Jahmeil and Mavado? Him did waan style and violate the man dem, but him never expect say him woulda get such a quick bookleaf,” the selector said.