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Alkaline: “I Do The Things They Don’t Want Me To Do”.

Alkaline Is Dancehall’s New Wonder Kid

Known as the young dancehall artist with the tattoed eyes, 21 year old Earlan Bartley, lyrically known as Alkaline, is determined to be more than a publicity stunt.

From the charismatic presence and unique vocal quality, abundance of tattooes celebrated as art, to the skin bleaching and extraneous body modification, Alkaline’s dancehall persona seems uniquely poised to fill the major void left in dancehall since Kartel’s incarceration in 2014.

“I’m raunchy. I say the things they don’t want me to say and do the things they don’t want me to do.”

With each new track topping its predecessor with tales of rough sex, weed smoke, and lyrical dexterity, Alkaline is stepping up to shatter the boundaries in dancehall.

His song, “F*#% You”, with its hotly debated reference to” batty washing’, a sexual act vehememlty opposed by the dancehall community, with its limited tolerance for anything other than traditional, male dominanted sexual expression. The song elicited a slew of response from veteran dancehall artists including a diss records from the likes of Bouny Killer and Tommy Lee Sparta, who is no stranger to controversy himself. Even veteran galis, Mr. Vegas, warned the young artist to be careful of the messages he sends in his music.

Although Alkaline is arguably the face of the new generation of dancehall, with a look and sound he defines as “dancehall meets urban pop rock culture”, it is difficult not to draw parallels between the newcomer and dancehall’s other widely celebrated shock jock, Vybz Kartel.

At first glance, one could make the mistake of writing Alkaline off as a Kartel wannabe, but the young entertainer refuses to be pigeonholed.

Hard work + Street Smarts

“Every generation has to push a little farther than the last… set a new trend.”

Since arriving on the scene, the Cahban Rekords artist has recorded and released over forty tracks since arriving on the scene in 2013, including Not a Slack Song, Ugly Truth, Fake Friend and Nutten But Badmind, cementing the argument that he is more than just a marketing trick.
Young AlkalinePenning songs from age 10, honing his skills during lunchtime DJ battles at Aronne high school in Kingston, the newcomer turned pro in 2013, with the breakout single, “Things Mi Love”.  Cementing his arrival was a controversial Sumfest performance, where he arrived on stage in a wheelchair, demonstrating he was “lyrically sick” and debuted his infamous ink, tattooed corneas on stage.

The self proclaimed, “Youngest and Baddest”, is no stranger to controversy.  In fact, he welcomes the attention.  His mission, as shared in interviews, is to push the envelope.

While many Christian groups have dismissed the artist as a negative influence on young minds, Alkaline’s of stage persona includes a bright academic career including holding six Caribbean Secondary Education Council (CSEC) degrees and is a student at the University of West Indies, Mona studying Communication.

While Alkaline is not signing up to be anyone’s role model at the moment, he promises there will be some positive songs in his catalogue soon, “Like the alkaline battery has a negative and a positive end and variety is the spice of life so more while we will have some positive songs”.

Whatever your feeling about Alkaline, it is evident that despite his age, he is aware of his brand and positioning himself for a long stay in the dancehall arena. For the sake of dancehall, lets hope as he grows an matures as a man, so do his lyrics and message to his audience.

Do you think Alkaline is the next Dancehall legend or just another gimmick? Listen to some his latest tunes here and tell us what you think?

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Keyboardist, Entreproducer, and founder of numusiczone.com. Craig's main focus is to help Caribbean artists earn the most revenue from their music.