Skillibeng was the most streamed Dancehall artist on YouTube Jamaica for January 2021, surpassing his idols Vybz Kartel and Popcaan.
The Torpedo deejay claimed the top spot on YouTube’s Music Charts and Insights for Jamaica with a total of 7.26M views over the last 28 days. Three of the top five most played songs were also his, as Hot, Not, and Crocodile Teeth continued the artist’s 2020 winning streak.
Vybz Kartel, who had dominated the YouTube chart for all of 2020 with over 85 million Jamaican views total, placed second in January 2021 with 5.73M views. Intence, Alkaline, and Chronic Law followed with 4.84M, 4.23M, and 4.04M views respectively for January 2021.
Skillibeng has been unstoppable since his breakout hit Brik Pan Brik gained traction, and this is just the latest notch in his belt. Mr. Universe is currently signed to a Sony/ATV Music UK publishing deal and was named BBC 1Xtra’s Hot For 2021 artist mere weeks ago. Like many before him, Skilli’s meteoric rise to fame was fraught with hurdles, and he regularly praises those who’ve extended a hand now that he’s made it.
“Mi grow ah listen to Gaza an di whole ah dem ting deh so mi jus have a level a respect fi Popcaan weh different, him look out fi mi an mek sure seh everyting good wid di artist,” Skillibeng said in his recent BBC 1Xtra interview.
“Big up to Kartel, fi mek me feel da star way deh, you know, from music. Without him, me wouldn’t a really too follow up music certain way… cya Kartel style of music is where Skillibeng era of music build from,” he told OnStage last year.
In addition to praising Popcaan for his amity and mentorship, Skillibeng is as keen on paying it forward as he is on ‘citing his sources’, shouting out those who’ve inspired him as much as he helps other careers along.
In December, he debuted the grimey crew collaboration Not, turning the spotlight on E-Syde protégés Street Gena, Quenga, F.S. and One Sparkes.
Paying homage and giving due credit is a sore point in the dancehall space. The youngbloods often feel slighted by the veterans, who in turn only seem impressed by the aesthetics of their glory days.
One IG user noted that “@skillibeng have been doing way more for upcoming artiste in Jamaica than what most of any of the Gorgons or elders in the business have done.”
Another fan said, “Skilli deh #1 ova a month and him big up Kartel every chance him get. Him even go as far as saying a Addi him learn almost everything from..ready fi tek back yuh talk @crm_return?” tagging blogger and artist CRM who took jabs at Vybz Kartel over the topic in 2020.
The media personality sent tongues wagging with controversial comments following Vybz Kartel’s reaction to another vlogger’s (Sir P’s) damning allegations. He implied that praising and acknowledging a giant like Vybz Kartel would only have a negative effect on youngster’s careers, but Skillibeng’s frequent praise of the Worl’ Boss’ and his game-changing Gaza aesthetic proves it’s a good look when Dancehall heroes build each other instead.