Thanks to Deepfake AI technology, incarcerated Dancehall star Vybz Kartel has made his first music video appearance since 2011, joining Rvssian and American rapper Trippie Redd in the recently released visuals for Sixteen.
The song’s music video, directed by Shane Creative, owes much of the Worl’ Boss’ life-like portroyal to VFX artist, VFXByRez. In the video, a real-life Vybz Kartel look-alike overlaps the Dancehall megastar’s facial features onto his. The result of that, coupled with the actor’s lanky appearance and tattoos, is a convincing portrayal of the deejay as he makes his way through the Rvssian-led track.
It is perhaps the first time deep fake tech has been used in the production of Dancehall music on any level. Over the last two years, artificial intelligence has gotten much better at mimicking reality as tech companies unleashed tools that allow for the easy creation of synthetic images, audio, and video.
The combination of Shane Creative’s vision and VFXByRez’s skills creates a grounding force of nostalgia in the Concussion Records-produced track. It manages also to reignite the magic that often accompanied Vybz Kartel on video, and adds heart to a song that celebrates unconditional friendship and loyalty.
Rvssian and Vybz Kartel take turns celebrating their long-running friendship, and each reflects on their journey to stardom in the mellow-sounding track. As Kartel hints at experiencing bouts of sadness, he pivots to his appreciation of Rvssian’s friendship, and assures the renowned producer that he has his back.
The track presents as a rare and unabashed show of brotherly love in Dancehall, despite blurring lines with its backing instrumentals, which at times feel like a textbook Hip Hop ballad. That sentiment is further reinforced when Trippie Redd seamlessly slides into the song, alternating between singing and rapping.
The video ends with ‘Vybz Kartel’ staring off into the distance as the song fades, drumming up a scene of longingness and distance.
Fans last saw Vybz Kartel on-screen in 2011 with his hit song, Summertime.
The former Portmore Empire boss was later arrested that year for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, for which he was sentenced to life in 2014.
Recent reports surrounding the Dancehall star are that he has been diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and multiple heart conditions, which have, according to Isat Buchanan – his lawyer, made his current situation especially life-threatening.