CAHSS Faculty Articles

Coloring with Cake Soap

Publication Title

Jamaica Magazine

Publication Date




The eye of the Vybz Kartel storm seems to have passed, but late as it is, I have to weigh in. For anyone who has not been following the feverish debates, Vybz is a popular Jamaican dancehall artist who is no stranger to controversy and known for some of his more salacious songs like “Rampin’ Shop,” performed with Spice. However, he has recently been in the news because of the ways in which he’s chosen to modify his body over the last few years through a combo of tattooing and skin bleaching, the latter of which he claims he accomplished through the use of cake soap (a soap usually used in Jamaica as laundry detergent). These images posted on the website Mad News show the dramatic changes in Vybz’s complexion and pretty much tell the tale of what brought the whole brouhaha to a head.

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