Montego Bay-based dancehall group Merital Family has announced that they are officially parting ways with the Vybz Kartel-led Portmore Empire.

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Vybz Kartel

"For the last year and a half, we ah get stifle, we ah get overpriced, dem a tell people say we de pon tour and we de ya nah go nowhere. We ah suffer, we nah get no promotion, we have kids to feed and me have my mother to take care of," a representative of the Merital Family said in a release. 
The group shot to fame in 2010 with the 'My Money (Ha Ha)' song on the Stripclub riddim and featured a hilarious Vybz Kartel cameo where he delivers a Santa-like laugh. The song, on the Adidjaheim/NotNice/Concussion labels, hit #1 on several major charts in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The group also continued to score hits with  other popular songs such as Pray, When We Party and Bad Like We on the Clappers riddim. 
However, in the last 12 months, they have seen a marked decline in their level of promotion, and in the output of singles in the local dancehall market. 
"From wah day ya, mi see riddim a mek and no Merital, no Jahvinci not on it and when we call Notnice, him say 'ah the Teacha set it'. So wah kinda suffocation this? We have been loyal to the organisation, and it is not being loyal to video, no promotion, no recording. Mi fed up and tired. We caan reason or have a number for the man who run the organisation that we are supposed to be signed to," another group member said in the release.
The release said that the level of segregation and separation insisted on by Portmore Empire head Vybz Kartel had stifled opportunities to meet and collaborate with other artistes.
"Mi come to do music and sake ah the Empire, we never get to contact certain producers and artistes, or meet with icons in the business like Bounty Killer, just because of the Empire, we just caan link wid nobody else or it would be seen as a straight violation," a representative of the Merital Family said. 
In the meantime, the group has continued to record songs, voicing Tell Me Why for the Young Money label for Good Good Productions, and 'Dancing' on the TYPE R label. They also recently recorded 'On and On' on the Gangsta City Part Two label.
"We are doing our own bookings now and our own management. We are willing to work with all the great producers out there to make our careers happen. Big up to Vybz Kartel for signing us in the first place, but we have to move on now so that we can earn and support our families, the way things are going on caan work. We fed up and tired," the release said.
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