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Buju Banton

Buju Banton was one of the most popular dancehall reggae artists of the '90s. Debuting with a series of popular "slack" singles, which drew criticism for their graphic sexuality and homophobia, Banton converted to Rastafarianism and revolutionized dancehall by employing the live instrumentation and social consciousness of classic roots reggae. He first adopted the approach on his 1995 classic 'Til Shiloh, which raised hopes among his fans that he would become dancehall's great international ambassador, as Bob Marley had been for roots reggae. While that never quite materialized, Banton remained a high-profile star into the new millennium.

Buju Banton was born Mark Anthony Myrie on July 15, 1973, in the Kingston slum of Salt Lane. Buju was his childhood nickname, a word for breadfruit that was often applied to chubby children; he would later adopt Banton in tribute to one of his earliest musical influences, Burro Banton. He was one of 15 children; his mother was a street vendor, and he was directly descended from the colonial-era freedom fighters known as the Maroons. Banton first tried his hand at DJing and toasting at age 13, performing with local sound systems. He made his first recording not long after, with the 1986 Robert Ffrench-produced single "The Ruler." He continued to record through 1987, then took some time off to allow his voice to mature. He returned in the early '90s with a rough growl comparable to that of Shabba Ranks.

In 1991, Banton began recording for Donovan Germain's Penthouse label, often teaming with engineer/producer/songwriter Dave "Rude Boy" Kelly. Debuting for the label with "Man Fi Dead," his first major hit was "Love Mi Browning," an ode to light-skinned women that drew the ire of Jamaica's sizable darker-skinned population. As penance, he released a follow-up single called "Love Black Woman," but courted even more controversy with "Boom Bye Bye," a notoriously homophobic track that seemingly advocated violence against gays. Other hits of the period included "Batty Rider," "Bogle," and "Women Nuh Fret," among many others; in fact, 1992 saw Banton break Marley's record for the most number one singles in one year. His debut album, Mr. Mention, was a smash hit that year as well, and he signed an international major-label deal with Mercury.

The Voice of Jamaica album, released in 1993, introduced Banton to the world outside Jamaica, and gave him a huge hit in the celebratory safe-sex anthem "Willy (Don't Be Silly)." Other singles from the album included "Operation Ardent," a critique of police corruption, and "Deportees (Things Change)," which castigated emigrants who refused to share their overseas earnings with the family back in Jamaica. In early 1994, Banton released the monumental single "Murderer," an impassioned indictment of dancehall culture and gun violence recorded after the shooting deaths of fellow dancehall DJs Panhead and Dirtsman.

As well-received as Voice of Jamaica was, it was the 1995 follow-up, 'Til Shiloh, that would rank as Banton's masterpiece. A fusion of dancehall with live instrumentation and classic roots reggae, 'Til Shiloh consolidated Banton's move into social awareness and adopted a more mature, reflective tone that signaled Banton's arrival as an artist able to make major creative statements. His follow-up, 1997's Inna Heights, continued in a similarly rootsy vein and won only slightly less acclaim than its much-heralded predecessor. In 1999, Banton recorded with the punk band Rancid and subsequently signed with the punk label Epitaph's eclectic Anti subsidiary. In 2000, he delivered his Unchained Spirit, which found him growing more eclectic in a quest to cross over to the international market; it also featured a successful duet with Beres Hammond on "Pull It Up." After a three-year break from album releases, Banton returned on Atlantic in 2003 with Friends for Life, a crossover-friendly record with elements of hip-hop, R&B, and pop (and very little of the roots-dancehall hybrid that had catapulted him to stardom). Unhappy with the support he was given at the major labels, Banton started his own label, Gargamel Music, and released the single "Magic City" in 2004. The single was a preview of his next album, Rasta Got Soul, but an arrest on ganja cultivation charges sent him into legal battle for the next two years. When it all ended in a fine, he unleashed his strictly dancehall album Too Bad featuring the huge Jamaican hit "Driver A." The much more traditional Rasta Got Soul finally appeared in 2009. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Early Years 2

1. Lion Rule The Jungle

2. How It Ago Go

3. God Of My Salvation

5. I Am Moving

6. No Respect

7. Lef We Business

8. Burn Baby Burn

9. Want It

10. Who Say

12. Him Tek Off

13. What We Can Do

15. Politics Time Again

x

Track List: Before The Dawn

1. Rasta Can't Go

2. In The Air

3. Do Good

4. Battered & Bruised

5. Bondage

6. Struggle Together

7. Life

8. No Smoking At All

9. Try Life

10. Innocent

x

Track List: Rasta Got Soul

1. Hurt Us No More

2. Magic City

3. I Rise

4. Rastafari

5. I Wonder

6. A Litte Bit Of Sorry

7. Affairs Of The Heart

8. Lend A Hand

9. Optimistic Soul

10. Make You Mine

11. Mary

12. Bedtime Story

13. Sense Of Purpose

14. Be On Your Way

15. Lights Out

x

Track List: Too Bad

1. Your Night Tonight

2. Try Offa Yuh

3. Nothing

4. Too Bad

5. Waistline

6. Jig

7. Me & Oonu

8. Till It Bend

9. Hey Boy

10. Go Slow

11. Driver A

12. Girl U Know

13. Lonely Night

14. Who Have It

15. Better Day Coming

16. Don & Dupes

17. Fast Lane

x

Track List: Buju And Friends

Disc 1

1. Bonafide Love

2. Who Say

3. Little More Time

4. Wicked Dickie

5. Hotness

6. Love Dem Bad

7. Teaser

8. Get It On

9. What I'm Gonna Do

10. I Do

11. We Set The Principal

12. Ring The Alarm

13. Watch How You Flex

14. A So

15. Weary

16. Hang On

17. I Dare Not Be Ungrateful

18. 54-46 That's My Number

Disc 2

1. 23rd Psalm

2. Massa God World

3. Complaint

4. Give I Strength

5. We Will Be Alright

6. Mother's Cry

7. Sound In The Air

8. Can You Play Some More

9. My Woman Now

10. Childish Games

11. Closer

12. Poor Old Man

13. Want It

14. Make My Day

15. Commitment

16. No More Misty Days

17. Tribal War

18. Good Times

19. All Will Be Fine

x

Track List: Friends for Life

1. Paid Not Played

2. Tra La La

3. Teaser (feat. Bounty Killer)

4. Excerpt Of A Speech By Marcus Mosiah Garvey

5. Up Ye Mighty Race

6. All Will Be Fine

7. Maybe We Are

8. Mama Africa

9. Hooked On The Love

10. Get It On

11. Friends For Life

12. Good Times

13. Damn

14. La Da De Da

15. Feeling Groovy

16. Pensive Moode

17. Spectacular

18. What Am I Gonna Do (feat. Nadine Sutherland)

19. Mr. Nine

x

Track List: The Best Of Buju Banton

1. Champion (Remix)

2. Deportees (Things Change)

3. Murderer

4. Destiny

5. Wanna Be Loved

6. Untold Stories

8. Good Body

9. Willy (Don't Be Silly)

10. Circumstances

11. Give I Strength

x

Track List: The Early Years (90-95)

1. Big It Up

2. Batty Rider

3. Have Fi Get Yu Tonight

4. Love How The Gal Dem Flex

6. Bogle

7. Good Looking Gal

8. The Only Man

9. Love Wizard

10. Gone A Lead

11. Good Good

12. She's My Girl

14. Why Should I

15. Stamina Daddy

16. Mine Behind The Wine

17. Wicked Dickie

18. Miss Joan

19. Bonafide Love

x

Track List: Unchained Spirit

1. Intro

2. 23rd Psalm

3. Voice Of Jah

4. Sudan

5. We'll Be Alright

6. Pull It Up

7. Life Is A Journey

8. Better Must Come

9. Mighty Dread

10. Poor Old Man

11. Law And Order

12. Guns And Bombs

13. Woman Dem Phat

14. No More Misty Days

15. Pull It Up (Live)

16. Reunion

x

Track List: Inna Heights

1. Our Father In Zion

2. Hills And Valleys

3. Inter Lingua

4. Destiny

5. African Pride

6. Cry No More

7. My Woman Now

8. Small Axe

9. Inter Lingua

10. Redder Than Red

11. Single Parent

12. Inter Lingua

13. Give I Strength

14. Close One Yesterday

15. Inter Lingua

16. Love Dem Bad

17. Love Sponge

18. Inter Lingua

19. Mother's Cry

20. 54/46

21. Circumstances

x

Track List: `Til Shiloh

1. Shiloh

2. `Til I'm Laid To Rest

3. Murderer

4. Champion

5. Untold Stories

6. Not An Easy Road

7. Only Man

9. Chuck It So

10. How Could You

11. Wanna Be Loved

12. It's All Over

13. Hush Baby Hush

15. Champion (Remix)

x

Track List: Voice Of Jamaica

1. Searching

2. Red Rose

3. Commitment

4. Deportees (Things Change)

5. No Respect

6. If Loving Was A Crime

7. Good Body

8. Wicked Act

9. Tribal War

10. A Little More Time

11. Him Take Off

12. Willy (Don't Be Silly)

13. Gone A Lead

14. Make My Day

15. Operation Ardent

Comments

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Boom,Big Up!
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Cool vibes, nice and irie every time.�������
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My favorite reggae artist.....f r e e buju
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This song can't get old
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Love you for life, Buju.
Forever loved
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I dare not be ungrateful, Is my current mood... The song puts things into perspective. . . .
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buju banton for life...real afreekan.lov e love love!
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Respect‼️
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lenasalasi10
Fa tru love
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I love this song action I love it so much ����������
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I luv u Buju
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Nuff Rahspect! Big up Gargamel!!!
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Yesss
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Aj Scott
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Love Buju, waiting his arrival and new music❤
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Free Buju Destiny
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More fire..
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Buju u r a real artist one love God riches blessing on u my brother
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Free buju!!!
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you cant keep a good man down buju we love you
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greg.rich06
Tru tru
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Free buju
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I've never heard of a wife would you like one. I am available
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ladysouthpaw 2 3
❤️
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velasqum
Love this man
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LOVE BUJU BAD! #freeBUJU
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One LOVE Buju....u done know freedom is a muss
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<3
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king1playmat e
Buju my Brother, be strong and this too shall pass therefore you got a lot of good work to do, when you return home to a people that still LOVE YOU As The FAVORITE SON !!!
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king1playmat e
Buju Banton lived this song for REAL and that's why he is serving a 14 year sentence in America for moving Wieght ( traffic of cocaine) and will be deported back to Jamaica upon his release, which means he also lives out his song "Deportee" that is sad a waste of talent, but will have more "People Suffering Real Bad Songs" and reach our hearts and souls.
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Love Buju....bad
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Release Buju!
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Buju is legit and always will be
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Buju still a king and di king come home wiser a man
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ntmo37
Luv u Buju!!! Caan nobody touch you! Sing, Toast, Dance....... . N O B O D Y ! ! ! ! Been wit u since u 19 years old and me still deah!! Tek u time,, but please we waan more Buju!!!
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Yo I wish buju banton make some more album.
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Luv mi sum buju!!!
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BUJU FREE?
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Who jah bless nuh man can curse...bles s up, can't keep a lion inna cage
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Only Jah can liberate the people...
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Buju Banton is one of my. favorite Idol jah bless u buju & continue bringing those rub a dub reggae musics keep it up rude boy. Jah bless jim mon
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Buju a bad man fi real... Glad fi see yuh time dun an' uno ah soon make a next track fi release!!!!!
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krhall64
Yeah man... I would luv to see Buju, Sizzle, and Capleton in a concert in Chi!
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courtft1964
Nuff respect to the gargamel, sign Courtney bowas, jah bless
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Buju Banton now that you are free I MAN FEEL MUCH BETTER ,NOW YOU CAN GIVE YOUR FAN SOME NEW SONGS, ONE LOVE AND MAY JAH BLESS YOU ,!!!
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Beres & Buju. Two of my all time favorites. #freeBUJU
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Miss you buju
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Buju please come back
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Free Buju!!!
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Free up everybody make mistakes
Free up one of greatest Singer of all time
Show more

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