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Thread: Legends Of Reggae: The Buju Banton Thread

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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Legends Of Reggae: The Buju Banton Thread

    Taking a page from Fiyah's book...

    Buju Banton was born near Kingston, Jamaica in a poor neighborhood called Salt Lane. "Buju" is a nickname given to chubby children which means Breadfruit. The name is ironic in light of Mark Myrie's slim frame, but it is, nevertheless, the nickname his mother gave him as a child. "Banton" is a Jamaican word referring to someone who is a great storyteller, and it was adopted by Myrie in tribute to the deejay Burro Banton whom Buju admired as a child.[1] It was Burro's rough gravelly vocals that Buju emulated and ultimately made his own. Buju's mother was a higgler, or street vendor, while his father worked as a labourer at a tile factory. He was the youngest of fifteen children born into a family which was directly descended from the Maroons, a group of escaped slaves who proudly fought off the British colonialists.

    Banton, like most dancehall artists, is politically outspoken and influenced by Marcus Garvey[2].


    1990s

    In 1991, Buju joined Donovan Germain's Penthouse Label and began a fruitful partnership with producer Dave Kelly who later launched his own Madhouse Records label.[1] Buju is one of the most popular musicians in Jamaican history, having burst onto the charts there suddenly in 1992, with "Bogle" and "Love me Browning", both massive hits in Jamaica. Controversy erupted over "Love Me Browning" which spoke of Banton's preference for light-skinned women: "Mi love mi car mi love mi house mi love mi money and ting, but most of all mi love mi browning." Some accused Banton of promoting a colonialist attitude and denigrating the beauty of black women. In response, he released "Love Black Woman" which spoke of his love for dark-skinned beauties: "Mi nuh Stop cry, fi all black woman, respect all the girls dem with dark complexion".[3] 1992 was an explosive year for Buju as he broke the great Bob Marley's record for the greatest number of number one singles in a year. Beginning with "Man fi Dead", Buju's gruff voice dominated the Jamaican airwaves for the duration of the year. Banton's debut album, Mr. Mention, includes his greatest hits from that year. 1992 saw the release of a re-recorded "Boom Bye Bye", which almost destroyed his career.[1] The song was the subject of outrage in the United States and Europe, leading to Banton being dropped from the line-up of the WOMAD festival that year.[1] Banton subsequently issued a public apology.[1]

    Now on the major Mercury label, Banton released the hard-hitting Voice of Jamaica in 1993. The album included a number of conscious tracks. These tracks included "Deportees" a song which criticized those Jamaicans who went abroad but never sent money home, a remix of Little Roy's "Tribal War," a sharp condemnation of political violence, and "Willy, Don't Be Silly" which promoted condom use, profits from which were donated to a charity supporting children with AIDS.[1] He was invited to meet Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson, and won a string of awards that year at the Caribbean Music Awards, the Canadian Music Awards, and the Tamika ceremony.[1]

    Banton's lyrics often dealt with violence, which he explained as reflecting the images that young Jamaicans were presented with by the news media, but the reality of Kingston's violence was brought home in 1993 by the murders in separate incedents of two of his friends and fellow recording artists, the deejay Pan Head, and Dirstman. His response was the single "Murderer", which condemned gun violence, going against the flow of the prevailing lyrical content in dancehall. The song inspired several clubs to stop playing songs with excessively violent subject matter. Late in 1994, Buju was also affected by the death of his friend Garnett Silk. Buju's transformation continued, embracing the Rastafari movement and growing dreadlocks. He joined "conscious" deejay Tony Rebel, Papa San, and General Degree in the Yardcore Collective. His performances and musical releases took on a more spiritual tone. Banton toured Europe and Japan, playing sold out shows, and performed before 20,000 people in Trinidad & Tobago.[1]

    'Til Shiloh (1995) was a very influential album, using a studio band instead of synthesized music, and marking a slight shift away from dancehall towards roots reggae for Banton. Buju claimed to have adopted Rastafarianism and his new album reflected his new beliefs. Til Shiloh successfully blended conscious lyrics with a hard-hitting dancehall vibe. The album included earlier singles such as "Murderer", and "Untold Stories". "Untold Stories" revealed an entirely different Buju Banton from the one that had stormed to dancehall stardom. It is regarded by many as some of his best work, and is a staple in the Banton performance repertoire. Reminiscient in mood and delivery to "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley, "Untold Stories" won Buju Banton many favorable comparisons to the late singer. This conscious album had a large impact on dancehall music and showed the hunger the dancehall massive had for conscious lyrics. Dancehall music did not move away from slack and violent lyrics, but the album did pave the way for a greater spirituality within the music. In the wake of Buju's transformation to Rastafarianism, many artists, such as Capleton, converted to the faith and started to denounce violence.

    Inna Heights (1997) substantially increased Banton's international audience as Buju explored his singing ability and recorded a number of roots-tinged tracks. Banton covered the Silvertones' "Destiny" and recorded songs with such artists as Beres Hammond and the legendary Toots Hibbert. The album was well-received but had distribution problems. Also, some fans were disappointed, having hoped for another ground-breaking album like "Til Shiloh." Still, Buju's experimentation and soaring vocals impressed many fans and this album remains a highly regarded work.

    In 1998, Buju met the punk band Rancid and recorded three tracks with them: "Misty Days", "Hooligans" and "Life Won't Wait." The latter became the title track of Rancid's 1998 album, Life Won't Wait.

    2000s

    Subsequently, Buju signed with Anti- Records, a subsidiary of Brett Gurewitz's Epitaph records, and released Unchained Spirit in 2000. The album showcases the most diverse aspects of Buju Banton, and featured guest appearances by Luciano, Morgan Heritage, Stephen Marley, and Rancid. It carried little of the roots feel heard on Til Shiloh and also virtually none of the hardcore driving sound that had brought him to public acclaim early in his career. It was a departure that many fans felt uncomfortable with. By now, however, he had been enshrined in the minds of reggae lovers as one of the most notable artists of his time, and seemed to have earned the right to some artistic freedom.

    Several singles followed in the start of the new decade, mostly without the trademark spitfire delivery typical of dancehall, but displaying Banton's talent for a mellower more introspective approach. In March 2003 he released Friends for Life, which featured more sharply political songs, including "Mr. Nine," an anti-gun song that further verified his status as one of reggae's most socially aware artists. The album has a strong political message for the African Diaspora and features excerpts from a speech made by Marcus Garvey. Paid Not Played is included and shows his gradual return to the themes more popular in dancehall. The album also featured some hip-hop influence with the inclusion of Fat Joe.

    Too Bad was released in September 2006. The pure dancehall album shows a clear return to basics. Banton amassed a number of edgy chart-toppers in the recent past and includes them almost as a reminder of the stuff that made him who he is. The most danceable Banton album since Mr. Mention, Too Bad features an unapologetic Buju over hard driving dancehall beats. The title track Too Bad was one in a tidal wave of releases that reestablished Buju as a prominent hit-maker on the hardcore scene.[citation needed]
    Buju Banton performing in 2007
    Buju Banton performing in 2007

    The album Rasta Got Soul, rumored to be a more introspective use of his talent was widely anticipated even prior to the release of Too Bad. The tune Magic City has been an underground hit for Banton, and displays a very musically mature artist. Expectations for the release of this work run high in the reggae community.[citation needed]

    He performed at the Cricket World Cup 2007 Opening Ceremony with Third World and Beres Hammond.

    In 2008 he did a Soca collaboration "Wining Season (remix)" with Machel Montano of Trinidad and Tobago on Machel's album Flame on.

    [edit] Music and lyrics

    Before his conversion to Rastafarianism, the lyrics of Banton's early music "drew criticism for their graphic sexuality and homophobia"[4]. However, with 1995's, 'Til Shiloh Banton, "revolutionized dancehall by employing the live instrumentation and social consciousness of classic roots reggae,"[4]. Socially conscious songs include "Willy (Don't Be Silly)" (promoting safe-sex), "Operation Ardent" (criticizing police corruption), "Deportees (Things Change)" (criticizing ex-patriots who forget about their families back home), and "Murderer" (criticizing violence)[4].

    The lyrics of 2000's Unchained Spirit speak, "to enlightenment and wisdom," and appeal, "to peace and positivity. Banton is the rare contemporary artist who uses his medium to uplift with messages of love, peace, and justice"[5]. His 2003 album, Friends for Life, features "elements of hip-hop, R&B, and pop," while he returned to pure dancehall in 2006 with Too Bad[4]. Friends for Life has been described as, "highly spiritual, responsible and graceful"[6].

  2. #2
    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    I don't even know where to begin, lol

    I'll just start off with one of my personal faves:

    Destiny


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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Driver (Studio Version)



    Driver (Live) - My personal clip takin from MSG concert earlier this year


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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Wanna Be Loved


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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Untold Stories


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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Not An Easy Road


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    Foreigner Mali's Avatar Mali is offline
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    Last one for now...I'll let someone else take over:

    We already know how it goes when these two get together:


    Who Say (Beres Featuring Buju)



  8. #8
    RAYDIANT THUNDA
    Guest
    CLASSIC

  9. #9
    RAYDIANT THUNDA
    Guest
    ANODDA BAD TUNE

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    Registered User RotiKing2004eva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddy View Post
    Wanna Be Loved

    arguably the greatest song of all time in my opinion.

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    el n00ño n00ner's Avatar n00ner is offline
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    Inna Heights and Til Shiloh - 2 of my all time favorites albums.
    West Indian T-shirts & More: www.wiCulture.com
    Like it on Facebook: facebook.com/wiculturetees

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    Registered User Ushawishi is offline
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    Magic City

    on anodda plain...


  13. #13
    Registered User Fiyah's Avatar Fiyah is offline
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    Ah yes! What can I say about perhaps my favourite artist of all time... dih man is a straight living legend who will probably be more appreciated most when he is long gone. But remember dis... Buju is the best reggae artist since Bob Marley. His ability to put together hits that stand the test of time and then to reinvent himself in different styles is untouched.

  14. #14
    Registered User Fiyah's Avatar Fiyah is offline
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    Early on Buju reigned supreme with his hoarse flow on some of the best dancehall riddims...

    Buju Banton - Browning


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    Registered User Fiyah's Avatar Fiyah is offline
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    Buju Banton - Murderer


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