Buju Banton is one of my favorite artists of all time! ❤ Some of you maybe thinking….but why? Wasn’t he just released from jail for serving 10 years in federal prison? (Yes!) Didn’t he sing that homophobic song “Boom Bye Bye”? (Yes!) But, lets get this straight, I may not agree with all his life decisions but Buju Banton the artist, the singer of tunes like Destiny, Untold Stories, Not an Easy Road, Wanna Be Loved, Close one yesterday, Love Sponge …..that Buju is a superbly talented, storyteller, performer, reggae artist! That is the Buju Banton I love! I don’t think I need to agree with everything he does in his life, for me to love his music 😀 He ain’t a saint, but neither am I so…
Now lets get rid of that Elephant in the Room right away…
Buju Banton (born Mark Anthony Myrie on the 15th July 1973) was arrested in December 2009 in Miami by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami and February 22nd 2011 Buju was found guilty of charges related cocaine distribution. He was eventually sentenced to ten years, one month in Federal prison for these charges. Now, I do not agree with the absolutely foolish situation that Buju found himself in…was he stupid to find himself involved in such nonsense? 😳 Yes! He made a stupid decision, he got caught, he was sentenced, he served his time. (Ps. There is a video of the bust that led to his arrest floating around on the internet, you can see for yourself).
Secondly, lets address his homophobic lyrics. The song “Boom Bye Bye” is absolutely homophobic. There is no way around it. Some of the lyrics talk about shooting gay men. Do I agree with this? Absolutely not! If you do not agree with other persons choices, that really is none of your business now is it? (Please, let this not become a debate on whether the LGBTQI community is a choice. That is not an argument that I am trying to get involved in at all). Buju wrote this particular song when he was 15, he is now 45! Maybe how you saw the world at 15 is not the same as you see the world at 45? People change, their opinions change, their way of thinking may change! Who knows what Buju thinks now, I am sure someone will ask him sometime soon!
Now, let me introduce you to the Buju I love. The best way I think I could do this is my sampling some lyrics from my favorite tunes because there is so much truth in the lyrics from these songs (you can check out the videos for them on Youtube):
Song Title: Not an Easy Road
“It’s not an easy road, many see the glamour and the glitter and they think a bed of rose”.
Anyone can relate to this song, people don’t see the struggle you went through to reach where you are today, they just see the end result and think it was easy, they think a bed of rose!
Song Title: Destiny
“I’ve been blessed, I’ve been touched. I love Jah so much. They keep fighting me, I’m not giving up! May the realms of Zion fill my spiritual cup.”
Have you been there before? When you feel like the world is closing in around you? Nothing is going your way? Don’t give up! Continue fighting! Concentrate on what’s important, your spirituality / your relationship with the Most High, you will get through this.
Song Title:Wanna Be Loved
“Wanna be loved, Not for who you think I am, Nor what you want me to be
Could you love me for me?”
I think this is the type of love that many of us search all our life for. To be loved for who you are, not who the person thinks you are or who they want you to be, just the person you are at this present moment. Yes, we will change, hopefully, we will grow and become better persons, but can you love me where I am presently?
Song Title: Close one yesterday
“Don’t you go down, Keep your head above the water, Say, one day things must get better, be strong”
This is another song for those difficult days. A truly inspirational / motivational song for those days when the going gets tough…remember, things must get better!
Song Title: Untold Stories
“I am living while I am living to the father I will pray. Only he knows how we get through everyday”
Sometimes, when you sit back and reflect on some situations in life, you really wonder how you made it through! Only God knows! Give thanks. This song hits home for anyone who has even struggled financially or is still struggling, you will make it through these difficult times.
Song Title: 23rd Psalm
“Yea though I walk in deaths dark veil. Yet, will I fear no ill.”
This song is based on Psalm 23 in the Bible and features Morgan Heritage. It is the type of song that you can turn off the lights and meditate upon. It has special meaning for me because I always remember my Uncle Keith when I hear this song because we played it in the church when we celebrated his life.
There are so many other great Buju Banton songs. Uplifting, inspirational, motivational, tunes for the lovers.
Maybe you shouldn’t judge Buju Banton based on just what you hear on TV or what you read in the press. Listen to some of his songs and judge for yourself. Who knows, maybe you may actually like one of his songs 🙂