Buju Banton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Buju Banton (appearance at the Ilosaarirock Festival 2006)

Buju Banton (real name Mark Anthony Myrie , born July 15, 1973 in Kingston , Jamaica ) is a Jamaican musician. As a reggae , dancehall and ragga singer, he was counted among the major exponents of Jamaican music in the 1990s.


Banton grew up as the youngest of 15 children (13 sisters, 1 brother) in a suburb of Kingston, the slum Salt Lane. His mother gave him the nickname Buju (in the Maroon language : breadfruit ) because he was a bit plump in his youth; the surname Banton comes from a youth idol, the Deejay Burro Banton ; In addition, Banton is called "storyteller" in the patois . Another of Banton's nicknames is "Gargamel".

1985 to 1991: the beginnings

At the age of twelve, Buju Banton had his first public appearances under the name Lambada Man as Deejay , who chats about various recordings in the dancehalls . Tonto Irie introduced him a little later to Robert French, on whose label the debut single The Ruler , produced by him, appeared in 1986 . The following year, 1987, he worked first with Red Dragon and Bunny Lee, later also with Winston Riley, and produced several singles on various Kingston labels.

The meeting with Dave Kelly, who was the studio engineer at Donovan Germaines Penthouse Studio at the time, played an important role . This collaboration resulted in Banton's first important singles such as Love Me Browning and later Women Nuh Fret , Batty Rider and Bogle Dance . Love Me Browning , a song that expresses Banton's preference for black women with lighter skin, sparked a controversial discussion about Banton's lyrics for the first time in Jamaica.

1991 to 1995: success and controversy

The debut album Stamina Daddy followed in 1991 , and Mr. Mention in 1992 , which was also released by Penthouse and surpassed all sales records in Jamaica.

In 1992 the Tune Boom bye bye was released as a single , which says:

"The world is in trouble
Anytime Buju Banton come
Batty boy get up and run
ah gunshot in ah head man
Tell the crew… it's like
Boom bye bye, in a batty boy head,
Rude boy nah promote no nasty man,
them hafi dead. "

- Buju Banton : Tune Boom bye bye

Batty boy is a patois term for a homosexual man. In Boom Bye Bye , Banton describes the shooting of homosexual men.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Banton began to get involved with HIV- positive children by setting up a foundation called “Willy”. The name is a reference to the Tune Willy Don't Be Silly which was released in 1993 on the album Voice of Jamaica . In it he called for the use of condoms . By 1995, Banton had his own label called Gargamel and his own recording studio.

From 1995

After the death of a close friend who was killed in a shootout in 1995, Buju Banton confessed to being a Rastafarian . Instead of slackness - and gunlyrics about the use of weapons, spiritual and social circumstances were increasingly discussed. This change manifests itself in the same year in which the album Til Shiloh was released with Tune Murderer , who directly processed the incident . In Til Shiloh and later in the album Inna Heights , Buju Banton combines reggae and dancehall . To this day, Buju Banton is an artist with a broad spectrum who continues to sing about reggae and dancehall riddims. In 2003 the album Friends for Life was released .

He was arrested in 2004 on charges of involvement in an armed and violent assault on a group of gay men. However, there was no conviction.

In 2006 the album Too Bad was released . It was his first pure dancehall album since 1993 and was nominated for " Best Reggae Album " for the 2007 Grammy . It wasn't until 2011, four nominations later, that Buju won his first Grammy with Before the Dawn .

In 2008, Buju Banton published an appeal to dancehall artists in the newsletter of his label Gargamel Music: “We [in Jamaica] have a terrible problem with crime, politicians [...] and lesbians and gays. We are experiencing a decline in society, ”and artists would have to rethink the content of their songs. According to information from the “Stop Murder Music Bern” campaign, no songs of homophobic content have been played in public since October 2007.

In February 2011, Buju Banton was found guilty of organized drug trafficking. He was arrested in a bogus delivery of 5 kg of cocaine and then served a 10-year prison sentence in Florida. He was released on December 8, 2018 after a 7½ year prison sentence. and returned to Jamaica.

Controversy in Germany

When planned concerts in Germany became known in 2004, there were protests and a campaign by the LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany) against his Battyman tunes . Half of the gigs scheduled for that year in Germany were canceled.

The Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young People checked an indexing of his records in 2008 . However, there was no indexing.

In 2019 he will appear as the headliner at the Summerjam Festival in Cologne. Some LGBT groups, including the organizing committee of Cologne's Christopher Street Day , demanded that his appearance be canceled. After Banton had promised not to play the song Boom Bye Bye , the organizers of the Summerjam declared the conflict over.


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Voice of Jamaica
  US 159 08/21/1993 (7 weeks)
'Til Shiloh
  US 148 
08/05/1995 (2 weeks)
Unchained Spirit
  US 128 09.09.2000 (2 weeks)
Friends for Life
  US 198 03/29/2003 (1 week)
Make My Day
  UK 72 08/07/1993 (1 week)
Paid not played
  UK 84 09/20/2003 (1 week)
  • 2010: Before The Dawn
  • 2009: Rasta Got Soul
  • 2007: Inna Heights (10th anniversary edition)
  • 2006: Too Bad
  • 2004: Buju and Friends
  • 2003: Friends For Life
  • 2002: Want It
  • 2002: The Voice of Jamaica (Expanded)
  • 2002: The Best of Buju Banton
  • 2002: It's All Over
  • 2001: Ultimate Collection
  • 2001: Live in Panama
  • 2001: The Early Years (90-95)
  • 2000: Unchained Spirit
  • 2000: Live at Summer Jam (no official release )
  • 2000: Flames Of Freedom
  • 2000: Dubbing with the Banton
  • 1998: Quick
  • 1997: Inna Heights
  • 1997: Rudeboys Inna Ghetto with farce
  • 1997: Chanting Down The Walls Of Babylon with Anthony B
  • 1995: 'Til Shiloh
  • 1993: Voice Of Jamaica
  • 1992: Mr. Mention
  • 1991: Stamina Daddy

Individual evidence

  1. guardian.co.uk: Police seek Jamaican singer after armed attack on gay men
  2. Archive link ( Memento from December 25, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) (en)
  3. TTGapers.com: Reggae: Buju Banton pleads with artistes to clean up lyrics ( Memento from June 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  4. http://www.reitschule.ch/reitschule/stopmurdermusic/Texte/DerFallBujuBanton.pdf : See in particular pages 2 and 4, 1st section
  5. bigupmagazin.de ( Memento from July 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ): Baju Banton arrested for a drug deal ( last accessed February 24, 2011)
  6. CNN : Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton released from US prison on December 9, 2018
  7. Jamaica Observer : UPDATE: Scores gather at NMIA for Buju Banton's arrival but ... from December 9, 2018
  8. Laut.de: Bounty Killer u. a .: Government Vs. Reggae stars. July 18, 2008
  9. http://www.taz.de/Homophober-Reggae-Saenger-Buju-Banton/!5571206/
  10. Sumerjam headliner: Buju Banton distances himself from "Boom Bye Bye" , queer.de, March 19, 2019
  11. a b Chart sources: UK US
  12. Music Sales Awards: US

Web links