Tuesday Tunes #3

Buju Banton

It’s time for ‘Tuesday Tunes’, where I do my best to bring you great music that you may not have heard before in reggae, dancehall, and soca.

On Tuesdays, I’ll introduce you to a song, riddim, or music artist that you don’t hear so frequently on Western sources and tell you how I discovered them myself.

When you listen to these tunes, put some headphones on or plug into a proper speaker – TVs, phones, tablets, or laptops simply won’t do these songs justice!

My Discovery

When I was growing up, I remember there being one single distinctive voice that could be recognised instantly no matter what type of music they had produced, and he has a voice like no other.

As I grew older his music kept on coming until a brief pause (more on that later!), and I found myself listening to his tracks more and more until I found myself where I am today, where not a single one of our reggae or dancehall playlists can be complete without several of his tunes.

The Artist

Buju Banton is one of the most recognised Jamaican reggae & dancehall artists, and yet every time I’m playing his music in my car with someone outside of our family, they never know who he is! His talent is unlike no other, and he deserves more recognition.

I have one thing to address first before we go any further. This man doesn’t go without controversy, particularly in relation to homophobic or drug related topics. I have to address this because I don’t condone these previous actions, but I respect him massively for his (and other reggae artist’s) action in modern times for gay rights. He has served his time for his other offences, and is back to doing what he does best, making music.

We can’t pretend everyone is perfect all of the time, and you’ll see this in my blog post ‘The Apology‘. His foundation, the Buju Banton Foundation is a great example of putting right any wrongs, and I’d encourage you to take a look.

We are some of Buju Banton’s biggest fans, and his music has been so influential in this house that we’ve even discussed travelling abroad to see his next tour if he doesn’t make it to the UK. We simply have to see him live no matter what!

After a pause in releases due to his prison sentence, Buju gave us all what we were waiting for and more! We didn’t expect more than a few singles in the first year or so, but we have no less than 20 new songs to listen to on his new studio album ‘Upside Down 2020’. This album has something for everyone – gospel, jazz, reggae, dancehall, and a few well known artists that we’re all familiar with that may be a good introduction into Buju Banton’s music.

The Music

I had real difficulty narrowing this down as there was too much to choose from, so instead, I give you 7 of my top picks that all have slightly different beats to give you a flavour of what Buju Banton has produced.

Cherry Pie (feat. Pharrell Williams)

Good Time Girl

Memories (feat. John Legend)

Champion

Bonafide Love (feat. Wayne Wonder)

No Second Class (feat. Carol Gonzales)

Love Me Browning

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