Most Popular Songs
Bookings and current status
|Birth Name||Mark Anthony Myrie|
|Born||15 July 1973|
|Genres||Reggae, Dancehall, Roots, Reggae|
|Years active||1987 – Present|
Buju Banton Biography, Reggae and Dancehall Artist
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, Buju 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, Buju 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. Buju 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, Buju 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 Buju 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 Buju 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, Buju 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, Buju 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, Buju 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, Buju 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.
Ah-E-A-Oh Ahead In Life Alimony All About Love All Virgins Angel Back In The Days Bedroom Bounty Hunter Believer Big Up Body A Shake Bonafide Girl Boombastic Bow Wow Wow Broadway Bullet-Proof Buddy Can\\\’t Fight This Feeling Can\\\’t Hold Me Chica Bonita Chow Church Heathen Clothes Drop Criteria Dame Dame feat. Kat Deluna Dance & Shout Day Oh Diva Don\\\’t Ask Her That End of the World (Drink Up\\\’) Everything You Need Feel the Rush Feeling Alive Finger Smith Fired Up (F*ck the Rece$$ion!) Fly High 2012 Follow Me Forgive Them Father Freaky Girl Full Control Gal Roll Gal You A Pepper Gal Yu a Pepper Geenie Get Back My Baby Get Down To It Get My Party On Get Up, Stand Up Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Girls Just Want to Have Fun Give Thanks Give Thanks And Praise Glamity Gone With Angels Good Times Roll Heartbreak Suzie Hey Love Hey Sexy Lady Hold Me Holla At You Hookie Jookie Hope Hot Shot How Much More Hurting I\\\’m Rebel I\\\’m Sorry In The Summertime Intoxication Island Lover It Bun Me It Wasn\\\’t Me Jenny John Doe Jump and Rock Just Another Girl Keep\\\’n It Real Keep\\\’n It to Me (Swingers mix) Kibbles and Bits Lately Leave It To Me Leave Me Alone Letter To My Kids Lonely Lover
Lost Love How Them Flex Lucky Day Lust Luv Me, Luv Me Luv Me Up Mad Mad World Mampie Man a Yard Me Julie Midnite Lover Mission More Woman Move Hype Mr. Boombastic My Dream Needle Eye Nice And Lovely Not Fair Oh Carolina One Burner Out Of Control P.h.a.t. Perfect Song Piece Of My Heart Ready Fi Di Ride Reggae Vibes Repent Rise Road Block Sexy Body Girl Sexy Body Girls Sexy Lady Shaggy & Rayvon Show Shake Shake Shake She Gives Me Love Shut Up And Dance Soldering Soldiers Story Something Different Soon Be Done Special Request (Rough Cut Demo) Stand Up Strange Love Strength Of A Woman Sugarcane Supa Hypnotic Tek Set Tender Love Thank You Thank You Lord That Girl The Only One (Lie to Me) The Only One (Lie to Me) (feat. Jaiden) The Rain is Coming The Train is Coming The Voices Of Sweet Jamaica – All Star Remix These Are The Lips Think Ah So It Go This Could Be Your Day Those Days Too Cute Too Hot To Handle Train Is Coming Ultimatum Version Walking In My Shoes Way Back Home We Are The Ones We Never Danced To The Rub-A-Dub Sound Wear Di Crown What\\\’s Love Why Me Lord? Why You Mad At Me? Why You Treat Me So Bad Wild 2Nite Wildfire Woman a Pressure Me Woman Scorn WorldCitizen (Radio Edit) [feat. Shaggy] Jahcoustix Would You Be Wrong Move You See Him Face