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BUJU BANTON: UNCHAINED SPIRIT

 
ADAM ULLIAN

Speech 214

Rhetoric of Reggae

Final Paper

Spring 2002

 

 

 

 

            His voice is thunderous and piercing. With each lyric, he pounds away at our psyche and makes our bodies shake with rhythm. He has become the crown prince of Dancehall reggae in Jamaica, and is a force to be reckoned with in the Jamaican music scene. He is young, but mature and powerful, and his name is Buju Banton.

           

 

Born Mark Anthony Myrie on July 15, 1973, Buju Banton has used his lyrical skills and pounding voice to take Dancehall by storm. He combines his own musical influences with those of Burro Banton and Bob Marley to achieve a sound and beat that is bringing generations of reggae listeners together for an enjoyable experience. He owns the audience with his lyrics and his stage presence, and is forming both a musical and cultural movement that is taking over Jamaica. (www.bujubanton.net)

            One of 15 children born to a street vendor inside Trenchtown, Banton lived in poverty for most of his upbringing. A direct descendant of the Maroons, his chubby appearance earned him the nickname of Buju, the Maroon name for breadfruit. His last name is a tribute to another reggae legend, Burro Banton, as well as the name for talented storytellers, from which much of his influence is derived.

Buju entered the Jamaican music scene at age 12, where he was known as the “Lambada Man” of the Dancehall, working with the Sweet Love and Rambo Mango sound systems. In 1986, DJ Clement Irie introduced Banton to producer Robert French, who produced his debut single, “ The Ruler.” At the age of 15, Banton had already worked with artists like Bunny Lee and Red Dragon. He was destined for success in the Dancehalls. In 1991, he met producer Dave Kelly of Penthouse Studios, and debuted on the label with 1992’s Mr. Mention, which broke all sales records on the island, including those of Bob Marley. With songs like Love Mi Browning, where he professed his attraction to light-skinned women, caused an uproar among the dark-skinned Jamaican women who viewed such comments as an insult towards their looks. He made up for his remarks, however, with the song Love Black Woman, and demonstrated that he had love for everyone in his repertoire.  He became the only Dancehall DJ to sellout New York City’s 5600 seat Paramount Theater.Recording Studio. (www.eng.miami.edu)

            Banton’s music, a combination of rap set against a dub background, quickly grabbed the attention of the Dancehall revellers.  In his early years, Buju focused on the part of Dancehall known as “slackness.” This is where artists sing about sex, female sexuality, marijuana, and other topics using obscenities and graphic lyrics. While this style was entertaining to those in attendance, it was seen as offensive as a whole to the Dancehall scene and detrimental to the vibe that was trying to be cast.  People viewed this behavior as leading to more violence and anger in the already struggling community, as well as influencing people to commit violent sexual acts against women.

            Along with this style of “slackness” came Lovers Rock, which was done with slower love songs for the women, rather than sexuality explicit lyrics used to demean and exploit them.  This style led to a more controversial attitude in the Dancehall, which has existed in Rastafarianism for some time, but was not widely discussed. It was the issue of homophobia. Artists like Shabba Ranks, Capleton, and Bounty Killer all sounded off against what they believed to be immoral and improper behavior.  In 1992, the 19-year-old Banton struck a controversial tone with his song Boom Bye Bye, which publicly denounced gays and “Batty Boys” as detrimental to society and not even worth living. It hurt his career briefly, just as he was beginning to reach stardom. Even though homosexuality is not widely accepted in Jamaica, and is viewed as evil behavior, on an international scale, his lyrics were hurtful and got him in trouble. He was forced to cancel numerous concerts and public appearances, and basically had to keep a low profile until the controversy died down.  Luckily for him, the controversy did go away, and with it, his focus on sexual and drug related themes.

            His first album on Mercury Records, 1993’s Voice of Jamaica was credited as being a new sound in Dancehall, with songs like Willy (Don’t Be Silly), Jamaica’s first pro-condom song, Operation Ardent, and Deportee. At only 21 years of age, He brought in a new sense of social awareness, where people were not just talking about having sex and smoking marijuana. There were real life issues to be dealt with, such as the curfews of Kingston on Ardent, and Banton wanted to bring those issues into the limelight and educate people about the dangers of living recklessly and ways to improve lives in the face of Babylon. As he grew both physically and emotionally, his voiced matured and brought forth the deep tones that became the trademark of his music. He was able to talk about sex, drugs, and poverty, but also about success, living well, and being a good spirit. He was taking the music of Bob Marley and spinning it into the Dancehall, where the combination was lethal and pleasing to the crowds. Banton was showing why he was so good, and in doing so, took Dancehall music through the 1990’s. He shaped the Dancehall with songs like Batty Rider, Woman No Fret, and Bogle Dance.  His music was stepping away from the rudeboy slackness and pioneering its form into the realities of ghetto life and events that were very true to the Jamaican people. His song, How Massa God World a Run, was a prime example of how the ruling class was oppressing the underclass, and why many people suffered from the conditions.

            With his second album, ‘Til Shiloh, meaning forever, Buju continued to shape his music around the welfare of his people, expressing love for the community and the battle against ignorance. It was his debut on Loose Cannon Records, and sold very well, cementing his icon status in the reggae world. He embraced the Rastafarian faith just before releasing the album and grew dread locks. His music took on a new social consciousness and was more about love rather than sex. It was a full step away from the slackness of his rudeboy Dancehall days, and a full step into a new message of peace and harmony. He had started an AIDS effort called “Operation Willy,” which he designed to raise money for children sick with the AIDS virus. He was also started his own record studio Cell Block 3-2-1, which he used to produce the single Rampage . He wanted to bring forth the underprivileged youth of Jamaica, who were living in poverty and deserved better.  With songs like Untold Stories, he described the poor children who had no education because they could not afford the bus fair to school.

                                 

                                  So – Mama spend her Last

                                 To Send You Go Class

                                 Don’t You Ever Play

                     (www.diegodj.com/lyrics/bujubanton)

 

He was working with artists like Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Marcia Griffiths, and Carol Gonzales.  He was bridging the gap between the 70’s and 80’s and the sound of dancehall.  People were coming together in the Dancehall from many different backgrounds, all in praise of Buju. The Marley fans were being intertwined with the Dancehall people, and Buju was the ringmaster. On his track  Murderer, he decried the senseless act that claimed too many of Jamaica’s youth. It was a reflection on his own life as well, and the loss his childhood friends DJ Panhead and Dirtsman.  He released the album during the time when Dancehall was under attack for promoting violence and sexually explicit lyrics.  According to Bilit Magazine, he had “turned the lyrical tide for Dancehall from lyrics about graphic sexuality, gangsterism, and violence to themes of Rastafarian spirituality and self-respect.”  He was using his ability on the microphone that brought him out of the ghetto to reach the masses who wanted to emulate his success, but did not have the resources.

            His next album, Inna Heights, on VP Records, was a continuation of his Rastafarian rhythms in a fluid balance with Dancehall. He progressed with the same cool


rhythms that had defined his past work, and matured with an aggressive message of inner peace and social justice. He was moving towards an activist stance, and his work on Inna Heights proved that he was a force to be reckoned with.  The tracks Hills and Valleys and Destiny are musical wonders, not only because of their beauty and strong tone, but more so because he sings:

 


Verse 1:

The rich man's wealth is in the city

Destruction of the poor is his poverty

Destruction of your soul is vanity

Do you hear

I and I, I wanna rule my destiny

I and I, I wanna rule my destiny

 

Chorus:

Destiny, mama look from when you call me

Destiny, mama look from when you calling

I wanna rule my destiny

yeah, yeah oh help I please Jah Jah mek mi rule

(www.diegodj.com/lyrics/bujubanton)

 

On Inter Lingua, three separate spoken word tracks, Buju Banton discusses his love of reggae, and his ability to communicate his emotions and his feelings with the world through his music. He expresses his love for God, and for the people of Jamaica, and why his messages in his songs are important for everyone to near, no matter what race, creed, color, or ethnicity. It is his way of giving the people what they want, and a way of expressing how he feels about his work, candidly and truthfully. The tracks are a special part of the album because they demonstrate that besides his vocal skills, Banton has matured into a caring adult who understands the plight of the people he represents.  He is willing to take large steps towards helping those who have been given no chance to succeed in life.

            To understand his passion and his drive for success and understanding, it is important to take a look back at the culture that produced Buju Banton. As he details through his stage name, he is a direct descent of the Maroons, the tribe of African slaves who lived to escape and conduct warfare against the British colonials in the 1800’s. 

The term Maroon is a form of the Spanish word “cimarron,” which is defined as a wild, untamed being, and was applied to blacks when they were fugitive slaves and lived in the mountains of Jamaica and the West Indies. The fugitive slaves left their masters in groups and organized themselves in the mountainous areas of the island. After the Spanish had vacated the island, the Maroons took it upon themselves to resist the invasion of the island by the English, who were looking for more land and wanted to use the slaves on their plantations. (Historic Jamaica)

The so-called “Wild Men” of the Jamaican mountains, staked their claim in the hillsides of Jamaica in order to capitalize on sneak attacks at any given moment. They were prepared to fight for their land, and did not approve of the British colonials coming in with their men and trying to take over. They lived off the land and knew all of the good hiding places. They could attack during the day, or at night, and knew where the British would be.  They blended in well with the brush and trees, and were like ghosts coming in the night. (Jamaica: The Portrait of an Island) 

Originally, they mixed with the surviving Arawak hunters, native to the land. When they realized there was a shortage of women to be used, they plundered the male Arawaks and took the women as their possessions. They were not hostile towards Europeans until the island was invaded, and then they began to serve the Spaniards as scouts. The English befriended them and used them to defeat Don Cristobal Ysasi.  A tribal consciousness developed as a result of fighting. Their membership had increased because of the other fugitive slaves who did not want to be transferred to new masters. A shortage of black women among them led to the killing of the Arawak male leaders so they could take the females. They asserted their independence, going so far as to call themselves the heirs of the Spaniards, and began to fight with the English colonialists. They grew and grew as slaves came over from Africa and made attempts to join them. They had the ability to hide in the mountains and then attack unexpectedly. Natural lurking places were the central forested ridge of the island, and the northern slopes of the Blue Mountains at the eastern end.  There is evidence that planters complained very early on that Maroon depredations made it difficult to reap crops or rear cattle on the north side of Jamaica. The broader, more populated southern plains suffered too, because of daring nocturnal raids by the Maroons.

 Indians were brought from the Mosquito Coast as a reinforcement against the Maroons in their woodland camps and caves. The tactic was not successful, as the aborigines from sea level were not capable of fighting in the mountains, and the few who were not killed joined the enemy.  Next, more soldiers were sent from England, along with local militia companies. The military campaign, which lasted for seven years, is termed the First Maroon War. The war was a largely losing battle for the English, as they were fighting with ghosts. They rarely could see the Maroons, who bounced around the wilderness and were good at not being seen. They could vanish at a moment’s notice, only to return and ambush the enemy with massive casualties. Their fighting methods can be described as follows:         

   

   Such are the natural fortifications in which the maroons secured themselves in times of danger, and from which it has been ever found difficult to dislodge them. The maroons, whenever they expect an attack, disposed of themselves on the ledges of the rocks on both sides. Sometimes they advanced a party beyond the entrance of the defile, frequently in a line on each side, if the ground would admit; and lay covered by the underwood, and behind rocks and roots of trees, waiting in silent ambush for their pursuers, of whose approach they had always information from their scouts.”

                                                                                                    (The Rastafarians  p.32)

 

            The British troops were accustomed to orderly battles, where they knew the location of the enemy and had a direct approach. Quite often they would march into battle, drumming away, a mistake in warfare with the Maroons. The equipment of the English troops was no match for the terrain of Jamaica. They could not move around easily in the mountainside, and quite often were not prepared to defend themselves. On the contrary, the Maroon warriors were prepared to defend themselves on their own terrain, and knew the secrets of the land. They could perform sneak attacks when necessary, and understood how to take the English off guard, thereby killing as many of them off at once as possible. The terror the Maroons caused the English in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was far greater than what the maroons could have commanded in size alone. But the deployment of small groups by Cudjoe in sudden and savage attack and swift withdrawal kept the English completely disoriented about their strength.  Their ability to use the rugged mountain terrain provided another effective strategy. Their excellent intelligence network allowed them to know well in advance when a mission was being sent against them.

             They understood the weaknesses of the English, and that is why they dominated the warfare for decades, before the treaty was eventually signed. The Treaty, officially ratified on March 1, 1738, and gave the Maroons five official settlements where they could live relatively undisturbed. John Guthrie, in the role of a militia colonel, was the dominant figure in effort for peace. He negotiated the treaty with Cudjoe, one of the maroon leaders, which gave them a form of autonomy, while at the same time required them to perform duties of their white overlords.  The Maroons of the west were declared to be “in a perfect state of freedom and liberty.” Even including the fugitive slaves who had joined them during the war. 

          They were given 1500 acres adjoining the Cockpit country, and were allowed to hunt wild hogs anywhere in the forest, except within three miles of town or plantation.  Cudjoe was the ruler, provided he had the power to inflict punishment on crimes committed by his people. Two white men were picked by Colonel Guthrie to stay with Cudjoe as liaison officers.  The five territories were Trelawny Town, Accompong Town, Moore Town, Charles Town, and Scott’s Hall.  The move was politically advantageous for the English, but later destroyed the image of the Maroons as a symbol of freedom in the Carribbean (The Rastafarians pp.32-33). 

          The Maroons have been exalted and praised as the first blacks to serve the cause of freedom in the Western Hemisphere. This is not entirely true, as the leaders did not act in the interests of the people, but rather the interest of themselves. After the treaties had been signed, the Maroons became much friendlier with the Governor and the other authority figures.  They reaped the fruits of a treaty for themselves, and left their fellow Maroons to the perils of their own devices. (Jamaica: The Portrait of an island  P.65).

            The legacy of the Maroons in Jamaican history is a long and enduring one. They were the original warriors who fought off the enemy using the skills and war tactics that the English were not prepared for. These “inferior wild men” were in fact superior when it came to fighting, and with the fire in their souls, they managed to defend themselves and their people from British colonization.

            The fire in their souls still exists today, and it comes through in the words of artists like Buju Banton. He is a fiery performer, speaking out against the oppression that he feels from Babylon, and taking care of those who he feels have been cheated in life. The poor, the sick, the tired, and the hungry children who were born into poverty and have yet to escape it. He is a hero to some, and an idol to others. Just as the Maroons had to defend their land and their space from the mighty British enemy, so has Buju Banton had to defend himself from the mighty international circus of criticism and hoopla. He has been controversial and even offensive, but he has matured and grown to show the softer side, his Rasta side. He has shown what the spirit of Jah means to him, and his people, and is not afraid to speak his mind in his work.

            The distinctiveness of Buju Banton comes forth in his ability to bring together the 70’s roots rock reggae vibe with the gruff, ruff 80’s and the 90’s dancehall style. His ability to perform and wow an audience is unquestionable. His other ability, to overcome major controversy early in his career, is what has made him into the person he is today. He has gone down, into the pit of his soul, and emerged as the premiere reggae artist of his generation. He focused on his artistic, spiritual, and professional growth in the period following the controversy. He kept busy by touring, performing, setting up his own independent Cell Block Studio in Kingston, starting the Operation Willy AIDS Charity, and producing himself and other artists. (Michael Conally YUSH P ONLINE ).

            In a 1996 interview he took part in for YUSH P Online, he states to interviewer Ola Okunola,

  There must be a point in time when you decide to make a choice. If it’s not God, it’s the Devil. 

OLA: Tell me about your background growing up in Jamaica?

BUJU: Growing up in Jamaica, I grew up in a poor and humble home where my mother tried to find what she could and I give thanks to her everyday. But it was really rough group you you know.

OLA: Murderer in memory of Panhead, a close DJ friend of yours, killed after a dance in Kingston, reminds those who kill in cold blood that God will judge them. Is he the only friend of yours to die this way?

BUJU: No. Dirtsman died in that brutal fashion. Early B also died in that brutal fashion. Lui Lepke died in that horrible fashion. Jim Kelly died in that horrible fashion. I mean I could go on and on as if it’s never been told.

 

Murderer!  Blood is on your shoulders

Kill I today you cannot kill I tomorrow

Murder!  Your insides must be hollow

How does it feel to take the life of another

 

Yes, you can hide from man but not your conscience

You eat the bread of sorrow

Drink the wine of violence

Allow yourself to be conquered by the serpent

Why did you disobey the first commandment

Walk through the valley I fear no pestilence

God is my witness and He is my evidence

Lift up mine eyes from whence cometh help

You will never escape this judgement

 

OLA: Rampage suggest that there is a lot of mindless shooting and killing going on in Jamaica by people who have no love for anyone not thinking of what they are doing until its’ too late. You are obviously frustrated by what’s surround you at home in Kingston. What do you hope to achieve through the message ‘Til Shiloh is conveying?

BUJU: Rampage is more like a prophecy you know, I’m just telling you what is to come. I’m looking into the system and saying what we gonna be doing and it’s now taking place every day. (I hope) to convey oneness, a sense of togetherness in the black race, you know and a sense of between the black race, a sense of true love and dignity and pride and upliftment..

OLA: Boom Bye Bye made headlines in 1992 accusing you of being homophobic. What affect did the publicity have on your career at the time?

BUJU: All negative, but it’s a white man’s so what do you expect.

OLA: Has it stopped you from performing the song?

BUJU: No, but I have had many songs. That wasn’t the one song about me: that’s the one song they wanted to believe I was all about. I try and come across with my other songs and they always say ‘oh you don’t’ want to do that song’ and rey-rey-rey and find some crummy excuse. But I’m all about many songs and many things. Many, many songs. It’s my job to keep moving with all my songs and not to get stuck on that song. It’s called strength of character. If my audience say they want Boom Bye Bye, they get Boom Bye Bye and that’s my song you know.

OLA: Love Mi Browning caused controversy with dark skinned Jamaican girls in 1991. Has your new outlook on life caused you to re-evaluate what you value in a woman?

BUJU: What you a talk ‘bout? You know, you must get this straight. It wasn’t me who said any prejudice thing you know. No prejudice remark was passed by me. It was interpreted outside the studio as a prejudice song, you know. So, I have no need to rephrase any statement.

(YUSH P ONLINE, 1996)

 

            From this interview, it is obvious that Banton is a committed artist. He has grown in his trade, and he speaks from the heart. He does not shy way from topics that others are uncomfortable with, and discusses issues that are dear to him and his people. He attacks the street thugs for killing his DJ friends and says that they must understand what the ultimate outcome will be. A belief in Jah as the almighty is what guides him and gives him focus. He cares about his people and his audience, and does whatever is in their best interest. The publicity he gets now is better than it has been, as his controversial songs have moved aside in favor of more spiritual ones the appeal to the inner sanctum of people across generation lines. The continuation of the soul on Inna Heights came to us through his next works, 2000’s Dubbing with the Banton, Rudeboys Inna Ghetto, and most importantly, Unchained Spirit. Of ‘Spirit, Banton states,

 

“ My efforts here are not to crossover but to go through boundaries and borders and be heard by all people who are citizens of the free loving earth, reasons like the Title, I’m an unchained spirit, and a free spirit, and my intention to make one goes out across the world to satisfy the musical and spiritual hunger of then to bring us closer today than yesterday to our freedom and our need to come to solidify the human race.” 

(www.bujubanton.net)

 

 


            Similar to his words in the interview, Banton expresses his need to reach across national and ethnic boundaries with his message. He is eager to deliver peace and joy to the world, but is kept back by the forces of Babylon, and the oppression that his people deal with everyday. In Unchained Spirit, he continues his quest for spiritual superiority and a feeling of righteousness among his people. He incorporates the 23rd Psalm track, which is a departure from his traditional deep base lyrics and rhythm. It is a soothing track and really emphasizes to the listener that Banton is multi-faceted, and has the capabilities to tackle much more than dancehall reggae.  The focus of Unchained Spirit is that Banton is a growing individual. He has come forward from a controversial past, and exhibited the need and the drive to succeed at his art. He does not care what his critics say, but only about those who care for what he does. He does not try to be controversial, but rather a spokesperson for the people that the government has forgotten and does not take care of. As the song We’ll Be Alright F/Luciano goes:

 

Been through a fire and didn't get burned

Buju Banton, Luciano

come fi teach Listen and you will learn

The price you pay And still at the end of the day

 For them it's just a lue la lay

Luciano: We have done all the good

 that we know we should Spread a little love in the neighborhood

 Buju done that I and I

done that Spread a little love in the whole wide world

And telling my people better take control

We have done that I and I done that

           

Through the lyrics we are witness to the emotion that Banton wants to convey with his music. He is about overcoming obstacles, succeeding and believing in ourselves. He does not care what other people think, it is what we think that is important. His collaboration with artists like LMS, Wayne Wonder, and punk rock band Rancid shows exactly how versatile he is. He does not stop trying to please the listener. His ultimate goal is to spread the love, and possibly the weed, to all those willing to listen.  In an interview with Rolling Stone, he says:

     "The New album was built under the influence of a whole heap of herb," says Banton, his voice rising to a Lion's roar. "Herb burn till kutchie black and bust, chalice shatter, Babylon flatter. Y'understand?"
Banton smiles at the sight of his father skanking to the dread horn riffs of "Better Must Come" as a spliff tail dangles from his lips. "I invite man and man to burn up the herb and know yourself, and listen the music," the younger Banton says. "As it burn, let the ashes drop on the ground and see the wicked falls. Soon and very soon, the herb
shall be released like an unchained spirit." (www.Rollingstone.com 1/4/2001)

            Banton uses the herb for inspiration, as do most of his fellow musicians, but also to unwind and settle his soul. The notion of an unchained spirit is one that is free and open to the world. He is accepting of ideas, and would like to profess his own views on a world that he feels is corrupt and out of order. His focus has grown into one of harmony with oneself, and peace with other. Buju wants to end the violence that has plagued Jamaica’s youth, as well as the rest of the world’s, for so long, and do so through music. He want us, I-and-I, as we are, to know ourselves, to burn the herb, and to listen to the music as a spiritual awakening.  His message has gone from dirty and crude to peaceful and positive. His music has progressed with an evolution of sorts, where he has matured with his own skills, and grown into his own mastery of reggae.

            On the album, his style ranges from vintage ska with Rancid, to roots, rock, and reggae with his other special colloborators like Wayne Wonder and Gramps from Morgan Heritage, who joins him for the 23rd psalm. The beauty of it is that through work and perseverance with other artists, he proves to us that he is here to stay. He can work his grove with a wide range of musicians, some old, some new, but all with an appreciation for his message of peace and love. He does not force himself upon us, but rather slowly shouts in our ears why he is so good, why he is the master of reggae in his generation, and why we should be listening.  He wants to smack us in the face with his music, in an effort, as it were, to get our attention to the events and happening around us. Most of us aren’t aware of the oppression that others suffer at the hands of Bablyon. We sit back and watch as society crumbles around us, leaving other helpless while we enjoy our rich, comfortable lives. This is what bothers Banton, and brings forth his music. He does not want us to take it easy, he wants us to get up and act, to be responsible for what we do, and what others do. His message is that this life is ours, and no one else’s. We should do what we want, as long as we make people happy, and encourage the growth of the community. He wants us to be our own unchained spirit, and unchain ourselves from the oppression of Babylon. His motivation is to wake everyone up to what is happening, for us to see the reality, we must understand what is going on. He is the messenger, and he has the message, and if we do not here his message, who will?

            I began listening to Buju Banton this summer, while I was working in the library moving books around. At first, he did not really appeal to me. I heard his voice, I thought of Shabba Ranks and Bounty Killer, and did not give him a second thought. But then, I listened to more of his stuff. I read some of his lyrics, even the controversial ones, to see where he was coming from. He was not just a reggae artist, I discovered, he was a true rebel, a pioneer in the industry, and activist for what is right in the world, and a believer in eliminating the wrongdoings of others. He wants to chant down Babylon, and I think he does a damn good job of doing so. I believe he has a little Marley in him, and a little Dancehall, and the beauty of it is that he combines the two so well. It is as if we  are listening to something completely new and refreshing, and in reality, I think we are. That is the power of Buju Banton, and that is why his is indeed an Unchained Spirit and The Voice of Jamaica.

Books:

 

Jamaica: The Portrait of an Island

W. Adolphe Roberts

Coward-Mcann, Inc.

New York 1955

pp. 61-67

 

Historic Jamaica

Frank Cundall, F.S.A.

Secretary and Librarian of the Institute of Jamaica

Johnson Reprint Corp.

New York

1971

pp. 324-325

 

The Rastafarians

Leonard E. Barrett, Sr.

Beacon Press, Boston

1997

pp.32-33

 

Web Sites:

 

www.bujubanton.net

 

www.diegodj.com/lyrics/buju/banton

 

www.eng.miami.edu/

 

www.reggaejams.com

 

www.everythingjamaican.com

 

www.rollingstone.com

 

www.yushponline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Banton uses '90s technology to carry on Marley's positive-song tradition--there's electronic percussion, but it blends in seamlessly. His voice is a bit similar to Marley's, but is somewhat raspier, and occasionally slips into a rap-influenced dancehall style. Banton even incorporates a bit of dub (echo, reverb and spacy special effects) into his songs, without losing the melodic flow ("My Woman Now"). INNA HEIGHTS will put some bounce into your day.

 

BUJU BANTON

"Destiny"

 

Verse 1:

The rich man's wealth is in the city

Destruction of the poor is his poverty

Destruction of your soul is vanity

Do you hear

I and I, I wanna rule my destiny

I and I, I wanna rule my destiny

 

Chorus:

Destiny, mama look from when you call me

Destiny, mama look from when you calling

I wanna rule my destiny

yeah, yeah oh help I please Jah Jah mek mi rule

 

Verse 2:

I've been blessed I've been touch

I love Jah so much

They keep fighting me I'm not giving up

May the realms of Zion fill my spiritual cup

Wisdom overstanding can never be too much

Give I protection Day and night

 

Chorus:

Cast away their cords from us

you have them in the region in the valley of decision

Restraining the heathen with a rod of iron

you know not the destiny of a next man

Why hold him set him free too long

 

Verse 3:

My destination is homeward bound

Though force try to hold I down

Breaking chains has become the norm

I know I must get through no matter what a gwaan

 

From top

 

 

(Source: Jamaica Time by Diego DJ - http://www.diegodj.com)