To say I’m disappointed is a bit of an understatement. The news of Buju Banton’s guilty verdict in cocaine and gun-related charges has left me straight sick in the ol’ gut.
I grew up listening to Buju in my later youth, and have watched him progress and change in lyrics and attitude. I caught him live when I was barely old enough to hit the clubs, as he’s become an icon of reggae music worldwide. It’s difficult to watch someone fall hard who has spent his career proclaiming all he does is for only Jah.
I’ve had a few of his more recent tunes on rotation since the news hit.
But the clip I really think of when he comes to mind was shared with me by the great Sean Roofless, a clip of the mighty David Rodigan from a performance in Houston. It really is stunning.
Lastly, I was moved by this article in the Jamaica Observer, in which Buju’s parents relate their overall lack of words over the incident, a sentiment that would be resoundingly echoed by any parent in the same situation.
“Though you may think my faith is in vain, til Shiloh we chant Rastafari’s name.”