©2019 by Everything BB

BUJU BANTON

The Man. The Artists. The Legend

He was born Mark Myrie, the youngest of 15 children living in the poorest house on Salt Lane, a desolate stretch of road in the slums of Western Kingston. Though financially “downpressed,” the Myrie family were proud descendants of the Maroons, African warriors who escaped slavery and fought for their freedom, establishing their own promised land in the mountainous areas of Jamaica. His father, an aspiring singer, provided for his family through manual labor while his mother sold fresh produce in nearby Coronation Market. It was she who gave him the affectionate nickname “Buju” which means breadfruit, a staple food in many Caribbean households.

Aside from musicological debates, the substance of Buju’s message had evolved as his knowledge increased through the passage of time. “What happen bascially is Jah have to be praised,” Buju explained shortly after Til Shiloh’s release. “Everywhere in the township in the churches in the rural parts—everywhere, And we are the soldiers and he called upon the youths because we are strong. Right now we have to clean up this business thoroughly!”