Buju under fire for his statements – Entertainment

Posted by Dresonic on May 4, 2009

As the Buju Banton, ‘Marley is not the greatest’ debate rages on, a reader, Newell Morgan, responds to the Gargamel’s statement published in the Entertainment section of yesterday’s Observer.

Buju Banton

Deejay Buju Banton needs to know people are not slave driver’s protégés because they do not agree with what he is saying. A slave master’s protégé is one who becomes very angry when challenged because his way is the only way. He uses derogatory words to describe people; he does not credit nor reward people for their work and he is far from humble and believes in ‘switch and bait’.

Buju needs to put what he said in context – since he is certain that we have taken him out of context – so that we can “treat him fairly”.

Bob Marley opened the door many years ago and no one, as yet, has been able to walk through. Do not be fooled, there have been song-writers, musicians, promoters, disc jockeys and sound system players, artistes and promoters who have all worked hard to make this music strong, but were never credited. Point taken, but as we move forward we cannot stray from the music and expect greatness.

When Peter Tosh was asked to describe reggae music, he said, “This is a spiritual music with spiritual ingredients for spiritual purposes. It’s a music you feel.”

Are we still using the ingredients? Could that be part of why we are coming up short? Or could it be that artistes do not find benefit in a mentor or guide who will inspire growth?

Have proper business plans given way to might, brute force and hustle? Reggae music was made to take over the four corners of the earth; the founders had a solid vision and during some rough times they worked overtime to perfect their craft. So if people were to calm down and be open-minded and go back to basics and revisit the work ethic and the ingredients of the founders, they would be much better off for having done so.

Although many artistes have contributed to this music, sometimes their best is not good enough, but they must keep trying. Case in point: Burning Spear was nominated 12 times before he won a Grammy award – that’s a humble lion. Roger Steffens’ comment that if you want to win a Grammy award you have to change your name to Marley is not only silly but false. Here are the facts to dispute this: in 1996 Shaggy won over Ziggy Marley; in 1994 Inner Circle won over Ziggy Marley; in 1992 Shabba won over two Marleys – Ziggy as well as Rita Marley – so it has been done. 
Artistes need to stay encouraged and continue to step up their game.

It is easy to demean people, but that will not stop facts. Peter Tosh was signed to the Rolling Stones and this was potentially a bigger promotional endeavour than Bob with Chris Blackwell. I believe this did not do what it was supposed to because of the militant language limitations. Bob listened closely to management and understood marketing: in order to reach the wider market you have to speak in a language that the mass understands.

Bob wrote Stir It Up and Johnny Nash made it big; it took Eric Clapton to cover I Shot the Sheriff to make it explode. These songs were written in plain English so more people the world over could enjoy them. Bob saw this pattern and kept that path without losing culture. You can’t sell 10 million records in a market where only one million can appreciate it.

I was talking to a world-class athlete who used to train 15 hours per week before she turned pro and thought she was going hard until she went to Germany and saw her competitors training eight hours per day.

Keep reaching for the stars and put in hard work along with the right attitude and you will get your just reward.

Buju, I say to you if your statement was taken out of context, I would be surprised. Anyway, please enlighten us and be less arrogant this time. The world is watching.


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