Buju Banton Received RIAA Gold Plaque For “Til Shiloh” 25 Years After Release

Buju Banton points finger to a collusion between the Jamaican and US governments to “neutralize” him.

With a new chart-topping album and a Gold Album certification among his 2020 highlights, it seems superstar Buju Banton is having a stellar year. A recent Breakfast Club interview, however, covered some harsh truths and controversial topics, revealing sinister secrets the veteran has held on to for a very long time. In the popular music culture discussion, Buju spoke about the secretive governments, including his own that conspired to “neutralize” and “silence” him. Responding to host Charlamagne Tha God’s query on whether he thought he had “got set up,” the reggae legend divulged his side of the story against the media’s decade-old version of events.

Going as far back as 2006, Buju traced the timeline of entrapment that led to one of the most trying points of his life. “There was Wikileaks report that came out from 2006 that said Buju Banton and a group of armed men assault a homosexual man in Jamaica and I got away scot-free, which was the furthest thing from the truth,” Buju began.

“What really happened I had an altercation with a guy who came out of his mouth the wrong way and I had to put him back in place,” Buju Banton continues. “I didn’t know his affiliation to any group of homosexuals and they start using that as an angle and all of a sudden my government sent a diplomatic attaché to the US Embassy and I was on the radar from 2006.”

Well aware that he was targetted, the devout Rastafarian and reggae messenger followed with an affirmation – “them neutralizing me wasn’t a part of God’s plan.” All the great man that I have read about, they’ve all gone to prison, all have to go through that form of persecution, even Christ,” he told The Breakfast Club hosts. “They thought they were doing bad but my God is the greatest planner.” Banton was convicted of cocaine-related charges in 2011, serving his sentence in a Florida jail until his December 2018 release.

On that topic, Buju blasted claims that he has a cocaine habit, reaffirming that the only substance he’s known to consume is that green sacrament of his religion. “I don’t even really care about dat and what dem want to say about dat. Who know I, know I is a ganja man straight,” he said.

“There are two ways to destroy a man, you go and attack his character first then you move in for the ultimate kill. You put him as a coke head then he is done for cause his word won’t be taken to be of any weight, he might be a dope head speaking to you. So these character assassinations, they come before the ultimate kill shot,” the singer said.

Addressing his thoughts on the state of music as well as maintaining his sanity and spirituality while in lock up, the interview again saw Buju Banton shying away from “icon” status, saying he’s satisfied with being “a servant of the people”. For the ‘powerful dark forces’ forces and individuals who implicated and tried to bury him, Buju bears no bitterness or grudge, leaving a subtle warning instead — “Father forgive them; they know what they did.”

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Buju Banton is celebrating his iconic album, Til Shiloh, going gold 25 years after its release.

Reggae recording mastermind Mark "Buju Banton Myrie received international honors from the RIAA following his 47th birthday on Wednesday. Exactly 25 years since the release of his classic, emotive compilation Til Shiloh on July 18, 1995, the RIAA awarded Banton a Gold Certification plaque in commemoration of its colossal impact and 500,000+ sales as of last September. The timeless, thought-provoking suite of songs released three days after his 22nd birthday is said to have helped usher in the unique ‘conscious rude-boy’ repertoire that has remained a genre mainstay.

The belated blessing fit for the beaming musical king was unveiled via Youtube Live, where Island Records and UMe executives plus quarantined fans alike could share in the superstar’s sublime moment. “It is a great day for the album, a great day for reggae music,” he said, thanking the entire team that worked on the collection.

Described by BBC’s Angus Taylor as a “very listenable landmark of youthful lyrical content and deeply moving rumination,” nearly half of the project’s tracks have become recognizable as fan favorites or personal soul-food gems. “‘Til I’m Laid to Rest,” “Murderer,” “Champion,” “Untold Stories,” “Not an Easy Road”, “Only Man,” “Wanna Be Loved” and “It’s All Over” are all found on Banton’s versatile 4th record, not to mention enviable features from Wayne Wonder and the late Garnett Silk.

Roughly translated, the album’s title means ‘forever’, an affirmation of Buju’s acceptance of the Rastafarian faith that informed the project’s boundary crushing ethos. Since then, it’s come to mean much more to the deejay – not just an album title or clever name for his road band but a testament to his mind-blowing significance and consistency within Jamaican music. In spite of an extended period of incarceration, Buju returned to his usual domination, scoring a host of accolades since his return.
At this year’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), Buju Banton won seven trophies including The Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award, Concert of The Year for “Long Walk To Freedom,” Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer, Most Outstanding Show Band for his Til Shiloh Band and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer. Add to that his aptly titled album “Upside Down 2020” sitting in the top 3 on Billboard’s Reggae Charts and an exclusive Vibe Magazine editorial heralding the stalwart as synonymous with and vital to the industry, despite a decade long hiatus.
The Grammy-winning Gargamel is a deserving messenger and revolutionary authority able to still captivate and convert with his early pioneer efforts.

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