General Jamaican Music

Buju Banton May Get Early Release from Federal Prison

Buju Banton Reggae Artist

Reggae singer Buju Banton, who is currently serving a ten-year sentence for a 2009 drug trafficking charge at McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia, could have a new release date. Originally scheduled for release in 2019, Banton’s new date is December 8, 2018. The United States Justice Department announced in 2015 that it planned to release about 6,600 inmates early to reduce overcrowding in prisons and to provide relief to drug offenders who received long sentences. Banton said in 2015 that he would no longer appeal his convictions at the same time that the US Attorney’s Office said it would dismiss a firearms charge also brought against the reggae star. Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie) was born in 1973 in Jamaica. He gained popularity for his reggae and dancehall songs that often addressed socio-political issues. His early recordings were in the dancehall genre, but in 1992, he released “Mr. Mention,” which was the best-selling album in Jamaican history to that date. Her converted to the Rastafari faith in the mid-1990s, and his music became ,more spiritual. His 2010 album “Before the Dawn” received the Best Reggae Album Award at the 53rd annual Grammys. In 2015, Banton communicated with his fans via Vibe Magazine that they should not be “distracted” by things going on in the contemporary music scene as these were designed to “to make moral decadence even more widespread than it already is, and plunge people into a state of darkness. They’re trying to reverse the progress that we have made over the years through the music. And now the music is meaningless. It doesn’t stimulate, it doesn’t educate, it doesn’t reinvigorate. All it does is get you angry” and focus on materialism. Banton went on to say that the music was suffering, as are the people, with “sadness and gloom” prevailing.” He counseled his fans to be patient as “suffering may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

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Stephanie Korney