M ark Myrie is more than just a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artiste. His ascent to popularity from youth to adulthood has been phenomenal, and for the Caribbean diaspora, his wisdom has provided many youths with strong leadership, even through music.
Adopting the sobriquet, Buju Banton from a young age, all thanks to his mother’s nickname of ‘Buju’ coupled with the addition of ‘Banton’ as given to Myrie by fellow entertainer, Burro Banton, whom he emulated, Buju would prove to be a force on the Caribbean’s entertainment circuit.
For years, this accomplished artiste has fulfilled the musical desires of Caribbean people and global music lovers, delivering thought-provoking lyrics and sensational melodies in songs like, Give I Strength, Love Sponge, Till I’m Laid To Rest, Love Meh Brownin, Hush Baby Hush, Murderer and the list goes on.
The 45-year-old Kingston, Jamaica native, who is the last of 15 children, has created music that crosses social boundaries, instead, often breaking class barriers and forging musical movements of peace, love and global unity, through lyric and song. Whether intentional or not, Banton’s intrinsic ability to reach the soul of his audience each time he performs is not to be overlooked. He is revered as one of the greatest entertainers the Caribbean has ever produced – certainly a title well deserved.
Buju’s music, even during his 9-year incarceration, has maintained its powerful truths. He has lived with the people in spirit, his songs of spirituality and sociopolitical weight carrying many through their journeys of difficulty, times of emotional distress and painful discord. His chants of spiritual survival, a constant reminder of their ability to go forward, many have prevailed, all the while subliminally being moved to succeed by Mark Myrie- Buju Banton.