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.