Dancehall / Feature / News

Buju Banton Opens Up About Bob Marley Comparison

Buju Banton is humbled by comparisons with the King of Reggae Bob Marley.

Buju Banton made a recent appearance on The Zane Lowe Show, where he shared his top music playlist. The playlist includes his own “Unity” from his Upside Down 2020 album, which opens the podcast.

“Unity is one of the basic fabric that binds humanity together, so if we don’t have unity, what will we have?” Buju tells Zayne Lowe in a discussion that followed the song.

Dennis Brown’s classic “No Man is an Island” was next on Buju Banton’s playlist, followed by Benjahmin Steele’s “Aaday’s Tisai Aadays,” that Buju uses to start his day and journey through his holistic living.

“Fade Away” by Junior Byles was also included in Banton’s playlist. Buju commended the lyrics of “Gladys Knight & The Pip’s rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”

“Music that touches you and causes you to reflect on a deeper essence is really the music I grew up on,” he said. Those words being sung by sister Gladys and the Pips is one of the most beautiful words you could listen to on a Sunday morning…. or any day its applicable, we want the music to educate, uplift and teach.”

Buju Banton’s “Rising Up,” also a part of his Upside Down 2020 album, was next on his playlist, followed by Luciano’s “Messenger” and the final song, Bob Marley and The Wailer’s “Survival.”

Buju Banton

In an engaging conversation, Buju Banton and Lowe discussed several topics of interest candidly and openly. Among the topics is the infamous comparison between Buju Banton and the late King of Reggae, Bob Marley.

“There is a name that people keep aligning you to, with respect, every time people draw some kind of parallel with you and the great Bob Marley what does it say to you as a human being?…there are obvious comparisons for people who wanna draw them based on the life you are living and your intentions,” an intrigued Lowe asked.

Buju Banton took no time to respond, noting with the respect that he is his own person and does not need the comparison.

“I always think in my mind to be compared to a great man like ‘Gong’ is a honor, more than a privilege but I need the opportunity to be me,” Buju Banton told Zane Lowe. “I am a living, breathing, walking man under the face of my father. Allow me to grow, because if man cannot do what other great men have done he may as well die.”

The “Not an Easy Road” singer continued, “I have learned that I could not have seen my shadow in a running water, so when the water stood still there is my shadow.”

The Buju Banton- Bob Marley comparison was heightened back in 2019 when Buju Banton hosted his homecoming concert at the national stadium and had the venue at full capacity. Bob Marley was the only other Reggae artiste to have all 35,000 seats at the national stadium occupied when he hosted his famous One Love Peace Concert in the volatile 1978.

Buju Banton also received a warm welcome back in December 2018, when fans awaited and celebrated him at the Norman Manley International Airport. The singer was deported after serving seven years in a federal facility in Georgia for drug and gun charges.

Fans missed the Grammy-winning singer in the reggae music community during his prison stint.

The Gargamel made his comeback when he released “Upside Down 2020” last year. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award this year.