Tag Archive | "Buju Banton"

Buju Banton granted approval to present oral arguments in bid for new trial

Buju Banton 2014Incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall entertainer, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has been granted approval by a U.S. appeals court to make oral arguments in a bid for a new trial as he attempts to overturn his conviction on drug-related charges.

The breakthrough came on Monday following an appeal submitted in May by Buju’s legal team, headed by Harvard Law School professor, Charles Ogletree asking that Buju be granted a new trial and oral arguments on the basis that the singer was entrapped by a paid U.S. informant and that his case was compromised after a juror in his 2011 trial was found to have unlawfully researched aspects of the case while it was taking place.

A statement issued by the Buju Banton Defense Support Committee detailed the latest developments in the matter.

It reads, “In May 2014 the Defense Team for Jamaican Reggae Superstar, Buju Banton, filed an appeal to the U.S. Appellate Court requesting the artiste be granted oral arguments and a new trial. Buju’s attorney, Professor Charles Ogletree, submitted a compact and powerful document detailing Buju Banton’s innocence. The Court has responded favourably by granting approval to the oral arguments.

The brief states that Buju Banton was entrapped by a paid informant in December 2009. It gives clear evidence that the foreperson of the jury, Mrs. Terri Wright, acted against the District Court’s instructions by researching information on the case during the trial and that Mrs. Wright further presented the Court with the wrong computer hard drive on which she did her research.”

No date has been issued by the appeals court for the oral arguments to be heard. However. Ogletree expressed satisfaction with the approval of Buju’s request, saying that the court’s decision is a ‘positive step towards justice, victory and freedom for the incarcerated reggae icon.'”

Buju was convicted on three drug-related charges in February 2011 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison, counting time already served. His term is slated to end in February 2019.

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Buju Banton’s defense team claims man acting as fake agent of imprisoned deejay

Buju 2014The legal team and official defense support committee of incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae singer, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton, has spoken out against a purported scam being committed against the entertainer as they say someone has been falsely acting as an agent on the entertainer’s behalf.

After recently making the discovery, The Buju Banton Defense Support Committee issued a statement Sunday denouncing this alleged scam.

“It has been brought to the attention of The Buju Banton Defense Support Committee and Buju Banton’s attorney, Professor Charles Ogletree that a certain individual has approached promoters with the false claim that he is the local agent for renowned reggae musician, Buju Banton,” the statement read. “He has further sought to swindle monies by stating he is authorized to collect funds for a concert being held for Buju Banton in Trinidad during this year.”

We wish to warn the public that it is totally untrue. Buju Banton has not given such rights to anyone in Trinidad. Nor is a concert being organized at this time.

Anyone seeking to do this would suffer legal consequences. We urge that you immediately inform the authorities of anyone who solicits monies from you for that purpose.

Buju Banton is grateful to his many fans for their support and prayers.”

Buju Banton continues to serve his 10-year prison sentence on drug-related charges and remains due for release in 2019. However, the deejay recently applied for a new trial in an American court of appeal as he continues to fight his2011 conviction.

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Buju Banton releases letter expressing sadness at death of Chokwe Lumumba

Buju Banton Incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall superstar has released a heartfelt letter of condolence following the recent death of his former lawyer and the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe Lumumba.


Lumumba, who represented Buju for nearly a year as he fought his 2011 drug conviction, died in a Mississippi hospital after suffering severe chest pains on Feb. 25. Buju was forced to change lawyers following Lumumba’s successful mayoral election last July.


Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, released the detailed letter on Friday expressing his shock at the death while giving insight into their relationship and how Lumumba helped him during his case. The full letter is below:


To the family and friend of the late Chokwe Lumumba:


My heart goes out to you all. I share in your grief immensely. Having been one of the many lives Atty. Lumumba has touched. Its with a deep sense of privation that I mourned the passing of my friend and another great black freedom fighter .Atty. Chokwe Lumumba, a warrior just like the great leader, Patrice Lumumba, who fought for the liberation of the Congo in Africa.

Atty. Lumumba fought for many who could not stand up against a profaned system that is filled with injustice.A well disciplined and principled man. We first met while I was going through the litigation process stemming from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal decision to reinstate a gun charge. A charge that was previously dismissed by the district court judge.

This tall, dignified black man walked into the visiting room at the F.C.J Miami, introduced himself and got right down to business. Atty. Lumumba had already done his homework concerning my case and clearly saw something was amiss.He never tried to sugar coat his thoughts. He believed it {was} imperative and made it very clear that I should do the same.

Throughout those protracted months I spent at the Pinellas County Jail in Tampa, FL, Atty. Lumumba called at least twice weekly. To discuss my case and ascertain all was well with me. He traveled all the way from Mississippi to Florida for attorney client visits. All these actions of genuine interest in my situation, gave me confidence in Atty Lumumba. We developed mutual respect for each other.

His appraisal for my chances as it regards justice was always realistic. Hence his proactive approach as oppose to being reactive. This brought about a favorable outcome, with the gun charge being dismissed. At the end of the evidentiary hearings in 2013, Atty. Lumumba looked me in the eyes and said, “What did you do to these people. This is not justice at all. From the gate you have been screwed”.

Now having gone through a battery of Attorneys and immense suffering, I knew without a doubt that there were some hidden forces at work and I was being shafted. Lumumba also advised me that having been elected Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, he was unable to continue his career as a defense Attorney.


However, he went on to recommend a few attorneys whom he believed would effectively assist me. Atty. Lumumba also reached out to my current Attorney, Professor Charles Ogletree. In parting, Atty. Lumumba again said “Mark its going to be an uphill struggle. I saw what they did to you and unfortunately, you didn’t see it coming. Once they have you, it’s hell to break free from their chains son. I wish you all the best. You can call me anytime for anything at all. However I can render assistance, trust me, I will.

We spoke several times after he was no longer my official representative. Even through third parties ,even as recent as two days before his passing. So I was not only shocked but also in a state of denial. Atty Lumumba was vigorous and energetic, even when he spoke in a subtle manner. How could this happen without warning? This is really sad. I just have to pay my respects in whatever way I can. Thank you for the time you dedicated to my cause. It will be with me forever and the countless others whom you have touched with your passion for justice.


I know you are in a much better place. If what they say is true, then you are still fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. Farewell my friend. You shall be greatly missed.


Lumumba’s body currently lies in state at Jackson’s City Hall ahead of his scheduled funeral on Saturday at the Jackson Convention Complex.


It was announced last week that Buju’s new lawyer, Charles Ogletree filed documentation seeking a new trial in a U.S. appeals court.

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Chokwe Lumumba, former lawyer for Buju Banton, dies at 66

Chokwe LumumbaChokwe Lumumba, the recently-elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi and former lawyer of incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton has died at the age of 66.

Lumumba reportedly died of heart failure at St. Dominic’s Hospital after complaining of chest pains on Tuesday. However, no official cause of death has been released at this time.

Known as a civil rights activist and a black radical, Lumumba was regarded as one of the most prominent leaders of a major city to come from the black revolutionary movement. He also served as an accomplished lawyer for several decades, representing late, great rapper, Tupac Shakur, as well as his step-aunt, Assata Shakur, once a member of the Black Panther Party.

In August 2012, 14 months after receiving his 10-year sentence on drug charges, Buju Banton hired Lumumba as his new lawyer in an effort to continue his fight for freedom. Lumumba wa instrumental in bringing forward a case of alleged juror misconduct in the deejay’s February 2011 trial, in which juror Terri Wright was found to have researched aspect of his case during the trial. However, she was not charged with contempt as a result of the misconduct.

Lumumba also helped Buju avoid an additional five-year sentence on a gun charge originally thrown out during the trial.

However, Lumumba left his role as Buju’s lawyer last July after being elected the mayor of Jackson.

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Buju Banton may change lawyers in drug case

Buju BantonEmbattled Dancehall/Reggae artist, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton may be forced to change his legal representation for a second time just days after a gun conviction against him was dismissed in a Florida courthouse.

The possible move comes as a result of Buju’s lead lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba being elected the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi earlier this month. With Lumumba set to begin his term on July 1, Buju’s co-counsel, Imhotep Alkebu-Lan conceded to the Jamaica Gleaner on Thursday that the singer will likely have to look for new representation, though no final decision has been made.

Prior to that decision, Buju will have to decide whether or not to appeal a federal judge’s decision not to grant the Grammy-winning entertainer a retrial in his drug case.

On Wednesday, Judge James Moody threw out a gun conviction against, which would have carried an additional five years on his ten-year prison term for drug-related convictions. Additionally, Judge Moody ordered the government to charge Terri Wright, a juror on Buju’s February 2011 drug trial, with criminal contempt after it was deemed she violated federal court orders by researching aspects of the singer’s case during the trial.

Buju Banton now has 14 days to appeal Moody’s decision not to grant a retrial while prosecutors have 30 days to appeal the dismissal of the gun conviction.

Last August, Buju dropped lead attorney, David Oscar Markus in favor of Lumumba weeks after a failed appeal to overturn his drug conviction, which led to the reinstatement of a gun charge initially tossed out in the February 2011 trial.




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Buju Banton gun conviction dismissed as trial juror faces contempt charge

Buju Banton 2013Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has received a reprieve in his fight to overturn his drug conviction as a gun charge against the entertainer was dismissed during a hearing inside a Florida courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

The ruling, handed down by Judge James Moody was made after it was determined that Terri Wright, a juror in Buju’s February 2011 drug trial, violated federal court orders by independently researching aspects of the singjay’s case. This means that Buju, currently serving a ten-year prison term on several drug-related charges, will not have to serve five additional years as a result of the gun charge, which was reinstated following a failed appeal last summer.

Judge Moody has ordered the United States government to slap a criminal contempt charge against Wright as a result of her alleged misconduct. Wright could face up to six months in prison, as well as a fine if found guilty on contempt.

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Buju Banton back in court on June 26

Buju Banton

Embattled Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton will return to court June 26 in his juror misconduct case as he seeks a new trial.

Buju, who’s real name is Mark Myrie, was ordered to appear by Judge James Moodyalong with Terri Wright, the juror who is alleged to have violated court orders during the singjay’s February 2011 drug trial. The date was set late Tuesday, just over two weeks after a new development in the case in which a forensic expert hired by Banton concluded that she brought a desktop computer hard drive for examination of her alleged misconduct instead of a laptop she used during the trial.

Wright’s lawyer, Lori Palmieri later claimed her client misspoke in calling her computer a laptop. The aforementioned hard drive had over 1.6 million records during the trial’s duration, which were examined by the expert. However, it was determined none of those records pertained to the trial

Wright admitted to a Florida newspaper last fall that she researched aspects of Buju’s case, but later insisted this took place three weeks after the trial concluded. She has now been summoned to court to answer the forensic expert’s findings as well as issues raised in a motion filed by Buju’s legal team pertaining to a new trial.

Buju is still set to serve six more years of a ten-year sentence on drug-related charges stemming from a December 2009 incident in Florida. A gun charge, which was thrown out during the initial ruling was reinstated following a failed appeal on his conviction.

As a result, the entertainer was due to face a re-sentencing hearing and five additional year in prison in relation to the gun charge. However, the hearing was postponed after Buju’s team successfully filed an application to investigate the alleged misconduct.

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Buju Banton’s misconduct case revived following new revelation

Buju BantonEvery time it appears embattled Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton has reached dead end in his pursuit for freedom, a new pathway clears for the singer. That trend has been evidenced yet again as his juror misconduct case appears to have regained life.

On Wednesday, during a hearing in Tampa, FL, it was determined that Terri Wright, a juror accused of violating court orders in Buju’s February 2011 drug trial, submitted the wrong computer hard drive for an examination conducted by the singer’s forensic expert to determine if she illegally researched aspects of the case. However, Wright, who insisted she used a laptop during the trial, submitted a hard drive for an old desktop computer.

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Buju Banton’s case stalled as juror’s computer yields no evidence of misconduct

Buju BantonEmbattled Reggae/Dancehall icon, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has suffered a big blow in his charge for an early release from prison after a thorough search of a juror’s computer yielded no signs of misconduct during the singjay’s February 2011 drug trial.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that an IT investigator, hired by Buju searched a computer owned by Terri Wright, a juror in the singer’s trial who allegedly researched aspects of his case during the trial and subsequent deliberations. The search yielded approximately 1.6 million internet history records in total. However, at a court hearing in Tampa earlier this week, it was revealed that none of the records found were dated Feb. 14 to March 8, 2011, covering his trial and the two weeks that followed, meaning no trace of misconduct had been detected.

These results let Buju’s legal team to claim Wright gave them the wrong device to search. However, Ms. Wright’s attorney, Lori Palmieri insisted it was her only computer.

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Buju trial takes shape as jurors give contrasting statements in misconduct case

Buju BantonEmbattled Reggae singer, Mark Myrie aka Buju Banton may be gaining some traction in his juror misconduct case as one of the jurors in his February 2011 drug trial said the alleged violation involving foreman, Terri Wright was discussed in the jury room.

However, there remain more questions than answers after the juror misconduct trial resumed on Monday as some of the eight jurors subpoenaed to the US Sam Gibbons Court in Tampa, FL gave contrasting evidence as to whether or not Wright committed the alleged act. One of the jurors reportedly claimed he knew nothing about the supposed misconduct.

Wright appeared at Monday’s hearing with her computer hard drive, as ordered by presiding judge, James Moody, where a computer specialist would examine it to determine if any evidence of this misconduct existed.

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Anthony B facing drug charge in the United States

Yet another Jamaican entertainer has gotten himself in trouble with American law enforcement as Reggae veteran, Anthony B faces drug related charges in Georgia.

Anthony B mugshotThe entertainer, whose real name is Keith Blair, was taken into custody by police in Georgia on January 27 as he’s accused of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. Anthony B’s mugshot later appeared on www.bustedmugshots.com with details of his arrest.

If convicted, Anthony B could face at least year in prison as marijuana-related offences are treated as felonies in the southern American state.

This incident makes Anthony B the latest in a long list of Jamaican entertainers since the turn of the decade who have faced drug-related charges in the United States, with the most publicized case being that of Reggae legend, Buju Banton, who is serving a 10-year sentence on cocaine charges in Florida. Fellow Reggae veteran, Denroy Morgan was charged with possession of 25 pounds of marijuana in New York but walked away with probation and a small fine last December after initially facing a jail term of up to 20 years.

Another Reggae crooner, Eek-A-Mouse was deported to the United States from Paraguay in December as he faces drug-related charges, as well as a rape charge.

Meanwhile, internationally-acclaimed singjay, Busy Signal was extradited to the United States last May and later served a six month prison term in a Minnesota-based facility for absconding bail in relation to a 2002 drug case. However, the drug charges stemming from that Minnesota were dropped as Busy pleaded guilty to absconding bail only and left the United States immediately after his release.

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Video: Romain Virgo – Rich in Love

Known for serving up Jamaica’s freshest beats and top-notch cuisine in downtown Manhattan, Miss Lily’s has become a social and cultural hub for all things Caribbean. The island aesthetic is reflected throughout the swanky decor of their restaurant, bakery, juice bar and variety shop – which serves as a record store, gallery space and home to Internet broadcast station, Radio Lily. Miss Lily’s Variety Shop, located directly next door to the restaurant, celebrates their first year in business and launches a brand new CD series Miss Lily’s Family Style (VP Records) on January 22.

The first installment is executive produced by Radio Lily resident DJ Max Glazer along with one of Miss Lily’s founding partners, Paul Salmon, who also owns Jamaica’s award-winning Rockhouse Hotel and co-founded Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Enclosed in the CD’s vintage vinyl-inspired packaging are in-depth liner notes written by reggae journalist and Radio Lily DJ Rob Kenner along with a free download card of a 43-minute mix by DJ Max Glazer.

Miss Lily’s family of DJs and tastemakers have carefully selected fifteen of their must-have favorites – including certified classics like Sizzla’s “Just One of Those Days,” Tanya Stephens’ “It’s A Pity” and Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder’s “Bonafide Love” as well as modern day anthems like Busy Signal’s “One More Time,” Vybz Kartel’s “Whine,” Konshens’ “So Mi Tan” and Gappy Ranks’ “Pumpkin Belly.”

1. Sizzla – Just One of Those Days
2. Mr. Vegas – Mus Come a Road
3. Gappy Ranks- Pumpkin Belly
4. Tarrus Riley – Original Dancehall
5. Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder – Bonafide Love
6. Gyptian – Hold You
7. Konshens- So Mi Tan
8. Busy Signal – Real Spenders
9.Vybz Kartel – Whine
10. Lil Rick- Guh Down
11. Kes The Band – Wotless
12. Romain Virgo – I Am Rich in Love
13. Tanya Stephens – It’s a Pity
14. Queen Ifrica – Below the Waist
15. Busy Signal- One More Night

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Buju’s studies behind bars interrupted by latest court development

BujuWhile anticipating the results of an ongoing investigation regarding possible juror misconduct during his drug trial, embattled Reggae icon, Buju Banton will be made to wait in his pursuit of higher learning behind bars.

Buju, who was sentenced to a prison term of 10 years inside a Florida courtroom, indicated shortly thereafter that he would pursue a Masters Degree in political science and economics. However, Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba revealed that the Grammy-winning singjay’s educational journey has been halted due to the investigation into a possible juror violation during his February 2011 trial.

Originally, Buju Banton served his prison term while at a low security federal prison in Groesbeck, Texas before being moved to a Miami-based facility due to safety concerns. After successfully delving into his studies for the last 18 months, Buju’s time in the classroom remains on hold now that he’s housed at the Pinellas County Jail in Tampa, FL until the current investigation is resolved.

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Progress in Buju case as judge expands probe into alleged juror misconduct

BujuEmbattled Reggae megastar, Buju Banton may be gaining steam in his ongoing fight to overturn a ten year sentence on drug charges as his case for a mistrial took a positive twist on Friday.

U.S. District Judge, James Moody ordered marshals to seize computers belonging to Terri Wright, a juror in Buju’s February 2011 drug trial who’s accused of misconduct in the matter. Buju’s legal team successfully filed a motion requesting this seizure take place in order to prove that Wright violated federal court laws by researching aspects of the Reggae artiste’s court case.

If evidence is found to back up this claim by Grammy winning entertainer’s legal team, it could trigger a mistrial in the matter.

Additionally, Judge Moody told lawyers during a conference call on Wednesday that he plans to subpoena more jurors and conduct another hearing to explore whether or not Wright violated court orders.

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Evidentiary hearing set in Buju’s drug case

There’s better news today for embattled Jamaican entertainer, Buju Banton as an evidentiary hearing has been set to explore allegations that a juror violated protocol in his drug trial last year.

According to reports, the hearing has been secured by Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba in conjunction with his defense support committee. The evidentiary hearing will take place on December 20 at the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, FL on December 20 at 9:30 a.m.

The court has reportedly summoned four jurors to this hearing, one of whom admitted to reporters last month that she researched aspects of Buju Banton’s drug case prior to deliberation. Should that juror, Terri Wright, be proven to have done so, a mistrial could be ruled in Buju’s drug case as researching facts for federal trials constitutes a violation of court orders.

In her defense, Wright claims that despite doing such research, it had no influence on her thinking through the trial in which Buju was convicted of three drug charges and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Buju Banton still faces an additional five years in prison on a gun charge that was reinstated during the summer after an appeal to overturn his conviction fell through. However, a re-sentencing hearing on said gun charge was postponed after Lumumba’s application for an investigation into the alleged juror misconduct was approved.

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Buju’s legal team launches new letter writing campaign

The legal team for Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton continues to pull out all the stops in their fight to secure the embattled entertainer’s freedom as they have launched a new campaign targeting the United States Supreme Court.

Chokwe Lumumba, Buju’s lead lawyer, has spearheaded a new letter writing campaign set to raise awareness about the Grammy-winning singjay’s drug case. The campaign also re-affirms their stance that the entertainer should be released from federal prison.

In a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court released on Wednesday, Lumumba indicated that Buju has filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari, seeking a review and reversal of his conviction and subsequent 10-year sentencing on drug charges, stemming from a December 2009 incident in Florida.

Part of said letter read, “The convictions of Mr. Myrie are outrageous and unjust. Mr. Myrie was the victim of a concerted U.S. government effort to entrap, conducted by a corrupt informant who was paid 3.5 million dollars by the government for his services in various cases over the years.”

It continued, “He has never been convicted of a crime prior to the present case. He has helped feed numerous hungry children in his country and otherwise contributed to worthy causes in Jamaica and elsewhere. He is supported by hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions worldwide. I ask this honorable court to review his case and grant Mark Myrie the relief he deserves.”

These moves follow a recent discussion dubbed the Free Buju Press Conference that was held a day before the U.S. presidential elections (November 5). The conference, organized by Lumumba and the Buju Banton Defense Support Committee, was moderated by University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer, Dr. Carolyn Cooper. It featured several guest speakers, including prominent entertainers, Stephen Marley and Gramps Morgan as well as NAACP Prison Committee chairman, Nkechi Taifa and Vice-Chairman of the National Black United Front, Salim Adafo, amongst other reputable figures.

Lumumba addressed conference attendees, claiming that Buju Banton is a ‘political prisoner,’ while adding, “There is a generational gap between the struggle to free political prisoners and the struggles of young people. [Buju is helping] to keep the act of freeing political prisoners a relevant one to all generations that exist right now.”

Buju Banton remains housed in the Pinellas County Jail, based in Clearwater, FL as he awaits re-sentencing on a gun charge in the drug case. The re-sentencing was postponed on October 30 as law enforcement officials review allegations that a juror in Buju’s February 2011 trial admitted to reviewing facts of the case before deliberation. If proven true, the juror violation could constitute a mistrial.

For those who wish to write a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Free Buju Campaign, send your mail to the address below.

United States Supreme Court

C/O Attorney Chokwe Lumumba

440 N. Mill St.

Jackson, Mississippi 39202

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Buju Banton’s sentencing postponed, entertainer issues message to fans

Embattled Dancehall superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton will have to wait a while longer to know his fate regarding sentencing on a gun charge.

The sentencing on said gun charge in Buju Banton’s ongoing drug trial was postponed when the Grammy-winning entertainer appeared in Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday morning. The hearing was put off on the request of Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, amidst an application for an investigation he filed earlier this month, alleging juror misconduct during the singjay’s drug trial in February 2011. No new date has been set for Buju’s sentencing.

Terri Wright, a juror in Buju drug trial last year, revealed in an interview with the New Times Broward that she researched aspects of the entertainer’s case to gauge a greater understanding of the matter before deliberation. Though Wright insisted that it had no bearing on her final decision, reports surfaced that her research could constitute as a violation of court orders, thus, possibly sparking a mistrial in Buju’s case.

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A break for Buju? Juror’s alleged violation could spark mistrial in drug case

As hope dwindles away for embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, the prominent singjay could finally catch a break in his ongoing drug case, thanks to a juror.

Buju Banton is currently serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges and awaits sentencing on a gun charge in the matter on October 30. Constant appeals made on the artiste’s behalf have been shut down by the United States judicial system as Buju languishes in a Tampa-based federal facility, causing his fans worldwide to lose hope

However, Buju’s seemingly unsuccessful campaign for freedom may have one more shot at being fruitful as reports have suggested that a juror in the entertainer’s drug trial last February may have compromised the eventual outcome of his case. The New Times Broward – Palm Beach published an interview on Thursday that they conducted with Terri Wright, one of the jurors in said trial, who admits that she researched aspects of Buju Banton’s case to gauge a greater understanding of the matter before deliberation began.

“I would get in the car, just write my notes down so I could remember, and I would come home and do the research,” Wright’s quoted as saying. “They give you the instructions not to go online and, you know, make an opinion. I tried to follow that as close as possible…I don’t think what I found out would have changed how I thought.”

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‘Free Buju’ campaign heading to the White House

If you want to look up a definition for the word ‘loyal’ in the dictionary, a reference to Buju Banton’s fans should appear beside it as they steadfastly refuse to let the embattled Reggae artiste spend more time in prison.

With Buju Banton facing an October 30 sentencing date in Tampa, FL, where he could face five additional years behind bars in relation to his ongoing drug case, fans of the Grammy-winning entertainer have officially launched a campaign to contact the White House in a last gasp attempt to secure his freedom. In an announcement on Monday, organizers of the campaign urged for 50,000 of Buju Banton’s die-hard fans to contact the residence/workplace of U.S President, Barack Obama by any available means (phone, email or letter) before October 30. This in an attempt to cop Buju an immediate release from what they campaign organizers call an ‘unjust incarceration,’ citing entrapment by a U.S. Government informant.

The White House campaign follows a failed appeal filed by Buju Banton this pas summer in which the internationally acclaimed Reggae legend was refused a possible reversal of his initial conviction and subsequent 10-year sentence on drug-related charges in February and June 2011 respectively. A few weeks later, an application by Buju’s legal team for a new trial fell through as, like the failed appeal, it was determined that not only was there enough evidence for his conviction on the drug charges, but that such evidence validated the reinstatement of a gun-related charge which was originally thrown out during the February 2011 ruling.

For more information on this new ‘Free Buju’ campaign, follow the campaign organizers via Twitter: @freebujunow or you can contact the White House directly through the address and/or email below.

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500


[email protected]






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Buju Banton does not want to appear at sentencing hearing

Internationally acclaimed Reggae artiste, Buju Banton wants no part of his next scheduled court appearance as he plans to skip his upcoming sentencing hearing.

On October 30, Buju Banton faces a sentencing hearing in a Florida courtroom in relation to federal drug and gun charges stemming from his initial 2009 arrest. Buju issued an appeal to overturn his conviction and subsequent 10-year sentence on drug charges earlier this summer but was denied. As a result, a previous gun charge, which was tossed out during his trial in February 2011 was reinstated, thus sparking the possibility that Buju may face another five years in prison.

After a request for a new trial fell through, Buju Banton could be facing even more dire straits. Now, the embattled Reggae star hopes to skip his upcoming sentencing hearing after a member of his new legal team, Ihmotep Alkebu-lan intimated that his client formally requesting that he be absent from the hearing.

Buju Banton will have to sweat an upcoming court ruling before he’ll know whether or not he won’t have to attend the sentencing hearing.

Buju recently changed lawyers after dropping long-time attorney, David Oscar Markus in favor of Chokwe Lumumba, a civil rights activist who formerly represented late, great rap legend, Tupac Shakur.

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Mp3: Lutan Fyah Ft Freeky – God Watch Ova Wi

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Olihile ‘FREEKY’ Afrika is an African reggae artiste that was born in a
township south of Johannesburg, South Africa. His name ‘Freeky’ is origin from
Sotho (one of the tribes found in South Africa). He was musically incline and
dominantly played the bass guitar within his teenage years; and contributed
greatly to his friend’s albums and demos. This is where he developed his
recording skills. His musical transition to secular music introduced him to
his musical influences which stems from: Bob Marley, Garnet Silk,Buju
Banton,Capelton and Sizzla.

Thereafter, Freeky joined a legendary Sotho Band (Ntjapedi) in 2006. It
was with this band, that he shared stages with Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela and
other African musical legends. He also collaborated with other African musicians
he regards highly such as: Bongo Riot, Jah Seed under the Ntjapedi umbrella. At
the point, he was appointed a leadership position which deems him out of his
comfort zone to be front and centre to lead a band called TATTOO L9. TATTOO is
a band he writes, leads and composes music for.

In 2007 Freeky decided to try a solo career. He met Robin Mabunda of Dreaded
Sounds who got him more in touch with reggae music’s roots. His abilities as
a song writer and singer added colour to every song he did and as such drawn
the attention of other musicians he has now collaborated with: Mawe2, Lutan
Fyah, ,Singer Jah , Sizzla Tommy Gunn and Stacious

Freeky, is currently working on his sophomore album for Dreaded Sounds and
anticipate going to Jamaica to work with other artistes and producers.

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Buju Banton changes lawyer, faces October sentencing date

Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton will continue his fight for freedom with new legal representation after axing his long-time lawyer in his ongoing drug case.

David Oscar Markus, who has been representing Buju since his initial arrest in December 2009, has been sacked by the Grammy-winning entertainer. The move was confirmed on Tuesday by Markus himself.

“I will always consider Buju my friend and my brother and I think of him every day,” Markus wrote in an email to the Broward Palm Beach Times.

It pains me that he is in prison. I truly hope that he gets some relief.”

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Buju Banton trial request rejected, faces more jail time

The light at the end of the tunnel now seems further away for incarcerated Reggae legend, Buju Banton as the prominent singjay’s request for a new trial has been rejected.

Federal Judge, James Moody turned down Buju’s appeal during a hearing inside a Tampa, Florida courtroom on Tuesday, insisting that there was no need for another one to take place. This ruling took place a month and a half after an Atlanta Circuit Court rejected Buju Banton’s appeal to overturn his conviction and subsequent ten-year sentence on drug-related charges last year.

That court appearance in Atlanta this past June also witnessed the reinstatement of Buju Banton’s gun charge, which was initially thrown out during his initial conviction in February 2011. As a result, given the rejection of his trial request yesterday, Buju Banton now faces five additional years in prison and will soon attend a new sentencing hearing to find out whether or not his ten-year prison stay will be extended.

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LargeUp Interview: Super Beagle on “Dust A Sound Bwoy” + Kanye’s “Mercy”

LargeUp Interview: Super Beagle on “Dust A Sound Bwoy” + Kanye’s “Mercy”

As a teenager growing up in Kingston, my afterschool job was at Techniques Records, where I auditioned artists, sold records, and spent many evenings recording dubplates for overseas customers with sound systems. Artists like Super Beagle, Baby Wayne, Capleton and Buju Banton hung around the store while waiting their turn to record for Winston Riley, the proprietor and producer of the legendary label. Many of us became friends, going to dub studios, writing and practicing songs for the day they would step behind the microphone.

Riley, who had produced “Double Barrel,” the second Jamaican song to go to top the British charts, and other hits including Johnny Osbourne’s “Come Back Darling,” General Echo’s “Arleen,” Tenor Saw’s “Ring The Alarm,” and Super Cat’s “Boops” was not easily impressed—even by artists that already had songs on the road that were selling. When he finally heard and approved Super Beagle’s “Dust a Soundboy” lyrics, he once again opened his vault and lifted out his 24-track Ampex tape with the Stalag rhythm that had already given him numerous hits. We all knew that this was another guaranteed hit. But the icing on the cake for “Dust a Soundboy” was Fuzzy Jones’s intro, with his haunting vocal, like that of an ancient seer, predicting death and destruction to anyone who did not heed his warning: “WELL! It is a weeping and a moaning and a gnashing of teeth in the dancehall and who don’t have teeth gweh rub pan dem gum.”

Move forward to 2012 and one of the hottest songs on the radio is Kanye West’s “Mercy” featuring the same Fuzzy Jones intro from Super Beagle’s “Dust a Sound Boy.” I had to call up Beagle to get his feedback on Kanye sampling his biggest song. The result is more of a stroll down memory lane than an interview, as we compared memories of our days at Techniques Records on Chancery Lane, Arrows Dub Studio, and where it all began for Buju Banton. Photos were shot in and around Super Beagle’s neighborhood in Portmore.


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Buju Banton files for new trial

Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton adamantly refuses to give up on potential freedom as he’s filed for a new trial in his ongoing drug case.

Currently serving a ten year sentence on three drug-related charges, Buju Banton’s legal team filed a motion on Tuesday with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida asking that the Grammy-winning entertainer be granted a new trial. This coming nearly three weeks after a Georgia Circuit Court threw out an appeal made on behalf of Buju Banton, agreeing with the jury’s convictions on the three aforementioned charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.

The Circuit Court also sided with the jury’s guilty verdict regarding a charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime; this despite the charge being originally thrown out by the presiding judge during Buju’s last trial.

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Delly Ranx drops new album, ‘The Next Chapter.’

Internationally acclaimed Jamaican deejay and producer, Delly Ranx has become the latest Dancehall star to release an all-Reggae album in an effort to help revive a genre that has seemingly become second best in the island.

Three months after the release of Busy Signal’s new album, Reggae Music Again, Delly Ranx has dropped his fourth studio effort dubbed, The Next Chapter, featuring a plethora of soothing sounds that showcase the artiste’s maturity as an artiste and a person. Released on July 10, The Next Chapter features a slew of veteran acts as well as promising newcomers as Delly Ranx hopes to bridge the growing generational gap within music; encouraging listeners of all ages to open their minds and ears to varying sounds.

Via press release, Delly Ranx described some of the features on The Next Chapter that he believes will resonate well with fans.

“I collaborated with Bunny Rugs from Third World on a song called Life After Lifetime. I also have a collab with Buju Banton called Thunder Roll. My youngest daughter Gabrielle Foster also collaborated with me on a song called Baby Cry and I did a song called One a Way Soldier (remix) with an artiste called Chali 2na,” he explained.

The Next Chapter also features many scintillating instrumentals and basslines reminiscent of old-school Reggae but with new age twists.

According to the self-professed Worl’ General, this new project will surely engage fans; helping them to appreciate Reggae music once more.

“It was worthwhile for me to release a Reggae album to bridge the gap between the younger folks and the elders so that people can appreciate Reggae again,” he said.

Delly Ranx landed in New York on Tuesday to promote The Next Chapter and was recently in Jamaica to plug his new release. Additionally, he performed in Mexico last week leading up the compilations’ release.

The Next Chapter is now available digitally on iTunes while physical copies of the album can be purchased through Delly Ranx’s official website, www.dellyranx.com

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Jon FX blends present and future stars in ‘Dubstep Fusion’

Internationally regarded Jamaican producer, John ‘Jon FX’ Crawford has once again displayed his affinity for the unique sound on his newest compilation, the Dubstep Fusion Riddim.

Known for creating the highly acclaimed Cloud Nine Riddim as well as working with several Reggae superstars such as I-Wayne, Buju Banton and Sizzla, Jon FX has become one of the island’s most recognized producers; earning consistently high marks for his versatility and ability to create unprecedented sounds. Now, Jon FX has joined forces with present and future Dancehall/Reggae superstars on the Dubstep Fusion Riddim, creating an atmosphere on this project fitting for fans of various genres with the use of UK-based electronic music, otherwise known as Dubstep; a sound fitting for any dance floor.

Award-winning Reggae singer, Gyptian hails as the biggest name on Dubstep Fusion as he once again collaborates with Jon FX for the single, Take Me Away. Having previously produced some of Gyptian’s biggest hits to date such as, I Can Feel Your Pain and Nah Let Go, Jon FX once again enlisted the Hold Yuh singer’s services for his Dubstep Fusion compilation.

In Take Me Away, Gyptian creates an aura of paradise for his legions of female fans as he talks of the most pleasurable experiences with a woman and the ability to make her feel happy, whether through love making or just spending quality time together. The single sparks memories of Gyptian’s early days as a baby faced singer who would make a woman’s heart melt once she heard his voice.

In addition to Gyptian, Jon FX used his newest project as a way to showcase Canadian-based Dancehall/Reggae talent on a mainstream scale. One such talent that features on the Dubstep Fusion Riddim is Alty-B, who continues his strong run of form on the single, Girl. Having already released hits such as No More and Love Ah Come Dung so far this summer, Girl once again proves Alty-B’s plaudits as a singjay as he seeks out the woman who captures his eyes and pours out his heart and affection for her. With No More (Smoke Shop Productions) already gaining significant airplay, Girl will surely follow along the similar trail to success.

Producer turned deejay, Faze shows his swag and love for the social scene with his single, Party Animal as he looks to rock the Canadian clubs while fellow up-and-comer, Squaddy get the women moving to the beat through his effort, Slow Wine and emerging deejay, Five Star shows his versatility on From When.

For fans of Dancehall, Reggae and dance music, the Dubstep Fusion Riddim once again adds credence to Jon FX’s growing legacy while setting the foundation for younger artistes to make their names internationally.

You can download the Dubstep Fusion Riddim for free on Box.com: https://www.box.com/s/c4d2168ba394f56b282a

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Payday Music Presents Dancehall Legends Vol 1

If the term legend, is defined “as a non-historical story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted” and Dancehall as “a genre of Jamaican popular music, a style of dance-oriented Reggae” than the art form that is known as Dancehall, which lives through Reggae, spins the livelihood tales of Jamaican culture is most definitely a legend.


Then infusing with the DJs and Singjays of present, names like Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Mavado, Vybz Kartel and Sizzla, we create storytellers. Who embed in generations old, new, and yet to come cultural sagas to be enjoyed for years to come creating dancehall legends.


On July 10th, Payday Music Group presents “Dancehall Legends Vol 1” a compilation of work by Grammy award winning producer, Austin “Payday” Green spanning over the last 8 yrs.  This audio collection is a showcase of some of dancehall’s greatest artist that Austin has the opportunity to produce for.


Austin (better known as “Payday” or “Kevin”) Green started his career in music over 14 years ago. With beginnings at Gargamel Studios, work at England’s Jet Star, as well as all the years in between producing, engineering, crafting and creating, Austin Green has contributed greatly to Reggae music. Most recently Austin and the Payday team release “Play Your Part” the official theme song for HelpJA Children initiative.


As “Dancehall Legends” prepares to release, Austin remarks that it was “exciting” going through years of music, choosing selections for the 1st volume, stating, “I’ve produced a lot of good music over the years, I realize my catalogue is growing. I just want to showcase some of the work”. The compilation will have eleven tracks, nine previously released with two exciting new exclusives. Some of the singles featured will be “Informa” Mavado, “Run Dem Mouth” Sizzla, “When Yuh Hold Dem” Vybz Kartel, and “Tek It To The Heights” Capleton.


The exclusives tracks; however, come from Bounty Killer and Buju Banton. The two new songs “Dem A Trace” from Bounty Killer and “Pressure Dem” from Buju Banton, are currently un-released and will be available only on “Dancehall Legends”.  As curiosity might strike to why Payday waited to release these singles, Austin offers this response, I don’t like to rush music. When he (Buju) was incarcerated, people tried to rush and put out what music they had, I don’t do music like that, no bandwagon thing.  It just felt like the time is right to release it. As for the Bounty single, it’s a track we revisited during the “Play Your Part” recording. It’s included on the compilation versus a regular release as to not bring “hype” and “questioning” to the song title “Dem A Trace”.


With that said, let the stories be told and the legends unfold, as Payday Music presents “Dancehall Legends Vol 1” on July 10. The compilation will be available on all digital outlets.

For the premieres of “Dem A Trace” and “Pressure Dem” and more information follow@PaydayMusic. Visit PaydayMusicGroup.com for a complete musical catalog

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Could Buju Banton’s assets be seized?

Four days following the latest legal setback for embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, speculation once again arises regarding whether or not the prominent entertainer’s assets will be seized.

On Thursday, an appeal made on behalf of Buju Banton was dismissed in a United States Court of Appeals in Georgia, thus upholding the artiste’s conviction on drug-related charges as well as his subsequent 10 year prison sentence regarding said charges. The Atlanta-based Circuit Court not only upheld Buju’s convictions on conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime but also agreed with the jury regarding his initial conviction on a gun-related charge which was thrown out by the presiding judge in Buju’s trial during February of last year.

Over the last four days since the appeal decision was handed down, many have speculated whether or not the United States Government will attempt to seize the Grammy-winning singjay’s assets.

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Buju Banton to file for a new trial

Incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Buju Banton will continue to battle for his freedom in spite of an appeal on his behalf to overturn his drug conviction being dismissed.

The Grammy-winning singjay will file for a new trial, which if successful, would mark his third since his initial arrest in Florida in December 2009. The announcement of this decision comes nearly two days after a United States appeals court in Atlanta, GA upheld Buju Banton’s conviction on drug-related charges in February of last year and subsequent 10 year sentence four months later.

Buju’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus intimated that his client came to this decision after a meeting they had at a Miami-based federal prison, where the internationally acclaimed singer currently resides.

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Buju ‘crushed’ by appeal decision, may seek new trial

A somber mood persists within the camp of incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Buju Banton a day after an appeal on behalf of the Grammy-winning entertainer was dismissed.

On Thursday, the United States Court of Appeal for the 11th Circuit upheld Buju Banton’s conviction on drug charges in February of last year and subsequent 10 year sentence regarding said charges last June. In its ruling, the Atlanta-based Circuit Court agreed with the jury’s decision to convict Buju Banton of three charges, including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.

As a result, Buju’s camp was left in shock and according to the artiste’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus, the Untold Stories singer is heartbroken by the decision.

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Buju Banton’s appeal dismissed

Any lingering hopes that embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton would cop an early release from federal prison have been dashed as it’s been announced that an appeal to overturn the Grammy-winning singer’s conviction has been dismissed.

According to reports, the United States Court of Appeal for the 11th Circuit made the ruling during a hearing that took place on Thursday. In its ruling, the appeals court insisted that it agreed with the jury’s decision to convict Buju Banton of federal drug charges in February 2011 as he was found guilty of three charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.

The Circuit Court also agreed with the jury that Buju was guilty of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. That charge had been dismissed by the trial judge after the verdict was read.

Buju’s legal team issued its appeal in the artiste’s case last December, citing entrapment as well as the possible violation of a constitutional right, dubbed the Speedy Trial Act.

Buju Banton was later sentenced to 10 years in federal prison last June. He initially spent his sentence at the Limestone County Detention Centre in Texas before being sent to a federal facility in Miami after several complaints of ill-treatment and concerns over Buju’s safety were raised.

His current release date is slated for February 1, 2019.

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Jamaican artistes collaborate on new Reggae Boyz theme song

With CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers set to restart early next month, some of Jamaica’s top musicians are contributing to the Reggae Boyz cause as they have been recording a new theme song for the Jamaican national football (soccer) team.

The Reggae Boyz will begin the second round of qualifiers on June 8 against Guatemala as they attempt to make it to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Should they succeed in their efforts, it would be the first time qualifying for football’s most prestigious tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

As locals try to rally the troops for their ‘Road to Rio’ World Cup campaign, Dancehall & Reggae artistes are lending their voices as support for the national team by recording a new theme song to help cheer them on. The song, Fever Taking Over was co-written by prominent songwriter/producer, Mickey Bennett, who revealed that he was asked by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) two months ago to write a piece that would help spark the Reggae Boyz campaign.

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Mp3 – New Artist Spotlight : Miami Vice – Jahfe – Must Listen !!!

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“Jahfe, which means “creation” is a band based out of Miami, FL. Their musical style fuses roots reggae with many other genres including rock, dub, soul and R&B, creating a unique blend of organic sounds. The members of Jahfe´ hail from nations all around the world including Haiti, Spain, Israel, Cuba, Czech Republic, Morocco and the United States. The first ever conscious reggae band to be fronted by a female, “Jahfé hits Mach 2 within the opening measure of their music, with a powerful presence from Esther Fortune, lead vocalist for the 10-piece band.”

Jahfe is for the People” is the chant that can be heard at every show. The band represents the youth with a voice. It embodies the power of a young generation and the wisdom of roots culture. The music of Jahfe´ reflects the true ability of conscious music to connect people everywhere. Jahfe´ uses its music to speak out against the injustices plaguing the world. They have been featured in documentaries about domestic violence and have worked to increase awareness about the genocide in Darfur. Jahfe´’s music is filled with references to many of the serious issues that take place around us every day: hunger, poverty, disease, rape and the hatred between nations. Jahfe´ is a movement that seeks to touch people all over the world with its message.


The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

Jahfe’s single off of the album Reggae Wave powered by Inner Circle
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Popular priest predicts early release for Buju Banton

Currently incarcerated Reggae superstar, Buju Banton will walk free soon; at least that’s what a popular African priest wants us to believe.

Ghanaian fetish priest, Nana Kwanu Bonsam made a bold prediction during a recent interview with Hitz FM host, Black Rasta during his program, Taxi Driver on the Jamaican radio station. In the interview, Bonsam intimated that not will the iconic Reggae singer walk out a free man soon, he will unleash a slew of hit songs that will captivate local and international audiences like never before and elicit strong emotions through their messages.

Bonsam’s prediction was sparked following an encounter with a Guyanese woman named Pixie who resides in Ghana after the Taxi Driver program called him to interpret a dream she had about Buju.

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Tiana scores again, secures two IRAWMA nominations

The growing international reputation of prominent Dancehall star, Tiana continues to be enhanced as the budding singjay has copped two more award nominations.

The ‘Princess of Dancehall,’ who was recently nominated for two honours at the Carivibez Video Web Awards, has struck similar notice from the International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA), who have named her in a pair of categories for this summer’s event.

Recognized for her stellar year in 2011, Tiana earned a nod for Female Vocalist of the Year, where she goes against fellow Dancehall/Reggae divas, Ce’Cile, Etana, Queen Ifrica and veteran, Marcia Griffiths as well as Nkulee Dube, the daughter of late South African singer, Lucky Dube.

Additionally, Tiana was nominated for Best New Entertainer as she competes against artistes from varios genres such as the aforementioned Dube, J-Boog, Protoje and Laza Morgan.

These latest achievement further emphasizes the strength of her emergence as a top level artiste in this, her second year as a major mainstream act. Recently, Tiana released a captivating medley video for her fiery singles, Me Nuh Fear Yuh (D&H/Subkonshus) and Real Bad Gyal (Cashflow Records). Furthermore, the breakthrough sensation released her debut EP, Princess of the Dancehall via iTunes. The nine track EP, distributed by Johnny Wonder and 21st Hapilos, features hits such as Bruk Out and Whine as well as Can’t Talk Bad Bout Mi.

Meanwhile, this year’s IRAWMA ceremony features four nominations for Mavado including Best Male Disc Jockey and Best Crossover Song (Delilah). Other multiple nominees include Rihanna, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Jimmy Cliff, Freddy McGregor, Gentleman, Laza Morgan, Marcia Griffiths, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Tarrus Riley, Beenie Man, I-Octane, Nkulee Dube, The Green, Richie Spice, Kes the Band, Protoje, Alison Hinds, Machel Montano and Calypso Rose.

Among the other international nominees are Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco, Shakira, Pit Bull, Enrique Iglesias, Collie Buddz, Popcaan, Lady Saw, Elephant Man, Maxi Priest, Yellow Man, Adventura, Matis Yahu, Third World, etc…

The 31st annual International Reggae And World Music Awards will take place on July 5 in Chicago, Illinois.

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Buju Banton cops IRAWMA nominations

Despite the fact that embattled Reggae superstar, Buju Banton languishes in a Miami federal prison, his music continues to garner positive attention, locally and overseas.

The currently incarcerated singjay copped a pair of nominations for the 31st annual International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA), scheduled to take place on July 5 in Chicago, Illinois. This marks the second award show that Buju Banton has nabbed nominations since he received a ten-year sentence on federal drug charges last June.

The artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie earned a Best Song nomination for his internationally acclaimed collaboration, Jah Army alongside fellow Reggae superstar, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley. 

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Buju Banton’s lawyer responds to U.S. Government

The legal team of embattled Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, refuses to back down despite calls from the U.S. government to throw out their appeal in the artiste’s federal drug case.

Last December, Buju’s lawyers launched their appeal against the prominent Reggae singjay’s ten-year conviction on three drug-related charges stemming from a 2009 incident in Florida. In said appeal, Buju Banton’s legal team claimed that their client was entrapped by the U.S. government and cited possible violations of the Speedy Trial Act, a constitutional rightensuring that defendants are not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial.

In February, the American government issued a counter-appeal, insisting they possessed sufficient evidence, including audio and video evidence, to convict Buju Banton in his drug trial. Additionally, the state asked that a gun charge previously thrown out in Buju’s matter be reinstated. If so, the veteran singer could face up to five additional years in prison.

However, Buju’s team continues to stand by their long-standing assertions, filing a reply on Friday in which lead the artiste’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus intimated that the government’s response left out key details in their recordings as well as important testimony by federal informant, Alex Johnson and other witnesses.

According to Markus, Johnson continuously pursued Buju Banton, resulting in improper entrapment.

Also, Markus stated that the acquittal on Buju’s gun charge that the prosecution added to his list of charges was the correct decision.

Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, currently resided in a Miami-based federal facility, where he’s expected to remain until February 1, 2019.

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Markus Myrie pleased with career progress, motivated by Buju’s situation

Emerging Dancehall/Reggae producer, Markus Myrie continues to shine within the Jamaican music industry at the tender age of 17. Part of his desire to succeed comes from the trials and tribulations his famous father continues to endure.

Myrie hails as the eldest son of incarcerated Reggae icon, Buju Banton, who currently calls a federal penitentiary in Miami, Florida home after being convicted and later slapped with a ten year sentence regarding three drug-related charges stemming from a December 2009 incident. However, Myrie, who regularly contacts his father via email, told TVJ Entertainment Report’s Anthony Miller that Buju remains hopeful about a recent appeal filed on his behalf to overturn his convictions will prove fruitful.

“Well of course, everyone knows seh him strong; him ok. He’s still very optimistic about the case,”he said.

“He’s fine, he’s just fighting.”

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U.S. Government counters Buju appeal, wants gun charge reinstated

The United States government has issued its first public response to the recent appeal made on behalf of international Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton.

Buju Banton’s legal team, led by Florida-based attorney, David Oscar Markus filed an appeal, via a Georgia appellate court this past December; hoping that law enforcement officials would overturn his 10 year sentence on federal drug charges. Buju’s legal team cited the untrustworthy nature of renowned government informant, Alexander Johnson and a possible violation of the Speedy Trial Act, amongst other factorsas grounds for the case’s dismissal.

Now, the U.S. government has retorted to those claims; intimating that they have ample evidence supporting their case that Buju Banton organized a drug trafficking operation in December 2009. Filing a response to the aforementioned appeal on Friday, federal prosecutors insist that the Reggae superstar recorded conversations with Johnson, as well as video tapes showing Banton tasting cocaine in a Sarasota, FL warehouse prove that Buju “eagerly brokered” a drug deal involving a friend and several undercover agents.

Additionally, government officials are still pursuing a gun charge that was thrown out during the verdict announcements rendered in Buju’s case last February. The Dancehall/Reggae singjay was slapped with a charge of possessing an illegal firearm. Should the gun charge be reinstated, Buju could face an additional five years behind bars.

In response to the counter appeal, Markus ripped the U.S. government’s continued pursuit of punishment for his high-profile client; claiming this just adds to the thought that there’s a growing vendetta again Buju Banton.

Speaking to the press following Friday’s counter appeal, Markus said, “It still smacks of the same vindictiveness that we saw earlier. That’s what’s really troubling.”

“It’s so aggressive and it just continues with the piling on, trying to reinstate the gun charge, which there’s no evidence to support,” he added.

Buju’s legal team now has 30 days to respond to this counter appeal and a verdict on both appeals could take up to a year.

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“Buju is innocent” – Details emerge about events prior to Reggae star’s sentence

Many Jamaicans steadfastly believe that currently incarcerated Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie aka Buju Banton was entrapped by the United States government; leading to his subsequent conviction on drug-related charges last year. However, one American journalist has gone full-length to try and attach merit the aforementioned sentiment.

Chris Sweeney, a writer for the Miami New Times unveiled an in-depth, six-page piece on Tuesday, documenting the various events preceding Buju Banton’s arrest in December 2009 as well as his conviction last February on three drug charges. The piece speaks of how Buju met Alex Johnson, the lead informant in the Reggae superstar’s case who later accepted a plea deal in the case to avoid a lengthy jail sentence.

In the piece titled, Buju Banton Is Innocent, Sweeney details a flight that the Untold Stories singer took on July 26, 2009 from Madrid, Spain to Miami, Florida. On that flight, Buju met Johnson, who introduced himself as “Junior,” while claiming to know Lloyd Evans, a manager who’d long been an idol of the Reggae singjay. Buju, who was allegedly drunk at the time, was called over by Johnson prior to plane’s landing in Miami, where he showed Banton money that he made from illegal ventures.

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Top 10: The Best of Buju Banton

An icon of his generation and a spokesman of positivity through his music, Buju Banton made an art form out of making hit songs that sparked deep thought and strong emotions.

In a successful career, spanning parts of three decades, the “Gargamel” became one of Reggae music’s most conscious artistes while also excelling whilst creating more Dancehall oriented material. Though his ten year prison term on drug-related charges may tarnish his image to some, he remains an inspiration to many through his music. Despite the relatively unknown status of his career going forward, given his pending appeal, Buju’s career produced several impactful songs; ten of which still have much significance.

10. Psalm 23 (featuring Gramps Morgan): Rarely do artists exhibit some sort of spiritual identity in a musical world filled with sex, drugs and controversy. However, Buju and Morgan Heritage member, Gramps Morgan defied logic with their Reggae themed remix of Psalm 23. The Reggae/Gospel fusion worked to perfection as it showcased Buju Banton in a more sensual light; representing himself as a visionary with deeply rooted faith in God.  That faith remains publicly evident as, despite his current predicament, he reportedly remains strong and optimistic that he will see the light of day sooner rather than later.

9. Hills and Valleys: Buju Banton also remains renowned for being a freedom fighter; showcasing a more roots-oriented vibe with his hugely popular song, Hills and Valleys in 1997.  Experimenting vocally throughout his successful album that year, Inna Heights, Buju scored with his fans by documenting the struggles of his people in a world that was slowly but surely crumbling. Hills and Valleys kept Buju relevant during the 1990s as he continued to prove his deserved status as Reggae’s most influential star since Bob Marley.

8.I Don’t Know Why (featuring Wayne Wonder): This 90s classic help boost the careers of Buju Banton and Wayne Wonder as it showcased their sensual sides. The scintillating single, also known as Bonafide Love won both artistes countless female fans as it combined rough and tumble vocals with a soothing undertone which Wonder famously produced in the song’s chorus. I Don’t Know Why remains one of the most popular Reggae duets in the 90s and continues to play across events locally.

7. Love Me Browning: Before Buju became known for his social consciousness, the “Gargamel” had a more hardcore sound when he broke onto the Dancehall scene in 1991. Perhaps his first major breakthrough hit was the lady-friendly single, Love Me Browning. The single dominated locally while slowly introducing his scruffy, deep-toned voice to the world. Love Me Browning set the tone for Buju’s careeras he broke the all-time record, previously held by Bob Marley for the most chart-topping songs by a Jamaican artiste in a singular year (1992).

6. Driver: Looking to re-invent himself during the early 2000s, Buju Banton tried to incorporate foreign undertones within his music with songs like Paid Not Played and What I’m Gonna Do (featuring Nadine Sutherland) to little commercial success. However, Buju decided to return to his roots; releasing the controversial, yet successful single, Driver. The Sly and Robbie produced single featured Buju on a rejuvenated, classic Dancehall beat while acting as a drug baron during the accompanying visuals of the video.

The song earned Buju mass appeal, several number ones spots on various Reggae charts locally and overseas while firmly re-establishing himself a major force within the genre.

5. Not An Easy Road: Perhaps the song which could most be associated with his current situation, Not An Easy Road spoke strongly to the struggles of everyday life;  relating to several of his fans. The 1995 track was one of several chart-topping singles from his highly popular album, Til Shiloh; motivating his fans to overcome obstacles throughout their daily lives while showing his commitment to pure, conscious Reggae music.

4. Murderer: Buju Banton sang several songs addressing violence, sex and even homophobia; making him popular and notorious simultaneously. However, Buju’s tone quickly changed following the shocking death of his close friend and Dancehall star, Pan Head in 1993. Shaken by his death, Buju dedicated a song to him, entitled Murderer; detailing the ongoing crime problems which plagued Jamaica during that time. His socially aware lyrics quickly garnered mass acclaim. Following the stunning death of another close friend and Reggae superstar, Garnett Silk in 1994, Buju maintained this more conscious vibe; beginning a three year stretch which made him the most in-demand Reggae superstar.

3. Batty Rider – One of Buju’s most raw Dancehall singles came in 1992 with the unleashing of his number one hit, Batty Rider. The song, playing up the popular Dancehall-related fashion at the time, made Buju an adored figure amongst his female fans while building his path to super stardom. The standout single from his second studio album, Mr. Mention, Batty Rider arguably remains his biggest Dancehall song to date as it continues to play across parties and club worldwide.

2. Untold Stories: Riding on horseback throughout the fields, sitting barefoot on a set of steps and a roof top; Buju won the inner city audience with the release of his 1995 single, Untold Stories. Passionately singing about the pain and suffering inner city families go through and those living with rough economic predicaments, Untold Stories made its mark as one of the biggest Reggae songs during the 90s; topping the local Reggae charts while introducing the world to an artiste who care more about being a spokesperson for the helpless that helping his own plight as a Dancehall/Reggae superstar.

1. Destiny: However, Buju’s most popular and most played song to date is a song speaking of hope and ambition. The lead single off his 1997 album, Inna Heights, Destiny spent several weeks on local and overseas Reggae charts at number one while making Buju a household name across various generations. His caring persona was forever etched in the minds of fans with the release of Destiny, which not only stands as one of the greatest Reggae singles in history but also a song of hope for Buju’s fans that one day, he will once again reach his destiny of freedom.

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Veteran Jamaican producer, Winston Riley dies

Prominent Reggae producer, Winston Riley, renowned for developing the careers of Buju Banton and Cutty Ranks has died.

Riley, the father of FAME FM disc jock, Kurt Riley succumbed to serious head injuries sustained from a shooting incident last November. Said incident was the third in as many months for Riley, who fell victim to shooting incident in August as well as a stabbing incident the following month. He was 65 years old.

According to Kurt Riley, his family still ponders why unscrupulous persons would attack the popular producer so many times in such a short span. Having been in a coma since the shooting, Winston Riley never had the opportunity to gauge a sense of nor explain these happenings; something Kurt wishes had taken place before his death.

“Unfortunately Daddy didn’t wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us. He was a straightforward man, who was allergic to hypocrisy,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Riley remains one of Reggae’s greatest influences; founding a new music group, the Techniques at the tender age of 16. In 1968, he established the famous Techniques record label where he produced legendary Reggae acts such as Alton Ellis, Hortense Ellis and others.

Additionally, his single, Double Barrel topped Reggae charts in the United Kingdom and Holland while his Stalag Riddim (1973) has often been remade by several local producers.

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New Artist Video: AYANI – Good Body Shape – DONJALYS Productions

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French Reggae-Dancehall deejay AYANI (born Yannick Jeanne) is from Guadeloupe . when he was twelve he fell in love with Jamaican music when he first listened to the Great foundation icons as Shabba Ranks, Cutty Ranks General degree Buju Banton & Bounty killer. He started a few years later as a selecta with his brother entertainning parties in several places in the west-indies. When he moved to Ft laudardale (MIA) for holydays he went to a Reggae sumfest and was totally hypnotized by how the artists was managing the crowd and decided to got his mind set on becoming a deejay so he started to learn and improve. He was strongly influenced by one of his icons Bounty killer, singing the warlord Hits during break at school for friends and familly. When he moves to Paris for the rest of his studies he began to write his own lyrics and to recorded songs with his cousin who was a sound engineer, then he introduced him to Don jalys production and they automatically started to work on a compilation called “SNIPER RIDDIM” released in 2006 then a couple of compilation followed also under the Don Jalys prod. like “NEVA DIE RIDDIM” “SWEET SUMMER RIDDIM” “G-I RIDDIM” he also worked on collaboration with others artists as Tony-c, Mad Killah, Murda, Mighty Kalimba, Bidji… More recently he has signed a single on “Don Jalys production” and another collaboration on a french production named “Onekyp record” mixed by D&H.

https://www.facebook.com/j.ayani2 ayani official
Email: [email protected]  [email protected]

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Adena Myrie returns to spotlight with new single, staying strong for Buju

Though embattled Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie aka Buju Banton remains locked away in a Miami prison awaiting an appeal decision, more members of his family continue to delve successfully within the Dancehall/Reggae industry.

Digicel Rising Starsfans may remember former contestant, Adena Myrie, who appeared as a contestant on the prominent Jamaican talent show in 2009. The younger sister of Buju Banton, Myrie impressed several fans; making it all the way to the finals of that year’s competition. However, other than a few notable performances and a cover version of the gospel classic, My Redeemer Lives, Myrie fell of the radar somewhat as many wondered if she’d ever successfully follow in her brother’s footsteps.

However, Myrie has returned to the scene in 2012 with the unveiling of her single, I’m Gone on the Notice Productions crafted Daylight Riddim. The scintillating track, released on Thursday, tells the story of a break-up with a combination of hard-hitting lyricism with smooth vocals as she’s seemingly taken a more aggressive approach with her delivery.

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Buju Banton’s appeal could take up to a year, says lawyer

Embattled Dancehall singjay, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton, may have to wait several months before knowing whether or not he will be a free man.

Last Friday, Buju Banton’s legal team filed an appeal in a Georgia-based appeals court; attempting to overturn the Grammy-winning singer’s 10 year prison sentence on drug-related charges. In said appeal, Buju’s lawyers cited a possible violation by U.S. government officials of the Speedy Trial Act; a Sixth Amendment rightafforded to defendants so that they avoid being subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial. Additionally, Buju’s legal team detailed reasoning as to why their client was an unwilling part of the drug conspiracy he was later convicted of.

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Could Buju walk free? U.S. Government error may trigger dismissal of artiste’s case

Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton may have a lifeline after all following the revelation on Tuesday that a United States government mishap could trigger the dismissal of his case.

According to media reports, Buju Banton could walk free from his conviction and subsequent ten year sentence on drug-related charges after the discovery that the U.S. government may have violated the Speedy Trial Act. The act states that any defendant involved within a case must be brought to trial by the government within a 70 day window; a right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment in the American constitution. Additionally, said right is generally afforded to defendants so that they not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial.

Buju Banton’s first trial took place in September 2010, nine months after his initial arrest by law enforcement officials in Florida and four months after Judge James Moody pushed back Buju’s initial court date without giving any specifics regarding why the case was postponed. His second trial, where he was later convicted, took place in February of this year, four months after he was granted bail in the case.

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Buju Banton’s legal team file appeal

The legal representation for embattled Reggae superstar, Mark “Buju Banton” Myrie officially filed an appeal on behalf of the beloved singjay.

The appeal was filed by Buju attorneys, David Oscar Markus, Mona Markus, Anita Margot Moss and Marc Seitles in the United States Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit in Georgia on Friday. In the appeal, Buju’s legal team seeks that the singjay’s ten year sentence on drug charges this past June be reversed; suggesting that the case should be dismissed citing prejudice or that the artiste should receive a new trial.

Buju’s lawyers contend in the appeal that the district court erred in failing to grant Myrie’s judgment of acquittal as a matter of law, claiming amongst other things: “The undisputed evidence is that Myrie did not agree to participate in the drug conspiracy that eventually was reached among others.”

Also, “Myrie had almost no participation in the telephone call forming the basis of the government’s charge that he aided and abetted the ‘facilitation’ of a drug conspiracy, and in fact the telephone call in question did not facilitate a drug conspiracy in any event.”

Furthermore, “Whether the district court erred in failing to find that Myrie was entrapped as a matter of law, where there was no evidence that Myrie was predisposed to engage in a cocaine distribution scheme, and the undisputed evidence was that the government pursued a lengthy, intense, unrelenting campaign to target Myrie through an unsupervised paid informant who was desperate to earn a cut of the deal.”

Finally, “Whether the district court erred in failing to dismiss the case based on the expiration of the speedy trial clock.”

Buju’s lawyers also intimate that the district court made a mistake in failing to discover that he was entrapped as a matter of law, as he was not predisposed to participate in a cocaine conspiracy and his involvement was the result of improper government inducement.

Additionally, they intimated that Buju was an unwilling participant in the drug deal; arguing that his consistent efforts to avoid following up government informant Alex Johnson’s consistent and emphatic efforts to draw Myrie in and because the speedy trial clock ran long before his case was tried, the case should have been dismissed with prejudice.

Buju Banton was initially convicted of three drug-related charges in February for the December 2009 incident in which he stood accused of conspiring to organize a drug deal within a police-controlled warehouse.


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Buju Banton relieved by Miami move

Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton, feels relieved and encouraged following his switch to a Miami prison.

The Grammy-winning Reggae artiste was moved from the Limestone County Correctional Facility in Groesbeck, Texas late last month where he served some of his ten year sentence for drug-related charges. The move, triggered through efforts put forth by the Jamaican Consulate and the judge in Buju’s trial, James Moody, resulted from public concerns over his safety at the Texas federal prison. Reportedly, the prison holds several Mexican gangs, formerly hosted short-term Mexicans in line for deportation and created unsafe conditions that made Buju feel uncomfortable. Additionally, the internationally-renowned singjay was one of few black inmates at the facility.

Now, Buju Banton calls the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Miami, Florida home. This marks the third federal prison Buju’s spent prison time in since his sentencing this past June.

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Buju Banton fans get treat with new single, “Set Up The Mic”

Though incarcerated and prohibited from recording singles in a Miami federal prison, Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton graces the mainstream with a newly released record, Set Up The Mic.

The single premiered on Wednesday, hailing as the debut single from the new Certified Boomshots: Vol. 1 compilation, produced by Boomshots Magazine. The Dancehall/Reggae mixtape features many of Dancehall’s top acts and producers including Shaggy, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel and several others.

Set Up The Mic was initially recorded in 2008 by Buju for Young Blood Records on the Rapid Burst Riddim. Intended as a just-for-fun freestyle, a studio engineer, fixing levels at the beginning of a studio session, pressed “record” by accident while the Grammy-winning singjay was voicing.

However, that accident evolved into another hit single for Buju Banton; proving his worth as one of Dancehall and Reggae music’s greatest lyricists and innovators.

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