Buju Banton says local Jamaican artistes are making trash music in his reaction to SOJA winning the 2022 Best Reggae Album Grammy.
Never one to hold back on sharing his opinion about what is happening in the local entertainment industry and the wider Jamaica, dancehall legend Buju Banton recently blasted what he considers ‘trash’ music that has saturated the genre and, in turn, resulted in it not being taken seriously on the international scene.
This comes days after a US-based reggae band, SOJA (short for Soldiers of Jah Army), won the 2022 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, which sent off a hail storm of criticisms both about cultural appropriation as well as local artistes not pulling their weight musically. Buju Banton weighed in on the situation and stated that Jamaican musicians are lacking in creativity and content and the bulk of what is now being produced really amounts to “trash.”
The “Champion” entertainer stated, “We are making trash music when we out here…. when most of us out here, most of us did not even bat an eye, we did not see the consequences of such a bad card that was played on us in the industry.”
“We have some work fi do,” Buju Banton continues. “We have to make this music great again. You see the thing wey plague our music fi years… the musicians play a minor part but when you have disc jockeys who became producers and they want to dictate who suppose to be heard on the radio and they themselves have a stake in what is being played on the radio because it is monetary, the music tek a left turn. Hence, we have what we have now. Wey you call it because I don’t know what to call it. I know music is generational but what is this generation getting from this music? I caa sey that I want to be pon top. I caa be pon top though my generation did what it was suppose to do, but wey your generation a do?!”
Buju Banton shared his thoughts with Irie FM’s Courtney Mac after performing at the recent ‘love and Harmony’ cruise. Buju, who is a Grammy winner for his 2011 album Before the Dawn, said that a lot of bad decisions made in the industry have led to many suffering since the pandemic.
Though he did not outright state that the lockdown of the island under the Disaster Risk Management Act and accompanying lockdown of the entertainment industry led to many of the industry players being left in a financial quagmire, he has over the period shared his opinion on social media about the futility of the government’s decision as he believes that the lockdown was a bad economic move that caused way more harm than good.
Buju Banton noted, “Well you know that we suffer over the last three years. Not only I and I but the whole industry. The nation, family, children. A whole lot of things was just nonsensical. Total nonsense. It never made any sense at all. They were not well thinking and the music suffered.”
SOJA won the Grammy over five Jamaican nominees in the Best Reggae Album category namely, Sean Paul, Spice, Jesse Royal, Etana, and Gramps Morgan, who all released well received albums last year.