The general consensus among Jamaicans, from every nook and cranny, is that Buju Banton is innocent. Most of my countrymen who have expressed their views to me on the matter have blindly defended him as innocent – even people I usually regard as well-thinking have disappointed me with their stiff-necked refusal to acknowledge that Buju is not exactly the best role model.
My comments: While it disappoints me that Buju has found himself in this situation, at the same time, I wonder at the wide-eyed disbelief of so many of his fans. I wasn’t there, and hence cannot and will not swear for a fella, but Buju truly isn’t the best model of behaviour.
Did he do it, did he not do it… it’s all irrelevant, he’s on his way to a US jail and that’s the most relevant point in the discourse. If he wasn’t where he was, when he was, it wouldn’t be so, but he was and here we all are.
And while people are crying him down for his anti-gay lyrics and homophobia–certainly a ‘cultural thing’ in Jamaica regardless of what outsiders may believe or feel about the issue–I say: Elvis Presley didn’t like ‘niggers’ but he sang like one and all his music was African in origin and I still love his music anyway.
With regards to Buju I am in disagreement with music he made with homophobic rhetoric. But I won’t ban him the way I have R Kelly.
There are a lot of people with perspectives and views and behaviour patterns I absolutely cannot get down with, but they still make amazing art. Buju is an artist. Plus as far as we know, his personal ethos could be pretty much anything. I don’t swear for a fella.
Yet, he should have known better to play the game he played, so now he’s going to be yet another Black man in the US prison system.
He’ll sell ten times more records now… watch me, mark what I say mi amigo.