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"The Gargamel" Buju Banton

For many years, the name Buju Banton (a.k.a. Gargamel) has become synonymous with modern reggae. Having metamorphosed from a brash teenage phenomenon into a self assured deejay and singer,

Buju's fusion of traditional roots rock, contemporary R&B and dancehall DJ'ing have earned him a prophet like status in his Jamaican homeland.

Undoubtedly, Buju is one of the most popular musicians in Jamaican history, having hit the charts there suddenly in 1992, with a string of hits including "Bogle", "Love Me Browning" and "Love Black Woman", all three of which were massive hits in Jamaica and less so abroad. Soon afterwards, Banton released one of the more controversial songs in his musical catalogue - "Boom Boom Bye Bye".

In his "Unchained Spirit" album, it is said that Buju demostrates unfettered devotion to his craft by extending his trademark toasting skills into the realms of rock steady, ska, gospel, African highlife and American soul. Among the bevy of guests featured on Unchained Spirit is fellow raga sensation Luciano, Sunsplash luminary Morgan Heritage and punk rock compadres Rancid.


It’s been 3 1/2 years since Buju Banton’s Grammy- nominated Friends For Life was released, but 'Too Bad' is definitely well worth the wait as the iconic deejay returns to his roots delivering his first pure dancehall collection since the days of Mr. Mention (1992) and Voice of Jamaica (1993).

Several of the tracks on Too Bad are already certified hits in dancehall's core market: “Hey Boy” (aka “Talk To Me”) peaked at #4 on Hot 102 Jamaica’s Weekly Top 30 chart; “Me & Oonu” on the “Wipe Out” riddim hit #3 on BBC 1Xtra’s Top 10 Dancehall Chart and moved up two notches to #22 on JA's Weekly Top 30; “Til It Bend” reached #3 on RETV’s Weekly Dancehall Chart; The street single “Nothing,”, produced by Banton and his Gargamel production crew, just broke into the Top 10 at #10 on the Weekly Top 30 and currently sits at #12 on the RETV chart.

In December 2009 Drug Enforcement Administration agents remanded Buju Banton to custody in Miami, where the U.S. Attorney charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine. Banton was then moved to the Pinellas County Jail where he remained until trial. A six-day trial in Tampa, Florida was declared a mistrial on 27 September 2010, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

During the trial, audio recordings were presented of Banton and a drug-dealer-turned-government-informant discussing drugs, drug prices and smuggling. Banton was also seen on a video recording meeting the informant in a police-controlled warehouse tasting cocaine from a kilogram bag.

The informant was reportedly paid $50,000 for his work on the case. The singer was released that November on bond, and a new trial was scheduled for February 2011 after prosecutors won reindictment. He was represented by well-known lawyer David Oscar Markus, who hung the first jury 7-5 for acquittal.

He was allowed to perform one concert between trials, which was held on 16 January 2011 to a sold-out crowd in Miami.

On 22 February 2011, Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offense. He was found not guilty on the charge of attempted possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Four months later, Buju Banton was sentenced to ten years and one month in a federal prison for the cocaine trafficking conviction. He is due for sentencing on the firearms conviction 30 October 2012, with the expectation of an additional five years to be added to his current sentence.

He is currently scheduled to be released in January 2019.

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Buju Banton to get evidentiary hearing on December 20, 2012 
Embattled dancehall artiste, Buju Banton whose given name is Mark Myrie got a major break in his ongoing case last week when a judge granted him an evidentiary …

The Garamel Buju Banton is Innocent 
According to an article posted on miaminewtimes.com dancehall and reggae music artiste BUJU BANTON is innocent. The six (6) page article gives full …

Buju Banton new album-before the dawn 
The Gargamel Buju Banton is set to release his Eight Album. The album is titled "Before The Dawn" and features 10 influential tracks all written by …

Buju Banton granted approval to make oral arguments to overturn conviction Not rated yet
Incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall entertainer, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has been granted approval by a U.S. appeals court to make …

Buju Banton's co-accused Ian Thomas released from prison Not rated yet
IAN Thomas, one of the co-conspirators in the Buju Banton drug case, has been released from federal prison. Thomas — who the Federal Bureau of Prisons' …

Charles J. Ogletree Jr. is reggae superstart Buju Banton's New Lawyer Not rated yet
The Grammy-winning reggae star has acquired the services of a new attorney name Charles J. Ogletree Jr. after his previous lawyer Chokwe Lumumba was elected …

Dancehall Reggae Star Buju Banton is planning to drop a new studio album in the summer of 2014. Not rated yet
Despite being incarcerated on federal drug charges until 2019, embattled Dancehall/Reggae singer, Buju Banton is planning to drop a new studio album in …

Buju Banton's 2011 Gun Conviction case threw out by judge Moody Today June 26 , 2013 Not rated yet
A US federal judge today threw out a 2011 gun conviction against reggae star Buju Banton. The decision means that Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, …

Buju Banton Is to Appear in Court On June 26th 2013 Not rated yet
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 …

Reggae superstar Buju Banton to get Another day in Court Not rated yet
The United States District Court of Florida has agreed to review the Defendant's Exhibit introduced at a December 20, 2012 hearing for imprisoned international …

Buju Banton's case stalled as juror's computer yields no evidence of misconduct Not rated yet
Embattled 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 …

Buju Banton's Jurors Misconduct Case Gaining Traction! Not rated yet
Embattled 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 …

Buju Banton Juror Misconduct Trial set for February 19, 2013 Not rated yet
Embattled Reggae/Dancehall legend, Buju Banton will be back in court on February 19 as his juror misconduct trial continues to take shape. Banton, whose …

Positive twist in the mistrial case for embattled reggae star Buju Banton Not rated yet
Embattled 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 …

Buju's lawyer asks judge to reconsider drug sentence Not rated yet
Buju Banton's new attorney has asked a federal judge in Tampa to reconsider the 10-year prison sentence the Jamaican reggae singer is serving on two drug …

I-Octane and Bounty Killer "Badmind Dem a Pree" produced by Markus Records Not rated yet
Producer Markus A Myrie of Markus Records, who is also the son of reggae superstar Buju Banton has just premiere today September 6, 2012, what most music …

The Gargamel Buju Banton's conviction upheld Not rated yet
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 …

Buju Banton Lose Your Love Markus Records February 2012 Not rated yet
Even though reggae superstar Buju Banton is in US prison serving Ten Years for drugs charges. His son Markus now producer of Markus Records is making sure …

U.S.Government wants to reinstated gun charge against BUJU BANTON Not rated yet
The United States government has issued its first public response to the recent appeal made on behalf of international Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more …

Appeal filed to Reversed Buju Banton Conviction. Not rated yet
Buju Banton's lawyers David Oscar Markus, Mona Markus, Anita Margot Moss and Marc Seitles today December 16, 2011 filed an appeal to have his conviction …

Buju Banton "Set Up The Mic" new single released December 7, 2011 Not rated yet
Incarcerated reggae artiste Buju Banton has graces his fans with a new single call "Set Up The Mic" on the Rapid Fire riddim. The single was released …

Buju Banton transferred to Miami Prison Not rated yet
The dancehall reggae entertainer, who went from Florida to Oklahoma to Texas, then back to Oklahoma is en route to the Federal Correctional Institution …

Set Buju Banton Free, send him home Not rated yet
Let him go. There are more drugs dealer in USA to catch other than this one man who didn't even get the drugs. What I'm really saying,I looked on TV …

Buju Banton release date set for February 2019. Not rated yet
Buju Banton release date set for February 2019. According to the Bureau of Prisons, Buju Banton’s official release date from a US federal prison is …

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Buju Banton sentenced to 10 Years in federal prison Not rated yet
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Despite pleas for leniency from family members, fans and supporters, a federal judge sentenced Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton …

Long live Buju, a true comrade Not rated yet
The lies of the SYSTEM will not stand, the wicked shall surely perish. Free Buju now. Raymond Ahiadorme, Accra, Ghana

Buju Banton to be sentenced June 16, 2011 Not rated yet
TAMPA, Florida (CMC) – A United States federal judge has set June 16 as the sentencing date for Jamaican Grammy Award-winning reggae star Buju Banton. …

The Gargamel Buju Banton said thanks to his supporters Not rated yet
After his conviction in US Tampa Bay federal court on three charges by a 12-member panel of jurors. In a statement read by his lawyer David Oscar Makus, …

Buju Banton found guilty Not rated yet
FLORIDA, USA – Reggae star Buju Banton was found guilty on three charges by a 12-member panel of jurors a short while ago at the United States Sam M Gibbons …

Buju Banton returns to court on February 14 2011 Not rated yet
The Gargamel Buju Banton is set to return to court on February 14 ,2011. This is for the second round in his drugs case in the USA. He will also …

Buju Banton Could face more charges Not rated yet
WHEN Buju Banton is retried in a United States federal court next month, he could be faced with four counts of cocaine and gun charges instead of the two …

Buju Banton Free to perform on January 16 2011 Not rated yet
Fans of the Gargamel Buju Banton will have a chance to see him performing live on January 16, 2011. Buju won an appeal against an order which had denied …

Stephen Marley offer his house for buju banton release Not rated yet
Stephen Marley, the son of reggae Icon Bob Marley has offered his south Florida home to secure bail/release of Buju Banton. Buju attorney, David Oscar …

Hung_jury_in_buju_banton_trial  Not rated yet
The jurors in the Buju Banton (Mark Myrie) trial have told US Judge Jim Moody that they have failed to come to a unanimous decision despite almost three …

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