Bob Marley is not the greatest, according to Buju Banton.

Bob Marley
Bob Marley

Before Buju Banton was incarcerated he said something that others thought but never dared to say. While speaking at the University of the West Indies, Buju Banton made a statement that although Bob Marley was great, he is not the greatest musician to come out of Jamaica.

“You know they say that the greatest musician in Jamaica is Bob Marley,” Buju told the audience. “I don’t believe that because we have greater musicians. Bob Marley was the most promoted, and well promoted, and we have to appreciate that because it’s our culture. But don’t kill our culture. Enough is enough.”

Some people agreed with Buju Banton while others disagreed. But then there were a bunch of dunces who got angry and said Buju Banton was disrespecting or putting down Bob Marley. How does the fact that someone doesn’t think Bob Marley is the best out of Jamaica equate to putting down Bob Marley? Jamaica has produced many great musicians, from Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Toots Hibbert, Burning Spear, Sizzla, Bob Marley, John Holt, Bob Andy, Buju Banton, Garnet Silk and many many more. It is ridiculous to think that out of all the great talents, everyone has to see Bob Marley as the best.

The truth is, when it comes to voice and delivery, Bob Marley does not come close to most of the greats mentioned above or even some of the greats not mentioned above like Beres Hammond, Jimmmy Cliff, Alton Ellis and others.

For me personally, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Capleton and Sizzla are at the top of my list when it comes to cultural reggae artists. They are my favorite because they exemplify the teachings of Marcus Garvey more than all other artists. However, I would have no problem with someone who thought that the best reggae artists were Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown, and John Holt. We should all be entitled to our opinions.

One of the dunces who had a problem with Buju Banton’s comments was Ziggy Marley. When asked about Buju Banton’s statement, Ziggy Marley said the following:

Me love my father, you know? And me love all of my elders and my heroes. And I would never say anything to put down any of them. From Bob to Toots to Peter to Bunny—I wouldn’t say anything to put down any of those guys. You understand? I lift up them. Those are our heroes. We lift them up. We don’t put them down. My father wasn’t a person who brag about himself. It’s what he has done that has made people speak of him how they speak of him. He just does his music and that’s it… You got people who think differently but my father and a lot of these artists, you can’t even talk about them in just the sense of Jamaica. It’s the world we haffi talk bout. So that’s all me have to say, we lift up our heroes we don’t put them down.

Ziggy Marley does not seem to get it. What did Buju Banton say that was disrespectful to Bob Marley? What did Buju Banton say that was in any way putting Bob Marley down?

Tracii McGregor, President and General Manager of Buju Banton’s label made the best sense of the situation: “Buju Banton didn’t say anything to slight the great Bob Marley, not at all. Buju Banton is not the first person or lover of reggae music to say this. This is the reality. We can’t have an industry revolve around one person.”

What Buju Banton said is based on his opinion which we are all entitled to. What Ziggy Marley said is complete foolishness and disrespectful to reggae and Jamaica. What Tracii McGregor says is one hundred percent fact.

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26 Comments

  1. Buju Banton was right. Ziggy Marley was right too. Buju’s label General Manager was equally right. It is all a matter of perspective and where one is opportuned to stand and view, reason and assess it all from.

  2. Ziggy is right in he’s way as is Tracy.lift up ya heroes. As for best voice Bob probably said it himself that his wasn’t the best singing voice. End of the day you have a variety to chose from at ya finger tips.

  3. Ziggy is right in he’s way as is Tracy.lift up ya heroes End of the day you have a variety to chose from at ya finger tips.

  4. I love reggae music, and i’m sorry, but without the legend, Bob Marley had the better voice i’ve listen, if we talk about reggae and jamaica.
    All the other artists are pretty good, but they don’t have the same émotion and investment when they’re singing. Bob Marley has something special like savage and he gives more than a voice.
    Stop say that Bob Marley is the more famous, he’s first a legend, by his music, and not only by what people are thinking about the money and the prestige.
    When You are listenning a Babylon By Bus, carrefuly, You CAN say that the évolution of each song, the composition, and more precisely the musical technic of each instruments (voice too) are perfect.
    I’ve never see an other group of jamaican’s reagge with the same perfection.
    It´s not à question about respect, Buju Banton can think what he wants, and just by who he is, we know that he loves Bob Marley. But i’m sure that Bob Marley is has famous has the quality of his music. If Dennis Brown was a better artist, Dennis Brown should be more famous than Bob Marley. Because we’re not at the radio or TV, we are in the Reggae music, we know how to graduate and give respect about an artist.
    We can’t say that Jimmy Cliff is better than Bob Marley… But yes, Jimmy Cliff has more respect about the rules of reggae music (skank for this, organ for that), Bob Marley was not in the rules, and it’s a reason for the revolution he has build.

  5. I don’t think Buju Banton articulated well what he wanted to say. I assume he meant that Bob was not the best singing voice. Or maybe that in time there will be someone to excel his achievement (as I write he is still the top selling reggae performer bay far).

    There seems to be possibly a tinge of jealousy as people are still giving all these accolades to someone who passed on in 1981 and here he is with nowhere near the achievement nor adulation. But my or anyone else not singing Marley and the Wailers’ praises will not automatically transfer to praise for Buju Banton or any other act that has not achieved the lyrical ascendancy of Mr Marley.

    In music as a whole, Jagger, the Beatles etc were never the greatest singers but it is the total package of music, lyrics and commitment to your message, whatever that message may be that determined their attractiveness.

  6. Only a total dog shit retard would think that there is anyone else better than Bob Marley.

    Bob is called the Legend for a reason, he is the highest selling reggae artist of all time for a reason. Without Bob nobody in the world would give 2 shit about Reggae and this stupid ridiculous rasta culture.

    • You just proved Buju Banton point. Say no more. By the way, the ridiculous Rasta culture was not meant for you.

  7. Whoever thinks Bob Marley has someone to be compared with is idiot. Reggae Music in Jamaica alone does not qualifies Artist be proud. Even the Buju’s list those he mentioned many people never heard of them.Let me tell you go around Africa, East Europe, West Europe North Europe, South Europe, Entire America North, South, West, East. Asia Middle East Even children born 90s Knows who Bob Marley was. That tells you How greatest Bob Marley Was. There will never be any Reggae Musician on this planet will ever reach that Mark. Buju we dont even want our childrens to listen to your music because it doen not have meaning or it does not contains any sense. We all agree everyone hold his/her opinion but some opinions are silly excuse my language. Buju is silly he himself. Please make sure Buju read this.

  8. na verdade todo musico famoso ou não!!!!! e influenciado por algum outro musico !!!! a musica evolui como tudo… uma pequena levada de baixo um riff de guitarra; acordes de teclado se transforma em outra musica!!!! alguns iluminados criam tudo.. mais o mais importante e com certeza Bob Marley ou qualquer escutou outro musico e foi influenciado de alguma forma!!! com certeza Bob Marley tem muito, muito mesmo de Alton Ellis. musicalmente em todo os sentidos como vocal; pegada de bateria; linha de contra-baixo!!! escutando alton ellis perceberam que algumas musicas vc pensa que ele vai começar cantar Bob Marley. mais na verdade Bob Marley que foi influenciado anteriormente.. Marley nasceu em outro tempo teve sorte; o mundo passava por mudanças a população cresceu a tecnologia evoluindo rapidamente. nesse momento o reggae tinha os nutrientes para crescer ser visto e ouvido mundialmente!!!! resumindo Bob Marley como qualquer outro musico foi influenciado por outro musico que em grande parte do seu trabalho sua linha era de Alton Ellis !!!!!

  9. in fact every famous musician or not !!!!! and influenced by some other musician !!!! the music evolves like everything … a little taken low a guitar riff; keyboard chords turns into another song !!!! some enlightened create all .. more the most important and certainly Bob Marley or any other musician listened and was influenced in any way !!! sure Bob Marley has very, very much of Alton Ellis. musically in every way as vocal; battery footprint; line bass !!! listening alton ellis realized that some songs u think he will start singing Bob Marley. more actually Bob Marley was influenced above .. Marley was born in another time was lucky; the world was undergoing changes the population grew rapidly evolving technology. this time reggae had the nutrients to grow to be seen and heard worldwide !!!! summarizing Bob Marley as any other musician was influenced by another musician who in much of his work was his line of Alton Ellis !!!!!

  10. Para mi bob marley es el mejor
    Creo que de todos los buenos de jamaica el destaco mas por que cantaba contra la politica y el racismo y los otros mo asian mada de eso es mejor decir que

    Tienen envidia por que bob marley iso un movimiento
    Y ustedes no
    Yo con bob marley <3 rastafari <3
    Baliendome verga lo que bubulo
    Por que bob marley movio a todo el mundo con su musica y eso lo hizo grande es total mente distinto

    Son una bola de ridiculos x ablar mal de bob marley solo por que ustedes no pueden ser grandes como el

  11. I think Bob Marley was the greatest musician ever i can’t compare him with any musician.he was a messenger of God that we dont have.i like his music i ddn’t see any person who like him.Humble man,lovely man,A respector man, greatest man nd soft heart ever.he said”i wish money ddn’t make us who we are.”look how good he was.i can’t compare with anyone…..big up Big Bob

  12. I see Bantons point and I appreciate that he is challenging the system that holds back artist that have positive messages. But he don’t get it. BoBs is an iconic legendary artiest and should be considered the best for many reason. 1. Bujus stage performance embodies some characteristics of BOb. Not saying he should be ashamed of that but we express from what we adapt to Bob was on of first to jump and run on stage to get the crowd energized. Those same moves are apart of the reggae and even dance hall culture.
    2. Bob was an artiest with a message and used his composing genus to fused classical reggae rhythm with rock melody’s. His stile of music has the most relevance due to his technique being the International measurement for what is considered reggae.
    3. To back point number 2. It is ok for Buju or anyone to think that Bob wasn’t the greatest but its only their opinion. People consider Marley the best for many reasons my reason is that his message deals with many of lifes issues that humans struggle trough. He spoke about religion vs spirituality, drug use, negative people, love, history and many other topics. SO as ah fan of reggae and dance hall music I feel Banton and anyone else who thinks others should share their opinion do not see the fans of reggae music as intellectual or as conscious which is what reggae music has be regarded as.

  13. The world says he is best Buju says no then who is the best? i will like to know and what grounds are you judging from

  14. I adore Alton Ellis. Bob Marley is the greatest and most popular, but Jamaica has so much to offer. Everyone is right regarding taste in music. You can’t go wrong with Jamaican classics.

  15. Tell me the criteria for judgment and I will analyze your thinking.

    You don’t judge greatness by voice alone. The message, the poetry, the stagecraft, the commitment. The concerts around the world. The struggle for freedom. These count!!!

  16. mungataure henyu but bob marley ibaba iya muri mhata hapana zvamunoziya,ziggy ari correct..
    kungangwe mukarwadziwa mukuru mukuru marley aiva nejende kudarika vese

  17. me from Africa Marley represents so things in world for ex wen Eva we see de flag of jamaica we think of Bob,wen we see a rastaman in de street we instantly think of Bob,wen we see de green,yellow n red color we think of Bob wen we see smone with ganja we instantly think of bob wen we hear de reggae rhythm we think of bob.for me Jamaica is in existence bc of Bob Marley,Bob represents Jamaica in all aspect of life.

  18. Bob was a conscious Rasta..a preacher man.. a freedom fighter.. and did not care about money.. Who is Buju? A rude boy! A false preacher.. preaching hate and crime just like sizzla.. all a them are not Rastas imao.

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