Buju Banton proves that being popular among people who do not have the residual income to spend on music and actual having quality music that music buyers want to spend on are two different things. While Vybz Kartel has proved that he is the most popular artist in Jamaica, Buju album sold almost 3 times as many copies as the world boss in the first week of release.
“Upside Down 2020” by Buju, released June 26 by Gargamel Music/Island Records/Roc Nation, sold 2,995 copies in its first week.
“Of Dons and Divas” by Vybz Kartel, also released on June 26 by Zojak, sold 1,016 copies in its first week.
COVID-19 has prevented Buju Banton from touring to promote his album. Even without COVID-19, Vybz Kartel would not be able to tour as he is in prison serving a life sentence for murder.
Both men had extensive promotions on their albums with articles in international publications like Billboard. So why did Buju album sell three times as many as Kartel’s? Many on social media think they have the answer.
“Buju Banton’s music is appealing to working class people who have jobs and can afford to buy music. Vybz Kartel’s music is for high school drop outs, sexual deviants and black men who love killing other Black men,” a fan said on Facebook.
So Buju was clearly the winner of the first round of Buju Banton verzuz Vybz Kartel, however, Kartel has predicted that is album will win the Reggae Grammy Award; that dancehall and reggae music fans will have to wait and see.