When Buju Banton was released from an American prison and embarked on his first tour he named it “The Long Walk to Freedom” copying the name of the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, one o the greatest freedom fighters of our time.
Nelson Mandela who after spending 27 years in an apartheid South African prison went on to become the president of South Africa. So, too Buju Banton is trying to, after spending almost 10 years in prison on drug charges, go on to become the king of Reggae Music. The success of his tour proved that he might be on the way to accomplish such feat until the coronavirus put an halt to live entertainment.
If Buju van win his second Grammy Award tonight, it would put him back on track to becoming the king of Reggae Music. He won his first Grammy Award while incarcerated, winning the second as a free man would put a stamp of approval on his accomplishment but he faces stiff competition in doing so.
Nominees for Best Reggae Album are One World by The Wailers, It All Comes Back to Love by Maxi Priest, Upside Down 2020 by Buju Banton, Got to Be Tough by Toots and The Maytals and Higher Place by Skip Marley. This category has always been of particular interest to the local audience. However, this year, one member of the reggae fraternity is in an unprecedented position.
So to win the Reggae Grammy award, Buju Banton will not only have to beat the late great Toots Hibbert but he will also have to beat out Skip Marley. Toots’ album is very deserving of a Grammy Award and coupled with the fact that we lost the reggae legend last year to the coronavirus even add to his chances of him copping the award.
Toots is not Buju’s only big challenge, there is also Skip Marley. Over the years, the Marleys have won numerous awards, most of which reggae fans believe were undeserving and they simply won because of their name. Seldom has a Marley been nominated and not win the award.
In Skip’s sake it is really interested because he is named “Marley” simply for situation like this. While he is the grandson of Bob Marley, his father is not a Marley, normally children get their father’s last name, especially if the mother and father are married. Skip’s mother and father is married, however, he uses his mother’s maiden name for the advantages it could garner in the music business. So there are the great obstacles Bubju Banton will have to overcome if he wants to take home the Reggae Grammy Award.