‘I have paid the price’, says Buju Banton

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Buju Banton

Michael Nattoo – Staff Reporter

Guys, I’m sorry (not really though), but we can’t quite stop talking about Buju yet. Even if we tried, he’s effortlessly making it impossible for us to. And if you were under the illusion that this will be the last we’ll say of him for a while, well, I’ve got news for you – it’s not.

So, what’s the latest in this Buju News Rush? You’ll want to take your seats for this one. While we admit that we may be a bit late on this train, it’s still worth hopping on to. Did you know that Buju recently released a brand-new song? Yes, you read that right. The song, titled ‘Pay The Price’, for which there is currently only audio, is at number 18 on the YouTube trending chart. Translation: This song is absolutely and unapologetically scorching hot right now, particularly on the international scene. Locally, it may be that the song, released on December 27, may have been a well-kept secret. In fact, considering the many who are yearning for the [sound of] the ‘Gargamel’, that’s the only logical explanation we can offer as to why we’re not hearing more buzz about it.

Well, just what is the soon-to-be chart-toppling tune about? Its name says it all, really. Buju feels as though he has paid the price, and for loyal fans of his, they wouldn’t hesitate to agree. The lyrics aside, which we will get into a bit, there’s a wave of nostalgia, and just an overall feeling of complete harmony, when one takes in the newly released track. About a minute into the nearly 5-minute-long track (its real length being 4 minutes and 42 seconds), you are reminded of just how much you had longed to be in the soulful, musical, raspy embrace of Buju’s unique sound and vocals. Delivered with a depth and emotional maturity of a man who has seen dark days, Buju takes fans on an intimate journey of his life over the past years, and his words perfectly captured the experience. To a relatively slow, rhythmic beat, Buju began with his iconic ad lib, “Ooh Lawd”, and it was pure magic from there. His words: “Here I go again, just me and myself, I’m without a friend, they have all turned and gone and left me, now on my lonesome journey, a few things in life concern me – ‘what is life?’, the other, ‘how we live it’.”

We would share more, but simply quoting the lyrics here does not do enough justice to the pain that can be heard in Buju’s voice as he delivered what is likely his first official song to grace the public since his release from prison in the USA. It’s a timely and appropriate reintroduction to the musical scene, and as more people grow to know of it, the song, which at the time of this writing has 620,366 views, is bound to climb YouTube’s Trending Chart.

If you are a true lover of music, you need no prompt to go find that song. In the event that you do need a bit of motivation, remind yourself that pretty soon, Buju will be reclaiming prominence on the musical scene, and what will follow that is not a story you would want to miss out on experiencing first-hand, and subsequently one that you can share with your kids, grandkids or great grand kids. So yeah, do it for Buju, or at the very least, do it for the kids.

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