26/12/2018: “Murderer” by Buju Banton

Ragga Dancehall is a genre that requires a distinctive voice and flow to make a name for yourself.

Buju Banton has that. His crusty shouting is hardly the most subtle style, but you know it’s him on a track.

“Murderer” is a track which juxtaposes a serious, conscious message with a scratchy, angry delivery of the type Buju Banton specialises in.

He had been known for more standard slack dancehall songs, getting a string of hits in the early 90s.

After he became a Rastafarian, his 1995 album Til Shiloh was released. It was more spiritual and dealt with more spiritual matters. However, the song “Murderer” had already been released in ’93. It was fashionable at the time to talk positively about shooting and violence in songs, but Jamaican society was plagued by these issues.

After some of his friends were shot, he recorded this song to speak out against it.

The song is a heavy one, with a solid bassline and face slapping snares.

The artist is not without his controversies. His song “Boom Bye Bye”, recorded at age 15 but re-released in 1992, is homophobic even for a 90s ragga song. He has also just been released from jail this month on drugs charges.

Still, he’s still talented as it comes.

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