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Buju Banton-It's Too Bad

Buju Banton-It's Too Bad

WSG Assassin & New Kidz

September 12, 2006

Venue: Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI

Other Acts: Killowat, Arubis

Promotors: Zuma HiFi and One Root Sound

Sound: Infinity Sounds

Tickets: $30.00

Buju Banton?s Too Bad Tour came to Ann Arbor. Opening the show was Kilowatt and King Arubis who started the evening off with great vibes.

The first performer from Buju?s camp was New Kidz. He leaped onto the stage full of energy and sporting white shades. Though not very familiar with all the songs he sang, the crowd was infected by his contagious spirit and went wild. He performed his current release ?That?s How We Drop It.? By the end of his segment, those white shades had been flung onto the floor and smashed.

Assassin hit the stage next and murdered the audience with hits like Step Pon Dem off the Military Riddim, Girls Gone Wild, Di Roughest and Idiot Ting Dat. Gun Finga inna di air!

Buju Banton came on stage posing like the paparazzi was taking pics. The lanky Rasta performed songs like Murderer, Til Shiloh, Til I?m Laid to Rest (the extended version with a skanking segment), Unnu Bumba Cloth off of the unimaginative Wipeout Riddim, How Di World A Run and Too Bad from his new album.

Some felt insulted by Buju?s comments about the stage being messed up and the poor sound. Buju asked the audience, ?How unnu fa bring Rasta inna a place called Blind Pig??

?Morgan Heritage, Beenie Man, Capleton, Warrior King have graced the same stage without a hitch or complaints and gave the people what they wanted,? says Detroit owner Leslie Heron.

RGE had the opportunity to sit down with the artist, as he argues with one of his band members for taking two plates of food and not considering other band members, and ask about his new album just released that day, Too Bad. This album is Buju?s first dancehall album in 11 years, but he says it is a mixture: something you can meditate on, it also makes you laugh but not in a comical way. He describes the album as one that can create many moods at a dance or in the comfort of ones home.

It is interesting that he shares the same sentiment as earlier interviewed Cecile, that Dancehall music must get regulated and marketed correctly in America. Labeling himself the black sheep, ?America tells the people not to listen to [me], America tells the people Buju Banton is bad for their health.? Claiming he is the artist that delivers the truth in dancehall, the kind of dancehall that not only makes you dance but also teaches all at the same time and that scares the masses.

Buju showed us a strong spiritual side, which he powerfully elaborated by stating that he is fighting a spiritual warfare. Not understanding the concept of the blind pig (a place of disguise from the police) Buju again mentioned the disrespect he felt for the venue because of its name, and admitted that he didn?t give a 100% performance. He also stated that he didn?t like the promoters and feels as if they ?look like specks.?

When asked about the controversial matters in his life that are glamorized in the media, he became extremely perturbed. He expressed his discomfort of the questions about his homophobic lyrics and the claimed ?CHARGES??!!? he was released from this past January of the beating of a gay man in Jamaica. He immediately became defensive and asked ?What is your aim to come here tonight, you here to ask about gays, you here to ask about charges, I mean they sent you or you come offa your own?? ?Nobody can crack down on me, I ride over the waves and have survived the test of time.? Not only two days later, a Cleveland tour date was cancelled because of homosexual leaders of a gay activist group threatened to boycott a scheduled show.

Buju Banton?s main concern was that people go out and buy his album. He leaned out of the tour bus and yelled to his fans to go out and buy his album at the stores; preferring and hoping to cop recording units which will also help the industry to recognize dancehall music.

Too Bad is also the first full-length release on the deejay?s Gargamel label. The only artist he collaborated with is the dancehall legend Pinchers. It's been three-and-a-half years since Buju Banton's Grammy-nominated Friends For Life, but well worth the wait as the deejay returns to his roots delivering his first pure dancehall collection since the days of Mr. Mention.

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