Anti-Gay Singer Buju Banton Wins Reggae Grammy, Faces Drug and Gun Trial Today

Anti-gay 'murder music' singer Buju Banton won a Grammy award last night:

Bujubanton "Banton won the prestigious award for Best Reggae Album for his project, Before The Dawn. This was his first Grammy award, having been nominated in previous years for Rasta Got Soul in 2009; Too Bad in 2007; Friends For Life, 2004; and Inna Heights, 1999. "He is elated, man," one member of Banton's entourage told the Observer. The announcement of the Reggae Grammy was made hours before the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, California last night."

The controversy surrounding Banton stems primarily from a song called "Boom Boom Bye" in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.

Banton's drug trial resumes this morning in Tampa. He faces up to 20 years if convicted:

Just last week, Judge Jim Moody ruled against a motion by Buju’s legal team seeking to dismiss a superseding indictment. As a result of the ruling by Moody, who will preside over the trial, Buju will now be facing four counts instead of the two for which he was originally tried last September.

The five-time Grammynominated artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had originally been tried on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

He will now be tried for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drugtrafficking offence; and using the wires to facilitate a drugtrafficking offence.

The Miami Herald reports that Banton has gays in mind when he references his troubles:

In Jamaica, some fans have theorized Banton was framed by the U.S. government or gay activists who have protested violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton's career as a brash dancehall singer. Shows in several U.S. cities were canceled on his 2009 tour because of the protests.

Banton jabbed at his detractors during his Jan. 16 performance in Miami, referencing one of his controversial songs and the messiah of his Rastafarian faith.

He said: "Why they want to see Buju Banton cry? Is it because I said 'Boom Bye Bye'? Is it because I say Selassie I? Is it because I'm black and not shy?"


  1. Jack says

    No Buju, it’s actually because you are an uncivilized barbarian…approximately 1 evolutionary step from whatever came BEFORE the ape.

  2. says

    I make it a point never to respond to anyone who speaks in rhyme. This “singer” has the right to sing whatever he wants. If he decides to perform music that a sizeable number of Americans think is offensive and bigoted, then that’s his decision to make (a bad business decision, but his decision nevertheless). Frankly, I think his music sucks, but maybe I’m biased.

    Oh, and please, people. I understand the anger, but let’s stay away from comparing him to an ape. There’s plenty to criticize here without resorting to race-baiting. Sheesh.

  3. bobbyjoe says

    Despite Lady Gaga’s presence, the Grammys don’t give a sh*t about homophobia. It doesn’t matter how often you’ve bashed gays or use the word “f*gg*t” on your album, the Grammys are standing by to shower you with praise by shoving an award in your hand.

  4. Anonymouse says

    Sounds like the Grammys are run by the BBC. If one of the winners is pro-gay, then they try to “balance” that by finding another who advocates burning fags at the stake.

  5. Jack says


    No race-baiting at all… I was commenting on his unevolved, brutish, and uncivilized status.

    I guess I forgot, mentioning the word “ape” or “monkey” is automatically a racial slur…

  6. says

    “In Jamaica, some fans have theorized Banton was framed by the U.S. government or gay activists . . . ”

    Oh, if only we had that power–the mighty gays deciding which homophobes should languish in prison for years on end. Sorry, Buju, choosing to be a drug dealer in the US sealed your fate more than we ever could.

  7. Fenrox says

    @Jack, Yep, it was used as a racial slur for a long time so it’s not a great word to use carelessly in a non-animal context.

    And the comment in general is dehumanizing (Which is (if you think about it) something to be avoided as its the root of most problems), just be catty without being mean.

  8. DH says

    On June 24, 2004, Banton, along with a group of other men, broke into a house and dragged the men living there out into the street where a mob beat the men for allegedly being gay. One man lost an eye.

    Jamaicans are violent, subhuman animals. They have the highest murder rate in the Western world.

    I hope he gets raped and beaten in prison.

  9. sal says

    well as a black person from the caribbean i say he’s an APE!!!!!…actually no,that’s a compliment,he’s worse

  10. Miss G says

    Proud Jamaican here…@ Chester – we are not nasty, or sub-human or a violent useless eater (what is that exactly? That would be the black Caribbean (probably Bajan or Trinbagonian)Sal.

  11. Sam Kestu says

    Homophobic Shabba Ranks received two Grammys. You can see Shabba Ranks (and Buju Banton) in action here: The version of “Boom Bye Bye” that Buju sings in this video has the line “murder batty bwoy” in it. We would translate “murder batty bwoy” as “murder faggots.” Later versions of “Boom Bye Bye” leave that line out, but still have the line “They [gays] must be dead” repeated 10 times.

    Beenie Man has received four Grammy Awards. Back on 12/05/09 Beenie Man went on stage in Kampala, Uganda and sang that he wanted to cut the throats of all gay men.

    Towleroad did a great job of covering Beenie Man in Uganda. And they’ve also done a great job of covering Buju Banton.


  12. Gay Jamaican says

    Who are you people?

    How ignorant can you be?! Buju was 19 years old when he sang that song!! Have you ever listened to any of his music?! Buju is respected in Jamaica, because he writes and sings many uplifting songs that are as revered as any of Bob Marley’s anthems. Listen to Destiny, or Murderer, or Not An Easy Road, Untold Stories or Wanna Be Loved.

    What makes him “the anti-gay reggae artiste”? Why does he need to be introduced in this way? Not everyone understands homosexuality as an innate part of who we are….they say ignorant, and downright hateful things. Yes. So we vilify them for the rest of their lives, destroy their career and seek to discredit their worth as a human being at every opportunity? Or do we try to bridge the chasm of understanding that is more cultural than anything else?

    And to think you say you are the civilized ones.

  13. Sam Kestu says

    Mark Myrie, known as “Buju Banton,” was actually only 15 when he wrote “Boom Bye Bye” in 1988.

    “Boom Bye Bye” was released in the U.S. and the world in 1992. It was hugely controversial, as you can see in this video

    After being dropped from the WOMAD (World of Art, Music and Dance) tour in 1992, Buju actually apologized. The apology did not go over well in Jamaica and Buju soon retracted his apology.

    Buju Banton continued to sing “Boom Bye Bye” until 2004, only stopping under pressure from Amnesty International and other groups

    Buju has never distanced himself from the “kill LGBT” message of “Boom Bye Bye”

  14. Sam Kestu says

    I strongly recommend an article in the December 2010 issue of the online magazine Guernica Magazine titled “Murder Music.”

    The Guernica Magazine “Murder Music” article will give you information about the intense homophobia that has long been a part of Jamaican and Caribbean culture. This is an important part of the background of “kill LGBT” performers like Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Capleton and Sizzla.

    You can find the Guernica Magazine “Murder Music” online at