Buju Banton ADD


Album Review: Buju Banton - Born For Greatness


by Munchy

Album Review: Buju Banton - Born For Greatness

That you can never listen 12 of his albums and they all sound the same, is his claim and so it’s not surprising that Buju Banton’s new upcoming long player Born For Greatness appears quite different from what we’re used to from the superstar.

He takes us on a journey, wants to be reminded “of the way things was when everything was wrap up in love“ in the Stephen Marley-produced opener Ageless Time, a musically stripped-down rendition with acoustic guitar, one of Ragga’s typical abstract vocal samples and a subtle saxophone that melt into a melancholic vibration.

A brisk beat with claps and striking punches, flashy electronic guitar and swelling strings boosts the catchy chorus “I don’t follow your rules, I guess am lawless, still making big moves regardless” of the title track Born For Greatness. And the minimalistic synth beat sprinkled with alienated vocal samples, brief string arrangements and a few single keyboard chords blends hypnotically with Buju’s “sip, sip, sip”, the sound you hear when he drinks his clean coconut water while watching his friends just to find out who is real and loyal, and who is not worth turning up at their funeral, for the recently released Coconut Wata (Sip).

The sensual Body Touching Body that features R&B singer Victoria Monét was produced by Haitian Michaël Brun and leads to a whole segment of ladies and love songs including the Latin-infused Turn Up Tonight narrating about a woman that makes his “whole head hurt” him, the Stephen Marley combination Feel A Way or the more classical Reggae track Nuff Love For You.

The third feature welcomes Snoop Dogg for the previously released High Life that is not just a ganja anthem but a critical track about the hypocrisy in the legalisation process of marijuana where it is no longer about smoking the sacred herb in peace but turning it all into a commercialised business with fancy names, big profit margins and little pity for those who suffered when weed was still illegal.

The compilation is crowned by powerful and moving anthems, hymns like the DJ Khaled production We Find A Way, a positive, encouraging musical composition using elements from Whitney Houston’s My Love Is Your Love, or the massive Let My People Go, a rather classical Buju Banton carol combining the Bible narrative of Moses who led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt with the problems mankind is facing in the 21st century like “chaos on a global scale” and “tribal war created for money”.

17 tracks are a mellow, contemporary blend of Dancehall, Reggae fused with R&B, Pop and a pinch of Hip Hop. Primarily programmed beats are decorated with live instruments such as acoustic or electronic guitar, saxophone, sometimes strings. Dreamy synth sounds, abstracted vocal samples, more times minimalistic, tricky beats amount to a non-ostentatious, but light, free, sometimes sensual, sometimes meditative and of course other times also powerful, yet never overloaded soundtrack that provides the perfect platform for Buju Banton’s amazing lyrics.

He is a story-teller, a lyricist and a Reggae poet extraordinaire who achieves his goal of “stimulating your consciousness” with flying colours with Born For Greatness.

Release details

Buju Banton - Born For Greatness

Buju Banton - Born For Greatness


Release date: 09/08/2023


01. Ageless Time
02. Life Choices
03. Born For Greatness
04. Coconut Wata (SIP)
05. Yard and Outta Road
06. Body Touching Body feat. Victoria Monét
07. Turn Up Tonight
08. Sweeter
09. Feel A Way feat. Stephen Marley
10. Plans
11. Nuff Love For You
12. Walked Out
13. We Find A Way
14. My Microphone
15. High Life feat. Snoop Dogg
16. Trial By Fire
17. Let My People Go