Buju Banton

Although it has maintained its reputation as the most well-stocked punk haven, Epitaph has branched out in recent years, with either the parent label or its subsidiaries signing Tricky, Tom Waits, and Jamaican dancehall DJ Buju Banton. With his albums offering everything from African choral chants to acoustic ballads to bouncy dance tunes, the man born Mark Myrie has achieved superstardom in Jamaica. Banton’s career has not been without controversy, as “Love Mi Browning,” his ode to light-skinned women, offended many with darker complexions, and his gay-bashing verse on the tune “Boom Bye Bye” was widely condemned. But the still-young artist has matured noticeably since those early compositions, with his conversion to Rastafarianism giving his later work a deep, spiritual feel. Az-One opens what promises to be one of the year’s hottest reggae nights.

Categories: Music