Just a few weeks ago, I posted some top rankin’ songs in honor of Buju Banton, penned up in federal prison for the next 7 years. The first song I posted in Buju’s honor was by the Jamaican dancehall artist, Busy Signal, whose song “Jail” has sent dancehalls around the world into a serious jam session, with the entire hall shouting the lyrics in unison. Its amazing to see hundreds of your brethren shouting, “No, we NOT go to jail again!!!” The vibe is deep, particularly when those dudes in the dancehall are historically the ones who the police profile and arrest more often than any other group of men in this nation. So they know what they are talking about and there’s no denying its very meaningful. Sadly, tho, my man Busy just got picked up in Kingston for old drug charges stemming here in the U.S. and was of course denied bail. Just this morning, he waived any rights to not be extradited and thus he’ll be shipped to the U.S. in a month or so to face his old charges. I hear the charges are in a state court, rather than a federal court, which to me means there is some hope he’ll be doing a short bid. Fingers crossed and spirits lifted. So tonight, I’m reposting “Jail” in his honor, and hoping all the dancehall DJs put this song back in their lineup, so we can all jam down for Busy. “Like a ship, we gonna sail again…”
I’m dedicating this Gregory Isaacs song to Busy Signal too, “Idren Gone a Jail,” meaning ‘the children have gone to jail.’ Like Gregory said, “when me go to jail, me a go weep and wail.” And like I have said and will continue to say, no one should be going to jail for drug crimes, especially not these artists who enrich our communities, our lives and our souls. Gone for now but not forgotten, Busy and Buju.