What are Buju Banton’s top reggae songs of all time?

Buju Banton

International reggae superstar Buju Banton has released his share of classic hits over the years, many of which are on our top 10 reggae playlist. But what are the songs that Buju could listen to all day, any day?

In an interview with GQ Magazine the Gargamel shared some of his favorite reggae hits of all time. Naturally, they included some of his, but songs from icons like Bob Marley and Burning Spear also appear.

‘Cherry Pie’ by Buju Banton feat Pharrell Williams

The making of this song was a very special experience for Buju Banton, he explained why.

“My children and I worked with Pharrell Williams on this – it was a beautiful, beautiful experience. They enjoyed it and I know they walked away with a different insight and a whole different direction on the way of life.” he said.

‘Prison Oval Rock’ by Barrington Levy

This song, according to Buju is a staple on his playlist.

“I like this Barrington Levy song, which goes, ‘Some call it Spanish Town, but a Prison Oval Rock’. To me, ‘Prison Oval Rock’ has always been a great party starter and for some strange reason I always have it on most of my playlists.”

‘War In The dance’ by Frankie Paul

A vibe that is just “one of a kind”, according to Buju Banton.

“We know this as ‘Warriors In The Dance’, but the correct name is ‘War In The Dance’ by Frankie Paul. This is also a party starter, if you know what I mean. When this plays, the dance is going to be off the chain. The vibe is going to be just one of a kind.”

‘Water Pumpee’ by Tony Tuff

“I love this music, because I grew up in an era when you’d enter the dance hall and hear these songs being played, where the DJ would turn the flipside over to an instrumental. The next song to fall into that category is ‘Water Pumpee’ by a singer by the name of Tony Tuff. ‘It’s strange, oh the dancing…’ Music has always been a part of our ting over here in Jamaica.”

‘Mind Control’ by Stephen Marley

A song with a message is how Buju Banton describes this one.

“If you listen to this song, you’ll hear the way the proverb comes across with a message. This is the essence of what music is about. It’s when you can sing, you can dance and enjoy yourself as much as you want, but you must be aware you are not the only one out there. Other things are going on around you, other people are messed up, so to speak. So here’s what’s going on.”

‘Kaya’ by Bob Marley

A song about the sacred Rastafarian sacrement- of course, it made Buju’s list.

“This is another favourite of mine. Why ‘Kaya’? Because I love my herb. When you have your kaya in your hand and you’re listening to this, it’s a different feeling, man.”

‘Johnny B Goode’ by Peter Tosh

Another song that makes Buju Banton’s ‘meditation vibe” playlist.

“The next song that I love to listen to while I’m on the vibe of meditation is ‘Johnny B Goode’ by Peter Tosh. ‘Deep down in Jamaica, close to Mandeville…’ I think that song is beautiful. I mean, Peter Tosh absolutely killed it.”

‘Marcus Garvey’ by Burning  Spear

This, according to Buju is an important track. Here’s why.

“I’ll always respect Burning Spear – he is one of the founding fathers and teachers in reggae music. The first words in this song are, ‘Marcus Garvey words come to pass’. It’s an important track about a man who stood up when no one else would and spoke up when everyone else chose to be silent.”

‘One Man Against The World’ by Gregory Isaacs  

A song that often times encapsulates his experiences.

“This song I play on a regular. It reminds me [that] the struggle is real.” 

‘Blessed’ by Buju Banton

This one from his recent Upside Down 2020 album is a reminder to Buju Banton that even with all he’s been through, he’s still blessed.

“Last but not least, I want to leave you with one more song, my favourite song from the new album. Why ‘Blessed’? My tribulations and all that I’ve been through and my people’s tribulations and suffering and all that they’ve been through, no words can explain and no words can express, but we know one thing: we’re resilient and will always be resilient, because we know one thing, that we are blessed.