Tag Archives: Recording Academy

The Caged Bird Sings Of Freedom

The caged bird sings

With a fearful trill

Of things unknown

But longed for still

And his tune is heard

On the distant hill

For the caged bird

Sings of freedom.

Dr. Maya Angelou (from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)

Freedom! Photo By: Robert Cooper

Greetings in the name of the Most High…

As you can imagine, the Gargamel Music Family’s entire world was shattered by the outcome of Buju’s trial. Two months have passed and the heartache has not eased at all. We lost a long, hard-fought battle but, alas, this legal war wages on. We remain confident in Buju’s innocence and vigilant in our fight for his ultimate freedom. There is nuff work to be done and the time has come for us to pick up the pieces and march forward in the struggle.

Buju’s strength and resolve throughout this painful ordeal has been nothing short of inspiring. He is a true soldier who continues to stand firm in his beliefs and will not be broken. He earnestly thanks his friends for life — the fans worldwide — for your unyielding support and only asks that you remember him in a positive light and continue to play his music in the days to come.

We encourage you to send uplifting letters to Buju at the address below:

Mark Anthony Myrie – Docket # 1443397

CEN-4C1-UN01-01-001

Pinellas County Jail

14400 49th Street North

Clearwater, Florida 33762-2877

If you feel like you want to top up B’s commissary, include a money order with all of the above information written on it (Mark’s legal name/docket number, etc…) and place it in the envelope with your letter. The guards who open the mail will make sure it’s added onto his account.

SENTENCING & APPEAL

We recently sat down with Buju’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, who took the time to school us on how the sentencing and appeal processes works so we have a better sense of what to expect.

The trial and sentencing judge, James Moody, Jr. still has yet to rule on either of the post trial motions filed by Markus back in February: 1) motion for judgement of acquittal  2) motion for a new trial. Markus filed a separate third motion for bond pending sentencing and appeal that he is also waiting to hear from the Court on.

Buju’s sentencing is currently scheduled for June 23rd. While Judge Moody can take other things into account, he still must abide by the current mandatory minimum drug sentencing guidelines, which based on the three convictions: 1) Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine  2) knowing and intentionally possessing a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and 3) using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, bring the mandatory minimum in this case to 15 years.

  • After sentencing, Markus has 14 days to file a notice of appeal. Then he will order the trial transcripts, which will take about 30 days.
  • As soon as Markus gets the transcripts, he has 40 days to file a brief, which will contain his arguments.
  • The government gets 40 days to respond. Markus gets 40 days to reply.
  • Then the Court will decide whether to allow oral argument (where 3 judges listen to the case). Only 10% of all appeal cases are granted this opportunity.
  • After oral argument, the Court usually takes between a month and a year to rule.

Those who wish to donate funds toward the appeal may send a wire transfer to the official Buju Banton Defense Fund set up by his attorney:

Markus & Markus, PLLC
(Defense Fund for Buju Banton)
Citibank, N A
Coral Way Branch
1600 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145
ABA # 266086554
Account # 9118130472

You may also make a donation via Paypal. Just log in and direct monies to FREEBUJU@gmail.com

THE VOICE OF JAMAICA WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
The Gargamel Music Family remains steadfast in our efforts to promote and preserve the musical legacy of Buju Banton. As he reiterated in his Miami New Times cover story in January of this year, “they can lock the flesh but they can never lock the spirit of Rasta.” We intend to keep Buju’s spirit moving and his voice soaring — through music… And we already have several projects in development:

Buju Banton & Friends: Before The Dawn Concert DVD

We are working out the logistics to make the official DVD of the Before The Dawn Concert available for sale later this year. We are aware of the weak bootleg circulating on the streets and will deal with the culprits accordingly. In the meantime, we just ask that the fans hold on and support the real product when it comes out. It will definitely be worth the wait.

New Buju Banton Studio Album

While the General was out on bail and under house arrest he finished up some tracks for an album co-produced with longtime UK brethren, Blacker Dread. The pair previously worked together on the rousing 2010 anthem “Innocent” featured on Buju’s Grammy-winning album Before The Dawn (Gargamel Music). This new album will drop some time in 2012 on Gargamel Music, Inc.

Buju Banton Live Album

Team Gargamel has collected some amazing live material over the past few years and we plan to release the first Buju Banton live album some time in the near future.

Buju Banton Coffee Table Book

For the past few years we’ve been shooting with esteemed celebrity photographer Jonathan Mannion (Too Bad and Rasta Got Soul album covers) to produce a photography book that visually captures the excitement and frenetic energy of Buju’s live performances along with some exclusive behind-the-scenes moments on the road with the artist and his band.

Gargamel Music Website

At long last, we are in the process of revamping the Gargamel Music website. www.GARGAMELMUSIC.com will be the hub for all things Buju Banton on the web. We will also be selling authentic Buju Banton merchandise, including the Official Free Buju T-Shirts, which are now available in a Limited Edition Red in addition to the original Black and Green color waves. And keep your eyes peeled for the brand new Buju Banton Logo Tee that will be available at relaunch!

The Gargamel Music Family Thanks You For Your Support!

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Buju Banton Nominated For His 5th Grammy Award For Best Reggae Album!

Before The Dawn Nominated For Grammy!

 

 

Gargamel Music, Inc. is proud to announce that Jamaican music icon Buju Banton has received his fifth Grammy nomination in the Best Reggae Album category for his prophetic new project, Before The Dawn. Recorded mostly at his own Gargamel Music studio in Kingston, the album boasts some of the most powerful songs written by Banton since his professional entry into the music business over twenty years ago.

Released in September to critical acclaim, Before The Dawn debuted at #2 on Billboard‘s Reggae Albums chart and #26 on the mag’s Heatseekers chart. Currently the album is perched at #1 on both the South Florida and the New York Top 20 Reggae Albums charts, #1 on Richie B’s Jamaica Music Countdown and #4 on CMJ’s World Music chart. Highlights include “Do Good,”“In The Air,” “Struggle Together” and the especially potent “Battered & Bruised.” The album’s unofficial anthem, “Innocent” strikes a highly personal chord that resonates deeply considering the artist’s ensuing legal battle.

Banton was previously acknowledged by the Recording Academy for his albums Rasta Got Soul (2009), Too Bad(2007), Friends for Life (2004) and Inna Heights (1999).

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Gargamel Music Blasts Back!

The Gargamel Music Family is disgusted by the vehement persecution of international Reggae star, Buju Banton, by a legion of misguided gay activists. We find it appalling that the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) would spend tens of thousands of dollars to take out a full page ad in Variety – solely to blast Banton’s well-deserved Grammy nomination for his acclaimed album Rasta Got Soul (Gargamel Music) — when those resources could have been better spent lending a helping hand to our suffering Haitian brothers and sisters.

Buju Deserves This GrammyIn the form of an open letter to Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, who stands by the nomination, the ad makes the sensational claim that Buju Banton has “promoted the murder of gay people throughout his career” despite the fact that his overwhelmingly positive music catalog proves otherwise. Predictably, they cite the twenty-year-old anti-buggery missive “Boom Bye Bye,” without ever contextualizing that the song was written by a 15-year-old Buju in response to a widely reported man-boy rape case back in Jamaica.

Replete with misinformation, the letter curiously goes on to say that Buju Banton’s classic hit single “Batty Rider” glorifies the shooting of gay men – even though the song is actually about the popular skin-tight short-shorts young women wore to the clubs back in the ’90s.

Meanwhile, not a peep from the LA Gay & Lesbian Center or GLAAD about white rap star, Eminem, who has a much more recent history of “verbally assaulting” gays and who continues to write songs riddled with “anti-gay sentiment.” His latest album, Relapse is up for several awards this year and he will be performing at the ceremony on Sunday.

The 2010 Grammy nod for Rasta Got Soul is Buju Banton’s fourth. The artist was previously acknowledged by the Recording Academy for his albums Too Bad (2007) Friends for Life (2004) and Inna Heights (1999). Since its release in April 2009, Rasta Got Soul has received rave reviews from such prestigious media outlets as BillboardExclaim!Hip-Hop Weekly and All Music Guide, who called the album an “instant classic.” A documentary-style video for the new single “Optimistic Soul” will premiere in Jamaica soon.

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Filed under Buju Banton & The Grammys, Buju Banton General, Buju Banton Media Watch, Buju Banton Music