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Baker's Dozen

Awakening Songs: Buju Banton's Favourite Music
Zakiya Mckenzie , July 29th, 2020 09:41

As Buju Banton releases his first album in a decade, he guides Zakiya Mckenzie through the songs that shaped him, from discovering dancehall on the school minibus to collaborating with Pharrell Williams


Barrington Levy – ‘Prison Oval Rock’
This song reminds me of a time when dancehall music was emerging and rub-a-dub was the order of the day. Rub-a-dub was when man and woman were hugged up, dancing together all through the night. I couldn’t sneak out because my parents were very strict. So, we would hear the songs on the buses or the taxis, and then try to get cassettes with all the newest songs from friends or anybody else who had them. We tried everything to get our hands on songs like ‘Prison Oval Rock’. We were into the sound systems that the younger generations can still relate to – Silverhawk, Kilimanjaro, Metromedia – we wanted every cassette from them, every tape. We wanted every Champions in Actions and Hot Shot [concerts] cassette that was going around. When I later got to be on some of these shows myself it was irie because these are the concerts that are stalwarts in the dancehall community.