Ziggy Marley Responds to Buju Banton by Rob Kenner

Posted On: June 23, 2009

02Excerpt from Vibe Magazine
Bob Marley’s firstborn son speaks out in defense of his father

Earlier this week, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ziggy Marley stopped by VIBE’s New York City offices to talk about his latest release, Family Time (Tuff Gong / Universal), as well as a new album of his father’s classic songs, many of them remixed for young listeners, called B is For Bob (Tuff Gong / Universal). At the end of the video interview, Bob Marley’s firstborn son shared his views on a controversy that has engulfed Jamaica for the past two and a half weeks.
On April 22, the veteran reggae star Buju Banton- who has been nominated for three Grammys himself – was speaking at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, about his latest release, Rasta Got Soul (Gargamel Music). Banton spoke at length about his own distinguished career, but one of his remarks resonated louder than the others.
“You know they say that the greatest musician in Jamaica is Bob Marley,” Buju told the crowded room. “I don’t believe that because we have greater musicians to come. Bob was the most promoted, and well promoted, and we have to appreciate that because it’s our culture. But don’t kill our culture… Enough is enough.”Although the crowd at UWI reportedly applauded his remarks, they were not as well received outside the lecture hall. Jamaican media as well as radio shows and websites around the world have been flooded with outraged remarks from music critics and Bob Marley’s millions of fans. When asked for his thoughts on the matter, Ziggy laughed for a long time before speaking his mind.
“Me love my father, you know? And me love all of my elders and my heroes. And I would never say anything to put down any of them. From Bob to Toots to Peter [Tosh] to Bunny [Wailer]. I wouldn’t say anything to put down any of those guys. You understand? I lift up them. Those are our heroes. We lift them up. We don’t put them down.”
After a brief pause, Ziggy added the following: “My father wasn’t a person who brag about himself. It’s what he has done that has made people speak of him how they speak of him. He just does his music and that’s it… You got people who think differently but my father and a lot of these artists, you can’t even talk about them in just the sense of Jamaica. It’s the world we haffi talk bout. So that’s all me have to say, we lift up our heroes we don’t put them down.”
When contacted, Tracii McGregor, President and General Manager of Buju Banton’s label Gargamel Music Inc., had this to say in response: “Buju didn’t say anything to slight the great Bob Marley-not at all. Buju is not the first person or lover of reggae music to say this. This is the reality. We can’t have an industry revolve around one person.”

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