KINGSTON, Jamaica – Buju Banton’s album ‘Til Shiloh’ was recently certified ‘gold’ by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) 24 years after the album release.
‘Til Shiloh’ was released in 1995 and features some of Banton’s best work to date including tracks like “Untold Stories” , “‘Til I’m Laid to Rest”, and “Wanna Be Loved”. On September 27, 2019, the RIAA certified the album as “gold”, having sold half a million records.
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While fans of Buju Banton believe the album to be a classic, and the certification long overdue, Banton’s spike in popularity following his release from US prison last year may be the reason for the album being certified.
In March of this year, hundreds of thousands of fans gathered at the National Stadium in Kingston to see Buju Banton perform for the first time in eight years. The first show on his ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ tour drew reggae enthusiasts from all over the world in what turned out to be the biggest concert in Jamaica since Bob Marley’s Smile Jamaica concert in 1976.
Banton, who was chastised in the media following his arrest in 2009, received media coverage from news outlets all over the world, including BBC and CNN. He then went on to perform in several other Caribbean islands and even returned to Europe for the first time in 10 years, garnering a slew of new fans who had not heard of Banton before.
Jamaican music producer Bobby Digital also thinks that the removal of the controversial song “Boom Bye Bye”, which sparked outrage in the United States due to its homophobic lyrics, also helped Banton’s case.
“All those things come into play. It was like a punishment – trying to make a mark in the earlier days when there was stigma on popular songs (and the genre)”, he told local media.
Before the start of the Long Walk To Freedom tour earlier this year, Banton decided to permanently remove the song from his catalog saying that he “recognized that the song has caused much pain to listeners.”