Grammy-winning dancehall reggae star Buju Banton is going to prison for 10 years for drug trafficking and firearms possession.
In February he was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.
US District Judge, James Moody gave Banton—whose real name is Mark Myrie—the minimum sentence allowed and the singer will serve them in a maximum security facility.
Banton is the man most widely cited as responsible for kickstarting the ongoing wave of anti-gay lyrics in reggae with his early 90s song “Boom Bye Bye,” which called for gay men (“da chi chi man”) to be shot in the head and set on fire. In recent years he’s mostly abandoned making anti-gay statements and once spoke about being “wrong” for recording the offending song, but resists making any kind of overtures to gay audiences, often choosing to cast himself as the victim of racist gay activists, even as he speaks out on behalf of other oppressed populations in the world. As recently as 2009 he said, “There is no end to war between me and faggot.”
In other words, it’s still a little understandable if, after hearing this news, you feel that justice is being served on more than one level.