Buju Banton and Kartel land on Billboard Reggae charts
Buju Banton has landed in the number two spot on the Billboard Reggae chart this week. According to data from the Nielsen Music/MRC Data, Upside Down 2020, which was released on June 26, sold 2,995 copies to début in the spot only bested in sales by Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend: Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers album that continues to hold the chart’s top position.
Banton’s album, which featured collaborations from international heavy hitters Pharell Williams and John Legend, has been receiving rave reviews online since its release. Critics have dubbed it one of the best bodies of work the artiste has put out, and say the compilation has restored his prestige on the music scene, having been absent for almost a decade. The 20-track project had huge support from international powerhouse label Roc Nation, with whom he forged a partnership back in December 2019. Support for the album also came courtesy of Island Records. Huge endorsements from several established international acts as well as huge promotion for Banton’s first album in 10 years resulted in it featuring prominently in ads in New York’s Time Square. In an interview with The Gleaner last month, the artiste said the album and his music will go places he is unable to because of certain restrictions. He also said the compilation was his gift to the world in a time when everything is ‘upside down’. He says the positive vibrations from the music should help set things right.
Banton’s album is not the only one to hit the coveted Billboard chart this week as Vybz Kartel’s Of Dons and Divas also made its début this week. The project which has been touted as the ‘Grammy album’ landed in the number six position. It boasts a long list of featured artistes, including Lisa Hyper, Squash, Tommy Lee Sparta and Skillibeng. The 18-track album was produced by Short Boss Muzik and Vybz Kartel Muzik imprints with worldwide distribution by Zojak Worldwide.