Wed | Aug 12, 2020

‘Til Shiloh’ turns 25 - Buju to officially receive RIAA Gold album

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2020 | 12:07 AM
Buju Banton.
Buju Banton.

‘Til Shiloh, Buju Banton’s boundary-shattering masterpiece, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), turns 25 on July 18. Today, Buju’s fans across the world will be able to watch as he receives the RIAA certified Gold album. A Gold record is a single or album that has managed to sell 500,000 units. The award was launched in 1958 and originally, the requirement for a Gold album represented $1 million in sales.

The presentation will be made via YouTube Live with UMG executives Bruce Resnikoff, president & CEO, UMe, in Los Angeles, and Darcus Beese, president, Island Records in New York.

‘Til Shiloh explored Banton’s Rastafarian faith on highlights like ‘ Til I’m Laid to Rest, Untold Stories, Not An Easy Road, and includes fan favourites Murderer, Champion, and Wanna Be Loved.

“My music is an embodiment. A total embodiment of who I am: my perspective, my griefs, how I feel within,” Banton told Okayplayer in 2020. “I am merely a vessel. A servant. And this is my offering. Wholeheartedly.”

Buju Banton was born Mark Anthony Myrie as the youngest of 16 children. Soon after his first song, The Ruler, which he recorded at 16, Banton developed a thunderous rasp that set him apart in his lane. His early underground hit, Stamina Daddy, became the title track of his 1992 debut album. The follow-up, Mr Mention, contained seismic singles like Love Me Brownin and Love Black Woman, which were groundbreaking for their feminist purview when this was uncommon from a male singer.

INTROSPECTIVE THEME

Buju made his international debut with 1993’s Voice of Jamaica, which Allmusic called “the kind of album that leaves the listener breathless with amazement”. But he would do that album one better.

‘Til Shiloh, named after a saying meaning ‘forever’, pivoted from Banton’s previous rude-boy style to introspective roots reggae. With Donovan Germain, Lisa Cortes, Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon, Dave Kelly, Sylvester Gorton and Steely & Clevie behind the board, Shiloh’s introspective themes, innovative use of digital programming and prayerful vibe changed reggae and dancehall permanently.

‘Til Shiloh was acclaimed by BBC as “a very listenable landmark” which “saw the brash ‘rockstone’ deejay turn dreadlocked throwback”, by Spin, which called it the 10th best album of 1995 and his voice “an uncontrollably vibrant lickshot of adrenaline”, and by The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau, who awarded the album an A-minus, as “the most fully accomplished reggae album since the prime of Black Uhuru”.