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Buju Banton Friends For Life

Buju Banton is the Don Dada of dancehall, period. When he traded in his gruff, sexually explicit toasts for soul-stirring roots reggae, he proved he was a champion there too. Friends For Life will become a classic because it crosses musical boundaries, with stops in hip-hop, r&b and African rhythms. Collaborations with Bounty Killer, Beres Hammond and Fat Joe are indicative of the musical journey this offering travels. Here is a mature Banton-Afrocentric, contemplative and apparently no longer a sexist. "Up Ye Mighty Race," a Nyabinghi romp, calls for justice, while "All Will Be Fine" places Banton in the great Rastafari pantheon alongside Marley and Tosh. More than simply Jamaican music, this is music for the world.

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