The Early Years (Vol. 2) ~ The Reality Of Life
Buju Banton
VP Records / Penthouse
September 18, 2012

The Early Years Vol. 2 - Track list
  1. Lion Rule The Jungle
  2. How It Ago Go
  3. God Of My Salvation
  4. How Massa God World A Run feat. Wayne Wonder
  5. I Am Moving
  6. No Respect
  7. Lef We Business
  8. Burn Baby Burn
  9. Want It feat. Twiggy
  10. Who Say feat. Beres Hammond
  11. Decent Kind Of Loving feat. Carol Gonzales
  12. Him Tek Off
  13. What We Can Do
  14. Reap What You Sew feat. Morgan Heritage
  15. Politics Time Again (Remix) feat. Angel
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Essential -Votes: 9-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 2-
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Total votes : 14
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Ten years after the release of the Buju Banton compilation "The Early Years (90-95)", which gathered his most popular hardcore dancehall tunes from the beginning of his career until the mid-90s, there's finally a follow-up on the streets called "The Early Years (Vol. 2) ~ The Reality Of Life". As the title indicates this 15 track set features the Gargamel's early cultural material, although there are also a few tunes added from a later period in his music career.

Born on Salt Lane, a so-called "slum" outside Kingston, Buju Banton was the youngest of 15 children. His parents were direct descendants of the independent, rebellious Maroons who fought hard against the British to preserve their freedom. His nickname Buju (meaning breadfruit, a moniker given to chubby children like him) is a reminder of his proud heritage. Much later he took the last name "Banton", a word for talented story tellers, after a favorite performer, Burro Banton. At age 13, he took up the mic to become a sound system deejay. Not long afterwards, he began recording and the rest is history.

The compilation, which mostly contains tunes produced by Donovan Germain for his Penthouse and Germain labels, opens with "Lion Rule The Jungle" aka "The Lion Rules" on the "Love Won't Come Easy" riddim from 1996. It's followed by the Dave Kelly produced "How It A Go" on the 1996 released "Joyride" riddim, with next Buju Banton stamping authority with his voice and lyrics in the spiritual tune "God Of My Salvation". Spirituality is also present in the wicked combination song with Wayne Wonder, "How Massa God World A Run", a commentary on the state of the world which belongs to the Almighty. Besides the combi with Wayne Wonder, this compilation also features collaborations with Twiggy, Carol Gonzales, Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage and Angel. In particular worthwhile hearing are the lovers piece "Who Say" with Beres Hammond, the conscious "Reap What You Sew" with Morgan Heritage, and the remixed version of the big reality tune "Politics Time Again", which features Angel (not to be confused with dancehall star D'Angel).

"The Early Years (Vol. 2) ~ The Reality Of Life" is a solid collection of tunes from one of Jamaica's biggest artists.