News: Reggae Star Buju Banton Held By Police On Drug Charges, DEA Confirms Arrest

Monday, Dec 14, 2009 9:30AM

Written by Biz Jones

Reggae star Buju Banton has reportedly been placed in federal custody in Florida after allegedly attempting to sell over five kilos of cocaine.

According to reports, Buju was taken in by authorities last Thursday (December 10).

Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton is facing a drug charge in Florida. Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in U.S. federal custody in Miami since Thursday. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman David Melenkevitz said Sunday that Banton was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The charge stems from a DEA case in Tampa. (Associated Press)

Last summer, the rapper had his United States tour nixed over anti-gay songs.

The Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton has a long-standing reputation for inciting anti-gay sentiment (his 1992 single "Boom Bye Bye" proposes pouring acid on homosexuals and shooting them in the head with an Uzi, among other things; in 2004, he was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men). (Entertainment Weekly)

Anti-gay groups have also spoken against his character and recent Grammy nomination.

"Banton's anti-gay lyrics and the climate of hatred they create are a threat to the safety of gay and transgender people everywhere," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "It is deeply disappointing that The Recording Academy would choose to laud the work of a singer who has advocated violence against the gay community." (Pink Paper News)

He has nearly two decades of music to his name in the recording industry.

Buju Banton was one of the most popular dancehall reggae artists of the '90s. Debuting with a series of popular "slack" singles, which drew criticism for their graphic sexuality and homophobia, Banton converted to Rastafarianism and revolutionized dancehall by employing the live instrumentation and social consciousness of classic roots reggae. (All Music)

No further details have been released as of now.

Check out Buju Banton's "Driver A" down below:

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