Reggae legend Buju Banton has officially signed to Roc Nation.
Just one year after his release from prison, Buju Banton has solidified his comeback by teaming up with Jay-Z’s label powerhouse Roc Nation. The reggae legend celebrated the partnership by releasing two singles, “Trust” and his latest release “Steppa.”
In addition to dropping the singles, Buju has also surprised fans by dropping the official video for “Steppa” this past weekend.
The cinematic video, shot in Jamaica’s majestic Blue Mountains, opens showcasing the natural beauty of the area before showing the contrast of some more grittier scenes giving fans a glimpse of what It’s like in the heart of Jamaica.
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Buju explained the direction of the video and why he’s not interested in switching up the messaging in his music.
A certain culture has taken on a life of its own and become a monster,” Buju Banton said. “Things are not the way they used to be — crime and violence, the gap between the rich and the poor,” he continues. “Wasn’t that always my role, to bring some civility and some consciousness to human existence, to the music? I’ve not changed.”
Buju Banton also credits Barbadian mogul Rihanna for the connection with Roc Nation, making the living legend the second reggae artist to sign to the powerhouse after Damien Marley.
“The connection came about through my association with the great queen, Miss Rihanna herself,” Banton continued. “A great guy who works alongside her, Omar Grant” — who helped A&R albums like Talk That Talk and Anti and now serves as co-president of Roc Nation — “we started working together on small stuff, and the idea [of collaborating] came about.”
Banton says he shares at least two priorities with Roc Nation. First, “to do things independently and show that we can foster a unity in our people that can’t be emulated anywhere else.” Second, he adds, “their affinity to the prison reform situation that’s going on over in America, that’s something I can identify with.”
In regards to whether the two recently released singles are hints that a full album is on the way soon, Buju states that planning is not his thing—but instead fellowship is his method of choice.
“I’m without a plan,” Buju said. “A plan — that is too much of a strong word. We’re working on a fellowship.”
Check out the video for “Steppa” below.
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