Buju Banton will be returning home to Jamaica tomorrow, Saturday 8 December, after serving 7 years in prison for drug trafficking. It appears that Buju Banton has already been released from the federal prison and is being held for deportation.
The United States Bureau of Prisons updated its website overnight and changed Buju’s release date from December 8, 2018 to UNKNOWN.
The website states that, “if the Release Date field indicates UNKNOWN, the inmate’s confinement term is not determined (e.g. he or she may be in pretrial status, has not yet been sentenced, is being held due to a civil commitment, etc.).”
The website indicates that Buju is still being held at the McRae Correctional. McRae is known as a “criminal alien requirement” prison, meaning that it houses only non-citizen prisoners who will face deportation once they complete their sentences.
The UNKNOWN status for Buju could mean that he has been removed from the general prison population and is now awaiting deportation.
While the Reggae star’s team has been organizing a set of events to celebrate his release, the Government of Jamaica will not be organizing or participating in any of the events to mark Buju Banton’s return.
Minister of Entertainment and Culture, Olivia Grange, revealed that while the Grammy-winning entertainer’s team will be hosting an event to celebrate his return in Jamaica, the government will not be among the organisers.
“The government will not be organizing an event to mark the return of Buju Banton to Jamaica,” Grange told media reporters.
“We are aware that Buju Banton and his management team will be having a concert, and the Ministry of Culture may have a presence, but it is nothing that the government will be actively organising. Buju Banton has done his time. It is not the place of any government to believe in incarceration and not rehabilitation. Buju Banton is rehabilitated and he has the right to come home,” she added.
Grange did not state specifically why the government will not be organizing an event to mark the legend’s return. However, a source claimed that the circumstances behind his homecoming may have been a factor.
“Buju Banton, living legend or not, will return to Jamaica as – that most pejorative of terms – a ‘deportee’; someone who has been returned forcibly to the land of their origin through deportation.,” the source stated.
Earlier this year, Reggae star Chronixx called on the government to show their support for Reggae and Dancehall music by staging an event for the “Wanna Be Loved” singer.
“It [Reggae and Dancehall] is the number one export in this country. It’s the only thing that we export all year round. The city of London invite me the city of Kingston neva invite me to do a show yet, enuh. They don’t think it’s worth it to say we are going to put in our budget $20 million for Buju Banton and Sizzla to perform,” the “Likes” the “Here Comes Trouble” singer said.
Nevertheless, demand for Buju Banton’s music remains high despite his prolonged absence from the recording studio. A$AP Rocky recently called him “one of my favourite reggae rappers”.
He won the Grammy award in 2011 for his album ‘Before the Dawn’. He was previously nominated in the Best Reggae Album category in 2004, and 2010 for his albums ‘Friends for Life’ and ‘Rasta Got Soul’.