Buju Banton's Online Presence Increases

Buju Banton’s arrest has not visibly increased his chart presence but his online presence has skyrocketed second to Bob Marley.

Buju Banton’s arrest has not visibly increased his chart presence but his online presence has skyrocketed second to Bob Marley.

Banton’s latest album Rasta Got Soul has not been among the biggest jumpers or decliners this week on Billboard reggae charts. It would have been enough time for the news of his arrest to begin influencing sales. The top jump of the week was Mishka’s Guy With A Guitar which was an album that re-entered the charts due to its increased sales over the week. This has not occured with Buju’s album which was released in May this year and charted for 15 weeks. Additionally, no Banton album is currently charting on any of the 22 listed country reggae charts on iTunes — the popular online music store nor on Myspace’s Top 10 reggae charts.

buju-banton
Banton, however, currently has more of an online presence than Sean Paul, who was voted the Billboard reggae artiste of 2009, and is one of the most popular deejays internationally. Last week, Banton was less popular than many of his peers, but his trend data from US-based search engine Google is rising so fast that he is currently about twice as popular as Shaggy, four times more popular than Vybz Kartel and six times more popular than Sizzla and Mavado. Only the late Bob Marley’s online presence continues to tower over Banton’s.

Google Trends analyses a portion of Google web searches to compute the quantity of searches for terms relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. Google states that trends may include data-sampling and approximation errors.

Banton, born Mark Myrie, on Thursday waived his right to a bail hearing when he appeared before US Magistrate William Turnoff in the Miami Federal Court.

Banton, along with Ian Thomas — also called ‘Yush’ and Jason Mack — were held December 10 by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and charged with possession and intent to distribute at least five kilogrammes of cocaine.

The Jamaican reggae singer, who was only recently nominated for a Grammy Award, will have his case heard in Tampa, Florida where the offence allegedly occurred. No date has yet been set for the hearing.

DEA agents said the three were part of a drug syndicate which sought to purchase cocaine from an undercover cop. The 36-year-old Banton has vehemently denied the charges.

The entertainer’s lawyer, Herbert Walker lll, told the Observer Thursday that his client was upbeat despite the prospect of spending Christmas in jail.

DEA agents reported that they had been following the entertainer’s movements for four days and alleged that he was caught on camera sampling cocaine in an undercover warehouse in Sarasota, Florida.

A grand jury indictment also accused Banton, Thomas and Mack of carrying a firearm during the course of the alleged crime.

Source: JamaicaObserver

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