Tag Archives: Reggae

Buju Banton Gun Charge dropped

Jamaican reggae star  Buju Banton is now celebrating after a Florida federal judge, yesterday, threw out the gun possession charge arising from his drug conviction two years ago . For full story follow the source


I am in great shock to learn that Reggae Superstar has finally been found guilty in his on going case. The singer who is rated as one of my all time favourites was handed the ruling today and was found guilty on three charges by a 12-member panel of jurors at the United States Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida, USA.

The artiste was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence. However, it has been reported that he was found not guilty of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Just as I would, many of the artiste’s supporters left the courtroom crying. Buju was given bail a few months ago, in which he was able to perform some live performances.  He has been detained and has had his bail revoked. However his lawyer, David Oscar Markus, has signalled his intention to appeal the guilty verdict.

Buju Banton was arrested at his Tamarac home in South Florida in December 2009, a day after his co-defendants Ian Thomas and James Mack were arrested in a government controlled warehouse in Tampa, Florida attempting to buy cocaine from Drug Enforcement Agents. He was jailed for almost 11 months in the Pinellas County Jail and his first trial in September last year ended in a hung jury forcing US Judge Tom Moody to order a retrial.

The artist has consistently pleaded his innocence and claims he was entrapped by the US government. This is really a sad development, especially to reggae music fans. However, as a keen follower of Buju, i strongly believe, he will come out much stronger and with even more powerful songs..the problem is ,judgement has been passed yet and from the speculation relating to his case, he is due to be in prison for a long time.


I must confess I am a big fan of reggae music-I have listened to this genre to a point where I am able to separate the best from the worst. Reggae has been part of Malawi music for sometime now-over the years we have seen the coming up of Reggae stars that have produced music of international standards, a big mention to artists like Evison Matafale, Black Missionaries, Limbani Banda, Frank Kalonde and many more. However, there is one artist who has chosen to be distinct, whose style and vocal abilities can stand out from the crowded music scene and who has taken years in training himself to perfect his style. The artist is TEAR GASS.

Teargass, born Leonard Chongwe, may not be a new name to most Malawians as he was introduced to the nation in the late 90s by DJ Tai B, through his famous radio show ‘Ragga Street’ which aired on MBC Radio 2. Teargass became famous for his Ragga style and ability to speak the lovable Jamaican language –Patois. During the time, he dropped a number of singles including the smash hit ‘Oneness’ which featured other Ragga artists like Anne Matumbi, San B and the late Dr Lizad.

He dropped his first album “Togetherness” in 1997 which featured the hit song ‘Warning Dem still’ -the song that managed to get into the charts in the then Malawi’s only top Twenty on MBC Radio 2. There is no denial that music is in Teargass blood. Over the years, he took time off the limelight of which some thought he had stopped music all together. However Teargass took time to rediscover himself, and worked behind the scenes producing music for other artists. He is now a more matured artist and has even shifted his style from pure deejaying (Ragga) to a more melodious sing jay style.

His music background is that befitting a genuine reggae star. He has worked with numerous artists that include prolific Jamaican artists like Ibo Cooper of Third World, Jesse Jender and regards Benjy Myaz as his mentor

However the year 2011 promises to be the year when TEARGASS is fully back to reclaim his rightful spot at the top of Malawian Reggae. The most interesting thing is that, his new style is so international and without doubt will make him cross borders into a massive international Reggae superstar. His new album entitled “Reporting for Duty” is due for release on 28 February. He has described the main theme of his latest album as LOVE “love your self, your Creator & respond to your Calling on Earth”. He has also featured Sally Nyundo, another fine Malawian reggae artist.

Reporting for Duty was recorded in Chilomoni, Malawi at Greener Heights Studio in by Ras Tiya (Tiya Chalamwendo),and Suji Lyons (Releif Katengeza). Having sampled some of the tracks from the forth coming album, it is true that Teargass is a gifted singer and worth to represent Malawi as a Reggae ambassador on the international scene.
Songs from the album have already started enjoying airtime on BBC’s focus on Africa, MBC Television just to mention a few
To enjoy the first single from the album, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPr_qLu4ZVA or like his facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001714729284