Thursday, December 9, 2010

Buju Banton-Magic City

We don't feature nearly enough reggae on this blog. Although other genres of music may be more popular worldwide, I would bet that reggae is the least disliked genre. There is simply no way to hate on its feel-good rhythms; it's impossible to not like the involuntary body sway that a reggae record seems to bring out in each of us. What I love is that some of the biggest reggae heads I've met are the least "reggae looking" (if such a thing exists) people you can imagine. They have just fallen in love with the genre, just like an incredibly wide variety of people across the world have.

An all time favorite is "Magic City" by Buju Banton. Carrying the banner of optimism like only a reggae jam can, "Magic City" is about a place where things are bright, things are alive, life is good. Buju says in an interview that this magic city is the place where you are right now. That there is no reason trying to find the mythical El Dorado when it doesn't exist, that each and every one of our situations is, in its own way, magic. First released in 2004 as a single, but most recently included in Buju's latest record, Rasta Got Soul, "Magic City" sounds just as fresh now as it did six years ago. And the message never fades. My favorite lines of the song go:

"Ay, yeah I was depressed, frustrated and lonely
Then a voice from nowhere came and consoled me
Now do the best you can, you stand up and be a man"

because in some ways, reggae is like a good friend. Always there to make ya feel good, but when we most need it, not afraid to give you a little push, telling you to keep going, to not give up, to always find the beauty in our day to day lives. And that's something I can dig.

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