Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Dec 16th 2009 9:52PM by Benjy Eisen
Banton became somewhat of an international spokesperson for dancehall reggae in the 1990s. At the end of that decade, he recorded with punk-rockers Rancid and was then signed to their label, Anti. He has since dabbled with crossover-friendly genres such as hip-hop and R&B, straying from his reggae roots to achieve a wider audience, not entirely unlike his predecessor Bob Marley. However, Banton faced a significant backlash from the gay community after several of his lyrics appeared to support violence against gay men. His latest disc, 'Rasta Got Soul,' was released in April and is currently nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Reggae Album.
In 2003, Banton was arrested in Jamaica for marijuana cultivation which, he argued, he used for spiritual purposes as a practicing Rastafarian. That may be a valid defense in Jamaica, but Tampa isn't Kingston and cocaine isn't ganga. If convicted, Banton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.