Jamaican reggae legend Buju Banton is back with a new acoustic release of the hit song, “Buried Alive”, exclusively available now as an Amazon Music Original. The song became a fan favorite on his most recent album, Upside Down 2020, the first for Banton since his release from incarceration and return to Jamaica in 2018. Upside Down 2020 was released this past summer as the much anticipated, long-awaited followup to the reggae artist’s previous, GRAMMY-winning album, Before The Dawn, 10 years prior and it is hard not to feel like Buju only got better in his decade-long hiatus.
“Buried Alive” is a beautifully written ballad, masterfully capturing the power of the human soul.
Bringing a rough, multi-level singing ability to voice a truth so many have long forgotten, that “given one more chance, with our hearts still beating”, we can change the world. The acoustic version only amplifies the impact this song carries. An idea flows out of the powerful lyrics of “Buried Alive” that reaches deep down within you, pulling out a will to succeed and move forward. A desire to survive. A song to accept the past and embrace the future, while never losing sight of its core message: if there is still air in your lungs and blood pumping through your veins, then you are not done yet. The words implore you to keep going. If given the chance, you have to take it.
Buju Banton’s strong delivery of his impactful message is driven home by the underlying tones of positivity when faced with adversity throughout the song, such as “if I’m alive, there must be a reason”. The first verse spends its time reflecting on past mistakes. It is never the past that defines you, but how you shape your future. Banton reflects on living a life of sin that could have cost him everything. Owning up to being blind to what was holding him back. Equating to him just “running against the wind”. If we accept our past, turn and ride the wind, there are no limits as to the lengths we can travel and the depths we can return from.
A quote from Mahalia Jackson forms the base for the second verse, “If you dig one ditch you better dig two”… with Banton making known his Rastafari roots. Jah the Almighty has made him brave in the face of the wicked and it couldn’t be more clear in the way he delivers his message. The co-star of the show is the heart-stopping piano, doing everything it can to bring even more life to the inspirational words of “Buried Alive”. The simple notes to begin the song — reminiscent of a heart still beating — down to the wonderfully pleasant backing vocals, the entire song does a fantastic job of reminding everyone that in the face of hardship, in the face of adversity, as long as you are still breathing, you have a chance. You have hope. You may not know what tomorrow may bring, but never let go of the hope that it may bring everything you ever needed.