Unlike his reaction in 2022, when he bemoaned the fact that American band SOJA had won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album, Bounty Killer has indicated that he’s pleased with the category’s 2024 nominees.
The 66th annual Grammy Awards, set for February 4, 2024, will feature five nominees competing in the Best Reggae Album category. These include albums by four Jamaican artists: Beenie Man with Simma, Buju Banton with Born For Greatness, Burning Spear with No Destroyer, and Julian Marley with Colours of Royal, and the Cali Roots Riddim 2023 by American-born Bermudan artist Collie Buddz.
“Now, this is a worthy selection for the Reggae category. Congratulations to all the nominees, let’s go folks,” Killer wrote in an Instagram post on Monday.
In April 2022, there was a flurry of accusations aimed at the Recording Academy—including those of bias and race-based favoritism—after SOJA upstaged Jamaican artists Sean Paul, Spice, Gramps Morgan, Etana, and Jesse Royal to win the Award for their album Beauty In The Silence.
The tersest of all had come from Bounty Killer, who wrote in an Instagram post: “What a big piece a sell out gwaan ya so white folks winning best reggae album over Jamaicans wtf🤔.”
In another post, accompanied by a clip of his track How Dem Fi Fight Reggae Music, a collab with Sizzla, Bounty added: “Dedicated to di Jamaican government who’s fighting our culture music and even we language but still uses it to promote our campaigns. That’s why dutty Billboard and Grammy feel they can style di thing folks.”
Bounty Killer has one Grammy nomination for his 2002 album, Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery.
Beenie Man happy for fellow Grammy nominees
On Friday, King of the Dancehall Beenie Man said he was happy that he has gone through this year’s Best Reggae Album Grammy nominations “gate” and urged those who did not make the grade this time to try again next year.
During Radio Jamaica’s Two Live Crew, Beenie Man was asked by host Christopher “Johnny” Daley about how he felt about his “fellow nominees this year.”
“In everything is four, don’t it… Mi just glad me was one of them who went through the door, and I am very happy for everybody who nominated with me. Buju Banton – because me is a Dancehall artist and you know how my ting guh, zeen” Beenie said.
The Girl Dem Sugar also singled out Burning Spear for special mention. “Burning Spear a mi don; a mi bredrin fi years. Mi caan seh nothing bout him because a mi don. A mi don-don-don-don!,” Beenie said of the veteran.
He added: “Suh mi just want seh anybody who didn’t meck it through the gate, there is a next year. But I am here dis year, zeen.”
Simma earned Beenie Man his fourth Grammy Award nomination. He won in 2001 for Art and Life.
“Deeply grateful for the Grammy nomination for my album Simma. This recognition is a testament to the incredible journey we’ve shared through music. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this remarkable adventure”, he noted on Instagram after the announcement.
Thirteen-time nominee Burning Spear, who won his first Grammy in the Best Reggae Album category back in 1999 for Calling Rastafari and in 2008 for Jah Is Real, noted the special significance of his No Destroyer album, being the last project he worked on with his wife before her illness. “Winning the Grammy would be awesome as this project is the last one that I worked on with my wife before she got sick,” he told DancehallMag.
Buju Banton, who has copped his eighth Grammy nomination, took to Instagram to express his appreciation. “My only joy is being able to share this gift with the universe, for that I am always humbled #BornForGreatnness,” he wrote.
Collie Buddz, a first-time nominee, expressed surprise at the news. “Wow! Very unexpected”, he wrote on Instagram.