Buju Banton’s hit Driver A is undoubtedly one of the Reggae Legend’s most controversial songs. The Roots-Reggae-styled track that revived Sly and Robbie’s slow and pulsating Taxi Riddim hears the Gargamel strongly instructing a “driver” to make a suspicious delivery, but under one condition—keep it moving.
It turns out that the inspiration behind the track came on a random day while Banton was visiting the We Dub Studio in Florida. According to him, the realities of life and what he witnessed ever so often nudged him to record a relatable song.
“Well, Driver A—I was just driving on the streets in Florida after a brethren ah mine come down ah my place, an’ him ah drive di car an’ me a drive a BMW—a white BMW—real, real vibe an’ di back of di car skid…right ova Dub’s Studios [to] check out a works an’ by time mi reach, I was just inspired,” he said during what appeared to be a clip from an interview posted to his Instagram page.
Once again, the singer reiterated that his goal was to create relatability with his audience.
“People say it’s ‘the game’—not really. In a sense, but there’s more connotation to it than just the game. We as musicians, we always sing di tings that di people identify with. Suh, the people was only able to identify that song because hustling is dem life,” the song said.
If you thought it couldn’t get any more exclusive, Buju, a known rustic artist himself, shared that his favourite line from the track was: “A barrel gun mi buss and me you know it can’t stick…”
The track’s official music video has amassed over 16 million views to date on YouTube. It was directed by Troy Antonio.
Fortunately for him, many of his followers appreciated the story—though pretty simple. The comments under the post are there to prove it.
“When the song was released every cars, radio, DJ’s, bars clubs were playing that song here in NYC, especially brooklyners. Still a NYC favorite,” said one fan.
“Mi glad him state that it’s a real life situation that a lot of us minorities have to deal with to send dem kids to school…we neva invest hustling wi come yah come Seet.. slave trade was a hustling because it was illegal no one hasn’t been to jail,” another reasoned.
Meanwhile, one more commenter chimed in saying, “This is the most lyrical and creative song ever put out in Dancehall. The Gargamel is a real legend. Young Artist sit and learn ur pen game from the Gargamel remember the lyricist of ur age Vybz kartel is inspired by the Gargamel remember his first name he named himself off the gargamel”
Driver A formed part of the 2006 album Too Bad. The project, which was the singer’s 8th, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Reggae Albums Charts in the United States.
The Reggae artist is gearing up for the release of his 13th studio album, Born For Greatness. The 17-track project will feature Stephen Marley (on Feel A Way), Snoop Dogg (on High Life), DJ Khaled (on We Find A Way), and Victoria Monét on the album’s sixth track, Body Touching Body.