Born For Greatness – the 13th studio album by Reggae and Dancehall star Buju Banton – did not debut on the sales and streaming-driven Billboard Reggae Albums Chart in the week following its release on September 8.
Distributed via Gargamel Music and Roc Nation/Def Jam, the 17-track album sold 1,100 units in sales and streaming in the United States during its first week, according to data provided to DancehallMag from Billboard’s sales tracker Luminate. Of this, there were 400 copies in pure album sales and 891,000 in audio and video streaming in the US.
The album’s lifetime sales, which include sales and streaming equivalent album units from its pre-release singles — the title track Born For Greatness, Coconut Wata (Sip), and High Life with Snoop Dogg — stand at 2,600 units as of September 15, Luminate reported. This includes 500 copies and 2.2 million in audio and video streaming in the US.
The project, recently dubbed by DancehallMag as a “respite for lovers of Jamaican music,” also featured Victoria Monet and Stephen Marley.
Last Saturday, at Di Lot on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew, Banton hosted a celebration for the album. He took a moment to sincerely thank his fans, stating, as quoted by The Star, “Me love unuh. Love unuh from the heart. A nuff tribulation, unuh watch me from me a youth, come up in a the system. And unuh watch me stand up and defend unuh rights all when unuh nuh wah defend it. And unuh cuss me too, me can deal with that cause me still love unuh. But at the end of the day, a the music me talk to unuh through and if the music not speaking to the people we not effective.”
The singer also explained that the album comprised of tracks for “men to meditate and see things, tell you tings weh no one else nah tell you.”
Born For Greatness follows Banton’s 2020 album, Upside Down 2020, his first since returning to Jamaica in 2018 after a stint in U.S. incarceration. That album enjoyed an eight-week run on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart, debuting at No. 2 with first-week sales and streaming of 2,995 units.
Banton’s illustrious career has seen multiple albums charting on the Billboard Reggae list, including Before The Dawn (2010), which spent 13 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 2.
Rasta Got Soul (2009) spent 17 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 2, while Too Bad (2006) spent 37 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 6.
Friends For Life (2003) spent 50 weeks on the Reggae chart, peaking at No. 3, and one week on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at No. 198. Unchained Spirit (2000) spent 30 weeks on the Reggae chart, peaking at No. 2, and two weeks on the 200 chart, peaking at No. 128.
Inna Heights (1997) spent 79 weeks on the Reggae, holding the No. 1 position for eight weeks. Til Shiloh (1995) spent 104 weeks on the Reggae chart, peaking at No. 2, and two weeks on the 200 chart, peaking at No. 148. Voice of Jamaica (1993) spent 44 weeks on the Reggae chart, peaking at No. 6, and seven weeks on the 200 chart, peaking at No. 159.
Before The Dawn won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2010, while Buju also received nominations for Upside Down 2020, Rasta Got Soul, Too Bad, Friends for Life, and Inna Heights.
Meanwhile, back on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart dated September 23, Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers continued its reign at No. 1 for the 192nd non-consecutive week.
Shaggy’s Best of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection is at No. 2, followed by Sean Paul’s Dutty Classics Collection and Dutty Rock albums at No. 3 and 4, respectively.
Byron Messia’s No Love is at No. 5 for its 14th week on the chart.
Stick Figure’s Wisdom, Set In Stone, and World On Fire albums are at No. 6, 8, and 9, respectively.
UB40’s Greatest Hits album is at No. 7, while Rebelution’s Live At Red Rocks is at No. 10.