Throwback Thursdays: Iron Lyon on Buju Banton’s “Champion (Remix)”

Words by Iron Lyon

This week’s Throwback Thursdays selector is Miami/NY/Vancouver hip-hop and reggae specialist Iron Lyon. You can catch him each and every Wednesday at One Love Wednesdays at Miami’s Ricochet, or keep up with him here.

In the summer of 1995, around the same time I had finally saved up enough for two Technics, Buju Banton released one of my favorite albums to date: Til Shiloh. To me, every single cut on the record is a classic. When I copped the single for “Champion” on wax, I was hype when I saw that it not only had the acapella version but a hip-hop remix as well. I was even more amped to find that it was over Ice Cube’s “You Know How We Do It,” which was and still is one of my favorite west coast anthems, sampling Evelyn Champagne King’s “The Show Is Over” along with a rendition of “Funky Worm” by the Ohio Players.

Naturally, while growing up on hip-hop and reggae, I was always looking for tracks where the two genres came together to create that special sound and this cut was right on the money.

The video captures an era when the clothing was colorful, the vibes were good, and the music was positive. When the video first came out, it was good to see Buju having a good time despite the recent passing of his close friend and one of the greatest reggae artists of all time, Garnet Silk. The clip echoes the rise of hip-hop influenced films like Boyz N’ the Hood and Menace ll Society that were buzzing at that time and music videos like Snoop Dogg and Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A G Thang.” It’s a simple visual but I like the way Buju brought together a diverse group of people and just had fun with it. I mean, the guy is dancing in a field of dandelions. FREE BUJU!

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