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Monday, February 28, 2011


It has been confirmed that world renowned fashion designer and business magnate, Thomas “Jacob Tommy” Hilfiger, is coming to Uganda, this week. The Irish-American fashion designer is coming at the invitation of UNDP’s Millennium Villages Project to inspect a project he is funding in Insingiro District in western Uganda.
See, like many American celebrities who have benevolently aided disadvantaged Africans, Tommy Hilfiger has generously donated $2m (about Kshs. 160 Million) towards community development interventions in Uganda.
The money has also helped health units with medical supplies and drugs as well as farmers in areas of Ruhiira, Kabuyanda in Isingiro Districts.  Part of the things Hilfiger is expected to see in Isingiro during his visit between March 2 and March 3, is the construction of a three- classroom block.


The kokomaster aka D'banj seems to be following in the footsteps of one Aliaune Thiam, aka, Akon. You would think he would still be excited after the successful collaboration with Hip Hop legend, Snoop Dogg on the Mr Endowed Remix.
Instead, he has gone up a notch and is now said to be working on a song with hip hop's biggest ego, Kanye West. We hear the song will be out this year.
We are also informed that rap sensation Lil Wayne turned down the offer of a collaboration with D'Banj because the Koko Master could not foot the  $1 million dollars fee requested by the Young Money de facto leader before putting pen to paper. We doubt he will be mourning since Kanye can more than help his star shine brighter.


The Grizzlies and Rockets made it happen. Here’s the final deal: Houston sends Shane Battier and Ish Smith to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet and a first-round pick. According to’s Marc Stein, the Rockets went deep in talks with Philly on a Battier for Marreese Speights and Jason Kapono deal, but ended up choosing Thabeet instead.  What this deal means for both teams is such: Memphis gets security at the small forward position for Rudy Gay, while Houston gets a young big man to play alongside Luis Scola in the presumable post-Yao Ming era.
On Thursday, the Memphis Grizzles dealt 24-year-old center Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a lottery-protected pick to the Houston Rockets for a now 32-year-old Shane Battier, and Ish Smith.
Only two years removed from selecting Thabeet with second overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Grizzlies have given up on him.
In a rare case of seller’s remorse, owner Michael Heisley opens up to Chris Tomasson of FanHouse:
"I don't know whether it's a mistake (having drafted Thabeet),'' Heisley said. "I look at (giving up Thabeet) with great concern. ... I think Houston needs a good center and I think that Thabeet could come back to haunt us. ... Absolutely, it's hard for us (to trade Thabeet). It's extremely hard. ... If he develops, he's going to be a big factor in this league and we might be eating our words.''
Heisley continues that the reasons for the trade were apparently twofold. In the immidiate, Battier adds stability and experience for a potential playoff run, while in the long haul, the Grizzlies didn’t see Thabeet usurping 26-year-old center Marc Gasol for playing time. Regardless, it seems awful soon to abandon a project everyone knew would take work going in.More Heisley: 
"When we drafted (Thabeet), Tony Barone, who's head of our player personnel thing, said, 'If you draft him, then you've got to play him. He needs to get minutes to develop.' ... We basically never really could find the time for him to get him in the lineup to really develop him as much.''
That’s a logical assessment, but it also begs the question, why draft Thabeet at all? In doing so, the Grizzlies knew what they were getting into, and chose to get into it in lieu of, say, someone like Stephen Curry…who would seem a pretty good fit in the Grizzly lineup.
As for the Rockets, well, I assume they know what they’re getting into as well. Thabeet is still incredibly raw, but he’s 7-3, can block shots, and he has never gotten a true chance to develop. With Yao Ming now unlikely to return to Houston, they, if anybody, can afford to give him the opportunity.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


After days of waiting Naija millionaire Kevin Chuwang has officially quit the bachelors club and married off Tanzanian Elizabeth Gupta at a lavish wedding in Lagos,Nigeria.  The couple had an exclusive send off party in December last year (2011) in Dar es salaam,Tanzania. It's the ceremony that gave Kevin the precious Elizabeth who is set to become Nigerian pretty soon. And our Naija scooper intimated to us that it was full of glamor and glitz..Oga style. The couple have been pronounced one and are set to go for their honeymoon soon.

During the show last year, Kevin was obviously crushing on Elizabeth and she was blowing “hot and cold”, she made it clear that she liked him but couldn’t see them having a relationship. She also shared that she had “never dated a black guy” and also said “Kevin was too short for her”!
It is great to see them get together and let’s not chastise Lizzy for her previous comments. If only things we said about people who turned out to be future girlfriends/boyfriends/husbands/wives were caught on tape! We would all be so guilty.
Congrats to Kevin and Elizabeth. The past 12 months have been amazing for Kevin, first he became the first Nigerian to win Big Brother Africa and picked up a $200,000 cheque for his efforts and now he is reportedly engaged to the love of his life. Up next for Kevin is the release of his debut album, his singles “Wok Pichak” featuring Stitched, “Una Pata Mambo” featuring Stitched and Lizzy, “Thank You” and “Dance Hall Nice” are already getting airplay on the radio. Elizabeth is also working on her music and acting career, she featured in a Tanzanian movie entitled “Danger Zone” earlier in the year.Watch out for their pictures here in soon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011



You saw it right right. She's called Shilole , a new face in Tanzanian film industry. Hot,sexy and alluring....


  1. Lady Jaydee
  2. Mwasiti
  3. Linah
  4. Shaa
  5. Khadija Kopa
  1. 20%
  2. Ally Kiba
  3. Barnaba
  4. Diamond
  5. AY
  6. Belle 9
  1. 20%
  2. Barnaba
  3. Ally Kiba
  4. Banana
  5. Belle 9
  6. Diamond
  1. Lady Jaydee
  2. Linah
  3. Mwasiti
  4. Khadija Kopa
  5. Shaa
  1. My Valentine - JAHAZI
  2. Top In Town - KHADIJA KOPA
  3. Acheni Kuniandama - ISHA RAMADHANI MASHAUZI
  4. Langu Rohoni - JAHAZI
  5. Mama nipe Radhi - ISHA MASHAUZI
  1. Mama Ntilie - GELLY WA RYMES ft, AT & RAY C
  2. Sina Raha - SAM WA UKWELI
  3. Ya nini Malumbano - 20%
  4. Mkono Mmoja - CHEGE & TEMBA ft, WAHU
  5. Bado Tunapanda - TIP TOP CONNECTION
  6. Tamaa Mbaya - 20%
  1. Shika Ushikapo - MAPACHA WATATU ft MZEE YUSUPH
  2. Laptop - EXTRA BONGO
  3. Kauli - TWANGA PEPETA
  4. Mapenzi hayana kiapo - TWANGA PEPETA
  5. Pongezi kwa Wanandoa - AKUDO
  1. Wewe ni wangu - BELLE 9
  2. Nikikupata - Ben Poul
  4. Atatamani - LINAH
  5. Kisiwa cha Malavidavi - Z-Anton
  1. Propaganda - FID Q
  2. Karibu Tena - JOH MAKINI
  3. Ukisikia Paah - JCB ft, FID Q & CHIDI BENZ
  4. Usije Mjini - AY & MWANA FA
  5. Higher - NICK WA PILI ft JOH MAKINI
  1. Sauti ya Rasta - RAS RWANDA MAGERE
  2. Misingi ya Rasta - WORRIORS FROM THE EAST
  3. Sayuni - JHIKO MAN
  4. Ujio Mpya - HARDMAD ft, ENIKA 
  5. Reggae Swadakta - BOB LAU MWALUGAJA
  6. What u Feel Inside - HARDMAD
  1. Nimefulia - BENJAMIN WA MAMBO JAMBO ft AT
  3. Far Away - BIG JAH MAN ft, RICHARD
  4. My Friend - BENJAMIN
  5. Kiuno weka Busy - JET MAN
  1. Ferguson
  2. Khalid Chokoraa
  3. Totoo ze Bingwa
  4. Kitokololo
  5. Msafiri Diof
  1. Fid Q
  2. Joh Makini
  3. Ngwear
  4. Chidi Beenz
  5. Godzilla
  1. Nitafanya - KIDUMU & JAY DEE
  2. Kare - P-UNIT
  3. Songambele - ALPHA ft AY
  4. Vuvuzela - GOODLIFE
  5. Kasepiki - BEBE COOL
  1. 20%
  2. Barnaba
  3. Lady Jaydee
  4. Mrisho Mpoto
  5. Mzee Yusuph
  1. Marco Chali
  2. Lamar
  3. Man Water
  4. Bob Junior
  5. Pancho Latino
  1. Mama Ntilie - Gelly wa Rymes ft AT & Ray C
  2. Oyoyo - Bob Junior
  3. Ya nini Malumbano - 20%
  4. Tamaa Mbaya - 20%
  5. Mbagala - Diamond
  1. Sam wa Ukweli
  2. Linah
  3. Sajna
  4. Bob Junior
  5. Top C
  1. Mama Ntilie - Gelly wa Rhymes ft, AT & Ray C
  2. Mkono Mmoja - Chege & Temba ft Wahu
  3. Ahmada - Offside trick ft Bi Kidude
  4. Ukisikia Paah - JCB ft, Fid Q, Chidi Beenz & Jay Moe
  5. Dakika Moja - FA & AY ft Hardmad
  1. Adela - Mrisho Mpoto
  2. Kariakoo - Mataluma
  3. Ahmada - Offsidetrick ft, Bi Kidude
  4. Shangazi - Mpoki ft, Cassim
  5. Wa Mbele Mbele - Ommy G
  1. Sina Raha - Sam wa Ukweli
  2. Ulofa - Top C
  3. Nabembelezwa - Barnaba
  4. Bado Robo Saa - Amini
  5. Bora Nikimbie - Linah

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


A number of British celebrities that include R&B star Craig David, BBC's Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, BBC's Radio 4 broadcaster Peter White and X-factor finalist Olly Murs flew into the country for a five day 100 Km trek across the Kaisut desert in Eastern Kenya an effort to raise money for people in Africa with serious eye conditions.
AND they’re off! The heat is on for three Hampshire celebrities today as they begin a five day charity trek across one of Africa’s most inhospitable plains.
R&B star Craig David, Eastleigh-born Radio One DJ Scott Mills and Radio Four broadcaster Peter White are braving Kenya’s Kaisut Desert to raise money for people in Africa with serious eye conditions.
The trio face a 100 kilometre slog in 40C temperatures as the BT Red Nose Desert Trek gets under way .
But Southampton-born Craig, 29, told the Daily Echo he was unfazed by the challenge.
“I’ve been out in South Africa a few times as an ambassador against Tuberculosis, so I’ve experienced those sorts of temperatures before. But on those occasions I’ve just been meeting people that are suffering with TB, not doing anything this physical. But I just couldn’t say no. It is a once in a lifetime experience and you are helping so many people at the same time. 
“I think people are expecting me to sail across there and carry everyone’s bags for them but that’s not going to happen!”
He added: “The biceps will be there but they will just be chilling.
The camels can do all that hard work!  “It’s obviously going to be difficult having to walk such a distance in that heat, but I think that with the people we’ve got taking part we will keep each other’s morale high.”
Craig believes the personalities in the star-studded team will have no problems getting along throughout a grueling week.
“Everyone will bring something different to the table,” Craig said.
“If people want to hear about Scottish heritage, Lorraine’s got that covered, if people want a song, Ollie can handle that and if they want to hear about Saints playing Man United then I’ll gladly talk about that!
The former Bellemoor School pupil is taking time out from recording a new album at his Miami home to take part in the trek, having arrived in Nairobi to acclimatise on Friday.
But the 12-time Brit Award nominee made sure he stopped off in Southampton to say goodbye, before flying out to Kenya.
“I was down in Southampton on Tuesday. I got back from a show in Russia and missed the Brits so I could go and see my mum, as I hadn’t seen her in about three months. I like to make sure she’s alright and I gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and told her not to worry about me on the trek, but I’m sure she will.”


UGANDA tycoon Michael Ezra Mulyowa has been freed by a Kenyan court after he paid a Ks4m (about sh116m) cash bail. Ezra, who was last week charged before Makadara Court for issuing a bad cheque of Ksh16m to a local company, SMR Ltd, re-appeared before chief magistrate Martin Muya yesterday and applied for bail.

Ezra’s lawyer Christopher Kenyariri told the court that: “Ezra is a man of integrity since he presented himself before the investigation officers. Therefore, he should be allowed a reasonable cash bail in accordance with the new constitution. It’s a bailable offence, the case can be heard when he is out,” Kenyariri argued.

Kenyariri told court that his client Ezra is an international businessman dealing in real estate and other business in Kenya. “My client has property in Nyari within Nairobi, where he presented himself before authorities for arrest. He also has properties in Karen,” he said.  Ezra’s wife, Grace Mulyoowa expressed relief upon her husband’s release. “The whole experience has been tough and memorable,” she said.

The hearing of the case was fixed for May 10, but Ezra will have to re-appear before court on March 7.
Last week, Ezra was charged and remanded after he denied charges of issuing a false cheque.
Court was told that Ezra on October 20, 2009, at Ecobank on Muindi Mbingu Street, issued a false cheque of $200,000 to SMR Limited, knowing he had insufficient funds in his bank account.
Ezra is also wanted in Uganda over charges relating to fraud and issuing false cheques.
He allegedly issued a false cheque worth $550,000 (about sh1.15b) to a software engineer.
Ezra had eluded arrest for sometime. Late last year, he sneaked out of Uganda, but was arrested in Kenya last week.

Friday, February 18, 2011


The 2011 eWorld Music Awards show aired live and direct from the legendary SIR Studios in the heart of Hollywood on Saturday, February 12th.Uganda's Maurice Kirya was awarded for being winner of the Eworld music awards in Los Angeles, for best world music & best Indie group progressive.Maurice Kirya who is on tour of Africa was over delighted at the feat. ''I'm very excited and happy',he said.  It was an amazing evening full with an incredible array of high-calibre talented independent artists. The eWorld Music Awards showcase up-and-coming, unsigned musical talent - while recognizing the decentralization of music

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Fans and revelers who turned up at Kololo Airstrip on Wednesday to wish President Museveni triumph in today’s Presidential elections booed and heckled singer Bebe Cool on stage for performing a song of upcoming artistes. He, however, ignored the heckling, pulled Zuena on stage and kissed her several times saying she was the most beautiful woman on the planet.



With her BMW

looking trendy besides her 2009 Chrystler

BMW baby

Zari's Jaguar

posing with her fuel guzzlers all with customized no.plates
ZARI HASSAN is without doubt the biggest Ugandan musician who rides fuels guzzlers that cost a fortune. Even Jose Chameleone,Bobi Wine or even Ragga Dee dont have the cars she rides in..Her parking lot has a convertible Mercedes Benz,a Convertible BMW, Jaguar and a Chrystler....Zari who is married with two kids still remains amongst the hottest female acts in the pearl. Together with her hubby ,they have a house in Munyonyo, fleet of posh cars, a boutique in South Africa and Uganda and a school called Brooklyn City College.


A Ugandan tycoon wanted for fraud has been denied bail by a Kenyan court. Mr Michael Ezra, the mysterious Ugandan tycoon who was linked with an attempt to buy English club Leeds United, was remanded in custody until Monday.
He was arraigned at the Makadara law courts where the prosecution opposed bail on grounds that the police were yet to finalise investigations. Mr Ezra was charged with drawing a bad cheque worth $200,000 (Sh16m) to a Kenyan company, SMR Ltd in 2009.
He allegedly drew the cheque on October 20, 2009, at Ecobank Towers on Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi, knowing that his account had insufficient funds.
Mr Ezra allegedly disappeared after drawing the cheque which prompted the company to drag him to court.
He was arrested Wednesday by Kenyan police who were effecting a warrant of arrest issued against the foreigner.
By Wednesday evening the tycoon was being held at the Gigiri police station and was scheduled to be arraigned in court Thursday. Nairobi Provincial Police boss Anthony Kibuchi confirmed that Mr Ezra had been arrested and was being held in custody."He was arrested and is being held because we have a warrant of arrest issued by the court. He will appear in court tomorrow (Thursday)."
"The cases involves fraud and obtaining money from people by false pretences,” Mr Kibuchi said.
Ugandan police once issued a warrant of arrest for him following his failure to clear multiple debts and allegedly issuing two bad cheques worth UShs2 billion.
According to Ugandan police, Mr Ezra issued false cheques to a Mr Frank Katusiime and a Dr Charles Mushabe while at the same time failed to pay Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) over UShs1.2bn in taxes.
Upon receiving the news of Mr Ezra’s arrest, the Uganda police are digging up more fraud cases that may help them extradite him to the country.
The Special Investigations Unit boss, Ms Grace Akullo, said they still have cases which they are investigating and the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered them to bring them forward.
“Some of the cases hit a snag because of the court orders but we have other cases against him which are still pending that can help us in this case,” Ms Akullo said.Michael Ezra is the man who tried to buy English premier league club Leeds club.
Reports by Richard Munguti, Dominic Wabala and Monitor


It's fitting that one of the most politically plugged-in rock bands is in Kampala after debuting its world tour in South Africa on the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's first major rally after being released from prison, and at the same stadium where the anti-apartheid icon enthralled tens of thousands.
The U2 band are in Kampala and showbizxklusivs has learnt that they may be performing in the land of bananas. However,our Kampala reporter did not give details.
Guitarist The Edge told reporters in SA that he only learned the day before that Sunday's concert fell on a historic day. "It's such a beautiful, poetic day," he said.
Lead singer Bono noted that history was being made at the other end of Africa. "This continent is on fire," Bono said, adding he hoped Egypt would benefit from leadership as visionary as Mandela's.
The Edge added: "The real hope for Egypt is that it actually will become more democratic after this."
Bono said Mandela and retired Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu — who makes a virtual appearance in U2's current show — have inspired his global campaigns against AIDS and poverty. Bono was planning to visit AIDS projects in South Africa between Sunday's concert and a second one in Cape Town on Feb. 18. U2 last played in South Africa in 1998.
The band may also visit Mandela, who is 92, ailing, and retired from public life. Bono said he had been in touch and learned Mandela was doing well after being hospitalized last month with an acute respiratory infection. Bono said a visit was possible, but he would not push.
"The last thing you want to be is the visit that the great man has to endure," he said.
The band discussed their musical and well as political heroes with reporters Friday. Bassist Adam Clayton said he would like to work with the Malian duo Amadou & Mariam, an opening act for their South African shows. Bono spoke of an early dream of having John Lennon produce their work, laughing at their naivete in their teens.
The band members, together three decades, said the secret to their longevity was friendship.
"We actually started out as friends, and then became a band," The Edge said. Check us out for more details...


D'banj and Snoop
The Koko master aka Mr Sugar banana aka D'BANJ is another music level. And maybe next year he might bring a Grammy to Africa,who knows. The juice is that the top African act at the moment has done an international duet with American rap act Snoop Dogg. The song 'Mr. Endowed remix was original done by the MTV Best African act. The video is just off the hook and features the finest damsels in hot whips and exquisite locations. Talk about stamping an authority in the continent...Mr. Koko master...that's the way to go ma guy


They're affluent,classy,stylish and exposed. They run Dar and outside...They got the money,the means and the power. Meet Tanzania's power couples...
Lance and Mange

Maliq and Kiki

Joyce and Mitgaard

Miriam Odemba and

Emelda and Baraka

Mjuni and Hilda Ringo


Looks like the former BLU3 girls are on a pregnancy contest if this rumor turns out to be true.Unconfirmed rumour doing rounds in the pearl indicate that singer Cinderella Sanyu aka Cindy could be baking boyfriend , Mario Brunette's tot in her oven. According to close pals, Cindy had three new year's resolutions for the year 2011. The first resolution was to get engaged to her squeeze Mario, second was to launch an album this year and the third one was to get pregnant and be a mother. She has achieved two so far, getting pregnant and being engaged to Mario, and as you read this, Cindy might be a proud owner of a baby bump.
One of her close pals told showbizxklusivs that, "She is not disclosing anything yet but she is so happy with the way things are moving between her and Mario, She talks about how their kid will look like and it makes you feel she is already baking something."
If true, the dance-hall star will drop her first child while more news is that the couple is planning a secret wedding set for something this year. Cindy will also follow into the footsteps of former Blu3 group mate, Lillian Mbabazi who dropped a bouncing baby last year.


FRASHA teaches this boy the P-Unit

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Love is in the air. And money does move mountains and Gospel singer Kambua Manundu is set to wed a guy with deep pockets this April. The  diva who is featured in Jimmy Gaits current chart buster 'Holy Day' is said to be engaged to “the son of a property mogul”. Kambua who dated fellow gospel star Mbuvi last year, recorded a song together titled Kivevelo (Flag). Kambua first joined the Kenyan music industry in 2004 with her song Amani and went on to top charts with the collaborative efforts in the single Mtoto Wa Sonko with DNA and Isaac Kahura.
The Bachelor’s in Music graduate from Ambrose University also studied at Berklee College of Music where she completed a course in performance. She is famed as the hosts on Citizen TV’s Sunday morning gospel show, Rauka together with Njugush and DJ Soxxy.
Source: Hotsecretz

BRITISH SINGER Craig David leads Comic Relief Kenya desert trek

THREE Hampshire celebrities will be trekking across one of the world's most inhospitable deserts for Comic Relief. Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, a former pupil of Crestwood Community School in Eastleigh, R&B star Craig David, who was born in Southampton, and blind musician and broadcaster Peter White will join seven other stars on a grueling challenge in the Kaisut Desert in north Kenya.
The team, which also includes presenter Dermot O'Leary, singer Olly Murs and Strictly Come Dancing champion Kara Tointon, will cover 100 kilometres during the five-day trek, enduring temperatures of up to 38C (100F). Comedienne Ronni Ancona, actress Nadia Sawalha and Radio 4 presenter Peter White will also take part. Meanwhile, former model Katie Price and actor Joe Swash are the latest names to join Let’s Dance for Comic Relief..

DJ Mills
A Comic Relief spokeswoman said the team would be highlighting the issue of sight and the money they raise will prevent thousands of people in Africa from going blind or contracting eye conditions.
The group will be setting off mid-February and a documentary about the trek will be broadcast on BBC1 in the run up to Red Nose Day on March 18.


Tanzanian model who is set to get Supermodel status Flaviana Matata is riding high in the World of modelling. No doubt that she upped her game and moved to busy New York. Flaviana is one of the African Models that are doing real good in modeling out of Africa.For the past one year or so,she has been busy working with a number of world class designers from New York to London,Paris just to mention but a few. Recently she strutted the catwalk during NY Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reggae star Buju Banton faces life in US prison

Grammy-winning singer Buju Banton checked out some cocaine, put some on his finger and tasted it — all of it caught on law enforcement video inside a Florida warehouse. Now he has another chance to explain why.
His second trial is scheduled to begin Monday, just a day after his 2010 album "Before the Dawn" won the Grammy award for best reggae album. The trial comes five months after a previous jury hung on federal drug trafficking charges that could put him in prison for life.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, claims he was entrapped by a confidential informant and got in over his head while trying to impress the man, who implied he could help Banton's music career. The U.S. government says Banton conspired with two associates to buy a shipment of cocaine from an undercover officer.
The two other men pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators. Their sentencing hearings are scheduled next month.
Banton, 37, was arrested in December 2009 at his Miami-area home.
He remained in custody until November, when another Jamaican singer, Stephen Marley, reggae legend Bob Marley's son, posted his South Florida home as bond. Banton has been on house arrest except for a Miami concert last month to raise money for legal expenses.
Federal prosecutors initially charged Banton with drug conspiracy and gun charges, and in November added two more drug-related charges.
"Buju is not guilty. The number of charges doesn't change that," Banton's attorney, David Markus, said in an e-mail. "The prosecution wasn't happy with the first trial, so now it is trying to throw as many charges against the wall in the hopes something sticks."
Markus has argued the singer, who rose from the slums of Kingston to massive success in the 1990s, was a victim of entrapment by an informant who's been paid $3.3 million for working with law enforcement over several years.
During his first trial, the Rastafarian singer, his long dreadlocks tied in a braid, testifed that he talked a lot about cocaine with the informant, Alexander Johnson. But he said he was only trying to impress the man, who claimed to have music industry connections. He said he had no interest in buying or selling drugs.
"I talk too much, but I am not a drug dealer," Banton said on the stand.
In excerpts from their recorded conversations from July 2009 through December 2009 that were played for the jury, the husky-voiced singer told Johnson that he financed drug deals and that he wanted to sell drugs in Europe, buy drugs from the Caribbean and South America, and use Johnson's boat to transport drugs. The men met on a trans-Atlantic flight at the end of Banton's European tour for his album "Rasta Got Soul."
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston argued Banton's conversations with the informant put the conspiracy into motion. Banton testified that he never wanted nor expected Johnson to set up a cocaine deal, despite what he said in the recordings.
Johnson testified that he surprised Banton with cocaine at an undercover police warehouse in Sarasota on Dec. 8, 2009. Surveillance video shows Banton tasting the drugs.
The singer was not present two days later when his two associates, Ian Thomas and James Mack, were caught on video trying to buy the drugs at the warehouse.
His Grammy-winning album's 10 songs were recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, before his arrest. The singer worked with producers and engineers over the phone from jail to finish the album before its September release.
In an e-mail from his manager last week, Banton thanked his fans for their support and celebrated his fifth Grammy nomination. 'Before The Dawn' is a prophetic album and if it happens to win I am grateful," Banton said. "If it doesn't, I still say thanks for the appreciation and the recognition because music is an art form that cannot be denied by any living soul. Music is my life."
In Jamaica, some fans have theorized Banton was framed by the U.S. government or gay activists who have protested violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton's career as a brash dancehall singer. Shows in several U.S. cities were canceled on his 2009 tour because of the protests.
Banton jabbed at his detractors during his Jan. 16 performance in Miami, referencing one of his controversial songs and the messiah of his Rastafarian faith.
He said: "Why they want to see Buju Banton cry? Is it because I said 'Boom Bye Bye'? Is it because I say Selassie I? Is it because I'm black and not shy?"