Positive Signal

Judge impressed by Busy’s transformation

By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer

Monday, September 24, 2012

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IT'S not customary for an accused to rejoice when given a prison sentence, but deejay Busy Signal broke that trend last Friday.

A judge in the United States ruled that the 33-year-old artiste will only serve two months of a six-month sentence, as he has been incarcerated for four months on a 10-year-old charge of failure to show up for trial in that country.

Shane Brown, Busy Signal's manager, was in the Minnesota courtroom three days ago when the entertainer heard his fate.

He said it ended a stressful period for the artiste whose best known song is Nah go Jail Again.

"The uncertainty has been the hardest part of the situation. There was a lot of anxiety going to court Friday," Brown told the Jamaica Observer.

In February 2002, Busy Signal was hit with two cocaine-related charges, in Minnesota. He faced a 15-year prison sentence but fled the US before his trial that year.

A warrant for his arrest has been active since.

He was detained by immigration officials in London in May, accused of travelling on false documents, and arrested when he arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, hours later.

Busy Signal was extradited to the US in June after deciding against challenging an extradition order.

Brown said the judge was impressed by the transformation in Busy Signal's life in the last decade.

"He was very happy with the type of artiste he is. The judge had the lyrics to Nah go Jail Again in front of him and liked the fact that Busy was part of school programmes in Jamaica," Brown said.

Produced by Lloyd 'Jam II' James, the autobiographical Nah go jail Again was Busy Signal's breakout hit.

He has had other popular songs such as Unknown Number and Hey Girl, both for Brown's Juke Boxx Productions.

Because of his legal troubles, Busy Signal was unable to travel to the US, but Brown says frequent tours has helped him establish a strong following throughout Europe and parts of Africa.

At the time of his detention in London, Brown said he was travelling as Reanno Gordon, his legal name following a deed poll early this year. His given name was Glendale Goshia Gordon.

While overjoyed that Busy Signal will be back in Jamaica by November, Brown admits his reputation will take some repairing.

"Going forward we have to somehow find a way to explain to the different immigration authorities what kind of a person really is."

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