Collie Buddz derived his name from a slang term for marijuana.
But his blend of reggae is not only synonymous with “dope” meaning weed, but also “dope” meaning good.
Although born in New Orleans, Buddz was raised in Bermuda, where he became entranced with the urban music of his island home.
Upon adopting the dancehall sound that was emanating from the clubs where he was growing up, Collie Buddz (born Colin Harper) learned to master the idioms of reggae and grafted it with universal pop elements, driving him to international stardom.
With an ascent that was more creeping than explosive, Buddz collaborated with a number of artists on his way up. A nod from Grammy Award-winning rapper Busta Rhymes, along with a guest spot on a remix of Beyoncé’s “Ring the Alarm,” helped catapult Buddz into a high-profile position, setting him up for a deal with Sony Records.
Buddz captured the world’s attention in 2007 with the catchy cannabis anthem, “Come Around,” lacing a famous sample from Zap Pow’s “Last War.” The song put Buddz atop record charts in the U.S., Europe, Jamaica and, especially Canada, which Buddz calls a second home away from the road.
The Bermudian budsmith separates himself from the flock by mixing the old with the new and the hard with the smooth. His gruff growl recalls Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, and Beenie Man. His silky rap and R&B swagger lends itself to the tranquilizing hip-hop hypnosis of Dr. Dre, Snoop Lion and Bone Thugs.
Two studio releases – one full length, one EP– three mixed tapes, and 35 singles later, Buddz is touted worldwide for his authentic take on classic reggae fused with contemporary hip-hop and R&B. The pied piper of pot pop, Buddz has been touring relentlessly in support of his 2011 EP, “I Feel So Good.”
Throughout his numerous collaborations with other industry chart blazers, Buddz is regularly called in to spark a few lines about his love for Mary Jane, and he certainly visits the topic of herbal therapy on many of his own songs. But Buddz’s songs aren’t solely about smoking.
Last week, the reggae rapper was featured on a new track by road dog Zion I, “Sex Wax.” This week Buddz released “Won’t Be Long,” a new lilting love ballad, on his website.
No matter if he is in hardcore mode or sporting chivalry; blowing lyrical smoke rings or singing sweet things; retreading the tried and true or forging into something new, Collie Buddz is burning it at both ends, while showing no sign of burning out.