Buffalo Soldier

Album: Spark Seeker (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from Spark Seeker, the fourth studio album by reggae-rock singer Matisyahu. The song features Shyne, the former Diddy protégé who spent nine years in prison before becoming an Orthodox Jew and making his return to the music world.

    The album was Matisyahu's first release since shaving his famous beard in December 2011 and dropping the orthodox Jewish lifestyle. Regarding his songwriting approach to the album, he told us: "I would say there was definitely inspiration, Jewish inspiration from Kabbalah, from philosophy, the Torah – all these things. But a lot of this record was written in more of a free association kind of thing. So definitely, the work that I was doing at the time and the things that I was studying, whatever I was getting into, is coming through in the lyrics. But the form is a lot more laid back, a lot more loose, a lot more open, free association, which in some ways to me is deeper than the well-crafted words and whatnot." (Here's our full Matisyahu interview.)
  • The song was penned by Matisyahu and his producer Kool Kojak - it is not a cover of the Bob Marley classic tune of the same title. Matisyahu makes reference to Marley's song in the lyrics, "Buffalo Soldier, no I'm not a Rasta" (Marley sang, "Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta"). While Marley's song was more of a history lesson about the black cavalry solders sent to take over land in the American West, Matisyahu's song is about seeking out your own identity.

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