As Buju Banton Signs Gay Reggae Act, Beenie Man Tosses it Off

Reggae star Buju Banton has reportedly agreed to sign the “reggae compassionate act” created by UK gay activist group Outrage!, which declares that musicians “respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without fear of hatred and violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender,” says that “there’s no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia” and promises that the musician “not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community.”

BujubantonThe Guardian reports: “Banton has been a focus for gay activists since the release of ‘Boom Bye Bye’, in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive. He has previously said he wrote ‘Boom Bye Bye’ as a teenager and is not homophobic, but he was filmed performing ‘Boom Bye Bye’ at a concert in Miami last year.”

The agreement, part of the Stop Murder Music campaign spearheaded by activist Peter Tatchell, is the result of years of work trying to stop dancehall singers from using lyrics that promote violence against gays. In June, it was reported that Sizzla, Capleton, and Beenie Man, three of reggae’s biggest players, had signed the agreement.

However, on Friday, while declaring that violence against gays is wrong, Beenie Man denied he ever signed the deal, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Said Beenie Man: “We don’t need it,” he told reporters shortly after closing Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest’s Dancehall Night at approximately 7:15 Friday morning. “We don’t need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it’s not wholesome to me…It’s a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fight from the Christian and “g” organisation and everything…I do music. Dancehall mi do, I can’t promise nuh man dat. And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah.” (sic)

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Posted July 23, 2007 at 10:35am ETC by Andy Towle
in Jamaica, music, News