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04/19/2007


Anti-Gay Reggae Singer Buju Banton Gets 10 Years in Prison

Buju Banton, who was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence in February, has been sentenced, the Jamaica Gleaner reports:

Banton Buju Banton, real name Mark Myrie, has been sentenced to ten years in a maximum security prison. Grammy-winning reggae superstar, Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in the Florida District Court in the United States this morning. 

US District Judge, James Moody imposed the sentence when Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, appeared in a Tampa Federal Courtroom this morning. 

Ten years was the minimum sentence. He faced 15 years to life, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

The anti-gay controversy surrounding Banton stems primarily from a song called "Boom Boom Bye" in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.


Anti-Gay Singer Buju Banton Wins Reggae Grammy, Faces Drug and Gun Trial Today

Anti-gay 'murder music' singer Buju Banton won a Grammy award last night:

Bujubanton "Banton won the prestigious award for Best Reggae Album for his project, Before The Dawn. This was his first Grammy award, having been nominated in previous years for Rasta Got Soul in 2009; Too Bad in 2007; Friends For Life, 2004; and Inna Heights, 1999. "He is elated, man," one member of Banton's entourage told the Observer. The announcement of the Reggae Grammy was made hours before the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, California last night."

The controversy surrounding Banton stems primarily from a song called "Boom Boom Bye" in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.

Banton's drug trial resumes this morning in Tampa. He faces up to 20 years if convicted:

Just last week, Judge Jim Moody ruled against a motion by Buju’s legal team seeking to dismiss a superseding indictment. As a result of the ruling by Moody, who will preside over the trial, Buju will now be facing four counts instead of the two for which he was originally tried last September.

The five-time Grammynominated artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had originally been tried on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

He will now be tried for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drugtrafficking offence; and using the wires to facilitate a drugtrafficking offence.

The Miami Herald reports that Banton has gays in mind when he references his troubles:

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?"


Gay Groups Condemn Grammy Honor for Buju Banton

Letter

A coalition of LGBT groups have taken a full-page ad out in Variety today protesting the nomination of 'murder music' singer Buju Banton's album for a Best Reggae Album award.

Bujubanton The controversy surrounding Banton stems primarily from a song called "Boom Boom Bye" in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.

Reuters reports: "In an advert in Hollywood show business paper Daily Variety, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Centre urged Grammy organizers to use Sunday's televised ceremony to denounce music 'that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people.' ... Friday's advert, in the form of a letter signed by more than 20 gay, civil rights and anti-violence groups, said that honouring "an artist such as Buju Banton, honours his extraordinary hateful work."


News: Dominick Dunne, Elephants, Waterworld, James Duke Mason

 road Domestic Partner benefits for federal employees advances through Senate committee in 8-1 vote. "On Wednesday morning, Dec. 16, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee favorably reported the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act out of committee on an 8-1 vote. The mark-up, which took less than a half hour, stood in stark contrast to the several hours of debate that the bill faced before being reported out of the relevant House committee in November."

Mason_carlisle road Some pretty adorable photos of Belinda Carlisle and her gay son James Duke Mason from the new issue of Attitude.

 road Jake Gyllenhaal is A Single Man.

 roadExperts weigh in on Ron Livingston's lawsuit against Wikipedia over frequently reappearing claims on his page that he is gay.

 roadBeenie Man: Anatomy of a Facebook protest.

 roadNYDN: DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias was behind Jon Cooper's endorsement of Kirsten Gillibrand.

 roadBuju Banton being transferred to Tampa.

 roadIf you've watched the documentary Food Inc, you've heard of Monsanto, the evil seed company forcing smaller farmers out of business. The AP has just finished an investigation on them: "We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable. The upshot of that is that it's tightening Monsanto's control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term. And we've seen this happening the last five years, and the end is not in sight."

 roadWATCH: the much better director's cut of Britney Spears' "3" video.

Dunne  roadDominick Dunne: confirmed bisexual. "His son said on the TV news show that it was just like his dad to 'finally come out and then leave. It was hardly a big deal either way. He was was closeted about heterosexuality as much as bisexuality as he was about celibacy. He didn't have boyfriends or lovers, they were never part of our lives.'"

 roadRingling Brothers' elephant training method: break 'em young.

 roadWATCH: Ridley Scott's new trailer for Robin Hood.

 roadGay couple living in lockdown fear in Tasmania: "Tasmania Police also has been advised of the couple's situation after their clothes were slashed on the clothes line and bricks and rocks were thrown through their windows on several occasions. But because their lives are not considered at risk by police, they must remain locked inside, limit their movements outside their tiny apartment and wait for another property to become available for them to move into."

 roadJohn Mayer tells Ellen he's tired of thinking with his penis.

Waterworld road Astronomers discover massive waterworld orbiting nearby star more "earthlike" than any seen before.

 roadNJ Governor-elect Chris Christie on Bruce Springsteen's announcement endorsing marriage equality and The Boss's decision not to play his inauguration: "Obviously, two bad decisions on his part...Bruce and I don't agree on certain things politically -- big shock. But it doesn't diminish at all my enjoyment of him as an artist and a performer."

 roadAndy Murray and his team have a shirtless training session.

 roadDisgusting: Italian student arrested in UK while filming for fun.

 roadTruro, Nova Scotia mayor gets hate crime complaint after remarks he made about a local gay cruising area.

 roadFantastic new image from the Hubble.

 roadAT&T calls 'Operation Chokehold' "pointless" and "irresponsible".

 roadMeet the designers for Project Runway: Season 7.

 roadThe L.A. Times looks at the Autry museum's current exhibition about gays and transgender people in the American West: "So far, the Autry hasn't received any complaints about the series either from the public or internally, according to museum leaders. One trustee they wouldn't name voiced concern that the program might portray conservatives as bigots in the vein of the character played by Randy Quaid in 'Brokeback Mountain.'"


Anti-Gay Singer Buju Banton in Miami Jail on Drug Conspiracy Charges

Murder music singer Buju Banton has been jailed in Miami:

Bujubanton  "Drug Enforcement Administration agents say Banton, real name Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in custody since Thursday and will soon be transferred to Tampa, where the U.S. Attorney is charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine. Banton has homes both in Jamaica and Tamarac. While legions of dancehall reggae enthusiasts view Banton as one of the most prolific voices of Jamaica's poor masses, critics say he's a gay basher whose lyrics incite violence by calling for attacking and torturing homosexuals. His song 'Boom Bye Bye', a dancehall hit released in the 1990s, advocates shooting gays in the head and setting them on fire."

Numerous dates on Banton's recent tour were canceled after protest over the singer's anti-gay lyrics. In October, a group of activists from San Francisco sat down with Banton in an attempt to get the singer to understand what the anger was about, but the summit appeared to do little good, with Banton declaring shortly thereafter, "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and faggot' and it's clear. The same night after I met with them (gay associates), they pepper-sprayed the concert. So what are you trying to tell me? I owe dem nothing, they don't owe I nothing."

Banton's recent nomination for a Grammy has also sparked an outcry, with GLAAD, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), joining a petition drive against The Recording Academy.


Pepsi Sponsors Murder Music Singer Beenie Man in Uganda

In Uganda, where the "kill gays" bill is pending, Pepsi recently sponsored a concert by murder music singer Beenie Man, Box Turtle Bulletin reports:

Beenie "The King of Dancehall stuck a sword of words into gay people through singing and talking. 'In my family, we don’t have any gay person but if you’re gay, my brother that’s not my fault,' he said as he performed his song Mi Nah Wallah, in which he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men. George Bush and Bin Laden were also at the receiving end of the Jamaican’s wrath calling on the audience to say 'murderer' as he sang about the pair’s warfare."

The Pepsi-sponsored concert also had a promotional tie-in with Toyota.

In related news, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has condemned a recent Grammy nomination for murder music singer Buju Banton. Said public affairs officer Jim Key: "We’re shocked that Buju Banton, a singer with a long record of performing a song that glorifies the murder of gay people, would be honored with a Grammy nomination, regardless of the artistic merit of any of his work...Throughout his career, Banton has performed music that promotes a culture of violence against lesbian and gay people; he sings in ‘Boom, Bye Bye’ that ‘faggots get up and run’ when he comes, that ‘they have to die,’ and that he will shoot them in the head or ‘burn them up bad.’ He is completely unrepentant, refuses to stop performing the song.”

Watch Rachel Maddow's recent segment on the Uganda "kill gays" bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pepsi Sponsors Murder Music Singer Beenie Man in Uganda" »


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