History Buju Banton Agrees to Ditch Homophobic Lyrics
posted by July 23 at 12:41 PMon
Dancehall artist Buju Banton has reportedly promised to ditch the violently homophobic lyrics that earned him a reputation as reggae’s most notorious hate-monger and led to the cancellation of hundreds of his shows across the world, including in Seattle.
As the Guardian reports:
Buju Banton—whose 1990s hit “Boom Bye Bye” advocates the shooting of gay men—has signed the “reggae compassionate act” set up by the gay rights campaign group Stop Murder Music, after a three-year campaign to bring him into line….In signing up, Banton has agreed to not make homophobic statements in public, release new homophobic songs or authorise the re-release of previous homophobic songs.
Before you let the notion of “anti-homophobia pact” turn your stomach and inflame your anti-censorship sentiments, let me remind you that the Banton song at the center of the storm (and the drive for the pact)—”Boom Bye Bye”—isn’t merely “homophobic.” It actively encourages, as the Guardian reports, “shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them, and burning them alive.” In the past, Banton has dismissed the song as a misunderstood trifle written when he was a teen and since excised from his repertoire; he was filmed performing the song at a show in Miami last year.
As for the future of that “reggae compassionate act”:
As well as monitoring the actions of artists who have signed up to the act, [Stop Murder Music] has vowed to continue their campaign against four artists who have not: Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa and Vybz Kartel.
Read the whole thing here.