In this section, I will provide information found on the Internet connected to homophobia depicted in dancehall music
plus the evolution of the topic in the Caribbean context from 1976 to present time
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January 19, 2006: Buju Banton trial: aquitted of assault charge
On January 19, Buju Banton was acquitted from the accusation of having participated in the beating of six gay men in June 2004. The judge: "After examining the witnesses statements and the full case, I state that there is not enough evidence to set a trial. The witnesses were reluctant, one of them did not show up in court, and they, for what they are cannot be trusted. So Mr Myrie and Mr Banton I send you free from any charge. But I have to tell you that I know that what happened in that yard is wrong, that some violent actions have been committed and I think you should stay far from violence and from any form of aggression. I hope you will behave in a different way now and I wish that your behaviour can be wiser. You don’t need to attack people sharing a different life style. Please remember and go now"". The trial was a big disapointment for gay and lesbian organisations, as well as the civil rights groups in Jamaica and all around the world.

NOTE: Something funny, the conclusion of this trial seems not to have been covered by any Jamaican newspaper, at least not on the Internet. After searching the net for more than an hour, I wasn't able to locate any article by The Jamaica Observer, The Gleaner or The Star.
NOTE: Please take a few minutes to read the report of Maria Carla Gullotta for Amnesty International.
(
Amnesty International in Jamaica) (PeterTatchell.com) (YardFlex.com)

January 24, 2006: The documentary 'Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes' is shown at Sundance
Byron Hurt is having the world premiere of his aclaimed documentary: Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Grayson Curran of The Independent Weekly describe it as "Gives hip-hop an unrelenting, hard stare, questioning its stance on misogyny, hypersexuality, materialism, homophobia, homoeroticism, hypocrisy and the resultant stereotype perpetuation." The documentary will be aired on PBS a year later, on February 20th, 2007.

NOTE: Although this documentary is not about Dancehall music, I think it is a must-see as it analyse and raise questions about some of the same problems vehiculed through dancehall lyrics, such as violence, misogyny and homophobia. The documentary last 60 minutes. Click lower for a 5 minute extract of the documentary. I stronly suggest that you take the time to watch this wonderful documentary.
(
Beyond Beats & Rhymes) (Documentary) (PBS)

NOTE: Originally, YouTube had two different segments of 10 minutes. The second part dealt with homophobia. Unfortunately, those links were no longer working in November 2008, but you may want to try them again, just in case. If you make a reasearch on YouTube with 'Beyond Beats and Rhymes' you will find several videos of interest.
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Beyond Beats & Rhymes PART 1) (Beyond Beats & Rhymes PART 2)

February 15, 2006: Jamaican government has no intention of decriminalising homosexuality
JAMAICA OBSERVER: Jamaica's influential church community yesterday (February 14) called on Parliament's Joint Select Committee framing the Charter of Rights not to present its report to the House on February 16, asking instead for further discussions to prevent the possibility of an unwitting acceptance of homosexuality. According to the National Church Alliance, the vague language of the Charter could lead to the acceptance of consensual homosexual acts and allow judges to take activist positions and create policy without public accountability."The words 'respect for private and family life, privacy of the home' as innocuous sounding as they are, can be interpreted to allow for adult homosexual conduct in private," attorney-at-law Shirley Richards, president of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship. JAMAICA GLEANER: The Government said yesterday (February 15) that it has no intention of decriminalising homosexuality in Jamaica, as feared by some religious groups monitoring the review of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms legislation now before a joint select committee of Parliament. In a statement signed by Justice Minister Senator A.J. Nicholson yesterday, the administration said there would be no reversal of the law that makes homosexual behaviour illegal.
(Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Oserver) (Jamaica Gleaner 2)

March 7, 2006: Four people are charged in connection with the death of Steve Harvey
On January 12, the police arrested a total of 13 suspects in relation to a string of robberies and murders, including the killing of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Steve Harvey. On March 7, four persons, including three teenagers were charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of firearms. They were scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on March 10.
NOTE: I haven't been able to locate an article that talks about the conclusion of the process.
(
Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer) (Petrelis Files)

March 20, 2006: Murder of Ambassador Peter King & the 'Sex Tapes Saga'
In it's March 21edition, the Jamaica Gleaner wrote: 'Ambassador Peter King, a long-serving public servant who has represented Jamaica in crucial negotiations, particularly on trade issues, was yesterday found murdered at his Waterloo Road, St. Andrew, home. The nude body of the former diplomat, who was chairman of the Trade Board, was discovered in his bedroom with throat slashed and multiple stab wounds to the chest. The police said he was found lying on his back on the blood-soaked mattress'. The police removed from King's house a collection of video tapes that features sexual explicit scenes between men. Five days later, the Sunday Herald wrote: ' Throughout the week, tongues wagged about what and who were on the tapes and speculations multiplied, with sources saying that the collection was more like a library of some of Jamaica’s who’s who in politics, business, members of the diplomatic community, top socialites and at least one high-ranking member of the police force. Police who said they saw the videos jokingly described the scenes as those in a gay movie starring Peter King. King’s associates, who broke their silence, say he was a gentleman, but one with a kinky streak, which he was able to mask with his infectious smile. The two-storey house at the bottom of a Private Road off Waterloo Road, sources say, was used as a rendezvous by high flyers, most of whom are either straight gays or bisexuals. Policemen who patrol the New Kingston area described the road as a regular hangout for young boys with homosexual tendencies'. A reward of $500,000 (Jamaican dollars mostl likely) was offered to captutre the killer. Rumours circulated that some members of the reggae and dancehall fraternity were featured on these tapes. Several names were speculated on dancehall forums. Artists even wrote songs asking these tapes to be revealed to the public wye. Songs like 'We Waan See The Tape (aka Run 'D' Tape)' (by DCYR), 'Show Di Tape' (by Kiprich), 'The Tape' (by Junior Reid) and 'Who Was The King Man?' (by Vybz Kartel). A young man named Sheldon Pusey was charged in March 2007 and the case went to court in October 2007. Pusey claiming that he acted in self-defence when King made sexual advances at him. The tapes made the news during the trial and again in May 2008 when it was offically said that the tapes featured two high-profile politicians. The same article also write that 'some of the tapes could not be located. Sources say that the missing tapes may contain footage of many prominent professionals who are living a 'down-low' life'.
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2) (Sunday Herald 1) (Sunday Herald 2) (Jamaica Star 1) (YardFlex)
MORE NEWS: (
eMediaWired) (Rod 2.0) (XtraNews) (Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Star 2) (Jamaica Star 3)
2009 NEWS (
Jamaica Observer)

March 23, 2006: The Greman reggae band Irie Révoltés criticise dancehall homophobic lyrics
The German band Irie Révoltés launched their second album named 'Voyage' which features the song 'Rebelles' that openly critics several aspects of the dancehall scene, including the homophobic lyrics. Translation from a French article: "As the title of the group suggest it, the perspective is to combine the 'Irie' spirit with commitment; to make people dance on conscious riddims. That is why in the song Rebels, the group defends homosexuality. Position not always easy to assume in the Ragga sphere, but falls within the fight against intolerance. Extract from the song: "The rebels are there for a redefinition of Reggae-Ragga [...] I don't accept intolerance, [...] I still rebel against the sexual abuse, [...] I'm still a rebel, I defend homosexuals." Revolted against the state and revolted against some reggae mans. This same song look back on the role of Haile Selassie in history. We can not accuse them of wanting to please everyone.
(
Militant Vibes) (Lyrics for REBELLES) (Official Website)

March 30, 2006: Wind of change? Portia Simpson Miller become first female Prime Minister in Jamaica
For many Jamaicans, March 30, 2006 was an historical date: It was the day that Portia Simpson Miller, the first femal Prime Minister, was succeding to P.J. Patterson, who was in charge of the Nation for the past 14 years. She becomes Jamaica seveth Prime Minister. In her innoguartion speach, she declare that "Each individual is sacred. None is more important than the other. Money should not make one person more important than the other, learning should not make one person more important ... nor should class, colour or gender. We are all equal ..." The Jamaica Gleaner writes: Mrs. Simpson Miller is known for her passion for the poor and dispossessed, and the Governor-General told her that the "hopeful" and the "hopeless" have high expectations of her. "The task may be formidable but the mission is not hopeless and impossible," he said. On February 25, she was elected president of the governing People's National Party in an internal vote. The PNP held a majority in the Jamaican Parliament from 1972 to 1980 and from 1992 to date. The next parliamentary elections are due to take place in 2007.

NOTE: Time reporter writes; "Jamaica's ruling party last month elected the nation's first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, a progressive who gay-rights supporters hope will eventually move to decriminalize homosexuality. She hasn't yet said that, but Jamaica's beleaguered gays say they at least have reason now to hope their government will change its tune before their reggae stars ever do".
(
Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Observer) (BBC News) (Jamaica Gleaner 2) (Jamaica Gleaner 3) (Time)

April 25, 2006: Buju Banton is interviewed by BBC 1Xtra
Interviewed by Robbo Ranx, for the BBC 1Xtra show Dancehall After Dark, Buju Banton speaks about the actual Dancehall business, the social situation in Jamaica, his start in music and various other topics. When asked about his homophobic song 'Boom Bye Bye', he simply answered: "You can't say to me I can't (say that). ... It is my time to look you dead center in the eyes and say 'Who the hell are you talking to, boy?' If you don't like it, don't listen to it, because other people, I'll be certain, will". The original show, broadcasted on April 25, lasted two hours. Now the version available on the website last one hour and twenty two minutes (they probably removed the songs). If you want to hear the segment, you can find it PART II of the interview, at twenty-second minute.
Note: I place this information in this section, as several articles will be refering to this specific interview: when given a chance to apology, he choosed to concentrate on his freedom of speech instead of condemning the hatered message vehiculed by his controversial song. Unfortunately Buju, there is a lack of coherence in your speach, as in the same interview, you express your deception with today's Dancehall music slackness and the glorifying of the guns. The original program seems to have been edited, as 5 people complained to BBC for 1Xtra using a 'Boom Bye Bye' song excerpt, which is no longer there.

(Dancehall After Dark) (introduction to the interview) (Rainbow Network)

April 27, 2006: Interesting article published in UK newspaper The Guardian
For anyone who is not too familiar with the situation of homosexuals in Jamaica, this is probably the article I would recommand. From my point of view, it is a must-read, even for those of you who are quite familiar with the subject. 'Trouble island' is the title of the article written by Gary Younge.
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The Guardian: Trouble island)

May 5, 2006: The German dancehall group Seeed is interviewed on Taratata
The eleven-musician german band Seeed gave a performance and an interview of the legendary french TV show Taratata on May 11. Among various topics they express their strong disaproval on homophobic songs coming out of of the Jamaican dancehall scene. Along with Gentleman, Seeed represent the most popular reggae/dancehall artists to come out of the german scene. They performed their hit Waterpumpee. They also performed a rendition of Get Busy with the french group Saïan Supa Crew.

Note: I was unable to find a transcrip of the interview to include some excerpts. By making a search on the net, I found out that Seeed have express themselves several time on the topic in various interviews. But all of these interviews are in German. The Taratata show was recorded on April 21. It was first broadcasted on F4 (May 5), than on F3 (May 11).
(
Taratata) (Seeed.de)

May 19, 2006: Brian Williamson's murderer sentence to life imprisonment
On May 3, Dwight Hayden pleaded guilty for the murder of J-FLAG gay rights activist Brian Williamson, which took place on June 9, 2004. A second man, only known as "Bomhead" is still being sought in connection with the killing. Hayden gave a statement to the police on June 11, 2004 in which he said it was 'Bomhead' who demanded money from the deceased and then began to chop him. Hayden said he gave the deceased a few stabs in the neck but he did not intend to kill him. On May 19, the 25-year-old newspaper vendor was sentence for 15 years behind bars before being eligible for parole. On June 17, 2006, the Jamaica Gleaner reported that Hayden was appealing for his life sentence, considering it excessive.
Note: something I do not understand is that according to an artcile published in the Jamaica Star on July 6, 2004, Dwight Hayden already pleaded guilty at The Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on June 29, 2004... so why do he has to go to court and plead guilty 22 months later?
Note: in recent articles, it is sometimes mention that the killing occured on June 7, 2004, but it is a mistake.
(
Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2) (RJR 94 FM) (Jamaica Gleaner 3)

May 29, 2006: Buju Banton performed at UCLA JazzReggae Fest
How can the University Of California (UCLA) can book an homophobic artist like Buju Banton to headline the UCLA JazzReggae Fest? Apparently his manager, Tracii McGregor, told organizers of the UCLA JazzReggae Festival that he has since apologized for its content (which is not the case). Katina Parker, media manager for Communities of African Descent for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, questioned the depth of the research of the festival's organizers. Jasmyne Cannick try urged to people to complain to the organisers of the event, but unfortunately the show went on as scheduled. Ron Oden, Palm Springs mayor wrote: "It is most unfortunate that in this day and age, when we are trying to fill this world with love and acceptance of all people that you have chosen to support an artist who panders hate and violence toward people of a different sexual orientation. ... I cannot stress to you how strongly I am disappointed to see this take place at an institution of higher learning. I certainly hope that we learn from these errors."
(
Jasmyne Cannick) (Palm Springs mayor letter) (Daily Bruin)

May 29, 2006: Buju Banton make a sing-along of 'Boom Bye Bye' at Miami Memorial Fest
On May 29, Buju Banton performed at two different venues. First it was at the UCLA JazzReggae Fest and than it was at the Miami Memorial Fest. At the later performance, he made a sing-along of the song 'Boom Bye Bye', which was captured on a camera phone and was later posted on YourTube.com. This segment proved inevitably that Banton was still performing the song and was a key-lelement for protesting his 2006 US Tour that occured through September and October. Buju Banton publicist, Tracii MacGregor, defend the artist in a Los Angeles Times interview. She said the 45 seconds of grainy footage, which is on youtube.com, ends abruptly for a reason. It was a song fragment that was followed by a free-style commentary on Banton's public life as protest target. 'Juicy stuff but alas, context is everything,' MacGregor said. 'Buju has not actually performed 'Boom Bye Bye' in years. He has, however, railed off the first couple of lines of the song as a springboard to discuss with fans the ongoing troubles he's been faced with over that one song for these last 15 years. It's a pity the camera phone didn't catch all that in Miami.'
(Jasmyne Cannick) (Los Angeles Times)

June 7, 2006: Sizzla release the violent homophobic song 'Head Out'
Sizzla has issued several homophobic songs in the past that advocate violence and murder against LGBT. This one is particulary violent with it's chorus 'Head out, the battybwoy brain's gonna go spread out'. It was only issued on 7-inch singles and DJ compilations at the time. But a year later, The label E.21st Production is releasing the song to a wider audience, by including it on the compilation 'Bill Back'.

NOTE: Strangely enough, this CD is distributed through VP Records website. I tought that VP Records had reached an agreement of not promoting murder music anymore... That deal I am refering to, was established in February 2005. The song can be heard in this video montage of a mob beating up a jamaican gay man. This is not fiction: it occured on April 27, 2007, in Falmouth Jamaica. I was told that the man died of his injuries a few months after.
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VIDEO: A Bashing In Jamaica)

June 29, 2006: Vexed by a demonstration, Buju Banton performed a medley of 'Chi Chi Man' songs in Rome
In June, Buju Banton has started on a 25-date European Tour. His first European tour since his trial concerning his involvement in a mob beeting up 6 gay men in Jamaica in June 2004, where he was found not guilty, because of 'lack of evidences'. In April, BBC 1Xtra interviewed the singer, giving him a platform to apology for his controversial 1992 song 'Boom Bye Bye', were he simply answered that he was entitle to his own oppinion. OutRaged! learned that Banton has performed the song in Jamaica in 2005 (at least once), placing him on 'the artists list that did not respecting the 'February 2005 truce'. From that point, anyone would guess that the european singer's concerts could face protests and cancelations.

Among the 25 dates in Europe, the three performances given in Italy (Milan, Rome and Otranto) faced protests outside their venues. The biggest being the one in Rome, when Buju Banton performed at the Festival 'Roma Incontra Il Mondo' (translation: Rome Meets The World). The protest was initiated by No Global Movement along with Amnesty International. The organisations claimed the non-coherance of the festival organiser, the biggest social network in Italy, ARCI who is also runs the biggest gay association named ARCIGAY. There was a protest outside and inside the stadium. During Buju Banton's performance, an activist throwed a T-Shirt at the performer's face with the slogan 'I Am Gay'. At another point, several gay activists, located in front of the stage, started to kiss each other on the mouth. Buju Banton then lost his temper and performed a 15 to 20 minutes of hard Chi Chi Man lyrics.

NOTE: the review for the Rome concert was given by the Italian website S.O.S. Jamaica. I wasn't able to locate an english article for reference. People discussing the concert can be found on the Italian Reggae Forum (see lower).
(
ARCIGAY) (S.O.S Jamaica) (Italian Reggae Forum) (Tetu)

July 3, 2006: Buju Banton concert is cancelled in Brighton
On July 3rd, The Concorde 2, the club located in Brighton where Buju Banton was scheduled to performed on July 5, choose to cancelled the concert. After receiveing several concern from the Spectrum LGBT organisation, the Brighton and Hove City Council and the police strongly suggest that the event shouldn't occure in a gay-friendly city like Brighton. However before having the event cancelled, they agreed to give the singer a chance to retract from his homophobic lyrics, which he categorically refused.
NOTE: Among the 25 dates, there were protests in Copenhagen (Denmark), in Milan (Italy), Rome (Italy) and maybe at more venues.
(
PinkNews.co.uk 1) (PinkNews.co.uk 2) (PinkNews.co.uk 3) (PinkNews.co.uk 4) (PinkNews.co.uk 5) (Concert Cancelled) (Dennis Carney interview) (PRESS RELEASE 2004: Brighton & Hove Council) (PRESS RELEASE 2006: Brighton & Hove Council) (Spectrum 6-page dossier)

July 5, 2006: Beenie Man concert is cancelled in Bournemouth
Following the cancelation of Buju Banton's concert in Brighton, the Dorset Police put together a dossier of evidence about Beenie Man's songs and submit it to the borough council, which owns and runs the Bournemouth International Center, the concert place where Beenie Man was scheduled to performed on July 29, in England. Afgain, taking in consideration Bournemouth large gay community, their decison was to cancelled the concert. Pc Martin Strange, co-ordinator of the Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (Laglo), said: "We don't want him in Bournemouth because of the high proportion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) people we have in this town. We are trying to promote a prejudice-free Bournemouth. "He is not at all welcome here and the council have taken that view as well." Peter Tatchell of OutRage! said Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer had broken that agreement. "As far as they are concerned, the truce is over," he said. "The campaign against them has resumed. We will maintain the truce with the other singers who have stuck by the agreement." Beenie Man's comment on the cancellation:“People know that bad news sells, so by associating my name with bad news, it will, of course, raise the profile of that campaign. But I’m just trying to promote positive vibes.”
NOTE: For Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, Peter Tachell is refering to the April 3, 2005 concert Supreme Ventures Jamaica Carnival (see upper for more info, under April 28, 2005). (
24dash.com) (Gay Guide Bournemouth) (Peter Tatchell.net) (BBC News) (The Voice: Beenie Man's comment)

July 12, 2006: AIDS Befefits concert: Reggae Gold Live 2006 Summer Jumpoff is cancelled
None others than Beenie Man and T.O.K. were among the lineup of the six dancehall artists who were scheduled to performed in New York, on July 18. The inclusion of those two artists created much controversy, as it was a fund-raising concert to benifit Jamaicans and Caribbean people suffering from AIDS. Several gay and lesbian associations worldwide join forces to pressure LIFEbeat, the organizers of the event, to remove the two artists. Tokes Osubu, executive director of Gay Men of African Descent: "To have unrepentant homophobes perform at a benefit for an organisation that is 'dedicated to reaching America's youth with the message of HIV/AIDS prevention,' is simply perverse". Instead of simply replacing the two artists, LIFEbeat cancelled the whole event, creating a big disapointment among the gay activists. According to their statement released on July 12, LIFEbeat would meet, in the following weeks, with key members of the Caribbean American community, who originally requested the withdraw of Beenie Man and T.O.K., in order unite their forces for a future event .
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (JasmyneCannick 1) (JasmyneCannick 2) (LIFEbeat Statement ) (Village Voice) (Caribbean-American Activists answer)
(
Associated Press) (Gay City News) (Jamica Observer 2) (Jamaica Star)

July 27, 2006: Sizzla denied work permit to Cayman Islands
After Europe and North America, it's now turn to the Caribbean to ban homophobic artists to performed. A Sizzla concert was scheduled for July 28 in the Cayman Islands, but the day prior to the event, he was refused is work permit, which lead to the cancellation of his concert. Kerry Nixon, deputy chief Immigration officer, said a work permit was refused based on the artist’s controversial lyrics and stage performance, which have openly incited acts of violence against certain members of the public. She added that Immigration took into account the fact that he has been banned from performing elsewhere. Promoter of the concert, Stop Da Violence, disagrees with the decision of the Immigration Department. They said that they had a verbal approval from Immigrationthat a work permit would be granted, which was denied by Ms Nixon in the interview. The work permit should have been requested before advertising the concert. •
(
Cayman Compass)

August 1, 2006: Launch of the website 'Murder Inna Dancehall'
The website which you are currently consulting was officially launched on August 1st, 2006. The research started as far back as November 2003. Being a reggae fan since 1994, I consiously put dancehall aside for years, until I lived in Barbados in winter 2002. This music simply never appealed to me. Living on a Carribean island, it was impossible to ignore dancehall, as it was everywhere. When I came back to Montreal, I started to be slighty interest in contemporary Jamaican music and frequented bars on an occasional basis. After having a few unpleasant experiences in some reggae clubs with 'chi chi man' lyrics, I made a research on the net. I ended up being devastated by what I was finding. This is when I decided to make a list of dancehall songs that promoted violence towards gay men. In 2004, I kept on thinking, I should do a webpage with this eventually. Then in summer 2005, when my research on The Wailers' early career was mosly finished (see my main website: www.soulrebels.org), I started to do more reading on homophobia in dancehall music. The more I was reading, the more puzzled I was. Then the project kept on becoming bigger and bigger. In August 2006, I decided that I had gathered enough information and different sections to launch the website. But heavy research were still in the process. The name for the website was borrowed from one of the first article that I've read: "Murder In The Dancehall" (Gay Times, December 2002). In 2007, new sections were added, such as 'Comments From The Industry', 'Roots Of Homophobia', 'Consequences', 'Dancehall In Gay Clubs' and a specific section for 'Concerts Cancelled'. In 2008, I've added the section 'Manifesto For The DJs'. It's only in winter 2008 that I've decided to slow down and dedicated my free times on different projects. Who wants to spend all that energy covering so much violence?! I know it's silly, but I just had to put it out there and to criticized it. As I said in the introduction page: 'Fighting against oppresion'. Since 2008, I try to keep the website up-to-date the best that I can, without investing too much time. New sections were added in 2007 s

August 29, 2006: Tanya Stephens: The first Jamaican dancehall artist that makes you reflect on homophobia?
Could this be the first Jamaican dancehall song that make people reflect on homophobia? On August 29, 2006 Tanya Stephens released her new album 'Rebelution' on VP Records. On the 20 songs featured on the album, the song named 'Do You Still Care?' criticize Jamaican homophobia. Reggae-Vibes.com review the song: 'Either way don't overlook "Do You Still Care?", a wicked tune about acceptance and discrimination, in which she starts to tell about a white racist dying of liver failure being saved by the liver of a black man and ends with a homophobic ghetto youth being saved by a gay passerby after being shot. On February 7, 2007, she performed in Paris at l'Elysee-Montmartre. Promoting the concert, she gave an interview to the french magazine Liberation: "I find it natural that gays defend themselfs. It's impossible to be insensible to people who claim your death. But there is a dramatisation, an exageration from the gay community. To defend their cause, they attack the whole reggae industry, when there is only eight idiots that ridiculise themselves with their stupid remarks. Capleton states that when he sings about 'burning' gays, it's to purify them"Laughing... Purify them from what? I found it stupid that people should all look the same. It's ridiculous to say 'I will convert everyone to my beliefs, I will purify everybody'. I am shure that people who said that they hate gays with so much strenght, would like to say the opposite today. But they said it with so much conviction that they would lose their face if they would back up from what they said" (translation from the french article). •
(
Liberation.fr) (Blabbeando.blog) (LYRICS: Do You Still Care?) (Riddim magazine No.4)

NOTE: Tanya Stephens had written a song named 'Fag Inna Closet' in 1999. With a title like that, I would assumed it' wasn't a very nice song, but a gay dancehall fan from Switzerland pointed out to me that it was instead a very gay-friendly song, in Jamaican standards. He says that in the song, Tanya Stephens sings: "I do not care what they do with their batty".

September 28, 2006: New York's Channel 9 goes undercover to get artists oppinion
On September 28, New York Channel 9 News a story on homophobia in reggae and dancehall. Interviews from artists were captured during New York's Irie Jamboree concert that occured on September 3. According to an article published in YardFlex, the TV station went undercover and interviewed Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Kulcha Don and Irie Claire from Irie Jam to get their oppinion on homosexuality. They also mentionned that the report broadcast on Channel 9 News brought a lot of talk in New York's caribbean community. Irie Jamboree 2006 lineup featured: Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Capleton, Baby Cham, Assassin, Gregory Isaacs, Cocoa Tea, Red Rat, Mr. Vegas, Mr. Peppa, Kulcha Don, Stephen Souza and Jovi Rockwell.
(
YardFlex)
NOTE: Unfortunately, I only found YardFlex short article that deal with those interviews.

September 4, 2006: a French reggae band release a song on the 'Chi Chi Man' conflict
Finally a reggae group that have the balls to write a positive song on homosexuality! On September 4, the french reggae band K2R Riddim launched their fourth album entitled 'K2 Airlines'. The album inlcude the track 'Homoriginal', making it, as far as I know, the first reggae song to openly criticize dancehall's rampant homophobia. This is a partial translation of the song: "it's the story of a 60-year old music style, caring a message of peace, spreading tolerance, a chant of hope for our time. How can we imagine this ideal being corrupted, by hatered messages of people preaching their vision of holyness. Why does difference afraid the first come, why does music carry words that kills? Homoriginal (original man), they reproche you for being your trueself. It is not with hatered that there will be an evolution for the future. Let us preserve our identity from uniformity. Since when love is against nature?".

Note: the song was officially released in September 2006, but was written in 2005. It was performed in concert as early as March 2006 (March 11, 2006 in Feyzin, France)
(
oifficial website for K2R Riddim) (extract of the song) (lyrics of 'Homoriginal') (Interview on ReggaeFrance.com)

September 15, 2006: dancehall singer Krys is asked to make public excuses to Vincent McDoom
While promoting his first major album K-Rysmatic (Universal, June 2006), the Guadeloupean singer Krys is invited to the popular french radio show Cauet (a TV version is available on the internet). He performed his news single 'Dangereuse' than joined the animator, his crew and his guests on the plateau for an interview. After plugging his new album and tour, Cauet told the singer that he made a shocking discovery: on one of his early recordings, titled 'McDoom Dead' (recorded in 2003), the singer advocate the killing of homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals and travestites. On top of that, the title of the song and some of its lyrics target directly the travestite Vincent McDoom, native of the caribbean island St. Lucia, who now enjoy fame in the french showbusiness. The animator then invited his special secret guest, Vincent McDoom himself, to come onstage, to the big surprise of the obviously, unconfortable singer. Krys tried to explained that his vision on homosexuality was part of his caribbean culture, his music style and that te song was criticizing the fact that there are no africans on national television in France, except for a travestite. When the lyrics are read out loud, Kris is in denial saying that it's not what he wrote, then later say that the translation from creole is not acurate, which McDoom contredict by adding that he also speaks creole. At the end of the ten-minute debate, Krys felt trapped to present excuses, which he did, without much choices, but Vincent McDoom refused them. That show made huge noises in France and in Guadeloupe: the trap set for Krys and the homophobic dancehall lyrics were largly discussed on several forums in the days that followed. On September 19, there was an official letter of apology issued on Krys' SkyBlog. People were invited to leave comments. In only ten days, over 700 messages were posted on that blog alone.

NOTE: In life, we reap what we sew. It may not have been the best thing to bring Krys in this debate on his first major public appearance, but I wonder to which extend he would have accept a live debate with Vincent McDoom if he would have been asked first. Something for shure, he would have prepared himself better and would have use some tips from Universal's lawers. I have to admit that Krys handle the situation in a mature way by writing a the letter of excuses on his website, which could have been written by someone else, but seems truthful to me after watching the interview he made with Claudy Siar. But he just shoot himself in the foot six weeks later and lost all his credibility to me. See lower, on October 25, 2006.

NOTE: you can watch the interview by clicking on this link:
Cauet: Krys vs Vincent McDoom
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Cauet: en coulisse) (lyrics of 'McDoom Dead') (letter of apology) (Krys being interviews by Claudy Siar) Guadeloupean dancehall singers were not pleased with the fact that Krys presented excuses: read their comments
The whole show broadcast on September 15, including Krys performance:
Cauet: Krys vs Vincent McDoom

September 21, 2006: Buju Banton US Tour: six concerts cancelled and several protests
On September 12, Buju Banton launched 'Too Bad', his first album in three years, the first to be released on his independent label Gargamel. The same day was launched the US Tour, schedule in 35 venues. Why such a huge gap between two albums and tour? Probably because his manager tought that it would be safe to wait until the dust come down after the trial for his accusation of beating up 6 gay men in Kingston, in June 2004 were he was found not guilty for lack of evidences in January 2006. Let's also mention that he was banned from entering America for one year, between April 2004 and March 2005, after being fined for possession and cultivation of cannabis in Jamaica. In one way, that timing was good for him, as this was on the rise of the 'Stop Murder Music' campaign, and he would have faced major protests in USA. This current 35-concert dates faced several protests, but few cancellations. To my knowledge, only 6 were cancelled: Bloomington (Sept. 14), Seattle (Sept. 27), San Francisco (Sept. 30), Hollywood (Oct. 3), New York (Oct .21) and Washington (Oct. 21). The biggest protest seemed to be the one that occured on September 13, where a crowd of over 100 people gathered infront of Chicago's House Of Blues. Several people complained in the past that the 'Stop Murder Music' campaing was initiated by whites people, therefore screemed for racism. This time, the protests were initiated by bloggers Jamyne Cannick and Keith Boykin, both Afro Americans. Their demand to the promoter "Either rescind Buju Banton’s invitation to perform in your venue or demand that he make a public statement prior to the concert disavowing his homophobic music and remarks". The promoter for the September 30th concert had to moved his concert in three different venues (from San Francisco to Oakland and finally to Berkeley), before Buju Banton could performed. After several of his concerts were protested or cancelled, Buju Banton's comment to BillBoard magazine were: "F*ck them". "I have never bashed any gays before, and if I bashed gays, I bashed them 16 years ago. There's no tolerance from [the gay community]. I'm not a gay-basher. I'm not a homophobe."
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Jamaicans.com) (sing-along of Boom Bye Bye in Miami) (Jasmyne Cannick 1) (Jasmyne Cannick 2) (Chicago Tribune) (Los Angeles Times) (BillBoard) (San Francisco Chronicle) (Jamaica Observer)

NOTE: Palpable tention is on the rise between reggae/dancehall promoters and fans:
East Bay Express, Jamaica Gleaner
NOTE: look under Buju Banton 2006 Tour, on the following link for specific articles on cancelled venues and their protests:
Concert Cancelled

September 28, 2006: New York TV report on homophobic violence in dancehall
New York Channel 9 News make a special on homophobic lyrics in dancehall music. Featuring interviews with Keith Boykin (gay activist), Beenie Man (Jamaican dancehall artist), Elena Oumano (Village Voice Music Writer), Kulcha Don (dancehall artist) and Irwin Clarke (Irie Jamboree Concert Promoter).

NOTE: I'm not sure of the date of broadcast, as the date the video was YouTube is Sept 25th 2009. The reason why I think the real broadcast date was September 28. 2006, is that I visit Keith Boykin's webpage and on that specific date he says that "New York's Channel 9 News will be running a story about homophobic reggae and dancehall artists tonight at 10 pm on My 9 News". As he is interviewed in the clip, it make sence. Plus the report talks about 'last July 2006'. (Lenght 3m46)
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New York Channel 9: Reggae Under Fire)

October 25, 2006: Guadeloupean singer Krys strikes back
Five weeks after feeling obligated to make public excuses to Vincent McDoom and the homosexual community, the Guadeloupean dancehall singer Krys reply with the aggressive song 'Sa Kay Pli Lwen'. The song is directly directed to the events of September 15. He brings back the conflict on the table by defaming once again Vincent McDoom by calling him 'McClown'. The song was released on an independent label, KicKilla Records. Universal, his current record company is angry at him for making such a move. After bringing public excuses to McDoom. the singer has been criticized heavily on internet forums by dancehall fans. Was it this that made him fight back with 'Sa Kay Pli Lwen'? On November 23, he was supposed to participate on the show 'Public TV Chat' via the website of the french magazine Public. One hour before the chat, his appearance was cancelled, due to pressure from the public.
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listen to: Sa Kay Pli Lwen) (lyrics: Sa Kay Pli Lwen) (BondaManJak Forum)

NOTE: the singer says in the song: 'when they trapped Krys on the Cauet show, it's the whole dancehall music scene that is in danger'. I would like to reply to Krys by saying: 'when you act like this, (advertising murder, defaming people in your songs, making false excuses), yes you are putting the whole dancehall scene in jeopardy'. Krys I tought you were serious with your excuses when you were interviewed by Claudy Siar. I even believed, wrongly, that you might have set an example for other dancehall singers. You turned out to be a huge disapointment. It would have been a smarter move to just leave the situation has it was.

November 27, 2006: three LGBT organisations request the withdraw of Admiral T prize
On October 23 was celebrated teh first ceremony for 'Les Cesaires de la Musique' an occasion to honour the french black music artists. Dancehall guadeloupean singer Admiral T was offered a prize in the 'Revelation' cathegory. The artsit is a major player on the french dancehall circuit. In 2002, he made a lot of noise with his hardcore homophobic song 'Batty Boy Dead'. Le CRAN, La Federation des Centres LGBT and the French Caribbean association An Nou Alle are questionning why an artist with such homophobic background, that never presented any apology for his song 'Batty Boy Dead' can be nominated and win such a prize. On November 27, they sent an official letter, requesting explaination from the jury, the withdraw of his prize and official excuses from the artist, if not the cancelation of his concert in Paris at Le Zenith, sheduled on December 8, 2006. In an interview that he gave to France-Antilles, Admiral T stated that he felt "attacked" and "agressed" by LGBT organisations.
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Les Cesaires de la Musique) (Batty Boy Dead lyrics) (An Nou Alle Press Release 1) (An Nou Alle Press Release 2) (An Nou Alle Press Release 3) (Heteroclite)

November 28, 2006: Open letter by Vincent McDoom, SOS Homophobie & An Nou Alle to the dancehall singers
The newspaper France-Antilles published in his November 28 edition (Martinique) and December 6 edition (Guadelouppe) an open letter written by Vincent McDoom, SOS Homophobie and An Nou Alle, adressed to the ragga/dancehall singers. The letter was meant to educate about the possible repercussions of homophobic songs. One more time, religion is used to justify hatered towards homosexuals. The letter signatories conclude with "your personal responsibility is, infront of history, to understand and make others understand that there is a convergence between black emancipation and the liberation of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transexuals.
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An Nou Alle: extract from the letter)