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 1, 2011: J-FLAG New Year's message
PRESS RELEASE: Fellow Jamaicans, respect and tolerance is fundamental to enabling individuals, regardless of religion, gender, socio-economic status or sexual orientation, to claim and enjoy their human rights. J-FLAG continues to observe and articulate the implications of the absence of a specific legal instrument to protect and promote the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans. While the enactment of laws alone will not change the engrained discrimination within our society, the presence of discriminatory laws coupled with the lack of specific protections continue to contribute to the high incidences of stigma, discrimination, harassment and other forms of abuse as well as death of Jamaicans who are, and in some cases perceived to be gay or lesbian. This year, we have received and documented over forty incidences of human rights abuses meted out to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica... However, despite these unfortunate occurrences, we have seen some encouraging demonstrations that there are possibilities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans to be accorded their human rights and dignity. This has been demonstrated by the numerous
public activities that have been held without incident since April to raise the awareness of the issues being faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies. In addition, police men and women have been more professional in their attempts to serve and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans. The media has begun to feature more constructive conversations... (more on the links below)
(
J-FLAG Press Release)

January 3, 2011: My Princess Boy: Is it OK for boys to dress like girls?
NOT RELATED TO DANCEHALL ISSUE...
BY WHY NOT START THE YEAR WITH A WONDERFUL STORY OF ACCEPTANCE?
Is it okay for boys to dress like girls? The topic is addressed in the book “My Princes Boy” – watch the author and her son, who inspired “My Princess Boy,” in this Today show video clip. Meredith Vieira talks with the mom and her 5-year old who likes to dress in girl clothes – Why? Dyson says “because it makes me feel happy!” “My Princess Boy” explores this societal taboo of boys dressing like girls in the hopes of spreading acceptance. What’s your stand on kids dressing as the opposite gender? Broadcated on NBC Today Show, on January 3rd 2011.
(
My Princess Boy)

January 12, 2011: Amnesty International denounce homophobic comments by African reggae singer
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Responding to Blakk Rasta's homophobic comments on GhanaMusic.com, Clare Bracey, Amnesty International UK's LGBT campaign manager, said: 'To describe homosexuality as a 'disorder' is simply abhorrent ' and Blakk Rasta's comments should be condemned vigorously from all quarters. 'Amnesty has documented many cases where people across the world have faced violence, discrimination, torture, imprisonment and even execution because of their sexual orientation. And whilst Blakk Rasta states that he does not 'incite violence against gays and lesbians', public statements like this perpetuate a climate of discrimination and intimidation against LGBT people, and in many instances, are the cause of abuses. 'The perception of homosexuality as a disorder that needs to be 'put right' serves to legitimise such violence. 'Sadly his comments reflect a growing rise of homophobia across Africa and those prevailing attitudes need to be challenged. 'Amnesty International firmly believes that everyone has a right to express their sexual orientation without discrimination or fear of prosecution.'

From the GhanaWeb article, there would be a song on his latest album dealing with homosexuality. From GayGhana.org website, homophobic comment were made onstage since October 2009.
(
Amnesty International UK) (GhanaWeb) (GayGhana.org OPEN LETTER) (Ghana Music) (Blakk Rasta website)

January 18, 2011: The two faces of Jamaican gay life
TEXT FROM BLOG: Paul Canning from LGBT Asylum News take a dive in Jamaican culture with recent articles, events, musicians, comedians and bloggers and discover a growing acceptance towards LGBT community. Interesting collage.
(
LGBT Asylum News) (Gay Jamaica Watch: The Year that was... Entertainment Perspective)

January 25, 2011: Growing monopoly: VP Records launches VPAL
This topic is not related to homophobia in dancehall or reggae music. I simply included it on this page to show how the monopoly of VP Records is growing bigger inside the reggae industry every year. Now it's the turn to Third World and Midnite to sign a distribution deal with VP Records... Besides that, their 17 North Parade label just issued classic albums from Dennis Brown (January 2011) and Culture (February 2011).

TEXT FROM ARTICLE: On April 5, Third World’s 23rd album “Patriots” was released on the band’s newly formed label Third World Music Group, in association with VP Associated Label Group (VPAL), the recently launched subsidiary of the Queens, NY based reggae independent VP Records. Donovan Williams, Director of VPAL, says the industry downturn presented an opportunity for VP Records to create an imprint that allows artists not signed to the label the option to negotiate usage of the company’s physical and digital distribution services, marketing and publicity departments as well as touring and booking divisions....VP Records offiicially launched VPAL on January 25, 2011 with the release of “Treasure” from St. Croix, Virgin Islands based reggae outfit Midnite who signed on for a distribution and marketing deal.... “We are pleased to be working with VP/VPAL after so many years in the business”, says Third World guitarist/musical director Stephen “Cat” Coore, “VP Records are very much in control of Jamaican music worldwide, they’ve become the
Motown of reggae.”

PERSONNAL COMMENT: I have several better comparison for companies that could be dubbed the 'Motown' of reggae: what about Studio One label, Island Records, Trojan Rocords, Virgin/Frontline, Channel One, Joe Gibbs. According to Wikipedia, the VP Records label itself was founded in 1993, just 25 years after the birth of reggae. No, they don't deserve that title. And you can always count on this label to 'immortalise' songs that promote discrimination and violence towards gays on most of their Strictly The Best or Reggae Gold collections, even in recent volumes. Let's be honnest, this company doesn't have the spirit of reggae, you just have to look at the images they use to promote these compilations. They are in it for the money and they are succeeding. They are using marketing tools to appeal to the mass, including violence and sex. Is this really what we want for the future of reggae? Listen to a Reggae Gold compilation and tell me how many songs would you classifeied as 'reggae'? Last year, they even cancelled the compilation Biggest One-Drop Reggae Anthems, the only interesting contemporary reggae compilation. But they are brininging it back in July 2011.
(
Tuffchin.com)

January 26, 2011: Trinidad & Tobago lifts ban on Mavado
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Jamaican reggae superstar Mavado (David Constantine Brooks), who had been banned from performing in this country since 2006, is scheduled for a full concert on Trinidad and Tobago soil next week. This was revealed to the T&T Guardian exclusively by Lenard Smith, public relations manager for RF Promotions, who said: “Mavado has been banned since 2006...We tried to bring him and he was turned back by immigration. “Since then, we have done some work with Mavado and he is now the kind of person citizens will appreciate coming to Trinidad and Tobago,” Smith added. In an effort to assure the public that the artiste will not be turned back by immigration personnel when he arrives at Piarco International Airport next week, the T&T Guardian was shown an official document which states that the artiste will be allowed to perform here on February 5 with his full band. Mavado will headline the concert A Better Tomorrow.
(more on the link below).
(
The Trinidad Guardian)

January 26, 2011: Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato found murdered
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: One of Uganda's most prominent gay rights activists has been murdered in his home weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed. David Kato, the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda, was bludgeoned to death in Mukono, Kampala, yesterday afternoon. Witnesses saw a man fleeing the scene in a car, and police are investigating. Along with other Ugandan gay activists, Kato had reported increased harassment since 3 January, when a high court judge granted a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper, preventing it from identifying homosexuals in its pages. Late last year, Kato had been pictured on the front page of an issue carrying the headline "Hang Them". He was one of the three complainants in the court case. "Since the ruling, David said people had been harassing him, and warning they would 'deal with him,'" Julian Pepe Onziema, a close friend and fellow gay rights activist, said. "We were due to meet yesterday [Wednesday] to discuss security arrangements, but he said he did not have money to get to town. A few hours after we spoke, his phone was off."Human Rights Watch said it was too early to speculate why Kato had been killed, but added that there were serious concerns about the level of protection of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Kampala. Maria Burnett, the Uganda researcher for Human Rights Watch, urged a "real and substantive investigation" into the murder. (more on the link below).
(
The Guardian) (BBC News) (Human Right Watch) (PRESS RELEASE signed by 28 Caribbean associations)
(
Reuters Africa: Scuffles at funeral)

February 22, 2011: Buju Banton Found Guilty of Cocaine Charge
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: A Florida jury has found Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton guilty on cocaine conspiracy charges. Jurors returned their verdict on Tuesday after deliberating for 11 hours over two days. The 37-year-old Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was on trial on accusations that he conspired with two other men in setting up a drug deal in December of 2009. His album "Before the Dawn" won a Grammy last week for best reggae album. This is Banton's second trial. A jury deadlocked in his first trial last year.
(
Billboard)

March 15, 2011: Reggae Star Blasts GLAAD, OutRage and other Homosexual Organizations
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Reggae superstar Boom Viniyard is posing some poignant questions to the gay community and he may be the first to ask such questions. On his new mixtape “The world is ours”, Boom Viniyard questions why isn’t the gay community rallying and protesting for the banning of the bible, since the bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. The artist suggests that if homosexuals rally against and support the banning of anti-gay reggae songs then it makes sense that they should do the same against the church and all conservative political parties. (more on the link below).

PERSONNAL COMMENT: This 'article' was written by TCOOO, the same team that brought the 'Straight Parade' in New York (see July 2008). Thee issue here is the promion of violence through music. This guy still don't get the issue of the conflic. To Boom Viniyard: The wolrd is not 'yours', it belongs to everyone, and everyone has the SAME rights to walk free of verbal or physical assault. People who promote hate speech must be challenged. As long as you are giving 'maximum respect' to musicians that advocate violence and killing, well you and I are are definitively not feeding on the same vibe of music. Bring back the roots.

(
PRWEB.com)

March 26, 2011: Shots fired at Ocho Rios concert
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The March of Three Kings concert headlined by Mavado, Elephant Man and Wayne Marshall was marred by gunfire which caused a stampede from Margaritaville in Ocho Rios on Saturday night . "A music and love wi seh," shouted Mavado in the parking lot at around 4.35 am to the shaken departing crowd. Three minutes earlier three gunshots rang from just outside the venue. It resulted in scores of patrons taking cover behind trees, cars and bodies. This was preceded by shouts of "fight, fight, gun!". In total the crowd sought cover three times in an attempt to exit the parking lot. It wasn't immediately clear who fired the shots. Prior to the stampede, the crowd's initial focus was on a bleeding man, possibly intoxicated, of unsound mind, or both, lying in the parking lot. "Him get hit by a car," stated one patron. Unresponsive calls to him resulted in the thickening of the crowd and honking horns. Then came the shots. During the concert, the sound selectors, Elephant Man and Mavado all voiced expressions of violence as a means to rev-up the thick crowd. The favourite target of the selectors and Elephant Man were gays whilst Mavado lyrically attacked his nameless enemies. Wayne Marshall kept his set clean. "We nah kill no fish. We just saying we nah switch non at all," he stated in reference to gays. (more on the link below).
(
Jamaica Observer)

April 24, 2011: Sizzla performs 'Boom Bye Bye' in Montego Bay
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: At the Coke Zero Live event, Sizzla performed the notorious hate anthem 'Boom Bye Bye' which literally calls for the murder of homosexuals (lower you can find a clip of Sizzla performance begins at 13.55). Sizzla is unable to find performance venues in either the UK or USA because of his reputation. In 2004, he was among a group of artists who were being investigated by Scotland Yard for allegedly inciting murder of homosexuals through their lyrics. Tomlinson says that there is at least one documented instance in Jamaica where 'Boom Bye Bye' was directly linked to the murder of a gay man. (see October 13 and November 25 for more details about this news)
(
AIDSFreeWorld.org) (Jamaica Gleaner) (Care2) (Clip of the performance)

PERSONNAL COMMENT: I was speecless when I learned about this. This is probably the worst career move he made in numerous years. Unfortunately, this is something that's gonna stick with him for quite a long time. Why do people feed from conflictual situations?... I just don't overstand the human race. LGBT groups have partly succeed, the reggae industry was partly able to move this conflict. Now it's time for the fans to act: Take 30 minutes of your time and write a letter to Sizzla to let him know how much you are disapointed in his behaviour. Tell him that because of his deisre to express hate speech in many circumstances, there is a lot of chances you won't be able to see him perform in America or Europe in upcoming years. Ask him to go public and to denounce any kind of violence, including violence made to gays. Enough of these games. Let's put the fake apologies behind us, let's show some humanity. I was trying to find an official address so you can reach Sizzla... There is a website JudgemenyYard (judgementyard.org), that seems ton be the official website, but it hasn't been updated since 2008 and the email is no longer working. BUT the album Welcome To The Good Life ( released in June 2011) was issued on KalonjiRecords.com which is link to JudgementYard.org. So the address seems good: Judgement Yard, 40 August Town Road, Kingston Jamaica, W.I. Mona PO. Probably not all the mail is read, so write in plane latters on the envelopp: PLEASE STOP PROMOTING DISCRIMINATION – WE WANT TO SEE YOU PERFORM IN OUR COUNTRIES.
Never underestimate the power that you have to make a contribution to live in a better world. And just to make things clear: I'm not a fan. I do not listen to Sizzla's music, but like many, I am tired of this conflict. Whether you agree or not with the oppinions written on this website: let's unite and let our voices be heard. I'm positive that there are several thousands people that love reggae that are fed up with this situation. Let's express it clearly. Let's move on as a collectivity.

May 9, 2011: Jamaica Tourist Board promoting Jamaica in NY
TEXT FROM YOU TUBE: The Jamaica Tourist Board and Flash Mob America teamed up to give New Yorkers a taste of sun, sand and sea at the Jamaica Reggae Flash Mob in Union Square, NYC on May 9. Featuring an exclusive dance remix of Ziggy Marley's "Jamaica In My Head" the flash mob commemorated Marley Week and the 30th Anniversary of the passing of Jamaica's music legend Bob Marley.

PERSONNAL COMMENT: Was the pink T-shirt used deliberately... I believe so. Probably Jamaica Tourist Board is trying to send a message that Jamaica is not has homophobe as some articles portrayed it in recent years. Nice performance.
(
You Tube CLIP)

May 15, 2011: African American CNN anchor Don Lemon comes out publicly
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Mr. Lemon understands the television news business from long experience, gathered through jobs at such local stations as WCAU in Philadelphia, WMAQ in Chicago and WNYW in New York. So he has no illusions about what he is getting himself into with the book he has written about his career — and life. In"Transparent," Mr. Lemon has a lot to say about reporting for television and about journalism in general. But he knows enough about news to recognize what will get this book noticed. "People are going to say: 'Oh, he was molested as a kid and now he is coming out.' I get it," he said. Few national television news anchors or hosts have publicly acknowledged being gay. Rachel Maddow is perhaps the best known. Her MSNBC colleague, Thomas Roberts, has also come out as gay. Mr. Lemon has not made a secret of his sexual orientation in his work life; many of his CNN co-workers and managers have long been aware that he is gay. But he still acknowledged that going public in his book carries certain risks. "I'm scared," he said in a telephone interview. "I'm talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for." Even beyond whatever effect his revelation might have on his television career, Mr. Lemon said he recognized this step carried special risk for him as a black man. "It's quite different for an African-American male," he said. "It's about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You're taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away." He said he believed the negative reaction to male homosexuality had to do with the history of discrimination that still affects many black Americans, as well as the attitudes of some black women. (more on the link below).
(
New York Time)

June 23, 2011: Buju Banton sentence: 10 years
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: It could have been far worse for Jamaican reggae superstar Buju Banton than the 10-year sentence he received yesterday in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. Hours after the Grammy-winning artiste was ordered imprisoned for a decade, US-based Jamaican attorney Oliver Smith said the 37-year-old singer got the best sentence possible, given the crime for which he was convicted....When Banton appeared in court yesterday he faced a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in a federal prison which would calculate to 10 years for his convictions on a charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and five years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence. But US Judge James Moody threw out the gun conviction, reducing the artiste's sentence to 10 years.
(more on the link below).
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2)

June 26, 2011: Study shows Jamaican street youths more accepting of gays
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Homeless youth are more tolerant of homosexuality than their counterparts who live with their families at home, according to the 2010 Jamaica National Youth Survey (JNYS) released earlier this month by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN)."Street youths proved more tolerant of homosexuals. A quarter (25 per cent) of the street youths interviewed indicated that they had friends who were homosexuals, compared to 11 per cent of youths in households," said senior statistician in the STATIN's surveys division Leesha Delatie-Budair. (more on the link below).
(
Jamaica Observer)

July 4, 2011: Mavado's US visa returned
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: In April of last year Mavado, whose correct name is David Brooks, was among four artistes who's US visas were cancelled. According to a previous report in The STAR, the visas of deejays Bounty Killer, Mavado, Beenie Man, Aidonia and selector Ricky Trooper were cancelled by the Fraud Prevention Arm of the United States Embassy in Kingston. Mavado is the first artiste since the cancellation to have his US visa reinstated. Julian Jones-Griffith, Mavado's manager: "Since losing his visa in April 2010, Mavado hasn't commented on the situation, in media or on record. Now that the situation has been resolved we will retain that dignity and not comment on the issue, suffice to say, Mavado is looking forward to getting back to work in the United States where his army of fans will get to see him perform after a prolonged absence." (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Star)

July 7, 2011: Mista Majah P radio interview on 'Justice or Just Us'
Mista Majah P, the Jamaican dancehall artist who made the song 'Rights', which denounce homophobia in dancehall music, is being interviewed by Jarret Lovell on California KUCI show: 'Justice Or Just Us'. He talks about the song, the situation in Jamaica, 'Freedom Of Speech' vs 'Murder Music' and his upcoming album.
(
KUCI)

July 29, 2011: Making history – First reggae album to promote gay rights
Mista Majah P deserve respect for taking the stand that many contemporary reggae artists didn't have the guts to do. In October 2010, he releasaed the song 'Rights' on YouTube. The song is now available for purchase on his new CD Tolerance (launched on July 7, 2011). In fact, the whole CD is dedicated to the gay issue. Mis musical style and lyrics has a similar feel of jamaican british singer Macka B. He takes stands againts the things that are wrong in society. The album has an international approach to gay rights, and includes refrences to caribbean situation like 'Letter To Bruce Golding' and 'Dedophile/Predator'. With the first song,he address a direct letter to Jamaican prime minister regarding the (sad but) famous BBC interview made in May 2008, where he declares that there was 'no homosexuals in my cabinet'. The second song opens up with a manipulating statement made by Beenie Man, explaining what a 'chi chi man' was, when he was in hot water at the peak of the Stop Murder Muisc campaign. Mista Majah P recall that there is a clear distinction between homosexuals and pedophiles, too often mixup by the some people. Strong messages are delivered throughout the album, including a history lesson in the song 'DADT' (Don't Ask Don't Tell). Highlights of the album are the upbeat 'Love and Tolerance', 'Letter To Bruce Golding', 'I Am Who I Am' and the first single and videoclip 'Gay Bulling'. The album is available to purchase on cdbaby.com and cduniverse.com. (more on the links below)
(
Press Release) (The Voice) (Gay Jamaica Watch) (UrbanIslandz) (VIDEOCLIP: Gay Bulling) (VIDEOCLIP: Love And Tolerance)
(www.MistaMajahP.com)
(STORE: CDBaby) (STORE: CD Universe)

July 30, 2011: Beenie Man retrieves US visa
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Internationally renowned Dancehall artiste, Moses "Beenie Man" Davis has gotten back his United States visa after being unable to travel to the country for the last 15 months. The "Go Go Club" deejay was one of four prominent Dancehall artistes who had their visas cancelled by the United States Embassy in Kingston back in April 2010; including artistes such Mavado, Bounty Killer & Aidonia. The move, made for reasons unknown, severely damaged both earning potential and marketability of Dancehall artistes on an international scale given they could not travel to the States to build their brands. However, Beenie Man was issued & collected a ten year visa to the United States this morning. In a statement released on Friday evening, Beenie Man expressed gratitude to the United States government & the U.S embassy in Jamaica for what he claimed was their renewed faith in him by allowing him the ability to once again travel to the United States. Beenie also expressed his commitment decency and family values as core factors of Jamaican Dancehall/Reggae music. Beenie Man's retrieval of a U.S visa comes just over three weeks after the aforementioned Mavado had been issued his United States visa. (more on the link below)
(
OutARoad)

August 5, 2011: Boom Bye Bye riddim played at Capleton's festival 'A St Mary Mi Come From'
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Gray's Inn Sport Complex in Annotto Bay was transformed into a fiery furnace as the Prophet Capleton and his friends demonstrated two things at the stageshow, A St Mary Mi Come From – how to really bun bad mind and how to truly celebrate unity. Without a doubt, the tenth anniversary of this festival of fire, staged on Friday night will long be remembered... But, as night turned to day, it became clear that that performance was just a lighter flame compared to the raging fire that billowed soon after... Then, the human cannonball erupted on stage in the form of King Shango himself (aka Capleton), who just had to turn the fire up even more as he cried "Slew dem!" King Shango's energy is limitless and the combination of Sizzla, Bounty and Capleton on stage was electrifying. An awesome celebration of unity in the music... I nto this mix strolled on stage the Gangsta Ras, Munga Honourable and again things continued to get real hot round here. And when the fire really and truly could not get any hotter, there was only one thing left to do. Round up all battyman and 'fling dem' into the fiery furnace … to be eternally cleansed. Of course, only one song could be used to celebrate this momentous occasion. The anti-battyman anthem was rolled out and polished to perfection as Ruff Kut Band played the riddim almost with reverence: Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head, Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man, Dem haffi dead." Gray's Inn had no choice but to "tun right ova". Hands in the air as gun fingers shot up and gun salutes rang out; flags waved with gusto and patrons were stirred into a frenzy as they fully appreciated significance of it all. (more on the link below)
(
ChatyChaty)

PERSONNAL COMMENT: Appartently Capleton has tone done his anti-gay message with his new album 'I-Ternal Fire' (July 2010, VP Records). Some may wonder how much he decided to move on with his career and stop promoting discrimination and violence. For instance, the song 'Slew Dem' performed during this concert is an anti-gay song. To which extend he has a word to say to what the Ruff Kut Band played at his festival is unknown (refering to Boom Bye Bye). There is an interview with Mutabaruka posted on August 4, 2012 that confirms that he hasn't changed much is views in recent years. Probably only chosing his song more carefuly when performing overseas, but still this would need to be double checked.

August 10, 2011: Bounty Killer European Tour cancelled
According to the link below, there was a European Tour scheduled for Bounty Killer. The venues were schedules in Italy, Germany, Switzerlandand and Sweeden and maybe more European countries. According to an intervention by Zurich county MP Roland Munz of Stop Murder Music Zurich, Bounty Killer refusal to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (and respect it), pressure was put in place so the artist wound't be allowed to perform in Zurich. Similar actions were taken by LGBT groups in Italy, Germany and Switzerland.

NOTE: To my knowledge, this European Tour only featured four dates: August 14, 2011: Termoli, Italy (Villa Paraiso), August 19, 2011: Berlin, Germany (Calabash Club), August 20, 2011: Zurich, Switzerland (Club Zurich) and August 25, 2011: Stockholm, Sweeden (Club Kolingsborg). The letter published in Changes.org also mentionned the Chiemsee Reggae Summer 2011 (August 26-28), but this concert doesn't have Bounty Killer listed (only Capleton in term of artists related to the RCA). Capleton performed on August 26, 2011 without cancellation. If know more tour dates, please contact me and I will ad them. (more on the link below)
(
JamaicanDancehallMusic.com) (Change.org)

August 16, 2011: VP Records producer's Joel Chin murdered in Jamaica
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The 35-year-old producer, who also headed up VP's Artiste and Repertoire department, was reportedly shot and killed as he drove into the driveway of his Stony Hill apartment in St Andrew on Tuesday night. According to reports, Chin died instantly. VP Records, whose roster boasts artistes, including Beres Hammond, Tarrus Riley and Etana, released a statement saying: "It is with great sadness that VP Records must announce the passing of Joel Chin at the age of 35. Joel was shot last night (Tuesday, August 16) outside his home in Stony Hill, St Andrew, in Jamaica. The cause was not immediately known."The grandson of VP Records founder Vincent Chin, son of famed reggae producer Clive Chin and nephew of the owners of VP Records, Chris and Randy Chin, Joel literally grew up in the reggae business and put his vast knowledge and connections at the service of the music he loved passionately."The statement continued: "An accomplished producer, Joel had moved from New York to Jamaica two years ago to spend more time on music production, songwriting and developing rising talent. Joel wrote hit songs for many artistes, such as Elephant Man and Etana, among many others. Chin was also responsible for The Reggae Gold and Strictly The Best series from VP. (more on the link below)

PERSONNAL COMMENT: I think this news belong on the website. Although I'm greatly disapointed with VP Record's attitude in this conflict, It is important for me to mention that I do not rejoice when I learn about Joel Chin's death. I sincerely whish that he was able to realised some of the mistakes he have done before he passed away. To the same extend, I don't rejoice when I see Buju Banton going to Jail. I never whish the worst for the people I disagree with. What I whish, from the bottom of my heart, is that, as a collectivity, we can mature and focus in making this conflict something of the past.

(
Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2)

August 26, 2011: Jamaica Observer finally talks about Mista Majah P
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: British-based gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, has come out in support of Jamaican Reggae artiste Mista Majah P, who has released what is reportedly the first pro-gay Reggae album, entitled 'Tolerance'."Jamaican reggae singer Mista Majah P has released the world's first pro-gay reggae album. Called Tolerance and featuring rainbow stripes on the cover, the album includes 11 songs, variously in support of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, as well as attacks on homophobic bullying and the US military policy, Don't Ask Don't Tell. The tracks also feature swipes at the anti-gay prejudices of 'murder music' reggae singer Beenie Man and of the Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding," said Tatchell. Mista Majah P: "My hope is that this CD, 'Tolerance', will break down the homophobic stance that certain reggae artists and heads of government have taken towards the LGBTQ community. Because of the hateful songs that some performers have been singing, gay people have been threatened and harmed. Some foolish people act upon what these artists are preaching because they worship these artists like gods. My music is about tolerance. It shows that reggae music can respect gay and lesbian people. Reggae music used to be about love, peace and unity. Now it is too often about bigotry and violence. I want to bring the music back to its progressive roots," he added. (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Observer) (RJR94FM) (ReggaeTelevision.com)

August 27, 2011: Sizzla Tour cancelled in Europe?
YardFlex wrote that a Europeen Tour for Sizzla would have been cancelled. But they only mantion one Festival in Germany: The Chiemsee Reggae Summer Festival. (more research should be done about this news...)
(
YardFlex)

September 3, 2011: Australian reggae artist King B-Fine talks about controversial song
At the end of the song Jah No Dead, the Australian reggae artist King B-Fine sang the line"bun chi chi man", which seems to have caused some controversy. He later explained that he wasn't attacking the gay community. The video Jah No Dead was posted on YouTube on November 25, 2010. The the line "bun chi chi man" is censored in that specific version of the clip. Not long after the clip was released, he posted the following written apology on YouTube: "Greetings in the name of Jah Rastafari, I would like to make myself clear; in this new video clip, at the end of the video I sing burn down (Chi Chi Man) and what I mean is to burn down all the bad people (child molesters, gangsters, rapist, people who destroy the life of another), please everyone am sorry if what you understand was wrong, but I have nothing against same sex, please don't get me wrong. I believe that everyone is equal. One love". On September 2nd, King B-Fine has declined to sing the song in Sydney, instead recording a YouTube video in which he says he has nothing against gay people. ....[Worth watching]

NOTE: For once, we witness a real apology. Nothing like the fake PR statements made in the past by targeted artists that cound't performed overseas. Big up to you King B-Fine, I love sincerity and can see it in your eyes.
(
King B-Fine message on YouTube) (VIDEO: Jah No Dead) (King B-Fine webpage)

September 8, 2011: Tony Matterhorn's Dancehall Duppy trilogy song
I was searching the web trying to figure out if Tony Matterhorn's song Dancehall Dyppy was refering to the gay community. It seems more to be a song that attack some of his fellow jamaican artists that he thinks are gay. TEXT FROM BLOG: Tony Matterhorn who recently completed a stint in the United Kingdom has released a new single dissing fellow entertainers Beenie Man, Khago and Twin of Twins. The insult laced song titled 'Dancehall Duppy Pt.3 (Porky's Revenge)' sees the man from mars taking some serious lyrical shots at the three reffering to Beenie Man as the 'Queen of The Dancehall', Khago as a 'Hairdresser caught in a compromising position' and Twins of Twins as homosexuals with the line 'Google it Gay inna dem last name.' (more on the link below)
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PrismMarketingBlog) (OutARoad) (SoundVillage)

September 20, 2011: Third official video for Mista Majah P album Tolerance
First there was the video for the song 'Rights' that came out in October 2010. Then the album Tolerance featuring 'Rights' along with ten other pro-gay songs. When the album was issued in late July, not long after, Mista Majah P released his second video for the catchy song 'Gay Bulling' (released August 19, 2011). Now he offers a third video: this time it's about the removal of Bill Clinton's law Don't Ask Don't Tell, related to gays serving in the US Army. The release date of the video (September 20th) coincide with the official removal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell). TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA: In his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama advocated a full repeal of the laws barring homosexuals from serving in the military. On October 10, 2009, Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign that he will end the ban, but offered no timetable. As president, Obama said in his first State of the Union Address in 2010, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." On May 27, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act... President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent the certification required by the Repeal Act to Congress on July 22, 2011, setting the end of DADT for September 20, 2011. NOTE: There is also a non-official videoclip for the song 'Love And Tolerance'.
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VIDEO: Don't Ask Don't Tell) (Wikipedia: Don't Ask Don't Tell)
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VIDEO: Gay Bullying) (VIDEO: Rights) (VIDEO: Love And Tolerance)
(RADIO INTERVIEW (October 2nd): Caribbean Radio Show)

October 11, 2011: One Blood: Youth Linked In Action– documentary on HIV and AIDS
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: Capturing the voices of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora in Canada, the 'One Blood: Youth Linked in Action' documentary will take you into the hearts, experiences and struggles of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Recognizing the synergy of youth from diverse backgrounds, this 20-minute documentary explores the links between the two countries, acknowledging the bond that ties everyone together. What are youth misconceptions, perceptions and responses to HIV and AIDS? How do music and gender roles contribute to its spread? Prepare for an emotional journey as these and other questions are answered, showcasing the sights and sounds of different young people and the work of a variety of organizations who are active in the response against HIV and AIDS.
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Documentary)

October 13, 2011: Coca-Cola's Inadequate Response to its Sponsorship of Murder Music
Following Sizzla's homophobic performance in Montego Bay on April24, 2011.OPEN LETTER FROM ACTIVISTS: In late April, Coke sponsored a concert in Jamaica that headlined notoriously homophobic artists. Since then, AIDS-FREE WORLD has attempted to engage the conscience and attention of Coke on this matter. Coca-Cola is in a position to take a leading corporate role and make a significant difference in fighting the homophobia that fuels the AIDS pandemic—if they choose to do so. Coca-Cola needs to act NOW in unmistakable and unfaltering ways to repair the harm wrought by its material support for murder musicians. Coca-Cola's response must be stronger, louder, more effective, more meaningful and more lasting than the homophobic mayhem produced by the murder music industry. The Coca-Cola Company's sponsorship of any murder music is inexplicable and their inaction in remedy is inexcusable.'
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AIDSFreeWorld.org) (Jamaica Gleaner)

October 18, 2011: Two violent deaths based on sexual orientation within three months
TEXT FROM OPEN LETTER: (Jamaica) During its evening newscast on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, CVM TV reported on the gruesome early morning home invasion and murder of 16-year old Oshane Gordon in the district of New England in Lilliput, St. Elizabeth. According to the news report, the youngster, who had previously been threatened, was killed because of questionable relations with another man. As he tried to escape through a window, Oshane was first chopped on his foot to prevent him from going far. When Oshane's attackers caught up with their prey, they finished him off with several more chops. His mother who was at home with him also received several chops and is now nursing serious injuries. This is the second homophobic murder that CVM has reported in three months. The other occurred in Torrington Park, Kingston on August 2, 2011... (more on the link below)
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Jamaica Western Mirror)

NOTE: Jamaica is regarded as one of the most homophobic countries in the world, where at least 35 people have been murdered because of their sexuality since 1997. This letter was penned by Maurice Tomlinson, who won the firs David Kato Vision and Voice Award on December 15, 2011. (
Care2)

October 29, 2011: Mista Majah P new videoclip: Letter To Bruce Golding
Mista Majah P strikes again. His new videoclip for the song 'Letter To Bruce Golding' is now on rotation on YouTube. It addresses several issues that Jamaican governement cannot even address: gay bashing, violence, suicide, crossdressing, religious zeal and the counter parts: reaching out, love and tolerance. Gurantee to make people reflect about the situation. Fictive cabinet of Intolerance: Bruce Golding: Mister of Homophobia, Beenie Man: Minister of Bigotry, Buju Banton: Minister of Death, Bounty Killer: Minister of Hate, Capleton: Minister of Discrimination, Sizzla: Minister of Intolerance, Elephant Man: Minister of Fear, Vybz Kartel: Minister of Deception. The video closes with a question to the new Prime Minister Andrew Holness. See May 20, 2008 in this section for more details of Bruce Golding speech 'No homosexuals in my cabinet'.
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VIDEO: Letter To Bruce Golding) (ORIGINAL INTERVIEW: BBC News – Hard Talk)

November 11, 2011: Mavado joins Stop The Bleeding campaign
This is not related to the Stop Murder Music Campaign. This new campaign in St. Croix, Virgin Island doesn't seems to inlcude LGBT. See article below.
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Jamaica Star)

November 25, 2011: Coca-Cola letter of 'excuses' for promoting Sizzla's concert in Montego Bay
On April 24, while performing in Montego Bay, Sizzla performed the controversial song Boom Bye Bye, previously written and recorded by Buju Banton in 1992. The song advertised murder of gay men. Coca-Cola was the sponsor of the festival. LGBT have engagend with a long exchange of letter with the soft drink company. On November 25, Coca-Cola printed an apology letter in the three main Jamaican newspapers. See April 24 for more information on that performance.
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Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer) (Jamaica Star)

December 01, 2011: Isreal Vibration nominated for a Grammy
The list of the five nominees for the Best Reggae album of the year are: Harlem-Kingston Express Live! (by Mounty Alexander), Reggae Knights (by Israel Vibration), Revelation Pt. 1 – The Root Of Life (by Stephen Marley), Wild And Free (by Ziggy Marley) and Summer In Kingston (by Shaggy). Nomination process: Record companies and individuals may submit recordings to be nominated. Nominations are made online and a physical copy of the work is sent to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Once a work is entered, reviewing sessions are held, by more than 150 experts from the recording industry, to determine whether the work is eligible and entered in the correct category for official nomination... After nominees have been determined, final voting ballots are sent to Recording Academy members, who may then vote in the general fields and in no more than eight of the 30 fields. NARAS members are encouraged, but not required, to vote only in their fields of expertise. (more from Wikipedia).The winner for Best New Reggae Album will be announced in at the Pre-Telecast Ceremony on Feb, 12, 2012. The 54th Grammys air on CBS.

PERSONNAL COMMENT: I'm a fan of Israel Vibration music... I have most of their albums and must say that they are among the best reggae bands from the 70's. Unfortunately, their latest album Reggae Knights includes the homophobic song 'If You Do Bad' (lyrics: Do You remember the downfal of Sodom And Gomorrah, do you remember the things they used to do, if you do bad it's gonna follow you, if you do good, it gonna take you through, man a sleep with man, woman a sleep with woman, bad situation they bring to the land). As far as I know, this is the only homophobic song that they wrote in their 34-year career. It's important to mention that we are far from the violent lyrics sang by some dancehall artists, but that song does reinforce discrimination. Israel Vibration is entitled to their own interpretation of the Bible. Some people who have studied these religious texts, reply that nowhere in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah it's written that men were sleeping with men and women were sleeping with women, this was left to preachers interpretation. I'm not a religious person, and that is a very good example of why I stay away from religion... Let me ask this question, wasn't it this book written to unite people? If same sex couple were as bad as some people like to think, shouldn't it mentioned among the ten commendments given to Moses? Look at the situation: here we have Wiss and Skelly, what seems to be two of the most down to earth and nices guys in the reggae business. But thier interpretation of religion, indirectly, bring them to promote discrimination and hatered. Everyone, would benefit from having a gay friend, really and truly, to break down these false perceptions. I was very disapointed when I first learned about the existance of that song. Sadly, after learning about it's existance, I've lost some of my interest for their music. To the question, do they deserve a Grammy? My answer would be the following: they deserve a Life Achievement Award for their career or another album they did, but not for this one. As a society, why should we reward artists that promote discrimination? The people who works at the Grammy and similar award shows should review the criterias and listen to lyrics content before they include an album in a cathegory.
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VP Records News) (Grammy)

December 6, 2011: US to use foreign aid to promote gay rights
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience of diplomats in Geneva: "Gay rights are human rights". A memo from the Obama administration directs US government agencies to consider gay rights when making aid and asylum decisions.Similar policies already exist for gender equality and ethnic violence."It should never be a crime to be gay," Mrs Clinton said at the United Nations in Geneva, adding that a country's cultural or religious traditions was no excuse for discrimination. (more on the link below + video of Hillary Clinton's speech)
(BBC News) (The Guardiuan) (BBC News: Gay Rights: Africa the new frontiere) (BBC News: Nigerian leaders unite against same-sex marriages)(BBC News: Ghana gays 'will never be legal') (BBC News: Uganda fury at UK gay aid threat )

December 8, 2011: United Nation conference: Ending violence based on sexual orientation
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Homophobic bullying of young people constitutes a "grave violation of human rights," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, urging States to take the necessary measures to protect their citizens from violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. "Bullying of this kind is not restricted to a few countries but goes on in schools and local communities in all parts of the world," Mr. Ban said in a message delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic to a panel discussion on ending violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation at UN Headquarters in New York.'(more on the link below)
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United Nation conference) (United Nation article)

December 9, 2011: J-FLAG Celebrates 13 Years of Promoting Tolerance for Gays
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE. Jamaica has come a long way in promoting respect and tolerance for the human rights of Jamaicans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) but much more needs to be done to make Jamaica a cohesive and just society where everyone can live, work and raise their family. J-FLAG was launched on December 10, 1998 as Jamaica's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy group by twelve business people, educators, lawyers, public relations practitioners and human rights activists to advocate for protection from statesanctioned and community violence. In this regard, J-FLAG's call was for the fair and equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law and by the ordinary citizen. Thirteen years ago there were more dancehall and reggae artistes singing homophobic songs, more persons right to life was being violated because of their sexual orientation, the Commissioner of Police would never instruct police officers to respect the rights of all civilians, regardless of their sexual preference, political representatives would never meet with us and publicly support LGBT rights, the media would never openly advocate the repeal of the buggery law, and HIV programmes were not catering to the needs of gay, bisexual and other men who
have sex with men (MSM)... (more on the link below)
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J-FLAG Press Release)

More news:
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OCTOBER 26: Jamaica Sodomy Law gets first legal challenge)
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DECEMBER 15: Jamaican wins 'Visionary' LGBT activist award)
(JANUARY 13: Dealing with the gay rights issue)
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JANUARY 31: PM should decry homophobic bigotry)
(FEBRUARY 1: Elephant Man charged with rape)