|Sizzla is not respecting his signature of the Reggae Compassionate Act
Several dancehall artists have promoted hatered and killing of gays and lesbians through their music. Asking these artists to excuse themselves was probably asking too much. A reasonable compromise was reached: The Reggae Compassionate Act. The act was compose in a way that no one with the values at the right place would avoid to sign it. Sizzla agreed to signed it on April 15, 2007. Driven by financial purpose? Probably. The act says: "there’s no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia. We do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae music." For a complete reading of the act, click HERE.
Not long after signing the act, Sizzla started a 24-concert European tour that brought him in all the major reggae summer festivals. In many concerts, if not all of them, his song 'Nah Apologize' was included on his set list. The song, written in 2005, is a violent anthem to 'I will never apologize to no battyman' (the word 'battyman' is a Jamaican slang for homosexuals). Playing with the fact that he signed the agreement, instead of pronouncing the word 'battyman' in the chorus, he made a sing-along with the crowd, which proudly participate (see lower for video footage). For Peter Tatchell of the UK based LGBT organisation OutRage!, who launched the Stop Murder Music campaign and participate in the writing of the Reggae Compassionate Act: "In this declaration the artists promise to not sing lyrics or make public statements, in Jamaica or anywhere else in the world, that incite prejudice, hatred or violence against lesbian and gay people. “By signing the Reggae Compassionate Act they are stating that, in future, they will not release new homophobic songs or authorise the re-release of previous homophobic songs,” added Mr Tatchell. “They also agree that they will not make homophobic public statements. “They recognise that prejudice, hate and violence have no place in music that singers should unite people, not divide them". Obviously Sizzla didn't read the act the same way as Mr. Tatchell. Nobody ever asked him to changed his philosophy on homosexuality. The act was simply asking him to respect people that were different than him when he was making public apperances.
Instead of putting on his homophobic past behind, he decided to walk onstage and re-affirm, night after night, that he has no excuses to make for the violence he promoted in his anti-gay songs. Sizzla may think he can get away by performing the song 'Nah Apologize' without pronouncing the word 'battyman', but he is clearly sending the message that despite all the hatered generated through his songs towards the gays and lesbians, he has no remorse and feel to express it loudly therefore do not honour his signature. The studio version of 'Nah Apologize' have the following sentences 'If yuh diss King Selassie I will gunshot yuh bwoy... If yuh diss black people hey mi gun will shot yuh bwoy... Inna di Lake of fire mi dash yuh... Shoot dem inna dem head dem too, fuckin nasty'... Were these sentences removed when Sizzla performed the song in Europe? According to the french website Reggealution, the setlist of his performance at L'Elysee Montmartre on June 17, 2007, Sizzla also performed the homophobic songs: 'To The Point', in which features the sentence (at least in the studio version of the song): 'sodomite and battybwoy mi seh a death fi dem' (lesbians and gays, I say death to them). This information would need to be validated, considering the fact that the law is quite strict in France for people found guilty of hatred provocation, violence or discrimination based on sexual orientation: one year of prison or a 45,000 Euro fine.
On July 7, 2007, in the a press conference after the Summerjam festival 2007 in Cologne Sizzla said: “If you found a family, you give respect to your mother. If you go to other men, you draw her reputation into the dirt." And further: "A man must decide whether he wants to be a piece of dirt or a proud man it’s as simple as that." (translation from German, text featured in several German websites, including Queer.de)
While I have found no other articles that covers the fact that Sizzla is not respecting his signature by signing the song 'Nah Apologize', I have found several comments on reggae/dancehall forums stating that Sizzla has performed the song several times in his 2007 European tour, some of them were written in German, in Italian and in French and were translated by friends. See the links below.
Click here for a video excerpt of Nah Apologize performed in Paris, France (June 18, 2007)
Click here for a video excerpt of Nah Apologize performed in Bordeaux, France (July 3rd, 2007)
Click here for a video excerpt of Nah Apologize performed in Cologne, Germany (July 7, 2007)
Click here for a video excerpt of Nah Apologize performed in Amsterdam, Netherland (July 23, 2007) (or July 8, 2007)
WRITER: Well Charge..........FORUM: Blood And Fire..........DATE: July 23..........LANGUAGE: English
PROBABLY REFERING TYO THE DOOR FESTIVAL THAT OCCURED ON JULY 12, IN BELGIUM. "I saw Sizzla a few weeks ago and he did perform "Nah Apologize"; though he left out the word 'battyboy' but the audience gladly filled up the lyrical gap." (The writer lives in Belgium) (Blood And Fire Forum)
WRITER: Chrischi..........FORUM: Riddim.de..........DATE: June 28..........LANGUAGE: German
DISCUSSING THE BERLIN CONCERT IN GERMANY, JUNE 13. "in berlin ist ihm das böse b-wort über die lippen gekommen...
ich kann diesen scheiß stop-murder-music-campaign-gay-schwulen-vertrag nicht mehr hören, sorry..." TRANSLATION: "In Berlin the bad b-word came across his tongue.... I cannot stand this shitty stop-murder-music-campaign-gay-contract any more, sorry."(Riddim.de Forum)
WRITER: ..........BLOG: Nonsoloreggae..........DATE: June 17..........LANGUAGE: Italian
DISCUSSING THE BERLIN CONCERT IN GERMANY, JUNE 13. "Durante il concerto tenutosi il 13 Giugno scorso al Kesselhaus di Berlino, Sizzla ha violato quanto recentemente sottoscritto con il Compassionate Act. Il cantante giamaicano ha suonato le canzoni ''No No Way'' [No no no no way / bad man nuh suck pussy / no no no no way / bad man no fuck batty - trad. Niente affatto / i duri non fanno sesso orale / niente affatto / i duri non fottono i froci] e ''Nah Apologize'' [Rastaman nah apologize to no batty bwoy - trad. i Rastaman non chiedono scusa ai froci] e ha lasciato che il pubblico intonasse al suo posto i rirornelli omofobi. La cosa non ci lascia stupiti. Noi abbiamo sempre affermato dall'inizio della campagna di boicottaggio, che questi accordi servono soltanto a salvaguardare il lato economico della questione, mettendo a posto la coscienza dei tour manager europei e delle case discografiche. Visto che quello che pensavamo succedesse si e' puntualmente verificato, a questo non ci sono piu' scuse e non ci sono piu' Statement che tengano. Ribadiamo la nostra richiesta di annullamento di tutti i concerti di Sizzla in Italia." (Nonsoloreggae)
WRITER: ..........WEBSITE: Reggaelution.net..........DATE: June 17..........LANGUAGE: French
REVIEWING THE PARIS CONCERT IN FRANCE, JUNE 17. The writer enumerate the songs that the artist perfomed in concert at L'Elysee Montmartre: “Ain’t Gonna See Us Fall”, “Be Strong” (plusieurs pull up), “Beautiful”, "Blaze Up The Chalwa”, “Bless Me” (en hommage à Garnett Silk), “Dry Cry”, "Explain To Allmighty", “Get To The Point”, “Give It To Them”, "Give Jah Thanks", “Good Ways”, “Got It Right Here”, "Gunshot" (avec des coups de feu samplés...), “Holding Firm” (superbe version étendue), "I’m With The Girls", “I Was Born” (...in a corrupted system that doesn’t give a fuck about you or me or the lives of our lovely kids. I keep my guns loaded, you never know... Sizzla Kalonji!!), “Just One Of Those Days” mixé à “Why Should I” sur le riddim Queen Majesty, "King In The Jungle", "Nah Apologize", “Never Bow”, “Praise Ye Jah”, “Rise To The Occasion” (pull up multiples), “Show Us The Way”, “Simplicity”, "Smoke The Herb", “Taking Over”, “Thank Tou Mama”, “They Can’t Stop Us“,"Trust and Love". (Reggaelution.net) (Reggae.fr)
WRITER: Miss Kalonji..........FORUM: Reggae Punto Italy..........DATE: June 29..........LANGUAGE: Italian
DISCUSSING THE MILAN CONCERT IN ITALY, JUNE 20. "Badman Nah Apologize to no Battybwoy. 4 anni di assenza e alla fine..???ha detto quello che doveva dire e ha cantato le sue canzoni,come sempre....A COSA È SERVITO??? a farci ritrovare tutti letteralmente arrapati di Sizzla! io da lecce sono andata a milano e l'ho seguito fino a bari,come un tossico in astinenza,dopo 4 anni ero completamente impazzita all'idea di 4 date in italia,cosi'..tutte insieme! con grande piacere ho visto la massive di milano veramente potente e volevo fare i complimenti per le ottime vibrazioni e la risposta che il pubblico gli ha dato,lui era veramente carico e presciato! avendo visto le massive di roma(.....) e di bari,il mio resoconto è che siete grandi! big up milano reggae massive SIZZLA KALONJI COME IN TO OUR LIIIIIFE!!!!!
cmq a bari ha fatto una scaletta diversa,ha suonato un po' di piu...non so come abbia fatto a non collassare..." (Reggae Punto Italy)
WRITER: Oneblow_dtk..........FORUM: Reggae Punto Italy..........DATE: June 24..........LANGUAGE: Italian
DISCUSSING THE BARI-MODUGNO CONCERT IN ITALY, JUNE 22. "a bari ha fatto anche. Bad Man No (silenzio) no no no no way & Rasraman don't apologize to no (silenzio) If u diss the black woman I will (silenzio)" (Reggae Punto Italy) (ARTICLE: Sound System)
WRITER: Moonpark..........FORUM: Riddim.de..........DATE: July 9..........LANGUAGE: German
DISCUSSING THE ZURICH CONCERT IN SWITZERLAND, JUNE 30. "an dem Sizzla Konzert in Zürich hat er auch Nah Apologize rausgehaun...der hält sich doch überhaupt nicht dran...." TRANSLATION: "At the Sizzla concert in Zurich he also performed Nah Apologize. This guy ignored his premise". (Riddim.de Forum)
WRITER: Kaalribik..........FORUM: Riddim.de..........DATE: July 9..........LANGUAGE: German
DISCUSSING THE SUMMERJAM IN COLOGNE, GERMANY, JULY 7. "Also auf´m SummerJam hat ja mal wieder jeder gesehen, zumindest die die Sizzla gesehen haben, das er da wohl nich so viel von dem Vertrag, soweit man das überhaupt so nennen darf, hält! " TRANSLATION: "So then, at the Summerjam everybody had seen it already, at least those who saw Sizzla, that his respect to keep the "contract", so far it is allowed to call this a contract, is not so much". TRANSLATER'S NOTE: This guy writes as he talks. Very difficult sentence structure. The guy reports that Sizzla, once on stage didn't respect the contract, even worst, he made a joke out of it. Sadly, that the guy don't tell explicitly what happened. Maybe a sing a long with the audience, like he has done in other cities. (Riddim.de Forum)
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