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Anti-gay reggae singer gets Big Day Out invite

Wed 11 Nov 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

A reggae singer notorious for lyrics which incite the murder of gay people has been invited to perform at Auckland's Big Day Out music festival in January. Inciting hatred: Beenie Man Beenie Man, from Kingston, Jamaica, was frequently under fire with gay activists for lyrics such as "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays," and had elsewhere sung about wanting to cut the throats of all gay men, killing gay DJs, and hanging lesbians. The lyrics to his song Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man) say in Jamaican dialect: "If yuh nuh chi chi (queer) man wave yuh right hand and (NO!!!)/If yuh nuh lesbian wave yuh right hand and (NO!!)/Some bwoy will go a jail fi kill man tun bad man chi chi man!!" His hateful songs meant Beenie Man was excluded from the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards and even turned away from England the same year. He later issued an apology: "While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs." In 2007, among several other top reggae stars, he was reported to have signed a 'Reggae Compassionate Act' to renounce homophobia and 'Stop Murder Music'. But he subsequently told the Jamaica Observer he had not signed the deal, and could not promise to abide by it. "We don't need it. We don't need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it's not wholesome to me." Auckland's Big Day Out, on Friday 15 January will include bisexual electronic musician Peaches, Lilly Allen, Muse, DJ Sasha, Ladyhawke, Minuit, Groove Armada, Calvin Harris and Simian Mobile Disco.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 11th November 2009 - 9:45am

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