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Caribbean Reggae artist urged to denounce shocking homophobic lyrics

A Caribbean LGBTI group has called for singer Buju Banton to publicly denounce his classic homophobic song, Boom Bye Bye.

Banton is about to embark on a major tour next year, following his release from prison in the US. He serving a seven year term for drug trafficking.

Boom Bye Bye was released in 1992. The song was heavily criticised for its lyrics which openly support the murder of gay men.

Shocking lyrics call for killing of ‘batty bwoys’

The chorus of the song contains the following shocking lyrics:

It’s like boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy nah promote no nasty man, dem haffi dead
Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy nah promote no nasty man, dem haffi dead

Banton will perform a major show at the Kensington Oval in Barbados next April. LGBT community spokesperson, Ro-Ann Mohammed, told Jamaican site, McKoys News, the song should also not be played anymore.

Under pressure: Show promoters need to help promote equality as well as music. Photo: official advertising poster.

Under pressure: Event promoters need to help promote equality as well as music. Photo: official advertising poster.

‘I think the onus is on party promoters, deejays and radio announcers, not to play that song and to take a stand against the messages of violence against LGBT people.

‘There is some merit to how some people feel with regard to the rhetoric surrounding some of his (Banton’s) early music,’ said Mohammed, ‘particularly the Boom Bye Bye song.’

Banton still welcome to perform at shows

However, the site reported that Mohammed would still welcome Banton to headline the 2019 Barbados Reggae Festival. The song is used as a tool to advocate violence against members of her community despite being on the airwaves for three decades, she said.

‘Even today, it is a song that is used to advocate the literal death of LGBT people, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and that is wrong; that is fundamentally wrong on every level,’ Mohammed said.

‘Even though Buju himself wrote that song as a teenager and he doesn’t perform the song anymore, the song is still used to discriminate against LGBT people and to cause harm and to perpetuate harm against LGBT people. So I think people are very valid in feeling unsafe considering it’s a time of uncertainty.’

Ro-Ann Mohammed says she will be attending Buju Banton concert, but she wants him to release a statement against the song.

See also:

Jamaica’s anti-buggery laws may be facing their biggest legal challenge yet

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Author: Mark Johnson