Reggae was once associated with politically conscious lyrics, Rastafarians and wacked-out super-stoned white middle class kids. Right? I mean, I always get a craving for a big doobie when I hear Bob Marley. (I crave a big water bong when I hear Ziggy Marley.) Sadly, those sweet songs from the islands are NOT always about peace, love and the pipe. some of reggae’s biggest acts are just as likely to be advocating the killing of homosexuals in their music.
All this hate has advocates like Britain’s leading gay rights activist Peter Tatchell ready to make a ch-ch-ch-change… Along with Jamaican groups, Tatchell launched the Stop Murder Music campaign, aimed at bringing hate tunes to an end. Since 2004, Tatchell has protested against eight reggae singers who have put out songs encouraging and glorifying the murder of LGBTQ people. Tatchell has recently succeeded in convincing some of the most notoriously homophobic figures in music to stop singing violently anti-gay lyrics .
Buju Banton — whose smash hit from the 1990s “Boom Bye Bye” also advocates the shooting and burning of gay men — last week signed the “reggae compassionate act” after a three-year campaign by Stop Murder Music. Banton, a Grammy-nominated artist who broke Bob Marley’s record of most number one singles in a year on the Jamaican charts, pledged to “respect” the rights of gays to live without fear of violence.
The culmination of all this love and equality has hit a 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.
Although Mista Majah P is not gay, he supports the LGBT communities and gay equality. Explaining why he created the album, Mista Majah P said:
“I want to counter the myths that all Jamaicans are homophobic and that all reggae music is violent and anti-gay. I’m seeking to challenge ignorance and reach out to gay people. My hope is that this cd will break down the homophobic stance that certain reggae artists have taken towards the LGBTQ community. Because of the hateful songs that some performers have been singing, gay people have been threatened and harmed.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.”
This hasn’t been a fun and glam publicity stunt either! Mista Majah P isn’t just doing this to cash into the lucrative gay dollar!
“Since releasing the album, Mista Majah P has received numerous death threats and has been warned to not return to Jamaica. He’s undeterred and defiant, stating that ‘murder music’ has given reggae a negative image, which is bad for the music industry and for all reggae artists,” noted Mr Tatchell.
Listen to samples of all 11 tracks on the Tolerance album HERE !
Read more HERE!
Categories: Best of Media, GayLive Network, Hot Guys, Music