Saturday, March 19, 2005


After OutRage's surprising climbdown in the homophobic reggae lyric war, Beenie Man is set to play a gig in London. Somewhat surprisingly, he's offered a whole new reason why, hey, he wasn't homophobic in the first place:

The star, who is signed to Virgin Records, told BBC London his lyrics had been misconstrued. He said the term "batty boy" - widely perceived to be a derogatory term for a gay man - actually meant a child molester.

"Jamaican people are taking our lyrics and translating them to people in the wrong way... a batty man is a child molester, anyone in Jamaica can tell you the same thing."

This is new and interesting - somehow nobody ever realised that before, did they? Let's not be quick to dismiss this as self-serving, face-saving bollocks, or ponder how "anyone in Jamaica" can tell you "batty boy" is child molester and yet "Jamaican people are translating lyrics in the wrong way."

It's kind of strange that there doesn't seem to be any evidence on the web of this alternative defintion. Could it really be that Beenie Man got punished because he thought he was writing a rebekkah wade style anti-kid fiddler rant, but he got the name wrong?

It's not totally unlikely - the chap half way down this page offering himself for hire as a Batty Boy for children's parties clearly doesn't know there's an awkward meaning in his character name - but it would seem to be stretching credibility. Still, at least Beenie Man knows he's been bad - let's hope he takes his new message of coexistence back to Jamaica with him:

Beenie Man said he had never intended to incite violence. "A gay man is a man," he said. "It is very wrong to incite violence against anybody, any group of people... I don't do violence."

Except to kid-touchers, obviously.

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