Friday, June 15, 2007

Dancehall: Caring or pragmatic?

Jaimie Hodgson has filed an interesting response to the pledges certain stars are making to try and clear up the image of dancehall as promoting the murder of gay men and women. He's not conviced by the claims, having spoken to some of the genre's biggest names while shooting a documentary:

Sizzla was the first deejay I interviewed during my Jamaican excursion. Without any provocation, within five minutes of the interview commencing, he attempted an explanation of his views on homosexuality as a Bobo Ashanti (orthodox) Rastafarian. He explained that his religion believes the bible orders that homosexuals should be put to death. And that by preaching violence against gays in his songs, he was in fact just celebrating God's word and upholding the values he lived by. It would be, in that case, ungodly not to condemn gays to death.

It's curious, of course, that Sizzla takes such a strong line on Leviticus being interpreted literally, and yet is able to skirt the interpretation when it comes to signing up to to a pledge to try and get a toehold back in overseas markets. Either you're mired in Biblical literalism, or you're not, and it's remarkable that suddenly Sizlla has found room to allow this to become a flexible stance.


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