Monday, July 23, 2007

Buju signs piece of paper

Buju Banton has made at least some gay rights campaigners happy by signing a pledge to stop peforming tracks which call for the murder of homosexuals.

Not everyone's delighted, though:

Vincent Nap, a British-based reggae artist, said there was a problem of homophobia in dancehall music, but attacking artists' commercial interests would not solve the issue. "If they keep attacking us, we will fight back," he said. "If they try to stop our music we are going to have to defend ourselves."

Presumably Nap didn't mean to make his comments sound quite so menacing, although when you're defending the right of people to sing about shooting gay men, it's probably hard not to sound a little aggressive.

Others suggest that this might be the least meaningful piece of paper since Munich:
Mark Richards, known as DJ Kemist from reggae label Xtremix records, said: "I can see why he's done it. He doesn't want to jeopardise his whole career over just a few songs. But it doesn't mean it's going to change any of his opinions."

Which is the problem - you want Banton to not perform hateful incitements to crime because it's wrong, not because he's signed some pledge to allow him to do tours of the UK.

It's hard to see why a man who performed a song about pouring acid on gay men last year would necessarily treat a career-salvaging contract with representatives of a gay pressure group as a binding agreement, anyway. What happens if he breaks his word?


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