Reggae musician Sizzla has had the Swedish leg of his European tour cancelled on account of the anti-gay lyrics which feature in his music for a second time in Belgium …… see a previous post:
Sizzla Kalonji was scheduled to perform later this month in Stockholm but public condemnation of the artist, whose lyrics have incited violence against gay people, led organisers to call off the date, The Local reports.
Other concerts in the tour are still planned for Italy, France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain.
Concerts by Sizzla have been cancelled in the UK in 2004 and in Toronto in 2007.
In 2008, he was denied a visa for the 29 European countries then signed up to the Schengen agreement after a German LGBT group appealed to their government. Sizzla was stopped at Madrid airport that year and returned to the US.
The Act reads: “It must be clear there’s no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia.
photo taken from a previous post on GLBTQJA on blogger where in 2010 Sizzla was pressured by activists lobbying promoters to remove murder music artists. See: Sizzla Concert Cancelled from Chiemsee Reggae & Austrian Sunsplash Shows
“We do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae.
“We agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community.”
But he later went on to deny ever having signed the pact. The Local now reports that the appearance at Stockholm was titled “The Reggae Compassionate Act”, though it is not clear this morning why the name had been chosen.
The European tour dates are believed to be Sizzla’s first major appearances since a motorcycle accident late last year led to widespread reports he had died.
In August 2010 he was scheduled to perform in Belgium as well at RIDER’S PARK in Massancy, In 2001 in particular, he chanted, for example: «Shot battybwoy, my big gun boom» («Shoot queers, my big gun goes boom»). Few weeks after apparently having signed the REGGAE COMPASSIONATE ACT (RCA) in 2007, which was supposed to have put a stop to such statements, he performed the title «Nah Apologize» («No excuses for buggers»).
On my sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch just some weeks before I had posted a petition to put pressure on the artists who have strong anti gay lyrics in their music and chief among them was Sizzla himself who has not recanted or seems to have softened on his position despite pressure placed on him, he recently played a club in Kingston in acoustic fashion but no anti gay tunes were reported to have been voiced in that show.
see the post here: Say No To Hate Music Petition for anti gay artists where the news of the petition is also available.
One would have thought that artists such as this would have learnt by now but to think he is described as a reggae act when he does predominantly dancehall songs. It is dancehall that the problem of homophobic lyrics mostly emanate as reggae acts unfortunately have been made to bear the pressure sadly as they are not involved for the most part in direct hate lyrics although some say the silence on their part is consent in support of the artists who make and deliver such hate songs.
Seeing that Europe also predominantly consumes more Jamaican music overall than even we do here in terms of sales and response maybe the LGBT lobby locally and internationally needs to strike a balance and be fair in while opposing hate or murder music as it is known we also encourage real reggae that is clean and uplifting so as not to harm the entire industry as is perceived by our detractors. In recent times though we have seen reggae acts also releasing more subtle materials using the word “burn” instead of kill which also suggest anti gay sentiments.
One such act was I-Wayne when in October 2011 his last album “Life Teachings” the title track is a huge hit about empowerment and thinking but some Rastafarian artists usually have great songs as debuts that is until the Sodom/anti gay bit comes into the mix then the claws come out or in this case the fireball(s).He has a track entitled “Burn down Sodom (5:30)” on the disc where he supposedly hits back at gay adoptions, procreation while linking male homosexuality to paedophilia, a common mistake that feeds our homo-negativity and by extension strong homophobia. Read more here: I-Wayne’s “Burn Out Sodom” hits at gay adoption, homosexuality & accuses msms of paedophilia
Excerpts from the lyrics are clear what this song is about of course when one sees the words “Burn” and “Sodom” or “Fire” in the same sentence be they in song, written or the spoken word then look out there is bound to be trouble for same gender loving people. Lyrics include (in patois and translated in part below)
- Dem a drop dem fadda back, people good good pickney dem adopt
- Baybylon you wrong you wrong you can’t live long then
- Wicked promote the freaky girls and nasty man dem
additional reading on Stop Murder Music from 2010:
Gays Move to Ban Reggae/Dancehall in Germany says the Xtranews where German authorities including a gay MP joined the discourse as reported in the now defunct XNews tabloid.
Peace and tolerance
UPDATE March 27.03.12
please see: Sizzla Hits Back At Gay Rights Critics …………..