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Anti-gay reggae artist to perform in Los Angeles

by Sylvia Rodemeyer
Contributor
Wednesday Nov 24, 2010
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A controversial Reggae performer known for his anti-LGBT lyrics is scheduled to perform at a Los Angeles club this Thursday, Nov. 25.

Capleton is scheduled to perform at the Cabana Club. And among his songs is one with the Jamaican-dialect lyrics, "Bun Out Di Chi Chi," which translates to "Burn out the gay man." Capleton’s lyrics also include "sodomite and queer man, I shoot up," "I burn everything as long as I know that they’re gay," and "string them up and hang them alive/All queers who come around here."

Capleton had scheduled a West Coast tour that was to have started in February. Calls and emails from LGBT activists in California and around the country prompted him to cancel performances in Arcata, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Oakland and Long Beach. The artist has tried again to tour and promote his new release I-ternal Fire.

The announcement of Capleton’s performance comes on the heels of a rash of LGBT teen suicides. And though Capleton has admitted in previous interviews he views homosexuality as a sin and "against humanity," his manager has widely claimed his lyrics are mistranslated. Outrage and Stop Murder Music stand by their translations.

The Cabana Club, owned by Sunset Entertainment Group, seems undeterred by protests and complaints. And the venue hosted Buju Banton, another Reggae artist known for his anti-gay lyrics, on Oct. 15. The venue declined to comment; despite Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean’s suggestion her organization would end its boycott and protests if Banton stopped performing songs that contain what she described as hate speech.

"If Banton is truly remorseful for performing ’Boom, Bye Bye’ and contributing to the anti-gay climate in Jamaica, and publicly vows to never perform the song again, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center would be happy to support an end to the boycott of his concerts." added Jean. "We’d like nothing more than to have a fruitful discussion that will result in the end of such music."

Banton’s critics maintain his most famous song, "Boom Boom Bye," promotes a culture of violence against LGBT people-suggesting "faggots get up and run" when he comes, "they have to die," and he will shoot them in the head or "burn them up bad."

Both Capleton and Banton signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007, which is an agreement pledging not to sing songs "inciting hatred or violence against anyone from any community." Capleton, however, has continued to sing songs his critics claim violate the RCA.

Capleton could not be reached for comment.

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