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Homophobia in Music

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Beenie Man: His Anti-Gay Songs Bring Attention to Homophobia in Dancehall Music
Beenie Man homophobic songs

Beenie Man's Explanations for his Lyrics Don't Quite Add Up

Image (c) Ethan Miller

Beenie Man is a Jamaican rapper who makes raggatron and dancehall music.

In 2006, the rapper was forced to cancel a number of concerts after there was public outcry over his intensely homophobic lyrics. For example, his song Damn says, "Well I'm think of a new Jamaica, me come to execute all of the gays."

In an interview with Britain's The Independent, Beenie Man tried to explain that he wasn't actually homophobic, but rather was aiming his violent lyrics at child molesters. As he said:

"Jamaica is not against gay people. Gay means consented sex. What we have in Jamaica is not what it is in England where two men live together...In Jamaica, gay is rape. It's a big man with their money going into the ghetto and picking these little youth who ain't got nothing. And then give them money and then involving them."

Seems like a bit of a cop out to me! Especially when you consider he could just be clear in his music if it really is child molesters he is talking about. And really, what does he mean, "In Jamaica gay is rape?"

The controversy surrounding Beenie Man raised awareness about homophobia in dancehall music, but so far few other performers in the genre have even bothered to speak to the issue.

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