Published Jun 13, 2007After years of promoting hatred, reggae artists such as Beenie Man, Capleton and Sizzla have signed an agreement to renounce homophobia in their music.
Despite winning a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2001, Beenie Man has had various concerts cancelled for his anti-gay stance on songs like "Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man)" as well as inciting the murder of gays and lesbians while performing.
However, the three artists have reportedly signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, which will work with both reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.
In a statement, the artists pledged to "respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender. There's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia. We agree not to make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community."
The Stop Murder Music campaign has been campaigning for this agreement for the last three years, fighting for the cancellation of hundreds of concerts as well as sponsorship deals, which has caused losses in excess of $5 million.
While the agreement is definitely a big step, not every hate-mongering reggae artist has had a change of heart. According to reports, known anti-gay lyricists such as Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa, Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton have yet to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act.