Dancehall Fans Against Homophobia

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Dancehall Fans Against Homophobia

Postby John Eden » Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:21 am

I have no doubt that this will be as popular as a fart in a lift with some people, but here goes anyway. :)

Personally I think it's an great development, especially in the context of the recent media hysteria (see 7, 8, & 9 below). It will be interesting to see how it pans out...


Dancehall Fans Against Homophobia

1. We are fans and supporters of reggae, dancehall and Jamaican music in all its forms.

2. We are opposed to homophobia and homophobic lyrics.

3. We call on record companies to desist from releasing homophobic records and to encourage their artists to perform lyrics dealing with other issues.

4. We will no longer buy records with homophobic lyrics.

5. We call on soundsystems to desist from playing homophobic records, or from making homophobic comments on the mic at dances.

6. We will no longer support homophobic soundsystems.

7. We reject the demonisation of reggae and its fans by parts of the media.

8. We are opposed to state bans on artists.

9. We recognise the long history of homophobia in Jamaica and that there can be no "quick fix". We propose that the way forward lies in dialogue and not in gesture politics.

10. We would like to open up a dialogue between reggae fans, artists, labels owners, soundsystem operators and the reggae community worldwide.

If you agree with the above statements please sign the petition.


http://www.dfah.org/
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Postby Rootsman » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:07 am

Seems quite fishy, no contact details on website or names, probably Tatchell's latest initiative
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Postby BMC » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:09 am

That were my immediate thoughts too, Rootsman.
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Postby John Eden » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:16 am

I actually know the people involved and they started it because they were fed up with homophobia in dancehall and also fed up with Tatchell to a certain extent.

Given Tatchell's cosiness with the cops and the home secretary in calling for bans on Sizzla et al, it's not likely he'd start a campaign opposing state bans, is it?
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Postby Rootsman » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:21 am

Who are they going to present a petition to? To Sizzla, Capleton......? Already some changes are afoot anyway, Greensleeves and VP are not releasing those tunes anymore. But there will always be homophobia there, its just whether it will be at the current level or a minority topic. But there has been a little upsurge in cultural music in JA of late with the rise of richie spice, chuck fenda, fantan mojah, i wayne etc.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:30 am

I think some kind of similar initiative or discussion at least in the scene , for sure between producers, labels, artistes etc is a good thing....

At the same time I wouldn't trust any initiative put together by Outrage! or some associated group on the issue,

FWIW - aside from the issue of a <major> cultural difference on the issue, I don't think anyone has really adequately explained to the artistes that there is a difference between free speech, one's beliefs and what crosses hate crime laws eg: the subtle difference between say 'batty man fi dead bus 10,000 shat inna im head' lyrics and 'I think its immoral to be gay blah blah'...

FWIW 2 - You'd think the artists getting all their shows cancelled in the UK and Europe would be kinda concerned about the impact on their career, but maybe not ...
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Postby BMC » Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:02 am

Chocolate Soldier wrote:FWIW 2 - You'd think the artists getting all their shows cancelled in the UK and Europe would be kinda concerned about the impact on their career, but maybe not ...


I guess it's quite a big dilemma for them. If they stop doing songs like that and agree to being censored at shows, they gain publicity in the rest of the world (their shows will go through), but they will loose popularity at home for bowing down (maybe wrong choice of words here) to the pressure and not standing for their believes. Sizzla recorded a tune called Nuh Apologize (to no battyboy) recently, which from what I heard is a huge success in big parts of the dancehall scene and he's praised for standing for what he believes in, while Beenie went through lots of problems with his reputation when he supposedly did apologize (what in the end turned out to be a solo-action from the record-company without the knowledge of Beenie). Winning on one side, is loosing on the other so it seems. And also, I think many people in the dancehall crowd sort of agree with the artists. When I saw Buju about 6 months ago he wasn't allowed to do Boom Bye Bye, but when he did a replacement for it, dealing with the issue he got the biggest crowd-response of the evening, possibly a sign for the artists that it is a topic that gives 'm popularity for large parts of the crowd. Sad but true. So basically I think agreeing to stop with those type of songs wont necessarily do any good to their carreers.
The best thing I think would be if these artists just without mentionning stop record songs with lyrics like this. Just stop, but with no telling when and why. On the other hand, Buju did just this and is still on the Outrage-list as homophobic for that few tunes he recorded 10 years ago (they initially didn't put him on the list for his live-performances [what would have made more sense], but for his recordings).

Oh well, the never ending discussion. One thing is for sure, as Rootsman mentions, the new group of upcoming performers seem much more conscious and righteous in their lyrics and their popularity might just make the situation change quite a bit automatically; the best scenario if you ask me.
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Postby DrSuperlove » Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:44 pm

no way this can be stopped with petitions, let it be, put on some good music and leave this kind of dancehall to insecure boys
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Postby stuart » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:02 pm

John Eden wrote:I have no doubt that this will be as popular as a fart in a lift with some people, but here goes anyway. :)

Personally I think it's an great development, especially in the context of the recent media hysteria (see 7, 8, & 9 below). It will be interesting to see how it pans out...


[email protected]

I'm one of the people who has started this website and organisation, and whilst we've all got different motivations, we all agree with the 10 principles above. For me, the first principle is important - we're all dancehall fans.

One of my motivations for getting involved was actually feeling the complete unjustice of all of the media attention on Buju in the last few months, and the complete injustice of his gigs being banned by the Police in various cities.

You might find this strange, Im a huge Buju Banton fan, saw him on his last UK tour, play his tracks when I DJ, cane them at home. If he were to release another homophobic track, I wouldn't buy it, but (a) it's unlikely, and (b) I ain't fireburn my copy of "Til Shiloh" because of it. I might campaign against homophobic records, but I wouldn't go round shouting for gigs to be banned, for records to banned, or for people to be banned from the UK, unlike the other organisation everyone talks about, Outrage. I'd express myself differently, because I love Buju, Kalonji, Vybes, Elly, Capleton. I don't support homophobia, and I am prepared to speak out against it dancehall as well, that's all.

Favourite Buju track: Probably "Hills and Valleys"
Favourite combination: with Toots on Buju's version of 54/46

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Postby BMC » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:56 pm

Thanks for clearing that up, Stuart, better to know what the deal is behind it. I wont sign the petition for my own reasons (been into that discussion often enough here to not go into it again :wink: ), but good luck with it anyway.

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