Is reggae star Beenie Man changing his tune? It sure sounds that way.
Human rights activists cheered last month when gay group Outrage! reported that Beenie Man, Sizzle and Capleton, among others, had signed the so-called Reggae Compassionate Act, which reads, “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.” Gays and straights alike celebrated the Act, which promised to ring in a new era for reggae. Now, however, Beenie Man’s saying he never signed it. Or, we think he’s saying that: “And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah.”
B.M. goes on to tell reporters that while he can’t guarantee he’ll never sing another homophobic lyric, he’s not down with anti-gay violence. He will not, however, condone the gay “lifestyle”:
We don’t need it. We don’t need to kill dem. We just need [to] tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it’s not wholesome to me.
Not the most ringing endorsement, but it’s certainly better than calling us batty boys.
So, what of the RCA? It’s a clever post-colonial business ploy, “It’s a ting from the promoters of Europe.” God, those Europeans just can’t help themselves!