audio awards

The Real Injustice of the Grammy Nominations Doesn’t Involve Buju Banton


Using a favorite word of gay rights groups, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center “condemns” the Best Reggae Album Grammy nomination of Buju Banton, whose lyrics provide sing-a-long anthems for gay murder. But where’s the condemnation for Katy Perry’s “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” nod for “Hot n Cold”? This is a woman who pretends to be a lesbian to court fans. Nothing is worse! Ahhhhhhh.

And shouldn’t the real condemnation of Grammy voters be aimed at their refusal to nominate Whitney Houston for anything? Injustices all around!

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #bujubanton #grammys stories and more


  • Caribbean Lionesse

    Sigh… has the L.A GLC ever heard the expression ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’?

    The aggressive and hostile tactics of them and other gay rights groups that target Jamaican dancehall artistes aren’t doing their cause any favours. They are especially not doing any favours to the fledgling LGBT movement in Jamaica.

    In fact JFLAG deplored the ‘Boycott Jamaica’ campaign launched in San Francisco earlier this year and with good reason – it was scattershot and mistargeted to the point of xenophobia.

    Is the LA GLC aware that tactics such as these when they airily proclaim that “regardless of the artistic merit of any of his work”, Buju should basically be vilified, actually turn even reasonable Jamaican and Caribbean people against them and help boost the artistes and the very message they deplore?

    Are they aware that with the colonial history and neo-colonial experiences of Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, that their tactics are perceived as xenophobic bullying at worst or patronising intimidation at best?

    In no way do I support the homophobic lyrics that are pervasive in Jamaican dancehall but I still find this harassment of Buju of all artistes, to be ridiculous.

    Yes, harassment. Because it is one song, from nearly two decades ago, which Buju is being targeted for – that is ‘Boom Bye Bye’.

    Have they listened to any of Buju’s songs in the last two decades? Are they aware that the song which so offends them is from his ‘rudeboy’ era and that he has been one of the most positive, uplifting and successful conscious artist since the mid-90s?

    Are they aware that Buju actually publicly apologised for the song decades ago and stopped performing it for a long time – as he stopped performing many of his more violent songs after he became conscious?

    It is only because they continually inflame and stir back up this issue that it even remains an issue. It’s as if they want a symbolic horse to flog, no matter what.

  • ChrisM

    Becoming aware of the extreme and violent homophobia in Jamaica can’t be called xenophobia. It is recognizing deplorable acts and extending disdain for them. Buju Banton has made his homophobia public even recently – you can see the links to the evidence even at the bottom of this story. Of course we believe the Grammys shouldn’t support a homophobe like this, whose “apologies” were certainly insincere. How can one apologize for promoting murder and genocide, anyway?

  • ricky

    not enough nominations for lady gaga. my only problem with the grammy nominations. she should have MORE MORE MORE, that’s how i like it.

  • Miss Understood

    Really? Because I’ve heard that he had continued to sing it, that he rerecorded it at some point, and that he was involved in a recent gaybashing.

  • Landon Bryce

    Caribbean Lioness:

    Banton repeated his, “There is no end to the war between me and faggot” line in an interview in October. So long as this man, whose song was chanted at the site of the murder of Jamaica’s most successful gay rights activist, says that he still hates gay people, (and he is very, very clear that he does) gay people are going to hold him responsible for the violence his work has celebrated. Many of us are never going to doubt the words of the gay Jamaican men who say he was part of a group that beat them nearly to death in 2004, although Banton was apparently sucessful in intimidating witnesses and preventing them from testifying. Not that he ever would have been found guilty in Jamaica, anyway.

    Check your facts before you spout off next time, sweetheart.

  • SamK

    There were protests against Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye” back in 1992 when it was released. He performed “Boom Bye Bye” at least until 2004. The song is widely available on the internet and on CDs.

    Buju Banton has a new anti gay routine that he performs outside the U.S. In this routine he calls gays “sick,” says that gays are trying to turn Jamaica into “Gaymaica,” says that gays want to “ruin the world.” He talks about “big fire lightning,” which may be a kind of “fire burn” call (a call to God to “fire burn” gays). Near the end of the routine he says: “There is no end to the war between me and faggots!” There is a video of this new anti gay routine on YouTube dated 10/27/08.

    Since Buju Banton has never distanced himself from “Boom Bye Bye,” and frequently sings and talks about the Bible and religion (“Here come religion and Buju Banton”), I think that Buju Banton is as virulently anti gay now as he was in 1992. “Boom Bye Bye” is basically a paraphrase of Leviticus 20:13.

    More info: and

  • SamK

    Clarification: Buju Banton did not perform his new anti gay routine during his 2009 tour in the U.S. The YouTube version of the routine, at , was recorded in New Jersey, USA on 10/27/08.

    This Grammy nomination is Buju Banton’s fourth Grammy nomination.

  • jason

    It’s disgusting that the Grammy committee has nominated Buju Banton for an award. Absolutely disgusting. If he had sung “Hang the Jew”, would the Grammy people have nominated him? I doubt it.

    It’s time to organize a protest outside the Grammies on the night of the awards.

  • simon

    I am sick and tired of black Caribbeans getting a pass on their homophobia. They need to be held to the same standards as anyone else. I’ll be protesting outside the venue come the Grammy Awards night.

  • Transracial

    You be sure to send us a twit pic of that Simon!
    Can’t wait to see you there.

  • Landon

    The real injustice is Katy Perry being nominated for her vocals while Kelly Clarkson got snubbed.

    I would have loved to see Already Gone smack down Halo for best pop vocal.

  • terrwill

    Gee I didn’t know the Grammys were on ABC this year….

  • Brandon

    I know Im a few days late on this article, but no1 is going to point out that this is a pic of 1 of the Marley Brothers and NOT Mr Banton? They dont even look similar. Wow.

  • shotttas

    Good point Brandon. But I guess all rastas look the same. Right? As do all blacks? As it pertains to Buju, you need to realize that nothing you do to him will change the ideals of a people. No matter how many demonstrations you have, boycotts you plan the rules will forever remain the same. “Batty business is not right”.

Comments are closed.