A series of upcoming concerts by Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton were canceled by promoters after they received hundreds of emails and criticism from gay groups. Live Nation canceled four concerts in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston. AEG canceled its San Francisco and Philadelphia shows.
Banton is scheduled to play at Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City in October. Calls and emails to Urban Lounge by QSaltLake have not yet been returned.
Banton has a track record of performing music with lines that reference killing LGBT people, including one song that mentions throwing acid on LGBT people and burning them like old tires (full lyrics below).
In songs such as “Boom, Bye Bye,” from 1988, Banton calls for the torture and murder of gay men. “If a guy comes near me,” he sings, “then his skin must peel. Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel.”
In 2006 he was acquitted of charges that he assaulted a group of gay men in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. In 2007 he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, in which artists vow to refrain from singing antigay lyrics or making homophobic statements, but he later denied that he took the pledge.
Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG, said in a statement: “We are aware of the concerns that were brought to our attention this week with regards to Buju Banton’s October appearance. We are reaching out to the artist, artist management and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center to satisfactorily resolve the issues that have been presented.”
Buju Banton – Boom Bye Bye
This song incites the execution-style killing of gay and lesbian people, by s hooting them in the head, pouring acid over them or setting them alight, and burning them like car tyres.
The Jamaican patios lyrics are followed, line by line, by translations
into standard English
Anytime Buju Banton come
Anytime Buju Banton comes
Batty bwoy get up an run
Faggots get up and run..
Boom bye bye
Boom (gun shot) bye bye (Goodbye, as in you’re dead)
Inna batty bwoy head
In a faggot’s head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Rude boy don’t promote any nasty (queer) man
Dem haffi dead
They have to die…
Send fi di matic an
Send for the automatic (gun) and
Di Uzi instead
The Uzi (gun) instead
Shoot dem no come if we shot dem-
Shoot them, don’t come (to help them) if we shoot them..
Guy come near we
If a guy comes near me
Then his skin must peel
Then his skin must peel (Note: In Jamaica, pouring acid on an individual is a common revenge tactic)
Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel
Burn him up bad like an old tyre