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PRO-GAY: Jamaican reggae singer Mista Majah P—

GROUND-BREAKING pro-gay reggae singer Mista Majah P has launched a two-part video rebuke to the “homophobic” and “violent” music of Bounty Killer, Sizzla and other top Jamaican reggae and dancehall stars.

According to Peter Thatchell of human rights organisation, Peter Tatchell foundation, the Jamaican musician’s latest video single Karma is a warning to these artists that the hate and violence they sow will rebound on them; citing the personal “disasters and disgrace” that have befallen many of Jamaica’s leading anti-gay performers.

In the song, the Kingston-born musician who is also known as The Maverick and the King of Tolerance, pointed out that Buju Banton was sentenced to 10 years jail for a cocaine conspiracy, Bounty Killer had his luxury car seized by the taxman, Elephant Man was shamed over accusations of stealing electricity and Shabba Ranks’ career went into free fall after his declaration that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people deserve crucifixion.

He also mentioned that Sizzla was hospitalised after a car crash, and Vybz Kartel got hit with murder charges.

Sizzla (above), Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel are among some of the artists Mista Majah P attacks in his new song Karma

Mista Majah P’s support for the LGBT community isn’t a one-off, flash-in-the-pan, Thatchell wrote in an article for the International Business Times UK.

Mista is now working on a new album, Gays Belong In Heaven Too, which will be his third LGBT-affirming album in the last four years. The previous two were Toleranceand The Closet Is Open.

Tolerance, which was released in 2011, was the world’s first pro-gay reggae album. Featuring rainbow stripes on the cover, the album included 13 tracks, variously in support of same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay couples, as well as attacks on homophobic bullying and the now defunct US anti-gay military policy, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The songs also featured direct swipes at the anti-gay prejudices of reggae singer Beenie Man and of the former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.

The follow up album’s songs urged LGBT people to come out and win acceptance. They also appealed to parents to not reject their LGBT children and condemn the Jamaican tendency to blame gay victims for their own murders.

Such lyrics are unprecedented in the hard-man world of Jamaican reggae and dancehall music, where eight of the best known performers have, for over a decade, made homophobic murder music a staple part of their repertoire – variously inciting and glorifying the shooting, burning, hanging and drowning of LGBT people, according to Thatchell.

Daringly, Mista Majah P has queried whether some of Jamaica’s most notorious anti-gay reggae singers might be gay.

Beenie Man & Bounty Killer

Beenie Man & Bounty Killer

“Perhaps they don’t like their sexuality and deflect their self-hate onto to gay people,” he suggested.

Appalled by the corruption and debasement of reggae’s “One Love” ethos, Mista Majah P is challenging homophobic singers in a new and different way – with music that damns and refutes their bigotry.

Although not gay, he supports the LGBT communities and gay equality. Explaining why, Mista Majah P said: “I want to counter the myths that all Jamaicans are homophobic and that all reggae music is violent and anti-gay. I’m seeking to challenge ignorance and reach out to gay people.”

The reggae artist continued: “My hope is that this will break down the homophobic stance that certain reggae artists and heads of [Jamaican] government have taken towards the LGBT community.

SUPPORT: Mista Majah P (left) with Jamaican superstar Sean Pauk

“Because of the hateful songs that some performers have been singing, gay people have been threatened and harmed.

“My music is about tolerance. It shows that reggae music can respect gay and lesbian people. Reggae music used to be about love, peace and unity. Now it is too often about bigotry and violence. I want to bring the music back to its progressive roots,” added Mista Majah P.

Since releasing his pro-gay music, Mista Majah P, who lives in California, has received numerous death threats and has been warned to not return to Jamaica.

He’s undeterred and defiant, stating that homophobic murder music has given reggae and Jamaica a negative image, which is bad for the music industry and for all reggae artists: “As long as there is homophobic people, hatred, bigotry, death and no equal rights for the LGBT community, I will continue to use my talent and speak out about injustice.

“My music is about tolerance, love and equal rights. I am not worried anymore about not getting any support from certain audiences.”

He went on: “I have sustained threats to my life, been black-balled by a certain promoter, lost a lot of friends who were never friends in the first place and I have been treated like a person who has contagious disease.

“If I can save one life and help someone to overcome their hate for gays that is my greatest reward,” concluded Mista Majah P.


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