‘Murder music’ star Sizzla to bring his homophobia to Lower Greenville
Reggae star Sizzla Kalonji and the Firehouse Band are scheduled to appear at Heroes Lounge on Greenville Avenue on Oct. 7. Sizzla is known for anti-gay “murder music.”
According to the website 18 Karat Reggae, based in Kingston, Jamaica, Sizzla has been denied a visa to enter the U.S. to perform for about 10 years. Earlier this year, the site reported “Sizzla triumphs over the homosexual community.”
The website complains, “While the church and Christianity overall have been extremely anti-homosexual and unapologetic about it, the gay community has never boycotted the church.”
Sizzla is known not only for his anti-LGBT lyrics, but also for making homophobic remarks during his concerts. In 2014, he was banned from performing at the Sting Festival, one of Jamaica’s biggest music festivals, after he defied organizers by including the following lyrics in his performance at the December 2013 Sting Festival, after having been warned by organizers against including anti-LGBT lyrics in his performance:
“I don’t care who want vex, Jamaica no support no same sex.
“I don’t care who want vex, Africa no support no same sex.
“Them say, “Sizzla, you sing too much anti-gay lyrics.”
“Me just read the bible and get away with lyrics.
“Burn out the lesbian, burn out the gays with the lyrics.
“I don’t care who want vex, rastaman no support no same sex.
“Dem a tell me bout “free speech,”
“So me tell de raper man dem fe leave de beach.
“And me tell the pedophile dem flee the creech.
“Tell de lesbian dem flee de street and the battyman.”
“Battyman” is Jamaican slang equivalent to the English insult “faggot,” and Sizzla screamed the word while jumping up and down at the Sting Festival.
It was not the first time Sizzla had been banned from performing over his anti-LGBT lyrics and his brand of Jamaican dancehall music that has come to be called “murder music.”
Sizzla was barred from entering the United Kingdom in 2004, where he had several concerts scheduled, after OutRage!, a British LGBT rights group, criticized his songs including lyrics advocating anti-LGBT violence. He recorded his song “Nah Apologize,” an anthem declaring that “Rastaman don’t apologize to no batty-boy,” and saying gays and lesbians should be/will be shot and burned.
Sizzla signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 renouncing hate and pledging to uphold love, respect and understanding, written in reaction to a campaign to stop murder music initiated by several groups that included J-FLAG, Jamaica’s LGBT rights organization. But it wasn’t long before the anti-LGBT lyrics started up again.
Sizzla concerts in Toronto and Montreal were cancelled in 2007 after protests by the Stop Murder Music Canada coalition. He was denied entry to Germany in 2008 after his visa was cancelled. Several concerts scheduled in Germany in 2009 and 2010, after public protests, as were concerts in Madrid, Ghent, Belgium, Stockholm, Sweden and Lisbon in 2012. But concerts in 16 other cities on that tour were sold out.
Murder music protests in Dallas
In 2009, House of Blues in Dallas canceled an appearance by singer Buju Banton, another Jamaican singer whose songs encouraged violence against the LGBT community. Banton’s concert was then moved to a now-closed club on Main Street in Deep Ellum.
LGBT rights advocates staged a rally outside the venue. Protesters were cordoned off to a space across the street ,but few people attended the concert.
Soon after his Dallas appearance, Banton was arrested on drug and firearms charges, then in 2011 convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Dallas Voice has heard no word yet if any protests of Sizzla’s concert are planned at Heroes Lounge.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.