The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community in Barbados is calling on Buju Banton to publicly denounce his classic “Boom Bye Bye” single.
The Reggae icon who was recently released from a US federal prison for drug-related charges, caused an uproar among the Bajan LGBT community last week when local promoters hinted that he would be performing on the island next year.
On Friday, Fas7Star Entertainment uploaded a flyer with Buju Banton indicating he would bring his highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom tour on April 27, 2019 during Barbados Reggae Festival.
The LGBT community instantly demanded that the Grammy-winning entertainer publicly denounce “Boom Bye Bye,” or he would not be welcomed to perform at the festival.
Barbados LGBT community spokesperson, Ro-Ann Mohammed says she welcomes Banton headlining the 2019 Barbados Reggae Festival however “there is some merit to how some people feel with regard to the rhetoric surrounding some of his early music, particularly the Boom Bye Bye song.”
Speaking with Barbados Today, Mohammed said that decades later, “Boom Bye Bye” is still being used to advocate violence towards LGBT people.
“And even today, it is a song that is used to advocate the literal death of LGBT people, based on sexual orientation, gender identity . . . and that is wrong; that is fundamentally wrong on every level. Even though Buju himself wrote that song as a teenager and he doesn’t perform the song anymore, the song is still used to discriminate against LGBT people and to cause harm and to perpetuate harm against LGBT people. So I think people are very valid in feeling unsafe considering it’s a time of uncertainty,” she said.
Mohammed who revealed that she will be attending the concert, added that Buju Banton should give more clarity on his position on “Boom Bye Bye” 30 years later.
“I think it would still be great if Buju himself was to make a statement against the song, even though he doesn’t perform it anymore and he signed that agreement with other dancehall artist not to promote hate or to promote violence against LGBT people. I think it would still be great if he would make some sort of statement, distancing himself from that song and that message because his portfolio after that song has been one of love and inclusion and tolerance and promoting acceptance and uplifting black people,” said added.
It remains unclear if the Barbados LGBT community will be protesting against Buju Banton’s concert next year.