Buju Banton was set to perform at the Regency Ballroom October 10, but his appearance is now canceled after pressure from the LGBT community.
More than twenty years ago, Banton wrote the song “Boom Bye Bye,” (lyrics) which advocates murdering gays. Jamaica still has laws against “buggery,” and its dancehall and ragga musicians often produce murder music, which advocates violence against homosexuals. For Banton, fans and promoters see him as “controversial” while others say he’s homophobic or anti-gay.
In 2006, Banton also tried to tour the U.S. to promote his album “Too Bad,” but again pressure from LGBT activist groups caused several cities–including Oakland and San Franciosco–to cancel his appearances and force him to reschedule at smaller venues.
At one point in his career, Banton signed an agreement with OutRage!, a gay activist organization, promising that he would not perform or re-release any more songs with homophobic lyrics. In May of 2006, a concertgoer caught Banton performing “Boom Bye Bye” in Miami.
Both AEG Live/Goldenvoice and Live Nation have announced cancellation of Banton’s shows. Besides San Francisco, this encompasses appearances in Los Angeles (Oct. 14), Philadelphia (Sept. 12), Chicago (Oct. 1), Las Vegas (Oct. 15), Dallas (Oct. 20), and
Houston (Oct. 22).
Emails from the Appeal to Banton and his promoters did not receive replies.
Image by a trying youth.