Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hate Music Silenced?

From Gothamist... Clear Channel - owner of Power 105, the Manhattan radio station which is a major sponsor of the Reggae Carifest at the city's Randall's Island - has pulled its sponsorship in response to homophobic lyrics by a number of its headliners.
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Buju Banton and Beenie Man are among the most popular performers in the dancehall genre. Their music also advocates the torture and murder of gay men. Someone at Clear Channel is bound to have known this, but following a recent telephone call from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Clear Channel has not only withdrawn its support but is now calling on other sponsors to do the same.

Also singled out for their hatred are Bounty Killer and Elephant Man.

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Seumas Gagne said...

The "musical" genre is an offense on every level. Let a spotlight shine on the ugliness they spew forth!

michael sean morris said...

As an artist it behooves me to impugn another person's form of expression. Since a few (but not all) dancehall and reggae stars have homophobic lyrics, I think it bodes well that the genre can be saved. It's not as if the beats are bigoted.

I wonder what we'd think of Bach and Mozart and Beethoven if we asked them what they thought of homosexuals...

Seumas Gagne said...

I think it's more than a few, actually. The music is just an expression of the culture.

As a 40+ person I reserve the right to criticize any artists expression. Not all art is equal. Not all art is good. If we exempt anyone who calls his or herself an artist from criticism we are destined to lose all artistic greatness and sink into utter mediocrity.

Comparing these talentless hooligans to Mozart, Beethoven, O' Carolan, Sappho, Miyagi, Socrates, Lao Tzu or anyone of a thousand other truly great artists shows how far off the mark the 'criticize no artist' viewpoint is.

Not that I'm bitter.

michael sean morris said...

Yet its instrumentation and composition alone don't engender hatred, only the lyrics.

I'm only guessing here, but the Presbyterians who wrote most of the music you listen to weren't exactly marching down the streets of Stornoway declaiming their tolerance for queers, nor would many of them today.

Seumas Gagne said...

They also didn't write waulking songs about killing them. I criticize Gaelic culture plenty for its homophobia - openly and loudly.

I dislike reggae music regardless of lyrics - that just puts the icing on the icky cake for me.