'Heartbroken' Beenie Man: "I don't condone violence"
By GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
17th November 2009 - 05:51 pm
The Jamaican reggae artist whose upcoming Big Day Out appearances in NZ and Australia were cancelled following a storm of outrage over his homophobic lyrics now apparently says he has apologised for his lyrics which have been "misunderstood", and adds that he has never wanted to hurt anyone regardless of their sexual orientation.
An email received by GayNZ.com this afternoon titled 'I Do Not Condone Act Of Violence Toward Others', and purporting to be from Beenie Man aka Moses Davis, claims he has not gone back on promises he made in 2007 when he signed the 'Reggae Compassionate Act' designed to promote peaceful and humanistic values in music.
|'One love': Beenie Man|
"I was actually traveling and recently learned about what was happening in New Zealand and was heartbroken at the misunderstandings," he says.
"We live in a diverse society, the haves, have-nots, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, light and dark skinned, homosexuals and heterosexuals. At times we wrongly ridicule each other for beliefs. One thing we have in common, we are all human beings and should strive for peace, equality and love. I want my music to bring people together and for them to dance, feel good and enjoy it."
Beenie Man also claims he has made "numerous announcements regarding violence against gays, most recently in Spain."
"People sometimes may misunderstand my lyrics because of slang, metaphors, jargons and dialect; it is not intended to be harmful," the singer continues.
"In the past I offended others with offensive lyrics, I apologised then and now, I never took back my word. Our world is an interesting place filled with variety and we all have to respect others no matter what race, choices, culture or lifestyle.
"I am not a supporter of hatred and never was. The press sometimes exaggerate and it's hard to defend oneself, as I am one man, the magnitude of the hurt may have cut too deep and people feed into the negative.
"In the entertainment industry we have people with different sexual preferences, I would never seek to hurt or treat them differently. I travel the world and grow with the changes and have learned not to judge people's way of life.
'OLDER AND WISER'
Recalling lyrics such as "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays," GayNZ.com replied to Beenie Man asking what had changed since he performed those songs.
"I wrote the lyrics at a point in my life when I younger and was seeing a lot of exploitation of poor and defenseless young boys in the garrison - where I too was born - by rich men," he responded.
"When I wrote the lyrics boys were raped and murdered often - even recently a nine-year-old went to buy cigarettes for a man, came back and was raped and murdered. The act of sodomy was my concern when I wrote the song.
"I realize that those men were not gays but were predators or paedophile which is not a common word in my dialect hence the perception when generalising. I am older and realised the difference after," he admits.
"I have worked with gays and lesbians on videos and photo shoots and they have done great. I do not sing or perform any of those songs nor promote any violence on stage. I have been performing all over the world and there hasn't been any issues of recent.
"I realize that I have never been to your country and what was old forgotten news in which I have apologised, is now new news because of me coming and now it's your turn for an apology. I am a music ambassador for the world and the last thing I would want to do is spread hate or violence towards others."
He concludes with a message for New Zealand and Australia: "Please know that I am sincere and right now I am proposing peace, one world... One Love regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation and nationality."
[Editor's note: Although it seems genuine, GayNZ.com is attempting to confirm the veracity of the email and to question him on some aspects of his lyrics and stated positions.]
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