London Indymedia

Beenie Man questioned by police at Heathrow airport on arrival in UK

OutRage! News Service | 24.06.2004 09:05 | Culture | Gender | London | World

Concert cancelled after protest by gay rights group OutRage!

Beenie Man: “I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays”
Beenie Man: “I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays”

One of Jamaica’s top reggae and dancehall music stars, Beenie Man, was met by police when he arrived at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 23 June for the start of his Irish and UK concert tour. He has been under investigation by the Metropolitan Police for the last nine months.

Acting on a complaint by the gay human rights group OutRage!, Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll questioned Beenie Man about his homophobic lyrics, which advocate hatred and violence against lesbians and gay men. See samples below.

A few hours later, the Ocean nightclub in Hackney, east London, announced the cancellation of Beenie Man’s concert tonight (24 June), following a request from OutRage!
Ocean’s statement said: “Due to concerns for public safety and following discussions with the Metropolitan Police, Ocean has cancelled this Thursday’s Beenie Man concert”.
“This cancellation is a triumph over homophobia”, said Peter Tatchell of OutRage! “Our aim is to make Britain a no-go area for entertainers who incite violence against gay people”.

“We hope this victory will result in other homophobic singers having their concerts cancelled. Once they start losing money they’ll soon drop their anti-gay lyrics”.
“We congratulate Ocean for taking a stand against homophobic prejudice and violence”.
OutRage! had warned the police and Ocean that “many people blame singers like Beenie Man for stirring up homophobic hatred. This hatred has led to the murder of dozens of gay Jamaicans and to attacks on gay people in Britain”.

OutRage!’s letter to Ocean’s Director of Operations, John Love, stated: “I presume Ocean would not host a performer who encouraged violence against black or Jewish people? We are asking you to enforce the same policy towards Beenie Man”.

“Inciting violence is a criminal offence”, said OutRage!’s campaign coordinator, Brett Lock.

“We want Beenie Man arrested and charged with incitement to violence. His hit tunes Damn and Bad Man, Chi Chi (Queer) Man glorify and encourage attacks on lesbians and gay men”.
“Beenie Man is the second homophobic Jamaican music star whose concert has been cancelled following pressure from OutRage!. Last December, Bounty Killer failed to show for a performance at the Stratford Rex in east London after OutRage! urged the police to arrest him over lyrics inciting the murder of lesbians and gays”, said Mr Lock.

Leading figures in the black community have condemned homophobia and backed lesbian and gay human rights. They include Oona King MP, Lee Jasper the Mayor of London’s advisor on equality issues, Diane Abbott MP, Darcus Howe of the New Statesman, music star Ms Dynamite, Keith Vaz MP, Trevor Phillips Chair of the CRE, David Lammy MP, comedian Lenny Henry, Paul Boateng MP, Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote, and Claude Moraes MEP.


Beenie Man’s violent homophobic lyrics

NB: Chi chi man is a Jamaican homophobic insult; the equivalent of poof or faggot. Translations to standard English are in brackets below the patios.

A line from Beenie Man’s hit tune Damn roughly translates as:
"I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays".

In another song, Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man), Beenie Man is widely understood as instructing listeners to kill gay DJs:

“If yuh nuh chi chi (queer) man wave yuh right hand and (NO!)
(If you are not gay wave your right hand and say no)
If yuh nuh lesbian wave yuh right hand and (NO!)
(If you are not a lesbian wave your right hand and say no)
Some bwoy will go a jail fi kill man tun bad man chi chi man!
(Some men are willing to go to jail for killing a man who is queer)….
…..Yuh see em to run off a stage like a clown, Kill Dem DJ!
(If you see him (the queer) run off the stage like a clown, Kill that DJ!)”.

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Hide the following 6 comments

Well done

25.06.2004 00:05

Well done getting the concert stopped. Anyone remember Shabba Ranks? He made a comment on the Channel 4 tv show The Word saying 'All gays should be crucified'. Shortly after his pop career died.


Good Activist

26.06.2004 21:13

Well done to Outrage. This is good and wholesome activism.


Free Speaking Anyone?

27.06.2004 01:47

As gay, I happy that he not allowed to perform. It show good decency on part of venue owner. But it however also dangerous. We value feelings not hurt over free speech rights? Yes, very dangerous.

Hiroshi Kaneshima

Free Speech vs Incitement

27.06.2004 10:42

It is important to remember that this is not an issue of free speech. Beenie Man and other dancehall singers are free to express their feelings about homosexulaity either way, but the line has to be drawn at incitements to violence and murder.

To most forcefully make the point, imagine if we substituted his derogatory terms for gay people, like "chi chi man' and 'batty bwoy' with racially insulting terms and references to racial or religious minorities and gave them to a neo-Nazi band to sing


"I'm dreaming of a new United Kingdom where we can execute all the niggers"


"Put you hands in the air if you want to burn the Jews, let's hang all the Muslims with a long piece of rope"

There's no way on Earth that those lyrics would be defended. Theres no way that band would get airplay on radio and TV and be nominated for record industry awards.

In fact, under the Race Relations Act, it would be illegal for a band to sing the type of lyrics above. So why the double-standards when it comes to the gay community objecting to artists who glorify queer-bashing?

Brett Lock
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Thanks for the free publicity!

13.08.2004 00:33

All press is good press, even the bad press helps push Beenie Man's records. I found out about this all the way across the pond. I wish Beenie Man the best of luck as this only helps the man further cross over to the mainstream. He simply speaks what is believed largely by the Jamaican populous, among many other cultures. Stop the problem at it's root not at the product of their belief. Violence sucks at any cost. I am sure Beenie Man with his million dollar record contracts would agree to that. However, this is what sells records, image. Do you honestly think that people like Beenie, Bounty killer, Snoop Dog, or Ice Cube actually practice what they preach? Proabably not. It's all about image. If Beenie, or any of these artists came out sounding soft, would they continue to be as popular? Aren't we talking about reggae here! Postive Vibration! A lot of Beenie's other songs are lovers duos with the likes of janet jackson. For him to be questioned by the coppers b/c the activist group says so, is simply ludacris! Ignorants who listen to his music, and act out are the ones that need to be checked out. Words hurt and all, but in the end they're just that, words! Nothing more.

Beenie Fan - 2cents


22.02.2005 11:26

beenie is right burn dem all, kill dem all chi chi bwai icosso

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