Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel nominated, despite songs inciting homophobic violence.
LONDON – 25 August 2004
MOBO Award organisers are being accused of “colluding with homophobic violence” after they accepted the nomination of two violently homophobic reggae singers, Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel.
Both artists have repeatedly released hit tunes that promote and endorse the “shooting” and “torching” of gay people.
On Monday, the MOBO organisers told The Times that “anti-gay artists will not feature in this year’s awards”. (The Times, 24 August 2004)
“We are astonished that the MOBOs appear to have mischievously misled journalists,” said Peter Tatchell of gay human rights group OutRage!.
“On Monday, the MOBOs said homophobic singers would not be nominated, but on Tuesday two of the most homophobic were put forward for nomination.
“We are appalled that the MOBOs have decided to reward singers who incite the murder of lesbian and gay people.
“The MOBOs are colluding with artists who encourage and glorify the murder of homosexuals. They are giving these singers kudos and respectability,” said Mr Tatchell.
Elephant Man’s hit tune, We Nuh Like Gay, says: “Queers must be killed! Take them by surprise”. Another song, A Nuh Fi Wi Fault, expresses a similar sentiment: “Queers must be killed! Shoot them like birds”.
Vybz Kartel sings “lesbians and queers must be assassinated” in his song Bedroom Slaughteration. Another track, Guns Like Mine, boasts that he “puts a bullet in a queer’s spine”.
(See below full lyrics for both singers.)
“Neither of these singers has apologised or expressed a word of regret for inciting the killing of gay people,” added Mr Tatchell.
“Vybz Kartel’s and Elephant Man’s songs inciting the murder of lesbians and gays are still on sale. They continue to profit from their murder-music.
“No music award would put forward for nomination a singer who promoted the lynching of black people. The MOBOs should show the same zero-tolerance of singers who incite homophobic violence,” said Mr Tatchell
Vybz Kartel and Elephant Man are two of eight reggae singers currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service after the gay rights group OutRage! handed over a dossier of the singers’ lyrics.
“We will be asking the Home Secretary to issue an exclusion order against Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, to ban them from entering Britain, on the grounds that their lyrics constitute the criminal offence of incitement to murder,” said Brett Lock, who is helping co-ordinate the OutRage! campaign.
“If the singers do come to Britain for the MOBO Awards, we will seek to have them arrested and prosecuted on charges of incitement to murder.
“OutRage intends to write to the Director General of the BBC urging him to cancel the televising of the MOBO Awards, on the grounds that the promotion of these murder-music artists contradicts the BBC’s Producer Guidelines and equal opportunities policy which prohibit the promotion of homophobia and homophobic violence,” said Mr Lock.
For more background on the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign, see:
Vybz Kartel & Elephant Man lyrics follow below, with standard English translations underneath the Jamaican patois.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Elephant Man – A Nuh Fi Wi Fault
Battyman fi dead!
Queers must be killed!
Please mark we word
Please mark my words
Gimme tha tec-nine
Give me the Tec-9
[Tec-9: semi-automatic assault pistol]
Shoot dem like bird
Shoot them [queers] like birds
Elephant Man – We Nuh Like Gay
Battyman fi dead! Tek dem by surprise
Queers must be killed! Take them by surprise
Get a shot inna yu head, inna mi big gun collide.
I am going to shoot you in the head, you are going to meet up with my big gun
Gimme me Tec-9 General B, wid de chrome wah a shine
Give me the Tec-9 General B, the one with the chrome that shines
[Tec-9: semi-automatic assault pistol]
Elephant Man – Log On
Log on and step pon chi chi man
Log on and step on a queer man
[Log on is a type of dance using the right foot in a stepping motion as if to squash a cockroach – the lyrics boast about crushing queers.]
Dance wi a dance and a bun out a freaky man.
Join our dance and let’s burn out the queer man
Step pon him like a old cloth
Step on him like an old cloth
A dance wi a dance and a crush out a bingi man .
Join our dance and let’s crush queer men
Do di walk, mek mi see the light and di torch dem fast
Do the walk, quickly let me see the lighter and torch
[lighter and torch: makeshift aerosol flame thrower weapon]
Vybz Kartel – Bedroom Slaughteration
Bow cat, sodomite, batty man fi gat assassination (Yeah)
Oral sexer, lesbian and queer must be assassinated (Yeah)
Vybz Kartel – Guns Like Mine
Kartel buss one inna batty bwoy spine
Kartel puts one in a queer’s spine
[one = a bullet]
Vybz Kartel – Sen On
Faggot fi get copper to di heart
Faggot must get copper to the heart
Batty bwoy stand up anna talk and man a park
A queer stands talking to a man in a park
Don run anybody wey fuck batty
Don’t chase away the man who fucks arse
Me a shot e
I am trying to shoot him
[He is saying that if the queer is chased way he won’t be able to shoot him]
From yuh faggy Waterford
If you are from faggoty Waterford
[Waterford: a place in St Catherine, Jamaica]
A wet yuh up wid di Maggy
I shoot you with the Magnum
[Magnum: a brand of gun]
From yuh funny, yuh a guh bury
If you are funny (queer), you get buried
[buried: as in killed]