Homophobia, reggae, and Nelly Furtado (not in that order)

Articles have kept me busy and away from blogging. In case you missed them in print, the Herald ran a multimedia package on the group Inner Circle and their studio Circle House last Friday. Sunday I had an interview with Nelly Furtado, who opens her Loose tour at Hard Rock Live tonight (my review will be in tomorrow’s paper and online). And online only, I reviewed Sunday’s Best of the Best reggae festival. I made a slip of the tongue in that review: I said that Buju Banton was one of several artists who had been boycotted for advocating violence against women, when of course I meant against homosexuals (a group that, of course, includes women). This is what happens when you file at 2 a.m. with no editor reading you; my bad.

  I’m grateful that a reader pointed out my gaffe. But I’m appalled by the reggae fans who continue to let their artists get away with the hatred that Bounty Killer spewed in place of artistry and that I came down on. As long as its artists remain so small-minded, reggae — dancehall in particular — will continue to be stuck in the ghetto in which it has been largely locked for years now. I took pains to emphasize the positive in the review: Buju’s spiritual transformation. But I couldn’t ignore the ugly note on which the show ended. I think there’s a lot of amazing reggae out there, but unfortunately, festival promoters keep focusing on pinheads like Bounty.

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