Portia Nuh Play
February 8, 2012 3:04 PM   Subscribe

"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
posted by Kattullus (8 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big dancehall fan, but there's an anti-gay current in it that really squicks me out, much more even than in hip hop (Buju Banton's "Boom Bye Bye" being the most infamous example, it was a big hit and promotes actually murdering gay men). It would be really great if that could change. The Stop Murder Music campaign tried to address this but it didn't go very far since most of the artists it was targeted at ignored it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:20 PM on February 8, 2012

Oh, I forgot to mention in the post... the mixtape is by Rizzla and blk.adonis.
posted by Kattullus at 3:52 PM on February 8, 2012

Yeah, I can ironically enjoy hip hop's "no homo" tendencies, but dancehall is just a bridge too far. That said, great mix!
posted by mek at 4:36 PM on February 8, 2012

Yeah, I can ironically enjoy hip hop's "no homo" tendencies, but dancehall is just a bridge too far.

There's no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, any more than "no homo" or calling women nasty names should mean writing off the entire genre of hip hop. There's so much amazing dancehall, and only a few songs are virulently homophobic. (I mean, just listen to the linked mix -- that is some kickass music, period.)

Anyway, good for Simpson Miller; she is taking an important and brave step. There have always been prominent politicians in Jamaica who were closeted publicly but privately open about being gay; maybe this is the start of the long path towards equality.
posted by Forktine at 5:00 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

(Though I do wish the mix came with a list of artists on it; there are a few things I don't recognize but am loving, and tracking things down by typing snippits of lyrics into google is a big pain. Waaaah, first world problems, I know...)
posted by Forktine at 5:05 PM on February 8, 2012

For an example of how dancehall culture is not exactly monolithically homophobic, check out this link, from the same website as the Portia mix. Real life is complicated, and you get a lot of good along with the bad.
posted by Forktine at 5:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Some observers predicted Simpson Miller’s stance would spell her demise in the Dec. 29 election. But despite polls that showed the two parties neck and neck, her People’s National Party coasted to victory, collecting 41 seats to the JLP’s 22. The result made the conservative JLP the first one-term administration in the island nation’s modern history.

“It showed how courageous she is,” said Glenda Simms, a renowned feminist who has been an adviser to Simpson Miller. “She knew they could turn it around against her, and they tried. … But she’s not prepared to be a part of that history of discrimination. … She’s going to do whatever she can to break it.”

“People have taken it as a signal from the prime minister that there is a new era, a new attitude that needs to be embraced,” said Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a political science professor and senior vice-president at York College of the City University of New York and an expert in Caribbean politics.

*applause* All national leaders should have the bravery to value doing what is right over what is politically convenient, even if it has a chance of backlash at the polls. More often than not, that type of bravery is rewarded.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:39 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

For an example of how dancehall culture is not exactly monolithically homophobic

I agree, it's just that it is very difficult as a genre tourist to filter out the bad from the good. That's why mixes like this are frickin' awesome.
posted by mek at 7:08 PM on February 8, 2012

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