"Blaze di fire mek we bun dem!!!! (Bun dem!!!!)" - ["chi chi man",TOK]
October 3, 2002 1:10 PM   Subscribe

"Blaze di fire mek we bun dem!!!! (Bun dem!!!!)" - ["chi chi man",TOK]

What's a boy to do, when your 'family' is openly threatened on the radio with assault & murder by nominated artistes ?
Protest at the 'Outrage'!
posted by dash_slot- (12 comments total)
Last night, offensive singers TOK, Capleton & Elephant Man failed to gather a single award in the categories they were nominated for at the MOBO's [Music Of Black Origin Awards]. Although a tireless campaigner, Peter Tachell of OutRage! would likely not take credit for their failure. Indeed, from the reaction of the audience who attended the event,

which was to attack the picketers, making it necessary for a police escort to lead them to safety, it seems like they were prepared to carry out said advice: Burn them! Kill them!

When faced with this sort of speech, is it censorship to protest at hateful lyrics?

More on the violence directed at gays in the Jamaican homeland here and here.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:26 PM on October 3, 2002

Janie's got a gun...

Janie also lives in Florida. And lots of other US states. She just gets around a lot.
posted by shepd at 1:35 PM on October 3, 2002

"Dem ah bawl seh dem waan more prophet "

Could someone translate the song lyrics to English so I can know what the hell is going on?
posted by Mbarron2896 at 2:02 PM on October 3, 2002

hey. don't be mocking dem po dissinfranch eyes graps on de speekin.
posted by quonsar at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2002

I guess I should jump in here seeing as though I'm Jamaican.....

Could someone translate the song lyrics to English so I can know what the hell is going on?

It is English.....but when it's written like that then of course it's indecipherable.

"Them a bawl say them want more prophet"

posted by h00dini at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2002

h00dini: any views on the thread as posted, from your perspective?

When i became aware that BBC R6 was heavily promoting the Awards, i emailed the on-air dj, who was sympathetic, and requested views from the listeners.

I discovered that the website for OutRage contained contact info for the organisers, and spoke to a protester who had just returned from the incident. At his request, i updated the dj, passed on the phone no. and hopefully put two people in touch: one with some influence, one a victim of violence.

I also sent emails to the feedback part of the BBC, protesting at the connivance of 'trying to be hip' broadcasters with thugs. It would not be even considered for other minorities to be targetted like this.

All in real time. It felt like a useful, though inadequate response, after all, real people are dying out there due to bigotry and hate.

It must not be allowed to pass without comment, in my view, that people are being given accolades, that hold murderous thoughts in their heads AND broadcast them, too.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2002

Jamaica's an island of contradictions. It has the useless Guinness record of having the most churches per square mile than any other country, while also having one of the highest homicide rates in the world. So the anti gay attitude supposedly stems from the Christian upbringing, and the violence is perpetrated by the many criminal elements. So now the artists have people who will listen to and cheer homophobic lyrics, and there you have it...a market.
posted by h00dini at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2002

Man, sorry I'm late. For those having trouble understanding, a Jamaican patois dictionary. As far as understanding Jamaican dancehall in the broader social context, a good source (and a good, serious read) is Wake the Town and Tell the People, by Norman Stolzoff. On topic, one of my orders of dancehall 45s included a track by Chico, who I liked at the time -- I was amazed by the lyrics. The chorus went something like "Batty-man [gay] friend we nah keep... bun [burn] a lesbian... We nah promote dem, we nah support dem." That's some pretty serious hate. From the interview above with Stolzoff, he addresses the subject:

Other categories would be "informer tunes" and I link informer tunes to what Jamaicans call "battyman" [anti-gay] lyrics. They’re about someone who is seen as betraying the social collective either in terms of security (the informer who spies and reports back to the police), or the battyman, who breaks the code of masculinity that is strictly enforced in Jamaican lower class culture, and really throughout society as a whole.

I see these lyrics as a way of uniting against the outsider. Maybe the outsider is an insider who is expelled outside of the community. A clash is a very combative event where different people might be supporting different sound systems. When one of these songs comes on, it’s a way of bringing everyone in. That’s one of the darker and troubling aspects of the all-against-one unanimity that some of these songs are used for.

posted by eddydamascene at 11:04 PM on October 3, 2002

It's 1Xtra - the BBC's black music station - that had involvement in the event, not BBC 6 Music, which is more for old fart rockers.

The BBC has also received criticism over it's recent programme on the history of reggae for showcasing an anti-gay track by Elephant Man and making the lyrics available on its web site.
posted by kerplunk at 5:38 AM on October 4, 2002

BBC 6 Music may be old farts, but they've never advocated setting fire to homosexuals, even inadvertantly. And it was Mark Lamarr, then of The Word, now of even fartier Radio 2, who challenged Shabba Ranks over the same issue. Interesting Guardian piece here.
posted by Grangousier at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2002

Perhaps he means burning them with flaming-hot anal sex?
posted by freakystyley at 6:18 AM on October 4, 2002

kerplunk: I was listening to R6 on that evening, and stand by what I said. If you were listening to 1Extra, and they also covered it, fine. Corporation bought into it wholesale, I suspect.

For the rest of it, I'm glad you got my points.

Grangousier: The 50's Throwback goes up in my estimation now!
posted by dash_slot- at 12:41 PM on October 4, 2002

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