Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
A gay rights group is planning to protest the October 9 Chicago concert by deejay Capleton, claiming some of his songs encourage violence against homosexuals.
The Gay Liberation Network (GLN) has sent a letter to the management at The Kinetic Playground venue expressing concern that they plan to host a performer with a reputation of doing "murder music".
"Very few promoters want to be associated with murderous bigotry and calls from the stage to commit mayhem," GLN spokesperson Roger Fraser wrote in a letter to Jim Gouskos, owner of The Kinetic Playground.
"No respectable promoter would knowingly schedule a performer whose lyrics promoted violence and murder against blacks or Jews or Muslims. We ask for and expect the same consideration to be made concerning LGBT people," Fraser's letter continued.
Gouskos responded, saying he was not homophobic and would like to get out of his contract for the Capleton show. However, he said he could not afford the $11,000 cancellation fee.
Capleton is currently touring the United States (US) to support his I-Ternal Fire album, which was released in June by VP Records. It is the second time this year that his shows in the US have been targeted by a gay rights organisation.
In February, he cancelled appearances on Tribute To The Legends and the Ragga Muffin Festival in southern California, after sustained pressure from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
Several facing backlash
Several dancehall acts have clashed with gay rights groups in Europe and North America over their aggressive lyrics toward homosexuals. Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Capleton, Elephant Man and Sizzla have encountered opposition on both sides of the Atlantic.
Banton has borne the brunt of the gay backlash, largely over his 1993 underground hit song Boom Bye Bye. Last year, gay groups came out in full force against Baton's Rasta Got Soul tour, forcing promoters to cancel several of his shows in major American cities.
The Capleton tour was scheduled to start in September at Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut. Its closing date is down for Club Intrigue in Stone Mountain, Georgia on October 22.