Capleton feels heat from gay community


Howard Campbell, writing for the Gleaner, reports that Deejay Capleton’s show at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, scheduled for last Saturday, was cancelled after pressure from a gay rights group.

Jim Gouskos, owner of the venue, announced the cancellation two days before the show. The previous week, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) threatened to protest at the venue if Capleton performed. The GLN, in a statement two weeks ago, described some of Capleton’s songs as “murder music.” In the past, Capleton has condemned homosexuality in hits like “Bun Out Di Chi Chi,” ‘chi chi’ being a Jamaican slur for homosexuals. “We commend the venue’s management for putting human rights principles above dollars by cancelling the show,” read a GLN statement. “Please put an exclamation point on this victory by buying a drink or two this Saturday night at Kinetic Playground.”

Gouskos also issued a statement explaining why he cancelled the show. “I’m part of this community. This is my community. I’m not doing anything to offend anybody … . Everybody here has worked too hard to change this neighbourhood for the better,” his statement read.

Capleton is in the closing stages of a United States tour to promote his I-ternal Fire album, which was released by VP Records in the summer. In February, he was forced to cancel appearances at two southern California festivals after pressure from gay rights groups.

For over a decade, dancehall acts like Capleton, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Elephant Man, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer have been targeted by gay groups in North America and Europe. The groups claim the performers encourage violence against persons with alternative lifestyles. Last year, Banton’s Rasta Got Soul US tour was badly hampered by protests from gay groups. It resulted in promoters cancelling shows in several major cities.

Gay advocates in the US are currently on the warpath following the shocking deaths of several youth who reportedly committed suicide due to anti-gay bullying. The stories of three of those youth – Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown and Raymond Chase – have been the subject of feature stories in American media. CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper, has covered the cases by interviewing troubled gay youth as well as US rapper Eminem who has mocked gays in several of his songs.

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