27 Nov 2015

Beenie Man axed from Raggamuffin line-up

10:13 am on 27 November 2015

The artist was cut after he refused to discuss his lyrics with GayNZ.com. 


Beenie Man performing in 2013.

Beenie Man performing in 2013. Photo: AFP

Raggamuffin organisers have axed Beenie Man from their line-up, after New Zealand’s gay community voiced its concerns over the homophobia in his lyrics. 

The controversial dancehall artist was scheduled to speak to GayNZ.com this week to discuss his lyrics - in Damn! (1999) he sings: "...me come to execute all of the gays" - but the 15-minute interview was quickly aborted when Beenie Man unexpectedly hung up the phone.

This morning, Raggamuffin spokesperson Brotha D (Danny Leaoasavaii) issued a statement saying that because Beenie Man had failed to answer questions about his lyrics and his current stance on the gay community, he had been removed from the festival. 

“We took the concerns of the gay community very seriously and sought to address them with Beenie Man. Raggamuffin is a family festival and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexuality,” he said.

“After being made fully aware of his past comments and lyrics, and continued homophobic attitude, the Raggamuffin team made the decision to remove him from the festival line-up.”

It’s not the first time he’s been dropped from a New Zealand festival, either. Back in 2010, Beenie Man was pulled from the Big Day Out line-up after gay rights groups expressed concerns about his inclusion in the event. 

This time around, he’s been replaced by reggae musician Diana King, the first Jamaican artist to publicly come out, according to GayNZ.

Beenie Man released a video in 2012 claiming he no longer felt hatred toward gay people, and that his anti-gay lyrics were 20 years old. 

Other artists on the Raggamuffin line-up include UB40, The Game, Xzibit and Macy Gray. The event takes place on Saturday February 20 at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.