Sadeke Brooks wrote:
Queens, New York:
Mere weeks after doing a controversial video in which he was said to have apologised to gays and lesbians, Beenie Man's United States work permit was reinstated, but he says the video played no part in the development.
In May, the artiste made a video that was more than a minute long, which addressed a few issues. In the address, Beenie Man pointed out that he respects everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.
Although many interpreted the video as an apology to gays and lesbians, Beenie Man says the video had no bearing on when and why he was given the work permit.
"Dat nuh have nutten fi do wid anything. Mi nuh business weh people waan seh. People conception of I only prove to I that I am important cause weh people waan seh people seh. A Jamaica dat enuh, you just have to understand Jamaican people," he told THE STAR, following an energetic performance at Groovin In The Park, that was held at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York.
a lot of us small-minded
"A lot of us is intelligent but a lot of us small-minded. You see the people dem weh have brain know dis, mi pay mi lawyer over US$10,000 (J$890,000) and him work wid di embassy and the embassy work wid him. Dem give me mi visa without any prejudice nor no argument," he said.
That aside, Beenie Man was extremely excited about his first performance in the United States since getting back his work permit.
"It's nice because of the fans dem. That is the only reason why I fight to get a work permit, and that is to come and perform for the fans, so the fans can get the music that they have been supporting all over the years. You have to feel good because you get a chance to come into the United States to work," said a beaming Beenie Man.
While he had a visa to enter the country, he said it was very difficult not to be able to perform at events.
"When you cannot get to perform and you are a performer, a entertainer, a music you sing, you nuh do nutten else. Mi nuh sell drugs, mi nuh sell gun, mi nuh fix tyre, mi nuh change bulb, mi nuh do nutten. Mi sing music and perform pon stage and entertain people. So when you cannot get the chance to do your job, it is a deep feeling," he said.
Although he was not able to perform in the United States for two years, Beenie Man says there was not a major loss of income because he was still doing shows in places like Europe and Canada on a regular basis.
Jetting off to Europe for a little over a week before returning to Jamaica, Beenie Man says he will be releasing the first two tracks from his upcoming album, which are Summer Is Here and Dweet Again.
Star News video coverage
now comes a defiant self aggrandizing maniac to say that he never actually apologized, interestingly this was for local audiences I wonder what is the message outside of Jamaica?
DO NOT THINK YOU CAN FOOL EVERYONE BEENIEMAN - he clearly did the statement so he could get the billing on the shows as artists are facing financial ruin in some instances due to slow sales or no major music as is the case here.
Montego Bay, St James - International Grammy-winning deejay, Beenie Man, in an about-turn Friday denounced violence against homosexuals, but made it clear that he did not support that lifestyle.
The deejay was responding to questions about an alleged deal with international gay rights groups, including the UK-based Outrage, in which he was said to have agreed to renounce violence against gays.
He denied signing any such deal, which Outrage last month announced as the Reggae Compassionate Act, but at the same time said that violence against gays was wrong.
"We don't need it," he told reporters shortly after closing Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest's Dancehall Night at approximately 7:15 Friday morning. "We don't need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it's not wholesome to me."
Beenie Man explained that the Reggae Compassionate Act to which Outrage referred, was brokered by European promoters under fire from gay rights groups furious that they continued to support certain Reggae acts whose lyrics incited violence against homosexuals.
"It's a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fight from the Christian and "g" organisation and everything," said the self-proclaimed 'King of the Dancehall', who apparently could not bring himself to say the word gay.
At the same time, the deejay said he did not personally sign any agreement and could not promise that he would be abiding by it. "I do music," he argued. "Dancehall mi do, I can't promise nuh man dat. And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah."
Beenie Man and several other local Reggae artistes suffered severe setbacks in their careers in recent years when gay rights groups, under the Stop Murder Music banner, boycotted their concerts and led a campaign that saw many of them being dropped from a number of European and US tours.
Earlier this month, Outrage alleged that Beenie Man, as well as Sizzla and Capleton, had signed the agreement to desist inciting violence against gays through their music. The Observer has been unable to contact Sizzla and Capleton for a response.
Outrage also vowed to go after Buju Banton, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel and TOK who they said incited murder against lesbians and gays in their music.