Attack on anti-gay lyrics of Bounty Killa and Banton
Region: North America
Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation
Artist: Bounty Killa and Banton
Confronting Bodies: Activist Mark Milano, the Queer Justice League, and the Stop Murder Music Campaign
Dates of Action: August 2007
Location: New York City
Description of Artwork: Banton and Bounty Killa are reggae artists known for their lyrics promoting violence against homosexuals. One example is Boom Bye Bye, by Banton, which features sounds of gunfire "in a batty-boy's head" - "batty-boy" being Jamaican patois for "faggot" - and says of any "batty-boy," "burn him up bad like an old tire wheel."
Bounty Killa is also known for frequently promoting anti-gay violence with lyrics like, "Bun a fire pon a puff and mister fagoty" ("Burn a fire on puffs and faggots")
The Incident: Bounty Killa and Banton were part of a lineup for a reggae festival to take place on Randall's Island in New York City. When gay right activist, Mark Milano, found out they would be performing, he summoned the Queer Justice League to make sure they would be stopped. The organization, along with the Stop Murder Music Campaign contacted Alfonso Brooks of Team Legendary (who would be staging the event). Brooks made a commitment to make the artists sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), a document by which other artists have pledged to refrain from making homophobic statements in public, releasing new homophobic songs, or authorizing the re-release of previously-recorded hate-gays music.
Results of Incident: Both artists refused to sign the RCA. Brooks said that they would not be jettisoned from the show because they had already been paid. However, their contract prohibited them from performing any hate songs at this festival. Milano and the league protested at the concert.