The Jamaican reggae singer Beenie Man, whose songs have often been the subject of pronounced controversy over its violently homophobic content, has released a new video where he appears to renounce his anti-gay stance, and proclaims support for gay rights.
In his video, he says he respects each and every human being, “regardless of which race or creed, regardless of which religious belief you believe in, and regardless of which sexual preference you are, including gays and lesbian people.”
Claiming he is not the same person as he was twenty years ago, he says he wants to “respect and love [all] human beings.” He had previously released songs with lyrics including the lines, “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays,” and “Tek a bazooka and kill batty-fucker.”
His video comes just days after one of the most popular rap stars, Jay-Z, followed President Obama in announcing his support for equal marriage. But, Jay-Z had once rapped: “Faggots wanna talk to po-po’s, Smoke em like cocoa.”
Other singers who have come out in support for gay rights include Houston’s Bun B and hip-hop artist Hot 97, both of whom have advocated a ‘live and let live’ attitude to the issue, according to reports from US media.