Controversial reggae/dancehall star Capleton has been removed from the February 20th Ragga Muffins Festival in Oakland, after organizers decided the singer's anti-gay lyrics would be inappropriate for the event. According to the Bay Area Reporter, festival co-producer Moss Jacobs has also nixed Capleton's appearances at the upcoming Long Beach and San Diego events.
Although Jacobs did not respond to e-mail requests for an explanation, he did hold a phone interview last week during which members of the media read some of Capleton's most controversially anti-homosexual lyrics. Upon hearing the lyrics, he said "We didn't set out to have a show with an artist who is singing these lyrics."
According to the Stop Murder Music campaign, some of Capleton's lyrics include lines like "All queers and sodomites should be killed" and "All queers who come around here/This mama earth says none can survive." Strangely enough, Capleton has signed the Reggae Compassion Act, which expressly states that there's "no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia," and which bars all its signees from making "songs that include hatred or violence against anyone from any community."
This isn't the first time that one of reggae's most high profile stars has stirred controversy in the Bay Area. A Buju Banton performance last October led to protests and outrage from many of San Francisco's LGBT community. Only after Buju met with San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty and other members of the gay community was he permitted to perform.
Capleton's manager, Claudette Kemp, on the other hand, denies that her client espouses the murder of homosexuals, and says that many of his lyrics are in fact based on the Bible. She also suggested that his lyrics had been mistranslated and misinterpreted, adding, "He did not call anyone to kill no gays."