Buju Banton has issued a permanent ban on his anti-gay anthem, “Boom Bye Bye.”
Reports of the move recirculated after his Long Walk To Freedom comeback concert in Jamaica earlier this month when fans noticed the Dancehall star didn’t perform his 1992 classic.
The song, which includes a sample of Cobra’s “Flex,” echoes anti-gay lyrics like “Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head/ Rude bwoy nah promote no nasty man, dem haffi dead,” which in patios means shooting a gay man in the head. In the past, Buju Banton has pointed out that he was 15-years-old when he wrote the song, which was originally about a pedophile who was caught molesting young boys in Banton’s neighborhood in Jamaica.
The Grammy award-winning Reggae singer and songwriter has recently issued a permanent ban on his notorious single “Boom Bye Bye” from his catalog.
In a statement that has been circulating online, Buju Banton revealed that he has removed the song from all platformed he has control over and will not be performing it at his upcoming shows.
“In recent days there has been a great deal of press coverage about the song ‘Boom Bye Bye’ from my past which I long ago stopped performing and removed from any platform that I control or have influence over,” Buju Banton said in the statement.
“I recognise that the song has caused much pain to listeners, as well as to my fans, my family and myself. After all the adversity we’ve been through I am determined to put this song in the past and continue moving forward as an artist and as a man,” he continued.
“I affirm once and for all that everyone has the right to live as they so choose. In the words of the great Dennis Brown, ‘Love and hate can never be friends.’ I welcome everyone to my shows in a spirit of peace and love. Please come join me in that same spiritm,” he added.
According to reports, the statement was issued after a gay rights group in Germany started pressuring SummerJam’s promoters to remove Buju from the show. The gay rights group, KLuST (Kölner Lesben- und Schwulentag e.V.), has now backed down from its demands amidst Buju Banton’s new statement.
In the past week, the song has been removed from streaming services like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music. The video, which reached nearly 30 million views on YouTube, was also removed from his account.
“Boom Bye Bye” has been causing controversy since it was released in 1992. Recorded by athen-teenage Banton in 1988, the track denounces homosexuals and delineates violence towards them. The backlash Banton received from the track was almost enough to silence his career as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights groups lobbied for his ban at several concerts.
Last year, LGBT community in Barbados reportedly called on Buju Banton to publicly denounce the single ahead of his performance in the country.
Buju Banton has not performed the track since 2007, when he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. The act was drafted in 2007 as part of the Stop Murder Music campaign, a human-rights groups coalition, which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-identified persons. The legislation introduced by the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group was also supported by other reggae icons like Beanie Man, Bounty Killer and Capleton in an effort to bring an end to homophobic lyrics and attacks against the LGBTQ community in Carribean islands.
Buju Banton was released from prison last year December after serving a seven-year sentence related to drug charges.