Visa Cancellation, Anti-Gay Lyrics Affecting Dancehall Music In The US

For many years dancehall deejays has been having a hard time making strides in the US market and 2010 is no exception.

As far back as the early ninties deejay Shabba ranks was subjected to major setbacks in the US because of some issues with the gay community in that country. Buju Banton was also the subject of major set back in that decade for his controversial song “Boom Bye Bye.” Over the years several other dancehall deejays are heavily criticised that sometimes result in major protest by the gay community over anti-gay lyrics, which has been a major part of Jamaica culture that comes out in the music

But things would reach a tipping  point this year when the visa and work permits for several artists including Sizzla, Mavado, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Aidonia were abruptly canceled by the US Embassy in Jamaica. This adversely affects the earnings for these artists as the US is the biggest music market in the world.

Recently, Irie-Jamboree vice-president Louis Grant told Jamaican journalists that the visa cancellations, primarily regarding Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Jah Cure and Sizzla, as well as a few other notables, coupled with the incarceration of top tier acts Buju Banton and Ninjaman, were the primary reasons the decision was taken not to host the show, which is North America’s biggest reggae festivals.

“Not having access to this cluster of acts to factor into our line-up has adversely impacted us this year. At the very least, this situation is progressively becoming dire and needs to be strategically and properly addressed, via fair and prompt intervention, so that fair and prompt resolution can be achieved post haste,” Grant said.

Many people are now of the view that dancehall music is seeing a  steady declined in the United States and these two issues are to be blamed.

What do you think…