An openly gay dancehall artist is causing an upset among dancehall fans after getting some major publicity from Billboard but not representing the genre to their liking.
One of the main points of contention among dancehall fans is the casting of a Rastafarian in the music video “Mi Readi.” Billboard started the new year with a mission to impale the homophobic dancehall community with a rainbow colored dagger. On January 1st, the music giant premiered a spread on 34-year-old dancehall artiste, Demaro. The openly gay artiste recently released his music video for his first single “Mi Readi,” and fans have been relentless in their tactless crtiques.
Demaro, who reportedly relocated to the United States when he was 22 years old, says he was a victim of several homophobic attacks before he migrated from Jamaica. He told Billboard that he was once stabbed in the leg but managed to escape his attacker. When he moved to the US, after a while, Demaro says he battled depression and was at one point homeless. However, he told the publication that therapy has helped him feel empowered. The dancehall artiste now says he wants “younger gay men, especially in Jamaica, to keep on fighting,” according to Billboard.
While his triumphant story is great and everything, some fans just wanted to hear the music which could have redeemed his pursuit of a culture that traditionally treats the LGBTQ community like outcasts. However, even an admittedly gay fan was sad to report that Demaro’s song “Mi Readi” was not ready. “As a member of the LGBT community, I came here to view and support but this nuh ready a rass!” the fan wrote.
The online lynching continued with as more fans caught wind of the story on social media. “You physically ready but not lyrically ready,” one fan said. After watching the music video on YouTube, another fan simply but seemingly sternly expressed, “You Better Delete This.” Dancehall fans are not holding back at all, the reaction is as if the New-York based artiste is an intruder. The truth is Demaro has now represented dancehall on a global scale with his recent Billboard cover. Though the reviews have been overwhelmingly poor, and even derogatory, at least one online user said, “More of this! Dope video bro!” a friend.. I mean fan wrote.
At the time of the Billboard music premiere article, “Mi Readi” had just under 2,000 views since its December 23 premiere but that’s expected to skyrocket as more critics chime in. The comments have been harsh but at least one fan sent love to the artiste who is probably reading all these reviews following the story going viral in Jamaica. “Sending love for being true to who you are, but this song nuh ready. This [is your] first single though, so with time and experience your music will get better,” one fan said tactfully.
Based on the reviews, it appears that even if fans could accept the first openly gay artiste in the genre, his music has failed to make his case. What do you think? Is Demaro “readi” for dancehall?