Reggae for this bhatti boy, please.
January 29, 2010 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for reggae artists from the Caribbean, but NOT from Jamaica.

Help a gay reggae fan out. I'm not really down for music that advocates burning me to death (I know, right, soooo picky). I understand that the reggae genre is popular throughout the region, so spill it - any great Caribbean artists out there that I could easily track down on Amazon or other websites? They don't have to have pro-gay messages or anything, just not be a total asshole that wants to murder me. Male and female artists wanted. I do not want artists from Jamaica at all, the music culture there is too homophobic, explicitly or not, I just want to avoid the whole island.

Non-Caribbean artists are okay, but not really what I'm after. I'd like to learn about this region's music specifically.
posted by Craig to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to look at this handy chart to pick which Caribbean countries aren't homophobic, and then ask about artists specifically from those islands. But I don't think you'll have much luck doing it that way, and will have better luck if you ask about non-homophobic reggae music without specifying which country they're from.

I imagine that any Jamaican musicians willing to speak up for gay rights could use your support. Perhaps get in touch with J-FLAG or Stop Murder Music and see if they know of any?

(Apologies for not directly answering your question. I hope this is helpful and not a derail.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:41 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'd make the shift to soca. Trinidad is homophobic but not nearly as bad as Jamaica, and soca generally has no political element at all- it's mostly just about shaking your ass and fucking.

I also find reggae incredibly boring. Soca is so much more dynamic, danceable.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:46 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Eddie Grant is from Guyana. If all you know is "Electric Avenue," you should check out the rest of his catalog.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:50 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, in Puerto Rico you have Cultura Profetica which afaik is mostly political reggae and not very much about anything else. I tend to enjoy them quite a bit.

There are other Puerto Rican reggae bands that have nothing to do with homophobia, but sadly I can't seem to remember names or trace them down on the internet.
posted by lizarrd at 5:28 PM on January 29, 2010

It's not the Caribbean, but reggae is pretty big in Brazil. IIRC, Cidade Negra was the first non-Jamaican band to play Reggae Sunsplash.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:03 PM on January 29, 2010

There's lots of classic reggae music at the world passport podcast.

Some of the artists are Jamaican, I'm sorry. None of them are openly homophobic. I've favourited the corpse in the library's comment because I find it unfortunate that you dismiss a whole country's extensive musical output based on the well-publicised rantings of a few artists. Jamaica is an extremely Christian country, and their gay artists could do with your your help rather than your scorn.
posted by goo at 7:46 PM on January 29, 2010

Respectfully: not all Jamaican musicians are homophobic, and excluding the entire country pretty much means that you won't be hearing the best reggae music. Honestly, rampant violent lyrical homophobia is mostly identified with a minority of dancehall artists, and doesn't crop up a lot in nyabinghi, mento, ska, roots, dub, lovers rock, etc.

That said, I like the Bahamian artist Exuma a lot, though reggae is only one of his influences.
posted by box at 8:34 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I emailed the contact listed at J-Flag and asked if they were familiar with any local musical artists that were pro-gay or simply anti-homophobic.

They responded that "The reality is there are no artists who have been pro gay or would be even willing to identify in that realm. This is a very hard question to answer but the truth is in the lyrical content so try them out and see for yourself."
posted by Craig at 12:05 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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