Ya boy Drake is getting some heat from Jamaican officials who aren’t feeling his new video “Find Your Love” with reggae dance hall artist Mavado. Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism claims that the video is a bad look for Jamaica and that artist such as Mavado should be mindful of what videos they choose. He goes on to say, artist can’t involve themselves in videos that portray the country in a negative light. Bartlett’s point is very valid and being the minister of tourism it’s understandable, he has an obligation to make sure that Jamaica is represented in the best possible light and the reputation of the country cannot be compromised.
The flip side of that coin is that Jamaica, is in fact, one of the most violent and homophobic countries in the Caribbean. Jamaica is known for its violence and homophobic attitude towards those who live an alternative lifestyle, so it’s a bit hypocritical when Bartlett is looking to have Jamaica be seen in a good light when his country is ravished by hate against homosexuals. The consensus reflected in Jamaican dancehall when it comes to gays and lesbians, if you see one, kill one, it’s the conventional wisdom you hear coming from the ‘dancehall’ crowd. This is according to The Reverend Robert Griffin, Director of Religious Education and Christian Social Action at MCC Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale. And he is correct in his assessment; dance-hall artists such as Buju Banton, Elephant Man, and Capelton have all expressed their views when it comes to homosexuals in their videos and in their songs.
In a 2006 TIME article they asked if Jamaica was “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?” From what has been said and reported yes it is, since 1997, Amnesty International has documented the murders of 35 LGBT Jamaicans, and since 2008 it has cataloged more than 30 incidents of anti-gay mob violence.
I am big fan of reggae, but their message is hypocritical and most of the time contradicts itself. You can’t sing about ‘I wanna be loved’ and then in the same breath say Boom Bye Bye in a batty boy head it doesn’t make sense. My problem is not the music but the hate in the current culture. I