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Reggae singer's lyrics spark Swedish outrage

The Local/og · 19 Mar 2012, 11:40

Published: 19 Mar 2012 11:40 GMT+01:00

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Sizzla, whose full name is Sizzla Kalonji, was booked to perform at the Hornstull Strand in Sweden’s capital on March the 28th.

However, event organizers have acknowledged the public outcry and accepted the fact that the Sizzla’s messages are in fact in breach of their code of conduct.

The organizers have since cancelled the show, which was dubbed “The Reggae Compassionate Act”.

Sizzla, 35, is currently on tour and has played 18 European venues with the same result – members of the gay community being outraged.

Killing homosexuals and burning them is a theme in several of the Rastafarian’s songs, which has incited rage throughout the world, seeing him banned from performing in Canada and England.

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) have labeled his lyrics as advocating violence towards LGBT people.

Story continues below…

After news of his impending visit to Stockholm reached Sweden, a petition was started, and soon event organizers were forced to take notice, thereby cancelling the singer’s visit to the Hornstull Strand.

Sizzla also visited Sweden in 2009, prompting the LGBT community to complain that organizers were ignorant for allowing him to perform here at all.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:19 March 19, 2012 by zooeden
Respect, very important, Education, very important
12:23 March 19, 2012 by OUIJA
Good for Sweden! First, this Sizzla did not figure out that he would have come to the most political correct country in the world. Second, that in his way, he is a sort of a Sizzlavilks just trying to provoke in order to sell more of his music, regardless if it is bad, mediocre or good.

But, in case the readers of this "international" story don't know, there are around four thousand songs to date make reference to gay in their lyrics.

Even Elton John had a lesbian themed song on his Yellow Brick Road album; the song is "All The Girls Love Alice" It was banned on some radio stations in the Mid 70's. Here are the lyrics:

Raised to be a lady by the golden rule

Alice was the spawn of a public school

With a double barrel name in the back of her brain

And a simple case of Mummy-doesn't-love-me blues

Reality it seems was just a dream

She couldn't get it on with the boys on the scene

But what do you expect from a chick who's just sixteen

And hey, hey, hey, you know what I mean

All the young girls love Alice

Tender young Alice they say

Come over and see me

Come over and please me

Alice it's my turn today

All the young girls love Alice

Tender young Alice they say

If I give you my number

Will you promise to call me

Wait till my husband's away

Poor little darling with a chip out of her heart

It's like acting in a movie when you got the wrong part

Getting your kicks in another girl's bed

And it was only last Tuesday they found you in the subway dead

And who could you call your friends down in Soho

One or two middle-aged dykes in a Go-Go

And what do you expect from a sixteen year old yo-yo

And hey, hey, hey, oh don't you know
12:28 March 19, 2012 by Frobobbles
He just need to change from Rastafari to a certain other religion where people are against gays, and noone will dare to protest.
12:35 March 19, 2012 by byke
Sounds like someone got a bum deal.
12:35 March 19, 2012 by omash kavash
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:48 March 19, 2012 by libertarianism
Murdering and burning people?? Besides creepy as hell, that's pretty ambitious for a cult of stoners...

Otherwise, it's all very PK to critique negative *Christian*-based bias of homosexuality. Now let's apply this critique to other philosophies as well.

P.S. Why no dismay over the role of Rastifarian women? :(
12:55 March 19, 2012 by omash kavash
tell me the role of rasta ferian women?? so called libatainism brother god created us not just to live but to live right he set rules on us he will judge us n ull remember my words
13:03 March 19, 2012 by byke
In other news, Lars Vilks continues to tour promoting his "art".
13:53 March 19, 2012 by libertarianism
Re #7,

We all know different cultures/individuals (past and present) experience "god(s)" and define "god(s)" in varying ways. Not everyone experiences god(s). Some experience god(s) as impersonal. To others, god(s) is very personal.

To my understanding, for a great while it was common in many cultures for people to have visions. Since humans are prone to varying points of view, however, it was also common for people to disagree over which visions were true and which were false.

In time, people rallied behind select "truths". Visions themselves dropped out of vogue, so that while some god(s) "spoke" to some historical people, cultures today most often (true?) believe someone is nuts if they have a vision. This of course helps to protect the "true" visions. (It's all about truth-owning.)

If god(s) talks to you, you're nuts. If a few people believe that god(s) talks to you, you've got yourself a cult. If many people believe god(s) talks to you, tada!-religion. Quick, write it down.

We are all free to define, recycle, reject any version of spirituality created by others, ourselves, or possible extraterrestrial beings. Doggydoo on dogma. Each of us has the power to write our own myth.

Thank you for your concern for my eternal well-being. I'm not afraid of being judged. Peace...
14:33 March 19, 2012 by StockholmSam
@ omash kavash

Go get an education. That god stuff has filled your head with fantasies and you sound like an utter fool. Kingdom of heaven...riiiiight.
14:41 March 19, 2012 by Keith #5083

Yep, if you are going to wave the religion flag, then follow it yourself. As you say "he will judge us", so you don't need to play that role,huh?

All any real 'spiritually based' religious ethic requires of anyone, is to love one another...as we are...unconditionally. Anything less than that is certainly not from any 'superhuman being'.
15:34 March 19, 2012 by cnak145
Two things:

1. Sizzla and Lars Vilks both knows how to get cheap publicity.

2. Sweden does have double standers.
16:07 March 19, 2012 by mafketis
Had he simply chosen to say/sing that he thought homosexual relations were morally wrong and those involved should repent and sin no more I'd have no problem with him. I wouldn't agree with him at all (or respect his message) but that message does fall within the area of protected speech.

Calling for violence against a specific group of people does not fall within any area of protected speech (any more than yelling 'FIRE!' in a crowded theater does).

No comparison with Lars Vilks who has not (as far as I know) called for violence against any identifiable group. His enemies however do call for violence against him so they're miserable fascists who don't understand free speech.
17:47 March 19, 2012 by kunta
I am so much into reggae and was going to attend this concert. Not a big fan of sizzla though and I can understand the people who complain about his lyrics. His anti- gay chants also make me feel uncomfortable and I totally disagree with him. That said, I like to point out that the message of 'burning' in reggae and rastafari does not in any way implies literally burning people. I don't know of a single incident where a rastafari burnt someone or kill because they disagree with the person's belief or way of life. Capleton, another reggae icon, explained that when they sing about people burning in fire they mean spiritual burning. Unfortunately they are many sick people out there who would use such lyrics as an excuse to commit violence. For this reasson, i think it is irresponsible to use lyrics that can incite violence. The key message in reggae is 1 luv. Blessing
19:33 March 19, 2012 by Orangemen
He just has to convert to Islam, then he will be able to sing any lyrics he wants.
19:34 March 19, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ omash kavash

You are an imbecile.
20:40 March 19, 2012 by Grokh
if he was islamic it would probably not be scrutinized. thats swedens double standards for ya
22:17 March 19, 2012 by Radhus
If he was islamic and not allowed to perform in Sweden then the muslims would be on the streets by now throwing rocks at the police and firebombing the windows of the organisers of this homophobic dude.

@ Lars Viks haters

Does he incite hatred of muslims? Does he encourage the murder of muslims? Seems like you need an education as to what Lars Viks is all about.

@ omash kavash

I think you're just a phoney. If not, then take a look at your own book and see how much you take literally. You must be living in so much sin you'll be going beyond hell.
23:00 March 19, 2012 by johan rebel
And this is the same country that imports gay-haters by the thousands, year in, year out?
01:28 March 20, 2012 by standelivr
this guys needs to come out of the closet. we all know he is GAY.
10:03 March 20, 2012 by OUIJA
Anti-Gay Reggae Singer Buju Banton Gets 10 Years in Prison

Buju Banton, who was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence in February, has been sentenced, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.

Sorry gay lovers, but he was not found guilty for being anti-gay, but for being stupid.

And yes. Vilks will continue promoting his "art". Heja Sverige.
11:09 March 20, 2012 by stevo1
Yet EMINEM and Dr DRE played here?

so singing about hurting your mother, taking drugs, killing others in the hood is OK, but dont dare take a shot at the gays....

Obviously FREE speech is only allowed for the minorities here?

No-one is forcing anyone to go to the concert, no gun is at your head, how about you protest by not paying a cracker for the show, and let everyone else make up their own mind.

Seems very BIG BROTHER here....
14:20 March 20, 2012 by Beierhuber
For everyone who wants to support the other european countries can sign this Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/say-no-to-hate-music-don-t-give-a-platform-to-singers-who-call-for-the-murder-of-lgbt-people

Just a reminder. Hate Speech is a crime. That is Easy and simple to understand. Calling for murder is a crime. Stop covering your hate against gay people with free speech. Thanks got we have a charter of human rights. There it is all written down: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/default_en.htm
17:25 March 21, 2012 by stevo1
@ # 23 Stop covering your ignorance against any musician/artist/person with a different point of view than your own by harboring petty petitions labeling minorities.

When will all you fanatical minorities etc just realize no one cares what you do, who you sleep with, how you dress?

The only ones who care about all this crapola is you, the rest of us couldn't care less.

Maybe it's time to be a part of society instead of making yourselves a little crowd on the outside.
01:31 March 22, 2012 by omash kavash
stocckholm sam ur just bullshit aithist but when u die ull know what am talkin about guyz u need to know where ur coming from u was born naturaly animals dont even behave that way what tha hell guyz be real now homosexuality is cool what tha hell
01:33 March 22, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Glad this guy isn't playing here! Ugly people shouldn't be allowed in this beautiful

09:15 March 22, 2012 by budaboy
@01:31 March 22, 2012 by omash kavash

"stocckholm sam ur just bullshit aithist but when u die ull know what am talkin about guyz u need to know where ur coming from u was born naturaly animals dont even behave that way what tha hell guyz be real now homosexuality is cool what tha hell"

Dear Omash,

Try to make your writing readable and above all try to make sense, right now it seems that your IQ isn't higher than your shoe size.

In the west people don't have much to fear from gay people and they are not stoned to death like in the middle east.

Personally I fear you and your way of thinking far more than all gay people together, the upside with gay people is that they don't

produce inbreeds like 'normal' married couples in some countries.

Have a nice day.
11:56 March 22, 2012 by rise
"Free speech" in Sweden only applies for those acting politically correct, with other words those who are the best at performing the arts of pretending and self-deception. :P
15:13 March 24, 2012 by Herbbert
Sweden can't see the wood from the trees, bad man nah apologies to no "..............
13:52 March 25, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
...would have been better to think this guy could come here, sing his offensive lyrics - and then nobody bothered to turn up to listen
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