April 7th, 2008
iTunes.ca has pulled several Jamaican dancehall songs with anti-gay lyrics from its online store, including songs by Buju Banton, Elephant Man and TOK. This action followed a campaign led by the Canadian LGBT rights group Egale and Stop Murder Music. The songs include advocating or approval of killing gays:
“iTunes is exercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music and raising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same,” says Akim Larcher, founder of SMM. He calls iTune’s decision a victory for the gay community in Canada and in the Caribbean.
The groups wrote to iTunes in January asking that the anti-gay tracks to be removed, citing three songs which promoted violence against gays. iTunes not only removed those tracks, but they also removed entire albums which contained the songs.
I looked around on the U.S. iTunes, and I wasn’t able to find Elephant Man’s “Log On” (Lyrics: “Dance wi a dance and a bun out a freaky man” — Join our dance and let’s burn out the gay man), or Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye,” or any of Beenie Man’s three targeted songs.
Outrage! U.K. has a complete dossier (PDF: 348KB/9 pages) for the Stop Murder Music campaign. Some of the songs are still available via U.S. iTunes. Maybe some of our Canadian readers can provide us with the songs which are still available there as well. Please leave what you find either in comments or via email.
Update: The following murder music is still available via iTunes here in the U.S.:
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