In a posting to their website on Friday, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center condemned what they called “the appalling Grammy nomination for Buju Banton, a performer whose music promotes the violent murder of LGBT people.” The Recording Academy announced on Wednesday that Banton’s 2009 album Rasta Got Soul was nominated for Best Reggae Album.
“We’re shocked that Buju Banton, a singer with a long record of performing a song that glorifies the murder of gay people, would be honored with a Grammy nomination, regardless of the artistic merit of any of his work,” said the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s public affairs officer Jim Key, in a statement on the website. “Throughout his career, Banton has performed music that promotes a culture of violence against lesbian and gay people; he sings in ‘Boom, Bye Bye’ that ‘faggots get up and run’ when he comes, that ‘they have to die,’ and that he will shoot them in the head or ‘burn them up bad.’ He is completely unrepentant, refuses to stop performing the song.”
In August, Banton’s U.S. tour was canceled, seemingly because of the protests of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Representatives for the Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammy Awards, and Gargamel Records, the label behind Banton’s last album, have not yet returned emails seeking comment.