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Activists lean on EMI to drop rapper Beenie Man

Activists lean on EMI to drop rapper Beenie Man

British gay activist organization OutRage! is calling on EMI to drop Jamaican rapper Beenie Man from the company's Virgin label in the United Kingdom because of the musician's violently homophobic lyrics, reports BBC News. In a letter to EMI chief Tony Wadsworth, the group said the Beenie Man was "profiteering from his murder music" and that his lyrics encourage listeners to "shoot" and "hang" gay people. "Beenie Man does more than express his disapproval of homosexuality," wrote Peter Tatchell and Brett Lock of OutRage! "He calls for homosexuals to be killed and incites his listeners to go out and murder gays and lesbians. This goes way beyond an acceptable expression of opinion. Lesbian and gay people have a right to live their lives free from threats to 'execute' them." OutRage! said that if EMI would not drop the singer, then the company should broadcast a video apology from Beenie Man, buy up the rights to or remaining copies of the offensive songs in question, or donate royalties on his work to charity. Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Crown Prosecution Service is looking into whether or not to bring charges up against Beenie Man and fellow Jamaican performers Bounty Killer and Elephant Man. "We are continuing to review the case, which was referred to us by the Metropolitan Police following allegations they received that a number of song lyrics contained incitement to homophobic violence," a CPS spokesperson told BBC Online. The CPS is trying to get reliable translations of the patois-heavy lyrics to the songs under review. "We did have translations passed to us by the police, but they weren't really full enough and accurate enough to enable us to advise a prosecution," said the spokesperson. "We are simply doing what we can to find somebody who is an expert in this field. We need to be able to have a translation from somebody who we could show as an expert."

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