'Kill Gays' artist back on tour in Ohio, California

Thu. October 1, 2009 12:00 AM by OnTopMag.com

Controversial Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton will appear in Ohio and California after all.

Amid boisterous protests from gay rights groups, tour dates in Columbus, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities, were canceled, shutting out Banton from Ohio entirely.

Banton's 1992 hit Boom Bye Bye advocates for the murder of gay men by shooting them in the head with a submachine gun and pouring acid on them to "burn him up bad like an old tire wheel." Banton has dismissed the controversy, saying he penned the lyrics when he was "a child" of 15. But the thirty-six-year-old reggae artist has never repudiated the lyrics and continues to perform the song.

The victory for gay rights groups was short lived as Banton's record label, the New York-based Gargamel Music, announced a slew of new tour dates in both states.

In Ohio, Banton will appear Thursday, October 1 at Club Elements in Cincinnati and the following day at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus.

And Banton's scheduled appearances in California have also increased. Six venues in the Sunshine State will host the artist in October.

Banton is scheduled to appear at the Shattuck Down Low in Berkley on October 10, the Nocturnum in Eureka on October 11, the Voodoo Lounge in San Jose on October 13, the Casbar in Santa Rosa on October 14, the Club Cabana in Los Angeles on October 15 and the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach on October 17, Gargamel records announced.

Gay rights groups in Florida have also loudly protested Banton concerts. Two venues, the Hard Rock Live in Orlando and The RITZ Ybor in Tampa, canceled appearances.

"I couldn't be more proud that Tampa will be added to the list of cites where Buju Banton is not welcome," R. Zeke Fread, director of the gay rights group Pride Tampa Bay, told supporters in an email announcing the cancellation.

There are, however, signs that alternative venues for Florida are also being pursued by the record label.

The previously canceled November 1 appearance in Orlando by promoter Mr. CC Productions at the Hard Rock Live will now take place at Club Destiny.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine