The times truly are changing or is this just hype over a pipe dream. Tony Rebel an oldskul reggae deejay is appealing to dancehall and reggae entertainers who are gay/lesbian to publicly come out of the closet.
The veteran Patrick George Anthony Barrett (Tony Rebel) feels there are many musicians and industry players in Jamaica that are gay and should be honest with their fans.
“You have artists who have locks who are gay, even if dem a say Rasta. The best thing they could do is be honest and come out,” Rebel insinuated during an interview with The Star.
Tony Rebel’s comments come after Shenseea’s new “Blessed” music video with American rapper Tyga raised eyebrows with the Rastafarian community.
Last week Shenseea was attacked by members of the community for including a Rastafarian elder in the music video which they felt openly promoted lesbian acts.
The video which was shot in Montego Bay, featured a Rastafarian elder on the beach, followed by Shenseea waking up in bed with another woman. The video continued with scantily dressed women dancing on each other as Shenseea and Tyga hosted a party at a luxury guest house, before ending with a spiritual quote from the elder.
The Rastafarian community condemned the video saying it went against their principles and morals. The shots with the elder came under scrutiny as people questioned if he was aware of all the scenes in the video.
“Unfortunately, people are always using the Rastafarian image to do what they want to do. I just looked at the video and from what I can see, that person is not one of the well known Rastafarian elders,” Tony Rebel continued. “But who say that everybody who wear locks is Rasta? I would not involve Rasta in that. Rastafari and its tenets are clear.”
Tony Rebel’s comments make perfect sense and if one thinks objectively about the possibility of there being homosexual artists in the reggae and dancehall genre, it is very plausible. Dancehall is synonymous with homophobia as being gay is taboo in the Rastafarian faith. Is the Jamaican music industry ready for this conversation.
Tony Rebel will definitely receive backlash, following his plea, but if there was ever going to be shift in thinking it needs to start somewhere.