Jamaican reggae singer Mista Majah P on August 25 released the world's first pro-gay reggae album called Tolerance and featuring rainbow stripes on the cover.
The album includes 11 songs, variously in support of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, as well as attacks on homophobic bullying and the US military policy, Don't Ask Don't Tell. The tracks also feature swipes at the anti-gay prejudices of 'murder music' reggae singer, Beenie Man, and of the Jamaican Prime Minister, Bruce Golding.
The release has excited Peter Tatchell, the international coordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign, which since 2004 has protested against eight reggae singers who have put out songs encouraging and glorifying the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Mista Majah P said:
"I want to counter the myths that all Jamaicans are homophobic and that all reggae music is violent and anti-gay. I'm seeking to challenge ignorance and reach out to gay people."
Added Mista Majah P:
"My hope is that this cd, Tolerance, will break down the homophobic stance that certain reggae artists and heads of government have taken towards the LGBTQ community. Reggae music used to be about love, peace and unity. Now it is too often about bigotry and violence. I want to bring the music back to its progressive roots."
Since releasing the album, Mista Majah P has received numerous death threats and has been warned to not return to Jamaica (he currently resides in California). He remains defiant, stating that 'murder music' has given reggae a negative image, which is bad for the music industry and for all reggae artists.
You can listen to samples of all 11 tracks on the Tolerance album here:
To contact Mista Majah P
Phone: 00 1 510 776 9461 (California is 8 hours behind London)