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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Gay group protests over Mobo list
Elephant Man
Elephant Man hails from Jamaica
Gay rights group Outrage! has condemned the Music of Black Origin (Mobo) Awards for nominating two artists whose songs include homophobic lyrics.

Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel are both up for best reggae act. The awards take place in London on 30 September.

A Mobo spokeswoman said homophobic songs like Elephant Man's We Nuh Like Gay were from "years ago" and they have "changed their music since then".

But Outrage! said they will try to stop the awards being screened on the BBC.

"The promotion of these murder-music artists contradicts the BBC's producer guidelines and equal opportunities policy which prohibit the promotion of homophobia and homophobic violence," said Outrage campaigner Brendan Lock.

Police investigation

A spokesman for the BBC said: "The BBC will not broadcast any homophobic lyrics."

The BBC will broadcast the event on 6 October.

The nominations in question are for single tracks only and do not relate to past offensive material by Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, Mobo organisers said.

Kanye West
Kanye West leads the pack with seven Mobo nominations
Nominations are chosen by a panel of record industry figures and urban press representatives.

Another reggae artist, Beenie Man, was not on the list this year - his inclusion on last year's list provoked similar controversy over lyrical content.

The Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police are currently reviewing a number of cases of homophobic and offensive lyrics that might incite hate crimes.

Two of these cases involve Elephant Man and Beenie Man.

Beenie Man recently issued his "sincerest apologies" for violent "homophobic lyrics" that have caused upset.

Vybz Kartel is due to perform at Reggae in the Park at London's Wembley Arena next month.

Outrage! said his song, Bedroom Slaughteration, and Elephant Man's We Nuh Like Gay and A Nuh Fi Wi Fault, both advocate killing homosexuals.

Prestigious event

Newcomer Kanye West leads the field for this year's Mobos with seven nominations.

The singer and producer is up for best video, best collaboration, twice, best single, best album and best producer, as well as best hip-hop act.

Other nominees include Jamelia - with three nominations - Jamie Cullum, Dizzee Rascal, Lemar, The Streets, Joss Stone, Gemma Fox and Amy Winehouse.

The Mobo awards, now in their ninth year, have grown into the largest urban awards show in Europe.

Kanye West dominates Mobo list
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26 Sep 03  |  Photo Gallery


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