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Sizzla Cooks It Up At Kool Haus Tonite


Roots reggae artist Sizzla performs at Kool Haus tonite, headlining a bill with local artists Blessed and Dylan Murray.

Last time Sizzla was in T.O., it was under a firestorm of controversy as fellow Reggae artist Beenie Man had his Toronto concert cancelled due to an uproar over the homophobic content in a few of his songs. Sizzla's concerts went on as scheduled, perhaps due to the fact that he wasn't as popular at the time.

Jamaican-born Sizzla, whose lyrics usually are about positivity, love and societal "upliftment," is unfortunately no stranger to the controversy and was quoted as saying some pretty inflammatory things covering his stance on homosexuality. Now before we slap on our ethnocentric lenses and excoriate him, one needs to look at the situation in a historical and socio-political context. Not that it make his statements any more palatable to some, but Sizzla's staunch Rastafarian views are arguably no different than a staunch Christian view on the matter.

So is it freedom of speech or a hate crime? And while you're pondering that, why didn't an artist like Eminem get the same treatment (concerts cancelled) over his homophobic lyrics?

I think that his comments were ill-advised. Sizzla's music, and Reggae music in general, has traditionally been about liberation, justice and freedom. I think that since he signed a U.S. major record deal and is now poised for the mainstream spotlight, that his views will have softened a bit.


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