Bob Marley was anti-homosexual.

Bob Marley
Bob Marley

While Buju Banton’s “Boom bye bye” is still the song people think of where reggae dancehall’s anti-homosexuality message is concerned, it is far from being the first dancehall or reggae song of that nature. True dancehall reggae fans know that before Banton’s song, one of his staunch supporters, Shabba Ranks, did a song called “Mauma Man duck” which was just as anti-gay as the Buju Banton’s anthem.

Jamaicans and other reggae fans often say that Bob Marley did the first anti-homosexual song ‘Who the cap fit’ when he sings that “Man to man is so unjust”. While that is just tongue-in-cheek, Bob Marley probably did record the first anti-homosexual song in reggae, unless there was another such song recorded prior to 1973.

Way before Buju Banton or Shabba Ranks, Bob Marley released a song called “Midnight Ravers”. Bob Marley’s song was much more subtle and poetic but the great imagery he uses to convey his message can be easily interpreted by anyone with a high school education. The song starts off with the following lines:

I can’t tell the woman from the man
They are dressed in the same pollution
Their minds is confused with confusion
To their problem seems there is no solution

So right away, Bob Marley is making it known that he believes men should be men and women should be women. A man playing the part of a woman and vice versa does not only shows confusion but downright pollution. Of course where there is pollution it is a given that there is a problem but Bob Marley still stresses the fact when he says “To their problem seems there is no solution”.

A woman to a man is like a chariot to a horse. A woman needs a man just like a chariot needs a horse. In “Midnight Ravers”, however, the chariots seems to be doing their thing and getting in their grooves without the horses.

I see ten thousand chariots
And they are coming without horses

A chariot going without a horse is unnatural just like homosexuality. Now Bob Marley could have said the chariots were moving without horses instead of “coming without horses”. He used the word coming as a sexual undertone, however, as if to say men and women were cumming in an unnatural way not intended by nature, such as men with men and women with women. As the song continues, it shows that the homosexuals know that what they are doing is wrong and they are in fact ashamed of their sins. This fact is conveyed when Bob Marley says:

The riders they cover their face
So we could not make them out in smoky place

No one hides when they are proud of what they are doing. So the covering up of their faces actually show that they were closet gays.

The most interesting word throughout the entire song is “seems”. When someone uses the word “seems” it means that they are not sure about a situation. So when Bob Marley says that “To their problems seems there is no solution”; he is thinking that maybe homosexuals are born that way but he is not quite sure. Whether they are born that way or not, he sees homosexuality as a mental sickness, thus “their minds is confused with confusion”.

So there you have it. The first anti-homosexual song in reggae is “Midnight Ravers” by Bob Marley.

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18 Comments

  1. May be true…but that was then, and this is now….a lot has changed. I doubt Bob Marley would disown his gay daughter….he was more love than hate and would have opened his heart. Maybe not embraced same sex, but he would have been for peace, love, justice and equality. None of this hatred we see in Jamaica and around the world towards gay people.

    • Why are you calling out Jamaica? You are spreading the propaganda that a lot of people are spreading. Jamaicans do not act violent towards gays. Gays are in Jamaica and they are not being attacked and killed as the rumors suggests. Yes, we do have a lot of songs that says shoot gays, but they are only songs. We also have lots of songs that say shoot informers, shoot bowcats, etc etc.

      And which one of Bob Marley’s daughter is gay? I never heard of that.

      • I only mention Jamaica because the artists this article mentions are from there. It is not any worse towards gays than anywhere else. Yes…he has a gay daughter. ..but she keeps her life to herself….and for good reason. Jamaicans are wonderful people, yet the country has the stigma of being very intolerant of gays. Anti-gay songs don’t help that image. Additionally, some have paid the consequences-like having show cancelled because people don’t like the hate.

  2. yes you may be right that he was anti-homosexual BUT it’s a long way between arguing that the practice / sexual orientation is not right, and actively promoting VIOLENCE against homosexuals or other people and practices you disagree with. Hence, Bob Marleys ani-homo lines are actually ok, and Buju’s and others are (still) NOT.

    best regards

  3. this has to be one of the dumbest articles on Bob that I’ve ever read.

    “Man to man is so unjust” Oh let’s stop right there. Clearly Bob is taking about homosexual men. Clearly. In fact it’s so clear that that we need not go any further into the lyrics to actually find out what’s he saying.
    Midnight ravers too. Holy smokes. So I guess when Bob says he becomes one too he’s telling us he’s gay. And when he says “midnight ravers, don’t let me down” he’s clearly telling his gay brethren to not let him down.

    There’s only one Marley line this author needs to interpret and it goes…”only a fool leans upon his own misunderstandings”.

  4. Whoever wrote this article don’t know much about bob marley music . Who the cap fit is telling you . You cant trust no one. Like he said your worst enemy could be your best friend . In other words you friend right now could be you worst enemy. Bob did do a anti gay song called midnight ravers. To justify that bob is a religion man and the bible clearly states
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Im tired of you homos trying to seek attention in heterosexual world . I’m sure you have alot of homo artist you can listen to . We don’t come to your concert and we don’t care if you gay because it’s more woman for us. So stay on your side and we will stay on ours. When the world was under populated kings and government use to kill you lot. Now they promoting you because they thing the world is overpopulated.

    • “Bob did do a anti gay song called midnight ravers.”

      That’s exactly what the article says. Yet you are saying “Bob did do a anti gay song called midnight ravers.”
      So i guess you don’t know much either.

  5. Just complete lazy, idiotic journalism. The only saving grace is that most intelligent readers will see this as the complete ill informed rubbish that it is.

  6. Utter non sense!! Stupidest thing I’ve ever read…
    Obvously written by someone who doesn’t listen to reggae music!

  7. Have you heard Bob Marley singing “Another one bites the dust” from F.Mercury?? I dont think that one anti-homosexual sang a song from one homosexual.

  8. “Man to man is so unjust” is about war, violence, lack of justice, etc. Sure Bob was a Rasta and Rasta follow the bible but he didn’t advocate hate towards gays and lesbians let alone violence towards gay and lesbian HUMAN BEINGS. Stop spreading your hate – that goes for the comments from STINGA too. If you have so much hatred towards gay men then you must look at where that hatred is coming from and why it stokes such a fire within you, seen?

  9. I am a gay Canadian tourist and I am disgusted by the level of murderous homophobia in Jamaica and in reggae music. I have never set foot in Jamaica and I never would go to that hell-hole of anti-gay bigotry. I am happy to spend my dollars in other countries where gays are treated like human beings. Some reggae singers have been banned from Canada because of the level of hatred in their songs. I know many people gay and straight who refuse to vacation in Jamaica.

    • As one (old) gay Canadian to another gay Canadian I completely agree with you that I’d never travel to Jamaica or any of the other anti-gay countries in the world, including the USA.

      However, when I was was a gay young man (40 yrs ago), Bob Marley’s music was not homophobic; it was about freeing people…individuals.

      I think you can easily find an anti-gay subtext in many songs by many songwriters.

      Many years ago in college, one of my feminist studies class assignments was to expose & analyze misogyny in song lyrics. It was the easiest & most bullshit assignment I’ve ever done. It taught me that I can twist the real meaning of words to fit whatever I need them to fit.

      That’s what the writer of this article has done.

  10. I’ve been to Jamaica and I would not go back. There are much safer, and friendlier islands in the Caribbean, where they don’t hypocritically spout lines such as “One love for all” and then go treat their LGBT citizens like deviant freaks.
    Just watch the episode of Gaycation that takes place in Jamaica (I think it’s the fourth episode of the first season). Absolutely shameful and appalling how these LGBT youth are treated. Disgusting. My heart breaks for those kids. Please, Jamaicans, become informed about homosexuality, but not from religious bigots, and evolve as a society to be inclusive of all your citizens.

  11. I couldn’t agree more. It seems that developing countries, or Muslim countries, or any country that is mainly persons of colour get a free pass when it comes to homophobic atrocities. We are told that their murderous bigotry against gays and lesbians is somehow paert of their culture that we must respect.

  12. “Man to man is so unjust” is not about homosexuality. It’s a play on Cervantes – when Alonso Qiana transformed into Don Qixote, it began with the former reading books and brooding over “man’s murderous ways towards man.” If you take the lyrics in context it becomes obvious, and he referenced it. The verse is actually about turncoats.

    There is evidence that Marley was

  13. This site is becoming CNN-level media propaganda.

    While I don’t deny dancehall music and Jamaican pop-culture can be rather homophobic, it’s quite a stretch to accuse the Jah-father himself of the same based on a few select, and seriously subjective, lyrics.

    But let us explore. Firstly, I don’t believe the Rastafari faith-culture is compatible with the current push from the Western mainstream mind-programmers’ attempts to create a gender-less, role-less, pseudo-New Age false culture. It is propped up by extreme media bias and a fundamentally unnatural thought paradigm. Children are being sold into it, however the tide is turning and many are beginning to reject it outright. Generation Z children now identify as more ‘conventional’ than the previous two major generations (X and Millennial).

    So much of what we see coming from the establishment is the promotion of homosexuality, vanity, deviance, selfishness, greed, etc. Babylon is Babylon is Babylon. Now and until the return of the Prince in Revelation times.

    Homosexuality can be a natural occurrence, I will agree, but it is rarer than the current phenomena indicates, and you can see many confused youths who had no upbringing in Truth and righteousness, growing up raised on TV and Internet, and now being pushed to ‘identify’ as ‘gay’ or ‘trans’, etc., for a myriad of unnatural reasons (Babylon – Satan).

    When Bob said, “Can’t tell the woman from the man. They’re all dressed in the same pollution. Their mind is confused with confusion”. This, I believe, is what he’s referencing. To a degree. And I don’t find it ‘homophobic’ in the least. He is not saying he hates gays, or that gays are evil, or even unnatural, but he is saying Babylon is poisoning the youth. Which it is. Now and until the return. So be it.

    Selah

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