Daryl Jenifer, the Bad Brain's bassist, answers this important question:
I got to ask you this because I think it's important. You'll be playing this weekend and at the same time the Gay Pride Parade will be going on in the city. A lot of people have written about and speculated on the whether the Bad Brains are homophobic or anti-gay. I was hoping you could address that and tell me exactly why the controversy exists, maybe put it to rest.Fair enough. But the Bad Brains should do what the Beastie Boys did: Make an official apology. It matters. Bad Brains' influence was and still is huge. My experience of BB's records is far from orginal. I was one of the many lives changed by their music—its heaviness, its energy, its originality. "Pay to Cum," "I Against I," "Re-Ignition," "Return to Heaven"—these tracks exploded my understanding of culture. It was not fixed, it was not genetic, it was not destiny; it was fluid, mercurial, plastic. Culture was, for me and many others, permanently ungrounded by BB. Daryl Jenifer in another interview linked on Punk News:
Check it out. All the things I've been telling you about the road and path of The Bad Brains, there was an era that lead into us discovering Rasta and Jah, and these things that were part of us being black and recognizing this part of our culture. Like with anything, say you're a young Krishna, there's a tendency to be over-zealous. We were over-zealous in our views about homosexuality, due to our ignorance, and the fact that we hadn't matured to a certain level. Just like anyone getting into anything. Every member of The Bad Brains are loving and we have nothing against any of god's creatures. In our growth and in trying to become wise and see life for what it is, without judgment, we went through a time where we did judge. Anyone can remember a time and say, "oh you remember when I was like that." A doctor can say, "Remember when I first worked the ER and was all nervous and people were looking at me when I was crazy." So when you're coming in as a young Rasta and discovering it, just like in Christianity, homosexuality isn't accepted. So being young Rasta and studying the religion that's what you see. But if you still continue to study and mature you'll find other texts that say, "love all god's creatures." So you can't just make your own thing and say, "This guys black, or this guys homosexual, I don't like him." The Bad Brains had a period of time where we might have said some things. Meanwhile, we were in a band and were popular, so it got out there. But someone took that and ran with it.
If Bad Brains has officially apologized, and maybe this apology is in the new documentary (which I have not seen), then forget this post.
When the Beastie Boys came down and saw four black dudes from D.C. shredding this punk, and then when they see Cool C or the early rap days [and] they say they want to rap: "If the Bad Brains played punk, I can rap."