FROM ASSASSIN, IN HIS OWN WORDS:
On Saturday March 28, 2009, my performance at the Red Stripe Live concert was ended prematurely and abruptly, as I was stripped of my microphone and escorted off stage. I have spent many years of hard work and sacrifice building my reputation and brand as an artist, with a great level of integrity and professionalism. Indeed, the decision to include me in the line-up of this particular event is testament to that. I therefore have a responsibility to my fans and the general public to explain exactly what took place.
Upon being booked for the event, the songs I would be performing in my set were submitted in their entirety (without edits) weeks in advance, as requested by the organizers of the event. I rehearsed the songs in their entirety, on two separate occasions, in the presence of representatives from Red Stripe. There was no written or verbal communication from Red Stripe indicating any disapproval of the planned set, nor any discomfort with any specific lyrics or song. During my final rehearsal, I was merely asked to bear in mind the nature of the show, and upon arrival at the venue I was given a generic briefing by the promoters. At this point, there was still no indication from the promoters of any issue or objection to the planned performance.
During my performance, I did not deviate in any way from the rehearsed set. I was therefore shocked when approximately eight minutes into the ten minutes I was allotted, I was forced to discontinue. I was subsequently accused of breaching company policy by using what the promoter labeled offensive and discriminatory lyrical content, specifically, the use of the word “fish” in the song titled “Pree This.”
The promoter then demanded that I apologize to the audience, a demand to which I did not comply. I am very disappointed by the unprofessional manner in which the matter was handled. I am even more concerned about the potential damage that may be done to my reputation that I have worked so hard to achieve and maintain.
My management has since been contacted by Red Stripe’s Maxine Whittingham-Osbourne, who admitted it was miscommunication among Red Stripe representatives rather than any wrong doing on my part that resulted in this whole incident. She also stated that after reviewing the lyrics of the song, agreed I did not break any of Red Stripe’s company codes. She apologized for failing to communicate with me prior to my performance that any lyrics were deemed questionable.
I still feel the need to take this opportunity to assure those who support my music that I am in no way at fault for Saturday night’s unfortunate incident. I will continue to exercise discretion in my work, and I remain committed to the high level of integrity that has come to be expected of me.