NEW YORK (Top40 Charts) - Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Beenie Man
are in hot water for allegedly using profanity at the recent Reggae Sumfest festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The three musicians were charged Thursday
(August 30) with using indecent language at Sumfest, and were asked to appear in a magistrate's court on September
27 to face the profanity charges, according to a statement released by Jamaican police. Authorities have not said what the maximum penalty is for the charges.
The legal trouble stemming from the violence-plagued Sumfest might have the biggest impact on Beenie Man, as the Grammy-winning dancehall reggae artist resides in Jamaica. However, police acknowledged that the court summons for Snoop Dogg
and Ja Rule
will be served to their agents in Jamaica
since the artists left the country following their performances at the festival, which ran July 31-August 5.
Snoop Dogg and Ja Rule could follow the road taken by Sade, another performer who ran afoul of the law a few years ago while driving in Jamaica and has repeatedly vowed never to return to the country. Last year, Sade told Time magazine that Jamaican authorities issued a warrant for her arrest because she failed to appear at a court hearing on reckless driving charges, and claimed that the unresolved incident escalated after a Jamaican policeman tried to pressure her into shelling out a bribe.
Sumfest, which is billed as "The Greatest Reggae Show On Earth," was this year rocked by violence for the first time in the event's nine-year history. When Beenie Man performed at Sumfest on August 2, a bottle- and rock-throwing incident broke out when Merciless took the stage later that night. The violence had thousands of patrons running for cover and left some injured. Officials quickly cast part of the blame for the incident on performances being punctuated by profanity and artists waging verbal war on rival performers. However, all went well when Alicia Keys and Snoop performed at Sumfest on August 4, as no violence broke out. And there were no disturbances when Ja Rule, Blu Cantrell, and Shaggy closed the show on August 5, the last night of the festival.