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Homosexuality in Hip Hop

In the 90’s, hip hop was something that would unite or break apart friendships and relationships everywhere. Heated debates would be created from a rappers lyrics or what the listeners thought the artist was saying.  

Any time a person felt down or in a party mood they could turn on “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan, “Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer, or “Baby Got Back” by Mack Daddy. There was a song to define every mood. 90’s hip hop gave us a foundation for what we know today.

Since the turn of the century common themes in hip hop have been sexualizing women, degrading women, money, drugs, gangs, and/or violence. Very seldom do you hear messages of marriage, family, and overall positivity. Rappers like Common, Ice Cube, Will Smith, and those of Public Enemy spoke fondly about black communities, raising awareness about a variety of issues, and changing the world during their era.

Now in more modern times we have people like Will-I-Am, Kanye West, members of Pro Era, etc. that have put their own spin on hip hop similar to Ice Cube and Will Smith. On the other end of the spectrum we have artist like Lil Wayne, Kevin Gates, and Nicki Minaj, in her  early years, which would talk about sex or relationships, but no one mentioned their intake on the sexuality of their companions in the industry.

Could lyrics like “Ain’t no due process/For boys that become girls or verse vica/Field n***as control this/Pin the hollow point tip on this gay rights activist…” from Goodie MOB show that earlier rappers had no issue referencing the LGBTQ+ community, or could these lyrics be indirectly out casting the community.

In recent year’s artists like Frank Ocean, Siya of the Sisterhood, and Macklemore have stepped on the scene and “put the world in panic”. Their sexuality may all be rumors and allegations, but their music tells a different story.

July 10, 2012 Frank Ocean released “Channel Orange”, it is a compilation of blues, hip hop, and R&B. Before the album release Mr. Ocean made Tumblr post about his album and the stories behind it. He told about a “new feel” at the age of 19, the drama brought him more attention which would logically increase his album sales. To some it all looked like a publicity stunt and he isn’t flamboyant with his status. Close friend and rap artist Tyler the Creator spoke about Frank Ocean’s stunt in an interviewing saying he is a cool person and they already knew so it is no surprise, they won’t treat the artist any different than they already have. 

The well-known catty television show “Love and Hip Hop” also has followed artist who have been labeled as homosexual. Rapper Miles (Siir Brock) and producer Milan are in a relationship. This is going to bring them challenges, rumors have circulated that others don’t want to film with the two because of their sexuality.  Generally males are more homophobic than females because they are supposed to portray strength and masculinity. Females are more open minded to new ideas and accepting of same sex couples than men are as well. With males acting more feminine it breaks down the stereotypes that all men in the industry are “hard”.

I don’t think that men should feel the need to only talk about violence or drugs to define them as masculine. I don’t think shielding your feelings and degrading women should make a man “hard” either. Being a man should be about respect and success. It should be defined by males positive actions like owning up to failure and responsibilities, rather than the fear they can instill in someone. Having someone fear you isn’t something someone should brag about. Younger boys will see how these men behave and take it as the right way to act towards someone different than you or how to gain respect.

Rick Ross amongst other artist have shared their comments on homosexual rappers. Mr. Ross said “I feel your personal life is your personal life. In my personal life, you do whatever you do. That’s your business.” After T-Pain claimed he won’t work with Frank Ocean. 

I can’t say that T-Pain is wrong because everyone is entitled to their own opinion,but a person should not be judged by their appearance but what they can bring to the table. However I don’t agree with his logic on why he refuses to work with the very talented artist. Frank Ocean is a popular artist and can bring it lots of attention, Mr. Pain should be honored to work with someone on the opposite side of the spectrum that so many listeners enjoy. If I were in Frank’s position I would be a little offended, but it is T-Pain’s loss of knowledge, money, and fans. 

In my opinion the world is changing and there is nothing hatred can do about it. Love is love, and everyone deserves to be happy and have equality.  It is a free world and you’re allowed to make your own decisions. 

I am Alexis Hooper, President of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University chapter of Her Campus.
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