It’s Hard Out There for a Gay Gangsta

Forget about the homophobic right. Anti-gay messages have been
rampant in the hip-hop world for years. Artists like Eminem and 50
Cent pepper their lyrics with homophobic slurs and openly admit to
disapproving of same-sex relationships. According to the
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation,
Eminem’s third album, Marshall Mathers LP contained the
word ‘faggot’ 18 times. Similarly,
AlterNet reported in 2004 that in
an interview with Playboy, 50 Cent declared, ‘I ain’t
into faggots.’

Despite harsh words from prominent MCs, queer rappers around the
world are taking center stage. ‘Times are changing and if openly
gay rappers aren’t invited then we are kicking the door in,’ the
Los Angeles-based queer rapper Deadlee tells Britain’s
Gay.com. Deadlee is the headliner for
Homorevolution Tour 2007, what Gay.com calls ‘the first
ever organized regional tour of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Hip Hop
artists.’ The tour will stop in ten US cities this spring and has
nearly two-dozen queer artists on the bill.

Another gay rapper taking part in Homorevolution is using his
lyrical prowess to spread the word about prejudice. British MC QBoy
is featured in Coming Out to Class, a documentary about
dealing with homosexuality as a student.
PinkNews.co.uk reports that the
television broadcast of the film has inspired seven members of
parliament to sign a motion ‘to introduce legislation to require
schools to protect gay and lesbian children from the emotional harm
and impaired educational attainment that results from
bullying.’

Some gay rappers argue that the menacing words thrown around by
Eminem, 50 Cent, and bullying schoolchildren no longer hold any
weight. ‘There are more homophobic lyrics in recent days, even as
there has been more of a gay presence in the media,’ Tori Fixx, a
queer rapper and producer from Minneapolis, told
City Pages last year, but ‘calling
somebody a fag is different than literally saying all batty boys
need to be destroyed.’

Go there >>
Gay Rapper Takes On 50 Cent

Go there, too >>
Rapper’s
Documentary Prompts MPs on Bullying

And there >>
No More ‘No Homo’

Related Links:

Related Links from the Utne Reader Archive:

Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to
Utne Reader

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.