Friday, September 13

Hip Hop and Homophobia

Mr. Cee, a New York City DJ has been a major fixture in the hip hop world. While his name has been respected in the industry for a long time, recent scandals involving his sexual preference and soliciting of transgendered prostitutes have now become synonymous with his name. 

We all know that hip hop has long been a genre and community that although started from speaking against struggle, oppression and prejudice has also been very vocal about turning it's back on the gay community. In some cases it has outwardly bashed those who are gay. Homophobia is so ingrained in the culture that even straight men don't want to be mistaken at any point for looking or saying anything that can be misinterpreted as "being gay" which birthed the much used phrases "no homo" or "pause".

In recent years, there has been a very slow shift towards the gay community as a few rappers like Jay-Z spoke on acceptance and R&B singer Frank Ocean "came out" to the support of many people in the industry. But, of course the tide has not changed fast enough and homophobia is still an issue.

As Mr. Cee in a recent interview after his latest scandal and quitting his job at radio station Hot97 said, he still "loves women" but has a "problem" regarding his interest in getting sexual favors from transgender prostitutes. This may be his problem and maybe he does still love womyn, but I think the real problem is his fear of living his truth. Is the same culture that he paid his time and talent to and moved the culture forward with his contributions, ready to move forward with him if he decided to live his truth (whatever that may look like)? That is the question I'm sure that has haunted him for many years and unfortunately I'm sure rings through the minds and hearts of other people in the industry as well as those men and women listening to the music. Will the culture and music that I love accept me for me?

I say it's 2013 and while we have seen some progress in attitude from the hip hop culture, it needs to move faster to catch up with the times and with the people who love the music but want to be accepted regardless of who they are and what they like. Today hip hop has unified cultures where you an go to any concert and see a rainbow of races bobbing their heads and rapping along to the music together. But it is time to unify everyone and really represent the voice of the people.

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