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Published on August 20th, 2018 | by Jerry Doby

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Editorial: Homophobia in Hip Hop…What is there to Fear?

Despite the ungodly turmoil that plagues the world…especially America at this point in time, there is still an overwhelmingly deep issue of homophobia rampant in segments of our culture…., especially within the American  Hip Hop community.

Since the general erroneous perception of Hip Hop is that it’s a “Black thing,” that makes the issue fodder for conversation on a major plane in our community. The result is a multiplied and concentrated atmosphere of fear and hatred in a society already rife with challenges for minorities of all walks America.

Hip Hop as a culture is historically homophobic, especially since the inception of “Gangsta Rap.” Derogatory terms for gays have been openly a part of Hip Hop lyrics for as long as I can remember…and I’m over 50! How, in a community that birthed a slew of street bards shouting down oppression of all types, do we not find a way to accept those that live and love differently than the “norm?”

Homophobia like racism and other nonsensical garbage like mysogeny and narcissism touches everyone in some aspect at some point in time. We all have our moments where we discriminate or stereotype someone or their lifestyle, even the most accepting of us suffer our moment(s)!

I’m going to put myself on the block first…I work for a lesbian whom I love and hold dearer than some of my blood kin. Outside of the work atmosphere, I consciously count her as one of my chosen family members and I would give my life for her and her wife as I would SOME of my other family members. However, I STILL have my moments when gay people at large catch my ire in private rants. I say *ish under my breath that only a strictly clitly dude could conjure and I don’t like the person I see in the mirror after it happens.

Why am I bothered so badly and embarrassed by it?! Because I’ve been in combat and fought alongside service people who I knew to be gay and it didn’t matter when we were under fire. They were shooting in the same direction as me, laying the enemy down just like me, without any hesitation. They met the standard, cleared their sector and we made it home intact. THAT, in the end, is inarguably the most important factor. We made it home to our respective loved ones. Lastly, my boss is an amazing human being and a brilliant leader.

Recently Chicago Hip Hop artist Taylor Bennett gave a brief interview to NBC New’s “Think” platform discussing coming out as bi-sexual while making music and living in one of the overall toughest cities in America. While the conversation was brief, less than four minutes, the layers of travail he succinctly laid out in that time frame covered just about every imaginable issue we face as minorities in our country, compounded by what the LGBTQ faces on top of all that.

Video Courtesy of NBC News ‘Think”

Hip Hop is about storytelling, picture painting with words. If someone has barz, clever metaphors, stimulates your mind and delivers messages that live in reality, does it matter who or how they love as long as it’s legal?!

How many of us enjoy Disney movies, and great action flicks? Do we waste time agonizing over the private lives of some of the greatest entertainment creators? Nope, we buy the amusement park tickets, pack theaters and get our fun on. The same should be true in Hip Hop in my opinion.

Last I looked, homophobia was not listed in the pillars of our Hip Hop culture. So in the words of my favorite cartoon character, Ratso of Rap Ratz, “Stay out tha trap!”


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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