Scene-Stealing VMA Perf. Punches Homophobia In the Face
The original title of the Beastie Boys’ sterling 1986 debut “License to Ill” was “Don’t Be a Faggot.” Who knows why the change of heart, but just the fact that they were even considering that title is pure homophobia.
Too $hort’s song “CussWords” off 1988’s “Life is… Too $hort” contains the lyric “’Cause he’s worse than a fag or a Frisco dyke.”
And just this year, rapper J. Cole released a disgusting track called “Villuminati” that said “My verbal AK slay faggots.” No doubt, hip-hop still has a problem with homophobia. But is it waning?
The slang is still alive. For example, a phrase like “I love you fam, no homo” can be heard throughout the hip-hop community. And the genre is still drenched in hypermasculinity.
Enter Macklemore – the sensitive Seattle-based rapper with a social conscious.
His homage to gay relationships at last night’s VMAs was tenderhearted and inspirational. Though he is heterosexual himself, the rapper sympathizes with the gay cause, for one, because his uncle is gay.
“If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me,” he raps. “Have you read the YouTube comments lately?” He’s referring to the many who still use the phrase “that’s so gay” on message boards online. Macklemore sets the right example. It’s a positive message. That’s why the “Same Love” video has more than 70 million views on YouTube. A new anthem for the gay-rights movement.
According to a recent Pew Research Poll, a whopping 70 percent of 18-32 year-olds favor gay marriage.
If hip-hop artists want to thrive and survive they must drop the anti-gay rhetoric and culture. Or lose fans. Their choice.
Watch the music video for “Same Love” below. It won a Moonman for “Best Video With A Social Message.”