I’m Actually Ashamed That I Bought Lord Jamar’s First Solo Album The Day It Came Out

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Jan 28 2017 | 9 Comments  

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Yes. I actually bought Lord Jamar’s first solo album when it was released on June 27th, 2006. And now, over ten years later, I deeply regret it.

I was (and still am) a child of the 90s.

But not the “Whitney Houston, Monica, Brandy, Aaliyah, Mariah” 90s that shaped so many coming-of-age gay boys. I genuinely had zero interest in that kind of stuff back then.

No, as I’ve discussed before, I was influenced by Hyper-masculine action movies stars and “gangsta rap” Hip Hop artists of the 90s. Nas, Mobb Deep, Tupac, DMX, Death Row Records…these were the musicians that made the soundtrack of my youth.

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Near the end of the 90s I was finally introduced to Brand Nubian. They were a rap group consisting of Grand Puba, Sadat X and (the now infamous) Lord Jamar.

They had been out for quite awhile but I had always associated them with Old School Rap, in the same category that I put rappers like KRS-ONE and Public Enemy. They were dope rappers, but seemed to belong to my older cousins generation of Hip Hop.

But Brand Nubian reinvented itself in 1998 with the release of their fourth album, “The Foundation.” For the first time, they used outside producers like DJ Premier, Diamond D and Lord Finnesse, beat-makers that I already loved.

I dug Grand Puba’s lyricism. I loved Sadat X’s perfect nasally voice. And I loved Lord Jamar’s flow and the knowledge he was kicking. Plus he was a handsome dude.

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Lord Jamar (born Lorenzo Dechalus) had a good little run as Supreme Allah on the hit HBO prison ‘soap opera for men’ show, “Oz.” This was one of my favorite shows back then. It was gritty, raw, hyper-masculine and featured tons of both homoeroticism and homosexuality. And peens, it had lots of peen too…including Lord Jamar’s.

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For me, a young Black gay dude who didn’t identify with “the gay lifestyle” or “stereotypical gay shit” in any way, Lord Jamar was That Dude…

Well…at least one of them (Nas was still the H.N.I.C.).

Jamar was handsome, talented, exuded hip-hop masculinity and he was (seemingly) very intelligent. For decades he had been outspoken against police brutality, violence in the Black community, materialism and not supporting our fellow brothers and sisters. He seemed to be preaching Love over Hate in our community:

When will we make our Exodus? When will the guns
bust the other way instead of at the brother next to us?
That’s all that they expect from us, police stand by
Don’t believe the lie that they’re the ones protectin us
Projects, to see how poverty’s affectin us
Robberies, we lust objects of high quality
or so we think we slowly sink into the quicksand
With no support, like a bike that doesn’t have a kickstand

By the time Lord Jamar’s first solo joint, “The 5% Album” came around in 2006, I had long started dabbling into the teachings of The Nation of the Gods and Earths myself.

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As a kid who officially discarded Christianity at only 12 years old, I sought out as much information that I could on many different beliefs. Islam didn’t stick (the whole ’emotional magical deity with a big ego’ problem still existed) but the “knowledge” that Five Percenters were spitting was at least in the right neighborhood. They were primarily centered around Science, Mathematics, Family and Teaching young people. All things I valued greatly. Many of my favorite rappers being Five Percenters (or at least familiar with their teachings) didn’t hurt either.

So I always immediately bought any album that heavily featured the teachings on them. Rakim’s “The 18th Letter,” The RZA’s group Gravediggaz album, “The Pick, The Sickle and The Shovel” and Killarmy’s “Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars” were among just a few Five-Percenter CD’s that got heavy rotation in my headphones.

I even learned from Five-Percenters that I knew personally, broke bread with them, befriended them…but eventually I realized that I was still an “other.”

Not only did I not subscribe to one of their most often discussed beliefs, that “The White Man” was the “Devil” created in the Caucasus Mountains by a Black scientist named Yakub, I was also gay. A no-no in an organization that was all about families and continuing your “seed” (aka having children).

So I slowly shed my ties to the Fiver-Percent Nation and started embracing my sexuality and individuality more. Eventually that lead to gaining fellow Black masculine gay friends and ultimately creating this website. A community where I could fit in as myself, since I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere else.

Lord Jamar faded away from my consciousness and the public eye…

Until DJ Vlad (who is oddly obsessed with homosexuality) gave Jamar a platform to speak what he calls, “Hip Hop Conservatism.” Which I guess means speaking, at length, against Gay people and Homosexuality.

At first, I wondered why Jamar has so much free time on his hands to hang out with Vlad and discuss Gays, and then I realized that the writing was on the wall the whole time.

Homophobia has been in Hip Hop’s DNA since its beginnings. I wrote a piece about this disappointing legacy called, “Hip Hop Has Always Hated You and Always Will, Deal With It” years ago and it somewhat still applies to today.

Many heterosexual artists in Hip Hop and people who were also raised by 90s Hip Hop culture, are not very gay friendly. Oh sure, they may tolerate gays out in public, but some of the things they say (both men and women) when they think there are not gay people around, is no better than what Lord Jamar says to DJ Vlad’s camera.

It does sting a little.

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As I hold this Lord Jamar album in my hand, I’m ashamed that I supported him because this physical CD now reminds me that I’m an “other.”

As a non-diva worshiping, non-finger-snapping, non-salacious man…in the Gay community, I’m also an “other.”

But even in my own masculine dominant Black community as a college educated, self-employed, potential role model, with no criminal record…I’m especially an “other” because I also happen to be Gay.

Suffice it to say, I’m over my fandom of Lord Jamar and could really care less what he has to say nowadays. But I will admit that a small part of me wishes that he, and others I admired as a teenager/young adult, remained the heroes that I made them out to be in my young mind.

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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9 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. African King | January 28th, 2017
    0

    I remember when I was younger listening to older albums from Big Daddy Kane and I could no longer support after hearing anti-gay sentiments. I mainly stick with R&B, male and female, because there is far less homophobia associated with the genre and the whole community of singers. I think homophobes exist in all genres but I know that hip-hop and reggae are by far the most homophobic.

    I remember seeing Lord Jamar over the years talking crazy all over vladtv about the gay community. I disliked that very much. I just felt like he and/or vladtv were sexing each other down. They just talk about gay so much. I do not respect Lord Jamar in any way. Completely over it.

  2. GNerd2012
    GNerd2012 | January 28th, 2017
    0

    I’m literally sitting here trying to find different ways to reply to this article. I had a lot of issues with Lord Jamar’s interviews in the past, but mainly, an issue of internal conflict. For one, I believe in freedom of speech and the right to free thinking. On the other hand, I just got emotionally drained hearing the constant anti-homosexuality rhetoric. The Black Community’s obsession with witch-hunting homosexuals and demonizing them is starting to become psychotic to me. When I watched Jamar’s interviews, I am reminded of the Ugandans who make newspaper articles focusing on homosexuality as their core issue, when in actuality, they should be focused on the numerous other economic issues that will threaten their survival. Fair treatment to homosexuals will not threaten their existence. We’ll always be less 5% of the population (the 10% figure was proven incorrect by Kinsey critics). I just wish the community would move on.
    Btw, thank you for those pics of Jamar’s peen. Got them saved on the hard-drive for some, “activities”, I have planned later on.

  3. Ockydub
    Ockydub | January 29th, 2017
    0

    I really enjoyed reading this! Its always reassuring to hear someone else's experience and relate to the commonalities. I'm mos def a child of 80s/90s Hip Hop.

  4. Cyrus-Brooks
    Cyrus-Brooks | January 29th, 2017
    0

    Don't be ashamed. I think alot of us Gen X guys who came up during the 1980s and 1990s who were hip hop/rap fans idolized people who had and continue to have anti-gay attitudes. We have to come to terms with the fact these people didn't and don't respect us, and act accordingly. I've made my peace with it. Back in the 1990s when I didn't know any better I thought these 5% kats were smart. Once I became an atheist in the early 2000s I realized they were hypocrites and full of shit. I still like the music and the vibe from the 90s era but I can now pick it apart and see the contradictions and counterproductive messages of many of the artists back then. Which is why what people like Lord Jamar say or think is no longer a big influence in my life. I treat anti-gay artists in the rap world much like I treat the church. I stopped supporting them.

  5. Tone | January 30th, 2017
    0

    90’s hip hop was never meant to be all inclusive but somehow it still resonated with people from all walks of life including whites, gays, Asians and many “others”. I will never let closed minded rappers like Lord Jamar make me feel that just because I’m gay that I’m somehow less than or an outsider. I know that gays were and still are pivotal to the success of hiphop. In fact, some of the most successful people in hiphop are gay. The likes of Lord Jamar are just bitter has beens who have no control over the genre and its followers. I too would be ashamed of actually paying for his music. As for the 5 percenters, I really don’t know much about them. But most of what I do know about them pretty much equates to self righteous jail birds & conspiracy theorists who do nothing but point out what they perceive to be injustices all while doing nothing but complaining and preying on their own. Consider yourself lucky for not getting in too deep.

  6. African King
    African King | January 31st, 2017
    0

    More of today's rap artists are less homophobic when compared to the 80s and 90s. Do you still jam any of the old school hiphop or do you listen to other genres of music? If so, which genres?

  7. JERZEE | February 4th, 2017
    0

    I was always into hip hop, and followed Brand Nubian from the start. With the nature of this article, Im surprised theres no reference to their hit single, “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down” from their second CD. It includes lines such as,

    “Though I can freak, fly, flow, fuck up a faggot
    Don’t understand their ways I ain’t down with gays”

    and

    “Just got whipped like a faggot in the clink”

    When I heard those lines I kinda figured out their mentality. I still liked their music, but I never quite looked at them the same way. This is why the Vlad interview didnt surprise me.

  8. elg | February 5th, 2017
    0

    I had never heard of Lord Jamar until I read this post. Watching several of his videos I can see that this man HATES gay men. He’s pretty open about it. The lyrics cited by the commenter “JERZEE” in the single “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down” show how homophobic this guy really is.

    It doesn’t surprise me anymore what some gay men “like” but it’s still somewhat concerning that a commenter on this thread says he has saved Lord Jamar’s naked pictures. What could be sexy about a guy who wants to “fuck up a faggot”? How can a gay man, who thinks well of himself, be turned on by such an in-your-face homophobe? How can a gay man who knows how homophobic Lord Jamar is STILL listen to anything he puts out?

    I used to think that younger black gay men had a more positive sense of themselves than most black gay men of my generation but I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

    A gay man liking Lord Jamar’s so-called “music” (or his naked peen) is like a Jew liking a Nazi in wartime Germany. Lord Jamar is a monster: he needs to die a slow painful death, sooner rather than later.

  9. FREEDOM TRAIN
    FREEDOM TRAIN | February 12th, 2017
    +1

    I ACTUALLY FIND LORD JAMAR MANLY-SEXY. HE IS A MAN THAT HAS LIVED. HE IS IN NO WAY PERFECT AND SOMETIMES ON THAT WEBSHOW HE SPEAKS SOME TRUTH TO SOME OF THE TOPICS. SOME OF WHAT I GET FROM HIM IS HE DOESN’T WANT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FORCING ARTIST TO BE GAY NOR DOES HE WANT HIS SON TO BE GAY. AS A SMART MAN HE KNOWS HIS SEXY APPEAL IN THE SHOW ‘ OZ ‘ DRAWS THE MEN AS WELL AS THE WOMEN. HIS MASCULINITY IS NICE. IF HE EVER DESIDED TO EXPERIMENT FOR ONE TIME I WOULD VOLUNTEER. HOPE HE DOES MORE NUDE SCENES IN SOME MOVIE SOMEWHERE.




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