Hip Hop Has Always Hated You and Always Will, Deal With It
So I’m sitting at home doing what I normally do on the weekend, watching dated black comedies from the 1990’s. What will it be this weekend? How about House Party, a goofy comedy from 1990 that starred rappers Kid N Play.
Those old enough to remember the duo know they weren’t a religious, political or gangsta rap group at all. They were one of those PG rated acts that were tame enough for grandmother’s to buy CD’s for their children.
As a brand new teenager when the film came out, I remember seeing it many times and laughing along with everyone else. House Party was and still is a classic comedy. So why not re-visit this movie for the first time in 15 years? Everything was going great until I got to this scene where Kid is stuck in a jail cell and must rap his way out of getting anally male raped.
Hahahaha! Funny, right ? No harm done, right? Its all just jokes, right?
Well…first of all, let’s just ignore the basis of the scene where these seemingly thuggish heterosexual men felt the need to rape a dude after just being in the holding cell merely for a couple hours. Talk about impatiently raging hormones.
No, the core impetus for my stink face while watching this scene was the outright homophobia throughout the rap song. Okay, I get it, jokes about not wanting to be raped…I get it…But what about the lines attacking Liberace and Rock Hudson (gay men who died from AIDS related illnesses)? Or how about the line implying having gay sex at all will instantly make you an AIDS candidate?
Was I over thinking this? Was I looking for a problem that didn’t exist, I mean the movie is 23 years old. Then I thought back to A Tribe Called Quest’s IMMENSELY homophobic song, possibly the most homophobic song ever recorded in the history of music. Again, ATCQ was another group that was supposedly tame for all ages, yet they spewed anti-gay venom to the masses.
These are only two of many examples where rappers from the 90’s either acknowledged their hatred for homosexuals or used the term “faggot” as an insult. As much as I used to love DMX back in 1998-2000, it was harder for me to find a song where he DIDN’T say the word “faggot.”
The list goes on: from KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Wu Tang Clan, The Lox, Brand Nubian, Eminem, Notorious BIG and Tupac….they have made their feelings on gays very clear in their lyrics.
Hip Hop Hates Fags. There’s no break dancing around that.
Oh sure, nowadays we have a lot of rap artists pushing the limits on what is considered “masculine.” But what can we expect from Hip Hop when Lil Wayne wears tight leggins and is photographed kissing his play father on the lips but still tosses faggot and homophobia all through is music…Or that Kanye West wears kilts and blouses on stage, is in what some people think is a fake relationship to hide his sexuality and gets accused of being a gay fish….yet he still tosses out homophobic lyrics and statements. *Kanye Shrug*
The same applies to peripheral Hip Hop influenced media like movies, television, sports, websites and environments. Go to any Hip Hop message board or any Hip Hop music playing Black barbershop and you’ll still see/hear a total disregard for gay sensitivity. The homophobia in basketball forums after Jason Collins came Out was disgusting.
Hip Hip driven comedy series like In Living Color and Chappelle’s Show routinely made jokes at the expense of black gay men any time they could. And its not just in America. The new Hip Hop inspired UK television drama for teens and young adults “Youngers” features an entire storyline where a main black character is falsely accused of being gay and is ridiculed for it for two straight episodes.
So what’s the big deal?
I’m truly starting to believe that as popular as Hip Hop culture is, all of these subtle jabs and pokes at gay men and/or homosexuality in general just continue to add as motivation for black men (especially masculine black men who feel a part of said culture) to remain in the closet. Even as religion’s hold on the black community’s feelings towards gays wanes, it appears as though Hip Hop culture’s blatant homophobia still has the same impact that it always had.
Question: Imagine if all of the comments, jokes and subtle pokes were from white men regarding race instead of black men regarding sexuality? Would this be just as Shrug-Worthy?
Hypothetically Imagine if a prominent Caucasian filmmaker had 75% of all his films filled with white characters spewing the word “Nigger”…Now hypothetically imagine that same white filmmaker writes a screenplay with “Nigger” typed in it 110 times and a Caucasian dominated Academy Awards committee hypothetically rewards him with an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, would Blacks be okay with this?
….Oh wait, bad example…I was supposed to be being hypothetical…
Okay, imagine if a television cooking show personality had, many many years ago, used the word “nigger” immediately after being mugged by…well…some ignorant scumbag niggas…Would Blacks be okay with that?
…Dammit, I did it again, didn’t I?
Okay, HYPOTHETICALLY speaking, imagine if country music or rock singers made decades worth of new songs casually using “nigger” as an insult, would Blacks be okay with this? If Saturday Night Live consistently had sketches every week ridiculing characters for being stereotypically black, would this be acceptable?
If Justin’s Bieber or Timberlake made a comedy film where they sang about not wanting to be mistaken for being Black, would that be acceptable? Okay, again, bad example…those two guys go OUT OF THEIR WAY to be mistaken for being black…
But you get my point. Are gay Hip Hop fans the equivalent of a battered wife who keeps taking a beating but refuses to file charges and/or leave the abuser?
Should I stop being so sensitive and just “man up?” Possibly. Maybe.
But that doesn’t make it any less worth thinking about.
When it comes to Homophobia, we’re the jury that gives out a George Zimmerman acquittal every time we go to the club and zone out to musicians that clearly hate us.
Homophobia in Hip Hop culture appears to be like racism in the south…it’s not going anywhere any time soon.
So just deal with it.
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