Based on my numerous posts on the subject, I think its safe to say that I have love for Hip Hop culture and music. How could I not? I came up listening to the music in the 1990’s when Nas, Biggie, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, Too Short, Wu Tang Clan and others made music that became classic. Even with the blatantly homophobic lyrics and imagery, as a masculine Gay black man I couldn’t get enough.Looking at the leaders of the new Hip Hop school, however, makes me wonder if the culture is abandoning its boisterous, masculine roots for a more sensitive, gender-bending future…
As a Gay man, I’m supposed to be okay with all this, right? I mean all Gay men are more in touch with their feminine side, right? We all just wanna talk about our feelings and fear of rejection, right? We all (deep down) desire to wear women’s blouses, pink hoodies and leopard-print Jeggins in public….right?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the music by all of the artists pictured above (yes, even Lil B…guilty pleasure). But I gotta admit that even I am beginning to question the direction that we’re headed. Rappers like Kanye, J-Cole, Kid Cudi, The Game have notoriously been using studio booths as their diaries for years now…but recently those journal entries have been becoming Billboard chart toppers. When a sensitive emo rapper like Drake is the current biggest selling Hip Hop artist, it says a lot. Does masculinity equal lower sales, fans, record spins?We here in the Discreet City have verbally supported the awesome indie artist Childish Gambino (aka actor Donald Glover), but when you listen to his new album you can can tell he’s pretty soft (he sings on tracks way more than he should). To confirm it, he even raps about being called variations of “soft” pretty much his whole life.

But that brings us to the question that I’m often asked: “Nick, if you’re so caught up on Masculinity, then what is it? If you have the authority on what is considered ‘masculine’ then define it.”

That’s a good question. One to be raised in another post. But I will say this, for most of us you know it when you see it. No matter how many people deny it, you know when you see something (like the pictures above) that many you pause and think that something is a bit off.

Well, obviously something they’re doing is right since these new overly-sensitive, drag rappers are banking up something “fierce” (to use a Gay term). So maybe this is the future of Hip Hop music. Ladies, you better start putting locks on your closets!

A team of UK Hip Hop professionals got together and had a lively debate on this very topic.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Hip Hip? Leave us a comment or shoot us an email!