Rap music has long been associated with homophobia. Gay acceptance among many of its artists is rarer than other elements of society.
VH1 recently spoke with a few gay rappers about their experiences with homophobia in Hip Hop and different answers emerged.
“I have been in a studio session and heard people talking about me through the wall,” Fly Young Red said when asked about homophobia in Hip Hop. “‘Yeah, that’s that f— that made that song’ and I have also been in situations where I was buying a beat and when I told the guy who I was he didn’t want to sell it to me anymore. They think it’s like, ‘Man I can’t have my name on no gay shit.’ It is what it is and if you fuck with me, you fuck with me. These guys knew who I was, and I couldn’t tell you who any of them were to save my life, so apparently I’m doing something right.”
Siya says she hasn’t experienced as much homophobia but opportunities have been more limited to her because she refuses to change who she is.
“I haven’t dealt with obstacles because I was gay, I’ve dealt with obstacles because I wouldn’t change my image,” she said. “I would do record label meetings and they would say ‘You’re so dope! You’re so different!’ but then they would ask, ‘Can we put you in a dress? Can we femme it up a little?’ And I’m not willing to change who I am for anyone, not what I look like, not what I dress like. That always brought me to a roadblock but I’ve never been one to fall victim to this industry.”
Along with Fly Young Red and Siya, Cakes Da Killa and Y-Love were also asked about Empire’s portrayal of Jamal, who is a gay character in the show.
“I think it has moments of brilliance and then moments that let me down but I think it’s good that we have a show that has a full black cast because that doesn’t really happen a lot on television,” Cakes Da Killa said. “They are taking a lot of chances having an openly gay character that doesn’t really fit the general stereotype.”
Read the full collection of interviews here.