A few weeks after winning the “Courage Award” at the first ever Truth Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, Darren “Buttahman” Brin stopped by the HipHopDX offices earlier this week and spoke about his experience as a gay man in Hip Hop as well as his opinion of how the culture’s attitude towards homosexuality has slowly shifted over time.
Before his current career as a stand-up comedian Brin worked as an executive at MTV where he helped launched the still-popular MTV Jams extension and later as the music director of BET. Speaking with HipHopDX’s Ural Garrett Brin opened up about his view of the current state of homophobia in Hip Hop.
“Honestly, I think this, it’s part of my job,” he said in a clip that debuted as a part of today’s DX Daily. “I love working in Hip Hop music. I love Hip Hop music. I love the fact that I’ve been able to work with the music that I love and influence other folks. You gotta take the good with the bad. A lot of that stuff still exists today. I don’t think it’s gonna go anywhere because the attitude of some rappers. I think that things have evolved since then. You gotta be thick skinned to be in this business in general. It don’t matter what your background is, if you’re not the type of person that can be called something or be screamed at or have some disrespectful shit happen to you and [if] you’re gonna fall apart every time that happens then you don’t need to be in the music business. I don’t know anybody in this business who hasn’t been disrespected, yelled at, shitted on.
“I think it’s always interesting because people associate being gay with being soft and whatever,” he went on, “but honestly the shit you have to put up with as a gay Black man, that shit makes you tough as hell. Really. The shit that you have to up in general. To me I always think that it’s interesting how people play that.”
Naming a couple of Hip Hop acts from the 1980s and ’90s that carried some outspoken homophobia in their lyrics, Brin reflected on the progress in the industry.
“At the end of the day I think there’s a lot more level of acceptance now than when I started definitely, from Brand Nubian, Big Daddy Kane, all that stuff. I think now people would actually think about, ‘Okay, if I’ma say this I’m gonna think about this because I’m gonna have people at my doorstep. I may get people protesting at the Grammy’s.”