January 12, 2009

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Yes, I know, another “link-to post.” All apologies. Credit a mild case of post-New Year’s indolence and the cold reality that you don’t need Jay Jenkins to inform you that it’s the recession and everybody’s broke. So if blog resources are diverted to earn Grants and Jackson’s, and thus avoid complete indigence–well, I hope you’ll understand. And while I’m being contrite, let me apologize for the headline. I didn’t do it*, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove anything.

Rather than let the story molder in the Times’ backpages, the topic is worth discussing here–specifically, homophobia in hip-hop. In the article, I profile the gay hip-hop community that’s cropped up in recent years, a group of rappers who have saddled themselves with the unfortunate moniker, “homo-hop.” It also considers whether or not the genre is ready to handle an openly gay rapper. Granted, I’ve half-jokingly speculated in the past about the myriad potentially closeted rappers, but there’s a yawning gulf between Wayne kissing Baby in filial embrace and a rapper actually coming out.

Even Queen Latifah, who’s widely alleged to be gay, has never officially confirmed the rumors. By contrast, openly gay artists like Michael Stipe, Bob Mould, Stephen Merritt, and Hercules & Love Affair have flourished in rock. While self-righteous “no no homo” tirades aren’t necessary (does anyone even say that anymore?), it’d be nice to see a decline in the virulence of hip-hop homophobia. Understandably, the gay rappers profiled might not be up your alley, but if you’re open-minded, Captain Magik’s, “Dilemma”  is worth checking out. Easy snickers aside, its a poignant and unstintingly honest song that could go a long way towards mending misconceptions that people might have about homosexuality. Though I confess that every time I hear the name Captain Magik, I will always think of this.

* I really didn’t do it, but cut the editors some slack; writing good headlines is harder than it looks.

LA Times: Get Hip; This is Life, Y’All

Stream:

Captain Magik Myspace
Last Offence Myspace
Deadlee Myspace

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