Hip Hop: Out of The Closet?
I remember growing up in the early eighties. Both Hip-Hop and I were young and growing. Learning and experimenting. Living in Detroit in the eighties itself was an adventure and Hip-Hop provided the soundtrack to that adventure. Everybody I knew wanted to rap or break dance. I was no different.
Besides the drug dealers, neighborhood hustlers, and gangsters, rappers were the men most of us wanted to be like. We emulated them, walk, talk and even dressed like them. Even spit their lines at girls (some whom may or may not have known where the lines came from) but loved them anyway.
Hip Hop was a real man’s sport, the epitome of bravado of masculinity. Anything perceived as soft was immediately dismissed as “faggot shit”. Never could a rapper take an ambiguous persona and survive during that era. I mean sure Melle Mel, Flash, and some of the pioneers wore leather, spikes, and crazy outfits, but even in leather there was no denying their masculinity. Those soft personas played well for Prince and Michael Jackson’s audience, but not in Hip Hop.
I’ve lived through every era of the music from its Inception, from a spawn of disco DJs, to the birth of the true MC, the conscious era, the gangster, reality and trap era. Now the music that was once the cornerstone of masculinity has gone P.C and dare I say….. soft, some may even say “homo”?!
Is Hip Hop really out of the closet?
The biggest rappers in the game are admittedly ambiguous when it comes to sexuality and those who are not would never dare to speak against those that are. This on the surface is minor but I asked myself, “if the kids now are anything like I was when I tried to cut lines in my “Cameo” fade to be like Big Daddy Kane can we expect an extreme decline in masculinity in our inner-city communities?”
Teenage boys and leggings, painting their nails, and doing things that were commonly looked at as ”things women did”. I could easily dismiss this as a fad much like the Hammer pants era, but this seems to be less about the clothes and more about a way of life. The lines seem to be blurred, and as I begin to question what has happened to our youth, I open the internet to see headlines proclaiming that a legendary hip-hop Pioneer DJ has been outed for having a long time transexual lover. Then another headline reads that another face from the Mount Rushmore of Hip Hop is being accused of not only homosexuality, but pederasty!
Wow, maybe homosexuality in Hip-Hop isn’t new, maybe it’s just the conversation that is.
Written by Dion “Atikus Finch” Hatcher
g.o.a.t Hip Hop