A couple of weeks ago, Frank Ocean blew up the spot on the elephant in Hip-Hop’s machismo drenched room. The Odd Future member and crooner boldly revealed that his first love was a man, mostly to overwhelming support. Part of the fall out, besides the “Novacane” singer set to move over 100,000 units of his channel ORANGE debut its first week, were discussions on homophobia in Hip-Hop.
Nerve.com takes a look at Hip-Hop culture’s once thoroughly entrenched anti-gay stance, starting with Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5’s rap classic, “The Message.”
Among the first hip-hop tracks to go beyond a mere litany of boasting, “The Message” was an examination of poverty and inequality that spoke as much to the head as to the booty. That said, “The Message” was also one of the first examples of homophobia in hip-hop. First, there’s the mention of a homeless woman who “used to be a fag-hag.” Another verse references a “stickup kid sent up for an eight-year bid;” once in prison, “your manhood is took and you’re a maytag, spend[ing] the next two years as a undercover fag.” Weirdly, Grandmaster Flash has been dogged by rumors of homosexuality himself for years now, which makes you wonder if there’s more to the reactionary sexuality of “The Message” than just a reflection of the times. Either way, it’s hard not to wince at those lines.
Read the rest of “Homos-xuality and Hip-Hop: A Timeline” at Nerve.com.
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Photo: Terry Richardson