i was excited today when i saw an article on the daily beast proclaiming a new era where homophobia will no longer go unquestioned in hip-hop.
i’ve always found it difficult, and i know i’m not the only one, to
reconcile my love of hip-hop with the myriad hateful lyrics that make my
a quote i found particularly interesting was from one of this year’s favorites, a$ap rocky:
“i used to be homophobic, but that’s fucked up,” a$ap rocky told
the influential music site pitchfork in october. “i had to look in
the mirror and say, ‘all the designers i’m wearing are gay.’”
i had never previously considered that the importance of
fashion within hip-hop and the subsequent merging of those two
industries might eventually lead a reduction in homophobia, but i
suppose it makes sense. it also makes me sad that social progress would
come out of materialism and narcissism, but i guess you have to take the
bad with the good.
chris lee also points out a couple examples of gender bending within
the genre, including lil wayne wearing women’s jeggings at the mtv vmas
this year. but not surprisingly, there exists a much more interesting
example than lil wayne:
texas rapper daryll “d phill
good” phillips II has taken things even further. in stark contrast to
hip-hop’s default fashion setting for much of the ’90s and early
’00s—baggy pants with the waistline sagging precipitously below belt
level—he has grabbed headlines by wearing lipstick and flowery tights as
well as spearheading something called the xy movement: a grassroots
effort aimed at undercutting established gender constructions by urging
straight men to wear women’s clothing.
a great interview with dphill spanglish on youtube. in it, he says,
“the only obstacles are in your mind. that’s the way i feel. you
know, i had to break down those barriers in my mind to the point where i
was confident enough to just do it.” i am looking forward to checking
out his music and following the progress of the xy movement
my favorite part of the entire article was probably the very matter-of-fact, and i thought heartfelt, quote from fat joe:
hardcore new york rapper fat joe, who is straight, summed up the attitude thaw succinctly in a recent interview with vlad tv.
“in 2011 you gotta hide that you gay?” he asked. “be real! ‘yo, I’m
gay. what the fuck!’ if you gay, you gay. that’s your preference. fuck
it if the people don’t like it.”
i ‘m positive this quote will be music to my sister’s ears,
as i happen to know that the year it came out, alison listened to fat
joe’s (featuring ashanti) what’s luv almost daily. what’s luv, fat joe? i think you just showed us all.