‘How We Do’ rapper The Game may not be mostly remembered for insightfulness and thought-provoking statements, but his sentiments on closeted homosexual rappers in the industry did cause a firestorm this week. Blazing the blog-o-sphere, discussions on Game’s ‘insight’ (or maybe just plain sight) had tongues wagging. Agree or disagree, his disposition doesn’t delve into the unknown – just the unspoken.
Traipse the political terrene and anyone not living under a rock has seen the last couple of years spawn unprecedented progress in gay rights period, let alone in the Pop musical landscape. Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Ricky Martin, and Adam Lambert are just a few of the openly bi or gay stars who are pushing an envelope (arguably) signed and sealed by Melissa Etheridge, George Michael, and Boy George before them. But while Pop is busy pushing an envelope, hip hop maybe busy hiding it, sweeping it under the taboo throw rug. For while the male-dominated industry has embraced ‘openly’ bisexual rapstress Nicki Minaj, that embrace may border more on fantasy than respect. This, of course, would open up the argument that women who openly flaunt alternative lifestyles are more easily accepted than men.
Regardless, in a land where hyper-masculinity is often used to denote (and sometimes disguise) one’s ‘true’ hip hop identity, those who do not succumb to the stereotype are often branded ‘gay’. There are few R&B male singers who are relevant that haven’t had the title accompany their name at one period of time. So, we’ve already asked you:
‘Will Hip Hop ever accept an openly gay/bi male rapper or singer”. And we, as ever, appreciated your feedback. But now, let’s twist it. That Grape Juice wants to know:
Why, when other genres are beginning to embrace being ‘out’, does Hip-Hop not?
‘Would you still support your favorite rapper/singer if he or she came out of the closet’?