Gay Hip Hop: Is The Culture Ready To Publicly Embrace Homosexuality?
“Homosexuality has been a part of Hip Hop all along, from the beginning. But now that mainstream media has chosen to focus on it, it has become more public and we have the kids, we have rappers openly talking about it. This is really what it means to be young in America today.” So starts the opening salvo from Ryan Ford, Vice President of marketing agency Cashmere.
While most focused on Miley Cyrus’sbehavior in the 2013 MTV VMA awards, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis scored a huge win for their hit video with Mary Lewis, Same Love, as it became an unofficial LGBT theme song over the summer. “Gay rights are human rights,” intoned the artists at the event. Frank Ocean garneredcritical attention as he became one of the first mainstream artists to come out and has been called “ground breaking” in the same vein as NBA Center Jason Collins, recent coming out as the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.
It appears that Hip Hop is just a mirror for the debate that is happening in America. However, while the conversation has moved mainstream, the future equality for LGBT in that culture will rely on the changing demographic of Hip Hop, the continued influence of religion, the cultural shift in the American political system, and a change in the focus and conversation of rap itself.