Once accused of being anti-gay, the rapper talks with TheWrap about how he’s helping a transgender boy
Anyone lamenting the strained relationship between hip-hop and LGBT people might want to watch 50 Cent’s “Dream School.”
The new Sundance Channel series connects troubled teens with a dream team of celebrity instructors: David Arquette is a home room and drama teacher. Swizz Beatz teaches music. The Rev. Jesse Jackson teaches political science. Oliver Stone teaches history — with predictably uneven results.
The show focuses on helping students dealing with violence, poverty and pregnancy, as well as Alan, a transgender boy who was born a girl.
“I want to graduate and get away from the people at my school,” Alan says on the show, premiering next week. “I got bullied. I went to the hospital. My mom just didn’t even visit me. I wish I was the person my parents wanted me to be. I wish I was born the person I am now because… I was born a girl.”
He now has an advocate in a rapper who’s first big hit, “In Da Club,” includes the line, “You that f—-t ass n—a trying to pull me back, right.”
The 50 Cent of today — an actor, philanthropist, and the executive producer of “Dream School” — isn’t the same person who delivered that line a decade ago.
But 50, born Curtis Jackson, says he was never a homophobe. He says some listeners are too quick to assume every line in every song reflects the performer at all times.
“I don’t have homophobia. I never did,” Jackson told TheWrap.
The rap icon has been accused of anti-gay comments outside his music. But in a genre long-tainted by homophobia, he was also open and supportive of his mother’s same-sex relationship, years before Frank Ocean’s coming out made many rappers rethink their prejudices.
“When you actually make music that mirrors the environment, you use the terminology,” he said. “You use the language. Like if you were making a painting, and you were painting the American flag, if I told you to do that, and not use red, not use the harsh terms or the tougher messages, you would never successfully paint the flag.”
Read the full interview here