As a middle-aged gay Hiphop fan (oops – forgot to add white), it is heartening to learn that a top new artist has spoken out about the homophobia that is rampant in R&B and rap. Kanye West, whose first disk, “College Dropout,” was among the smartest and most original debuts in recent memory, is the first big star in Hiphop to have the guts to call homophobia for what it is: bigotry.
I saw the story in the LA Times this morning but start here at Pam’s House Blend:
Kanye West says “gay” has become an antonym to hip-hop — and that it needs to be stopped. [He says he came to terms with his own homophobia] when he learned one of his cousins was gay. “It was kind of like a turning point when I was like, `Yo, this is my cousin. I love him and I’ve been discriminating against gays.'”
West says hip-hop was always about “speaking your mind and about breaking down barriers, but everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people.” He adds that in slang, gay is “the opposite, the exact opposite word of hip-hop.” Kanye’s message: “Not just hip-hop, but America just discriminates. And I wanna just, to come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, `Yo, stop it.'”
Gay people, especially queer folks of color, need to come out. It’s the only way to effect change, and it’s the last thing the AmTaliban wants us to do — they want all of us back in the closet, tightly padlocked, in an “ex-gay” camp, or six feet under.
The MTV special “All Eyes on Kanye West” aired last night, but knowing MTV it’ll show again and again – so check it out.