Homosexuals & HipHop: In Conflict?


The views expressed with in this editorial don't necessarily reflect the views of AllHipHop.com or its staff.It seems that AllHipHop, via its Trick Trick interview has

caused a bit of a stir. It probably

couldn’t have been timelier in light of the current war over proposition 8 and

the fight for marital rights of homosexuals. A perfect time, in fact, to

address this issue, particularly as it pertains to this music and culture.

In the Black community, we have a fractured sense of

masculinity. Our history in this country has been one of familial forced

disintegration, political, economic, and social emasculation. As we progressed our model of manhood and

masculinity somehow got linked to our sexuality, which in itself comes with an

inordinate amount of projection and its own set of issues.

If you’re a slave and you can’t protect your family,

and you can’t marry who you wish, and you can’t be a provider, and you don’t

determine when you eat, sleep, operate, etc., then all traditional definitions

of “manhood” become obsolete.

As a consequence our manhood came to be defined as the

one thing that was seemingly irrepressible in the minds of the masters: our

sexuality. In a nutshell, two factors of male identity, both gender roles and

sexual identity, are incorrectly rendered synonymous. Our sexuality defines us

as men. So how, with that paradigm of sexual prowess equating to manhood, do

you reconcile homosexuality? How much of

a “man” are you if you…don’t do the one thing designated to men?

So we come to Hip-Hop. 

You get a culture that is unmistakably Black in origin, and a music that

is highly competitive and combative in nature and at the center of it all is

the expression and projection of masculinity and machismo. How do you degrade

your competition? You take away the one

thing that we have been able to maintain throughout our time here in

America-our (flawed) sense of manhood. 

As time has gone on, especially taking into account the perception of

Black men varying from the imagery of Flavor Flav to the pageantry of Barak

Obama, our idea of Black manhood and the images that define it are constantly

in flux. The truth lies somewhere in


As we go further unto the 21st century, as

we begin to become a more heterogeneous society with racial and gender

paradigms shifting, I think it’s important to properly frame the Hip-Hop versus

Homosexuality debate in its proper context. They are not diametrically opposed.

There is an increasing number of homosexual and lesbian emcees that embrace the

Hip-Hop aesthetic. On a cultural level,

we must begin to look at our model of masculinity. This miscasting of manhood is the source of

Hip-Hop’s discontent. We should work to realize that deeds not the d**k make

the man. As a side effect we may even be able to curtail the projection of

hypermasculine supern***rs that glorify prison culture and promote criminality

as a Black male rite of passage.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sometimes that

opinion is uninformed. Most hateful opinions are born of ignorance and mistrust

and general lack of experience. Many rappers express sentiment similar to Trick

Trick. Many others hide what they are for that reason. It runs counter to our

general understanding of what a man is, mistaken or not. There are gay rappers,

rapping about regular things.

I don’t particularly think that an emcee could come out

rapping about sucking d**k and be taken seriously. However just as Eminem and Big Pun proved

that you could have competent high caliber non Black emcees, sooner or later

you will have an openly gay rapper whose talent will supersede his sexual

orientation. The key is to treat that

difference not as a novelty, but as a source for inspiration and strength.Take care and be well-Bill