by Illseed of AllHipHip.com...4/30/02
The homoerotic nature of hip-hop. WTF? This is something that I have taken well over a year to come to terms with writing. Why, because gayness and homosexuality is met with such a negative force when it pertains to hip-hop music. Now, before we move along, understand, this has nothing to do with my viewpoints on homosexuality nor am trying to yank anybody out of the closet. Conversely, this is merely a discussion on the rather loud, yet unspoken homo-erotic undertone of current hip-hop.
While it has hit me several times in the razor sharp cutting edge lyrical legacy of rap, it all exploded when I finally took time to pay attention to P-Diddy's "I Need a Girl." In the song, he says, "you were more than my girl, we were like brothers…" (Or something to that effect.) Nevertheless, it struck a chord with me. I wondered if that really meant something else. I have had some down-ass chicks and damn-near been in love, BUT never could I liken one to my brother. But, by the same token, is brotherly love akin to homosexual love? I think not. But, brotherly love is far from the "love" I have for all my dimes out there either. To my knowledge, Puff ain't gay, despite the crazy Wendy Williams-fueled rumors. I just saw him with a tall, luscious dime model chick at the Trump building in Manhattan. But that line has a definite homosexual suggestion to it.
Puffy might seem like an easy target so let me go against my own grain. Some of my favorites have said some things that just didn't seem to sound right for a heterosexual male to say. For example, Redman-certainly in my top 5 emcees ever-once said, "Male groupies get shakey when I come up from the rear." For me, I chalked (and still chalk) it up the zaniness of Redman, who is really all about 'bitches', 'birds' and 'chicks' with nice toes. On Dare Iz a Darkside he also said, he'd allow an emcee's mother to "suck his d**k from the back" and "put cornrows on his crack." So, one line is fully heterosexual and the other is really strange. Alas, like Puff, Reggie is a straight arrow.
On his Walking With A Panther CD, LL Cool J once said, he was so fly, "he could suck his own d**k." Whoa. Now, I am assuming that LL was trying to say some real cocky (pardon the pun), arrogant shit but it just sounded…ghoulishly gayish. Even the late, great Notorious B.I.G. said, in "Me and My Bitch," that his girl was so fly, he'd "suck her Daddy's d**k."One of my faves, Big Daddy Kane, actually made me cry as a youth when he said, "There's no hair on my chest, but I'm one tough cookie...who said you have to be 100% masculine in order to be in?" As Jay-Z said, "the answer was too dark for the user" so I declined to ask any questions. But, Kane was an infamous ladies' man who had hit off every body from Madonna on down the long line. There were times when his choices in clothes were odd, but never did I question his manhood. That's one of the gods of rap right there.
But we all know that ladies love Cool J and Big Poppa, right? There are a few other examples of shaky lyrics from heterosexual men, but you catch the drift. They aren't gay, but honestly, if Redman, BDK, LL, or Puffy were to emerge out of the closet, I would be shocked, but I would still be checking for them as artists in one way or another.
The videos in hip-hop also seem to have some oddly homoerotic/ gayish activity going on. Now for example, if you have ever seen one of Tupac's fun filled romp videos, you would see him having all sorts of fun with the sexy ladies. Now, that was in the mid/ early 90's, but thangs done changed more recently. Videos now are far more provocative than "I Get Around," yet the guys seem to not notice the ass cheeks less and less. Not always, of course, because we saw Mystikal getting his grind on is "Shake Ya Ass" and, in "Oochie Wally," Nas and the Bravehearts were all over the girls like wall-to-wall carpet. Nevertheless, a lot of rappers are all about the homiez. Perhaps, they want to seem cool and in control of their hoes in front of the camera. Well, maybe they gay? Nah, lets say gayish. Because, more often than not, they are hanging on some of their boys rappin' about, "I'll die for my nigga, ride for my nigga." All the while, these chicks to kill for are on the sidelines, mere props in the testosterone party.
In "Big Pimpin,'" when Jay-Z said, "Me give my heart to a women — Never," I just never got it. In the context of the song, I guess it makes sense, but…he didn't say — bitch, ho, hooker, prostitute. He said women and rappers are always clear on the massive difference between a bitch/ho/slut and a woman. And then, all jiggas aside, it's just common for rap dudes, to just HATE (not hatin' — loathing) chicks. Why? I don't know, but I do know this, if you hate women, who you lovin'? Misogyny isn't the same as being gay though, so most likely that's all that is. Jay is my nuh though and you know this because I may be one of 10 in the continental US that thinks he won the battle with Nas.
How did these gayish homoerotic undertones manifest in hip-hop? While some people think cats are just GAY (which they might), I think it's a case of cats trying to hard — so hard they are inhumane. For example with Puff, it seems that dun feels the loyalty he has from his homies is stronger than a chick. And with Jay, you know pimps can't show emotions. Ultimately, to be with women, it often means showing a softer side — ewwwwww — or as I call it, being a 'beyach'. But, me, I'd chill with a chick before I hang on the block with a bunch of hairy niggas. But that's just me.
Let's not forget the women of hip-hop, because they are often more liberal in saying and doing blatantly homoerotic things, which is often more acceptable — if its woman on woman. Lil' Kim apparently envisioned her self as a gay male when, on "Suck My D**k," she rapped, "Imagine if I was dude and hittin' cats from the back-With no strings attached." With all the so-called homophobia [ok, overt homophobia] in hip-hop, this song was a shocking success. Also, in the song she says she "even got some of these straight chicks rubbing their tits." Conversely, what if a well-known rapper said, "I even got some of you straight niggas jerking off." How gay would he be? And the homoerotic underground for has touched many a hip-hop lady — from Latifah to MC Lyte to Trina. Even in Tweet's video for "Oops," she talks of looking over to the left and there is Missy ... looking like a sexy gorilla. Very gayish.
Finally, the homoerotic nature of rap is not a problem. It keeps us guessing, laughing, talking, gossiping, assuming and entertained. And, as I said it's not a matter of discovering if rappers are gay or not. And, as I said, its not a matter me "outing" rappers. They will do that on their own if they want to. The homoerotic/ gayish underbelly of rap, just is.
[To reach illseed, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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