The conversation about hip-hop and homosexuality has been a hot topic for years, with an array of artists and activists weighing in on the matter. And after some high-profile comments from rapper Game earlier this year, veteran emcee Fat Joe is now sharing his opinion on the matter, advocating that members of the LGBT community come out of the closet, and claiming that hip-hop is run by an alleged gay mafia.
While speaking with DJ Vlad, Joe expressed his support for legendary hip-hop star DJ Mister Cee, who earlier this year was caught engaging in a public sex act with a drag queen. When asked if he’s ever recorded with a closeted gay rapper, Joe explained that he’s sure he has.
“I think I’ve done songs with gay rappers. I’m pretty sure of that. I’m pretty sure the football ni–as is gay, the basketball ni–as is gay — ni–as is gay. There’s millions of gay people in the world. Girls, too,” said Joe, before expressing his disdain for the idea of being in the closet. “Once again, I’m not a fan of that s– either. I’m a fan of, ‘Yo, I’m gay, what the f–k?’ 2011, you gotta hide that you’re gay? Be real! Like, ‘I’m gay, what the f–k?’ If you gay, you gay. That’s your preference. F–k it, if the people don’t like it.”
When asked if the hip-hop community would ever see an openly gay rapper, Joe explained that the world of hip-hop is ruled by an alleged “gay mafia,” consisting of high-powered gay and bisexual individuals in the media.
“[Hip-hop] is the greatest gay market in the world. The hip-hop community is most likely owned by gays. I happen to think there’s a gay mafia in hip-hop. Not rappers — editorial presidents of magazines, the [program directors] at radio stations, the people who give you awards at award shows. This is the f–king gay mafia, my man. They’re in power,” he continued. “So why wouldn’t a guy come out and say, ‘Yo, I’m gay’ and get that type of love? Like Lady Gaga, I don’t know if she’s gay but she’s running with that gay s–t for real. And she is winning. Rap music ain’t no different.”
Joe concluded, “Everybody got someone gay in their house, in their family. I’m not saying in their same house, but in their family, somebody got somebody gay. I think it’s 2011 going on 2012. I think if you’re gay, rep your set.”
In an age when hip-hop is clearly reaching new heights in both musical and community growth, it’s evident from Fat Joe’s words that a community once branded as entirely homophobic and sexist is now maturing into one that reflects America’s growing understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community. Here are five other great moments of acceptance between the hip-hop and LGBT communities. –nicholas robinson
1. Eminem Performs With Elton John – After being branded asAmerica’s most hated celebrity homophobe for derogatory lyrics against the LGBT community, Eminem set out to prove the world wrong when he hit the stage with gay icon Elton John at the 2001 Grammy awards. Though Em still flaunted the word “fa—ot” in his lyrics, his performance with John still showed a ray of hope for hip-hop’s growth.
2. Kanye West Calls Out Hip-Hop Homophobia – West came into hip-hop intent on changing the genre, and he has in more ways than one. In 2005, during his high-profile rise to stardom, West shared with MTV his personal journey from homophobe to LGBT ally and criticized others in the hip-hop community for being homophobic.
3. Nicki Minaj Covers OUT magazine – Like Lady Gaga, avante-garde emcee Nicki Minaj has branded herself as a new-age gay icon and in a high-profile show of support for her gay audience, Minaj graced the October 2010 cover of OUT magazine, and shared her thoughts on closing the gap between hip-hop and the LGBT community.
4. Game Supports Gay Rappers – In a move that was truly out of left field, hard-core emcee Game also spoke with DJ Vlad earlier this year about his views on DJ Mister Cee and homosexuality and explained that he doesn’t have a problem with gay people and wants those in the closet to come out. Though his comments on HIV transmission rates and the downlow lacked proper scientific basis, Games words were still encouraging.
5. Russell Simmons – Hip-hop’s premier LGBT ally, Simmons has netted a number of great moments in the fight to make hip-hop more accepting, including advocating for gay marriage, participating in the famous “NOH8” campaign, counseling Tracy Morgan during his homophobic scandal and defending hip-hop’s social growth.