Run-D.M.C.’s Darryl McDaniels was a guest on the VH1 special, “Love & Hip Hop: Out in Hip Hop,” which featured an open discussion on the relationship between the LGBT community and its relationship with hip-hop. The show aired immediately following the latest episode of “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood.”
McDaniels took part in an industry panel that included Allhiphop.com’s Chuck Creekmur, celebrity publicist BJ Coleman and musician-reality star Ray J, among others. CNN anchor TJ Holmes hosted the conversation and relied heavily on hip-hop pioneer McDaniels to weigh in on questions pertaining to the authenticity of hip-hop. McDaniels was candid in his perspective, starting the discussion by slighting one of hip-hop’s biggest claims to fame. “Hip hop uses disrespect as a false sense of power,” McDaniels stated. He went on to say hip-hop has consistently used disrespect against women. “If hip hop won’t respect women, how can you expect it to respect a gay man?” he asked.
McDaniels pointed out that the industry has long been familiar with the LGBT community just not in the position of “rapper.” “A rapper is the only job frowned upon if you are gay,” McDaniels explained, “there have always been gay stylists, singers, choreographers.”
To McDaniels’ point, the industry has never attempted to hide the influence of the LGBT community on other areas of entertainment. Many rappers will admit to having gay publicists, stylists, vocal trainers, etc., however, there is still a huge taboo on rap artists themselves admitting to an LGBT lifestyle.
Later in the discussion, “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” alumni Ray J admitted to having used what he saw as harmless terms — that others defined as gay slurs — in casual conversation, but acknowledged after participating in the discussion he would remove the words from his vocabulary. “I have all kinds of friends, straight, gay everybody. I don’t play that,” Ray J said during his introduction. “I’ve said some of those words before and after hearing how they’ve hurt some of the people tonight, I’m going to remove them from my vocabulary. I think if we keep doing things like this and having the conversation, it will get better.”