Is hip-hop's attitude changing?
Thu, 16 Aug 2012 10:58p.m.
By Ali Ikram
When Tyler the Creator used gay slurs 213 times on one album, accusations of homophobia saw his collective Odd Future dropped from the Big Day Out
But the situation was not black and white: Odd Future has an openly gay DJ, and last month another member, Frank Ocean, declared his own bisexuality.
Ocean's announcement was cheered on by important figures in the hip-hop community.
So does this mean hip hop has been dragged into the 21st century?
We went to a man who recently changed his name to Snoop Lion for his considered opinion.
"When I was growing up you could never make that announcement, there would be so much scrutiny, negativity and hate because that's what we were brainwashed and trained to know,” he says.
“But nowadays you see people supported because we have love for people no matter what they are and who they are.
Rapper Ice-T says it’s a bit more complicated than that.
"These kids are saying it's pop music and being pop and gay is ok. It would be difficult to listen to a gay gangsta rapper – that would be a little, ‘wait a minute you tied him up and did what?’”
Meanwhile, another rapper – The Game – has his own take on the situation.
"The Game doesn't have a problem with gay people, The Game has a problem with people who are pretending not to be gay because you can be fooling someone and give them aids.”
Perhaps the only safe conclusion is that if you're searching for a moral compass there are better places than the entertainment industry to find it.
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