Hip Hop Monday #11: Intentionally Misinterpreting Some Rap As If Being Gay Was Considered Good By The Rapper

June is Pride month and, given that Tyler saying ‘faggot’ got plenty of attention, both on this blog and whilst out talking to real humans, I thought I would do something annoying and facetious to celebrate. Now, we all know that being gay is neither good nor bad, but many famous rappers from the murky, unknown times before Odd Future invented homophobia tended to, surprisingly, use homosexuality as a jigsaw piece that would pretty much immediately imply a bunch of negative connotations. As the title of this post implies, I will be cherrypicking quotes from rap songs and reading them as if the rapper considered homosexuality to immediately imply a bunch of positive connotations.

Nas – Halftime (Illmatic, 1994)

Versatile, my style switches like a faggot
But not bisexual, I’m an intellectual
Of rap I’m a professional and that’s no question, yo.

Halftime is the best song on Illmatic, Illmatic is Nas’ best album and Nas is a god-tier rapper (to the extent that when he drops new songs, after more than a decade of doing the opposite of what he did on Illmatic, people still get excited), so this is a very high profile place in the context of hip hop history. Nas plays the difference between heterosexual and homosexual relations against each other to show how different he is, and how aggressively versatile. He is “not bisexual” – this perhaps implies that he is an all-or-nothing rapper, never operating in the shades of the spectrum, but always in black and white, concrete ideas that have conventional, understood meaning to a broad sector of society.

50 Cent – In Da Club (Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 2002)

I’m that cat by the bar toasting to the good life
Yo that faggot ass nigga trying to pull me back right?

A number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, this is another very high profile example of what we are talking about. In these lines, 50 Cent is celebrating his success, but perhaps to excess. His level-headed homosexual friend pulls him aside and convinces him to calm down and not fall victim to the trappings of success as so many have before him.

Lil Wayne – A Milli (Tha Carter III, 2008)

On some faggot bullshit
Call him Dennis Rodman

Lil Wayne’s rap ‘n’ bullshit is in a homosexual style, underpinned by the fact that he kissed Birdman on the lips once. He warrants comparison to Dennis Rodman, who is not gay but occasionally cross-dresses. Everyone is created equal.

Lil B – I’m A Fag I’m A Lesbian

…fuck knows.

A Tribe Called Quest feat. Brand Nubian – Georgie Porgie (Low End Theory outtake, 1991)

Call me homophobic but I know it and you know it
You’re filthy and funny to the utmost exponent
So never will I do it – disrespect my mommy
So go and hide your salami

This unreleased Tribe song, held back by the record label because of how universally positive it was about gay people, is actually entirely on the subject of homosexuality. Yes, even your favourite ‘sound’ rappers, called “the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s,” by AllMusic, were on the pro-gay tip.

So next time you’re kicking it to Can I Kick It? and reminiscing about the time you reblogged tumblr posts about Tyler being the devil, think on that.


5 responses to “Hip Hop Monday #11: Intentionally Misinterpreting Some Rap As If Being Gay Was Considered Good By The Rapper

  1. lol Lil B is beyond whack. good post, but let’s not give him more recognition than he deserves.

  2. Re: Nas rap

    “switches like a faggot”

    I think he uses faggot to refer to a bundle of sticks. And the word switches is meant to refer to a corporal punishment stick.

    Switch = stick.
    Faggots = sticks.

    He says “not bi-sexual” to stop the gay comparisons before they start. Too late. An intellectual can connect the stick-theme, wheres a juvenile mindset hears ‘faggot’ and thinks gay. Gay means happy intellectually, do you know that?

  3. Yeah I wasn’t being 100% serious on this one dude.

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