Monday, July 16, 2012

Sexual Orientation in Hip-Hop/R&B

If you look through my iTunes library it is pretty safe to say hip-hop/r&b are my favorite genres of music. Artists such as Gang Starr, Lupe Fiasco, Lauryn Hill, Rick Ross, Outkast and Jay-Z  dominate the playlists on my ipod. Ever since I started listening to music I've been captivated by the sound and lyrics of hip-hop. Even as a hip-hop/r&b head, I have noticed the change in lyrical content over the years and this is a big reason why people are unattracted and turned away by this style of music. I'll admit, many songs have ignorant messages that revolve around sexuality and women. Sexual orientation, more specifically as in gay males, is heavily criticized and abused in the industry. A lot of artists incorporate lyrics poking fun at "gays" and referencing weak qualities or unorthodox actions by other males as "gay." This being said I always wondered if a male rapper/r&b singer would come out and tell the truth of his orientation. Obvisouly the fear for artists who still hide their sexuaity is the negative impact it would take on their careers. The fear of losing millions and not being accepted in the industry is severe enough that I can understand why there has not been an announced gay artist. Well, a couple weeks ago some of my questions would be answered. R&b artist Frank Ocean revealed in a letter on his blog about a relationship he had with a male when he was 19. I follow him on twitter and the days after his announcement Frank was under heavy attack by "fans". Some stated that they were going to delete all of his music of their iPod's because he is gay and some just bluntly criticized him for his orientation. I found an interesting interview by rapper Game where he discusses his view of gay men in the industry.
I have my own views on the sexual orientation, just as everybody has a right and entitled too, but if  your music is good, it's good. Like Game stated in his interview, they're a few rappers that he "believes" are gay and has collaborated with. Your favorite artist might be gay and you never know. Music is all about comfort and so far Ocean's music has changed where it makes me uncomfortable not to support. That being said Ocean's new album Channel Orange is pretty good. I think his mix-tape Nostalgia, Ultra was better but music is music, and so far it has been 50/50 as far as support for his new album. My favorite track is "Pink Matter" featuring Andre 3000. Check it out!!

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