Five Straight Rappers Who Support LGBT Rights
A$AP Rocky first spoke out on the subject of gay rights in 2011: "That shit is ignorant," he said. "You will lose a lot of time and friendship being homophobic. That's being racist but in a sexual way. It's like being sexually racist." Then this month, he graced the cover of Interview magazine and, inside, expressed disbelief that gay rights was still something to even be debated. "One big issue in hip-hop is the gay thing," he said. "It's 2013, and it's a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It's crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid -- and that's not the case." Clearly not, sir. We salute you.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore's "Same Love" is one of the most articulate and succinct objections to the backwards rhetoric spewed in the direction of the LGBT community we've ever heard. Here, the Seattle MC beats down stereotypes about the gay community, the disgraceful fear society puts into children about what homosexuality means, and the ridiculousness of basing social policy in 2013 on the Old Testament. He draws parallels between homophobia and racism, criticizes his own community for dropping "faggot" like it ain't no thang, and powerfully asserts: "No freedom til we're equal. Damn right I support it." One of our favorite songs of 2012.
Last summer, Murs didn't just throw on a "Legalize Gay" T-shirt. He didn't just write a song about the tragedy that comes with trying to hide who you are. No. Dude went one step further and kissed a dude in his music video. "Animal Style" was a next-level declaration. Murs explained at the time: "I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip-hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exists within hip-hop culture."
While guilty of using the heinous F-word on early records, Jay-Z's come a long way, baby. Last year, he made his position on LGBT rights abundantly clear in an interview with CNN: "I've always thought [of] it as something that's still holding the country back," he said of homophobic public policy. "It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple." High five, Jigga -- we can't help but wonder if you heading in this pro-gay direction had something to do with your BFF...
Credit where credit is due: Kanye West was one of the first openly-pro-gay rappers. And although he held onto his ridiculous vernacular when he was explaining why homophobia stinks, all the way back in 2005, he definitely made his point: "Everybody in hip-hop discriminates against gay people. Like yo, you play a record and if it's wack, 'That's gay, dog!' And I wanna just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it fam.'" Yeah, fam! Stop it! Okay, okay, so he's not at the Macklemore level of articulate point-making, but full marks for effort. Let's face it, he was way ahead of the pack and he's been making anti-homophobia comments publicly ever since. Thanks fam.