LGBT hip hop

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LGBT hip hop, also known as by names such as homo hop or queer hip hop, is a genre of hip hop music performed by LGBT artists and performers. It has been described as "a global movement of gay hip-hop MCs and fans determined to stake their claim in a genre too often associated with homophobia and anti-gay lyrics."[1]

The genre is not marked by a specific production style—artists within it may simultaneously be associated with virtually any other subgenre of hip hop—but rather by a lyrical focus on LGBT themes.


The genre first emerged in the 1990s as an underground movement, particularly in the American state of California.[2] Initially coined by Tim'm T. West of Deep Dickollective,[2] the term "homo hop" was not meant to signify a distinct genre of music, but simply to serve as a community building and promotional tool for LGBT artists. According to West:

West's bandmate Juba Kalamka offered a similar assessment:

Notable events in the 2000s included the PeaceOUT World Homo Hop Festival, which was founded in 2001[4] and mounted annually until 2008, and the 2006 documentary film Pick Up the Mic.[2]

By the early 2010s, a new wave of openly LGBT hip hop musicians began to emerge, spurred in part by the increased visibility and social acceptance of LGBT people,[5] the coming out of mainstream hip hop stars such as Azealia Banks and Frank Ocean[6] and the release of LGBT-positive songs by heterosexual artists such as Murs, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Adair Lion. Although inspired and empowered by the homo hop movement,[2] this newer generation of artists garnered more mainstream media coverage and were able to make greater use of social networking tools to build their audience,[3] and thus did not need to rely on the old homo hop model of community building.[2] Many of these artists were also strongly influenced by the LGBT African American ball culture,[5] an influence not widely seen in the first wave of homo hop, and many began as performance art projects and incorporated the use of drag.[7] Accordingly, many of the newer artists were identified in media coverage with the newer "queer hip hop" label instead of "homo hop".[2]

In March 2012, Carrie Battan of Pitchfork profiled Mykki Blanco, Le1f, Zebra Katz and House of LaDosha in an article titled "We Invented Swag: NYC Queer Rap" about "a group of NYC artists [who] are breaking down ideas of hip-hop identity".[7]

In October 2012, Details profiled several LGBT hip hop artists "indelibly changing the face—and sound—of rap".[8]

In March 2014 the online magazine has published a first overview of queer hip hop videos worldwide. The article talks about topics, aesthetics and challenges of LGBT hip hop in Angola, Argentina, Cuba, Germany, Israel, Serbia, South Africa and USA.".[9]

Notable artists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chonin, Neva (2001-12-16). "Hip to homo-hop: Oakland's D/DC fuses gay and black identities with eyebrow-raising rhyme". San Francisco Chronicle. p. PK - 54. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Homo Hop is dead, Queer hip hop is the real deal". 429 Magazine, March 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Homohop's Role Within Hip-Hop: Juba Kalamka Interview". Amoeba Music, July 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Thomas, Devon (2004-07-12). "'Homo-Hop' Has a Say". Newsweek. p. PK - 54. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco and the rise of queer rap". The Guardian, June 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "Hip-Hop’s Bustin’ out the Closet". David Atlanta, August 1, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e "We Invented Swag: NYC's Queer Rap". Pitchfork, March 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "Hip Hop's Queer Pioneers". Details, October 2012.
  9. ^ "Queer Hip Hop Clips From 8 Countries". Norient, March 2014.
  10. ^ Azealia Banks: Fighting Talk. Dazed & Confused, September 2012.
  11. ^ "Meet Brooke Candy: Rapper, Stripper, Warrior", LA Weekly, August 28, 2012.
  12. ^ "Too Gay for Hip-Hop? Le1f Takes On Traditionally Homophobic Genre". The Daily Beast, August 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Carter, Kelly. "Nicki Minaj Wants To Bridge ‘Gap’ Between Gay Fans And Hip-Hop". MTV. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Gajewski, Ryan. "Is Nicki Minaj Gay? The Answer Might Surprise You!". Retrieved 6 October 2014.