LGBT hip hop
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|LGBT hip hop
Homo hop, queer hip hop
|Cultural origins||1990s in the United States|
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."
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. Initially coined by Tim'm West of Deep Dickollective, 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:
|“||It reflected an effort to give credence to a sub-genre of hip hop that the mainstream was ignoring. It's not a different kind of hip hop, but places identity at the center of production, which is a blessing and curse. I'm a hip hop artist, ultimately, who happens to be queer. Homo Hop, as a mobilizing medium for queer artists, did, in fact, serve a purpose, initially.||”|
West's bandmate Juba Kalamka offered a similar assessment:
|“||Should there be a separate term for female emcees like femcee? Or ones like gangsta? Crunk? Trap music? Snap? Africentrist? Conscious? Whatever. In many cases the terms get created or reappropriated by people because they need something make them stand out, or to validate their cultural or social space. "Homohop," like any other subcultural sub-genre designation, gave and still gives a listener or fan something to grab onto. The first person I heard say "homohop" was my former bandmate Tim'm West in the context of an interview in 2001...and even then it was a big joke, totally tongue-in-cheek. If you called it "Fruit Rollup," people would be saying that now.||”|
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, the coming out of mainstream hip hop stars such as Azealia Banks and Frank Ocean 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, 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, and thus did not need to rely on the old homo hop model of community building. Many of these artists were also strongly influenced by the LGBT African American ball culture, an influence not widely seen in the first wave of homo hop. Accordingly, many of the newer artists were identified in media coverage with the newer "queer hip hop" label.
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 are breaking down ideas of hip-hop identity".
- 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.
- "Homo Hop is dead, Queer hip hop is the real deal". 429 Magazine, March 11, 2013.
- "Homohop's Role Within Hip-Hop: Juba Kalamka Interview". Amoeba Music, July 7, 2009.
- Thomas, Devon (2004-07-12). "'Homo-Hop' Has a Say". Newsweek. p. PK - 54. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
- "Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco and the rise of queer rap". The Guardian, June 9, 2012.
- "Hip-Hop’s Bustin’ out the Closet". David Atlanta, August 1, 2012.
- "We Invented Swag: NYC's Queer Rap". Pitchfork, March 21, 2012.
- "Hip Hop's Queer Pioneers". Details, October 2012.
- Azealia Banks: Fighting Talk. Dazed & Confused, September 2012.
- "Meet Brooke Candy: Rapper, Stripper, Warrior", LA Weekly, August 28, 2012.
- "Too Gay for Hip-Hop? Le1f Takes On Traditionally Homophobic Genre". The Daily Beast, August 10, 2012.