Homophobia in hip hop culture

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Homophobia in hip hop culture is the homophobic attitude from hip hop artists towards LGBT people, in the form of song lyrics that use anti-gay slurs and normalize violence against LGBT people.

In 1979, the Sugarhill Gang released "Rapper’s Delight", which is the first hip hop record to become a top 40 hit. Although their homophobia was minuscule[according to whom?] compared to other rappers in hip hop, “Rapper’s Delight” did exhibit slights to fictional character Superman, who was referred to as a “fairy” for wearing a tight suit.

In 1986, the hip hop trio Beastie Boys originally wanted to name their debut album Don’t Be A Faggot, but their record label Columbia Records refused to release it under that title, so it changed to Licensed To Ill. Years later, the Beastie Boys formally apologized to the LGBT community for the “shitty and ignorant” things they said on their first record.[1]

In song lyrics[edit]

Ice-T stated on his autobiography that record-label executive Seymour Stein took the exception to a homophobic line in his song "409": "Guys grab a girl, girls grab a guy/If a guy wants a guy, please take it outside".[2] Ice-T later became one of the first rappers to condemn homophobia on raps such as Straight Up Nigga and The Tower in his album OG Original Gangster.

Many songs by rapper Eminem have been considered homophobic for his frequent use of anti-gay slurs, especially the song "Criminal" from his third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), which containing lines like: "My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge, That'll stab you in the head, whether you're a fag or lez. pants or dress? Hate fags? The answer's 'yes'". In an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, Eminem denies being homophobic and explained the frequent use of the slur "faggot" in his lyrics, that this word was "thrown around constantly" in battle rapping and he does not refer it to gay people.[3] The album The Marshall Mathers LP was nominated for Album of the Year by the Grammy Awards 2001, which leads to protests due to the album's controversial content. At the show, Eminem performed "Stan" with openly gay musician Elton John as response.[4]

In the lyrics of one song on rapper Trick-Trick's 2008 album The Villain, he refers to Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell as "dyke bitches" and says he will send a "scud missile right through their fucking cruise ship". Trick-Trick expressed his dislike towards homosexuals in an interview with music site AllHipHop: “Faggots hate me and I don’t give a fuck. I don’t want your faggot money any goddam way.”.[5]


  1. ^ "Hip-Hop's History Of Homophobia (LIST)". GlobalGrind.com. September 18, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Marrow, Tracy; Century, Douglas (2011). Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood. Random House. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-0-345-52328-0.
  3. ^ "Eminem Discusses Homophobic Lyrics With Anderson Cooper- News - Towleroad". Web.archive.org. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  4. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (24 March 2017). "Elton John Defends Eminem Against Charges Of Homophobia". Huff Post. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  5. ^ "U.S. Rapper Trick Trick Tells Gays Not to Buy His Homophobic Album - Towleroad". Towleroad.com. November 12, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2017.

External links[edit]