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Tegan and Sara Are Pissed About Tyler the Creator’s Homophobic Raps. But What About Nicki Minaj’s New Insult?

Why can’t musicians stop saying that “faggots” equal “stupid shit,” and making backhanded insults about the gays? Don’t they know that without contributions by homosexuals, the world’s entire musical output would be limited to a few Burl Ives albums?

The latest battles are over Tyler the Creator and Nicki Minaj. Last week, Tegan and Sarah issued a “Call for Change,” fed up with industry praise for up-and-coming prodigy Tyler. Here’s what they had to say:

As journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate ‘Tyler, the Creator,’ I find it impossible not to comment. In any other industry would I be expected to tolerate, overlook and find deeper meaning in this kid’s sickening rhetoric? Why should I care about this music or its “brilliance” when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible? …

No genre is without its controversial and offensive characters- I’m not naive. I’ve asked myself a thousand times why this is pushing me over the edge. Maybe it’s the access to him (his grotesque twitter, etc). Maybe it’s because I’m a human being, both a girl and a lesbian. Maybe it’s because my mom has spent her whole adult life working with teenage girls who were victims of sexual assault. Maybe it’s because in this case I don’t think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message.

Here’s a sampling of Tyler’s work:

  • Come take a stab at it faggot, I preordered your casket
  • Deep down, I’m an emo fuckin’ faggot that’s depressed
  • You silly rabbit faggot tricks are for kids so we go, Abracadabra

Are lyrics like these equivalent to gay bashing? We think so. They dehumanize LGBTs, and when Tyler says “I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit,” he’s not just talking about “stupid shit,” he’s talking about us. GLAAD, please get on this.

A bit less incendiary is Nicki Minaj’s new “So Special,” which contains the line “you’re softer than a homosexual.” Hm … insulting? She seems to be taunting the listener in the song, but it’s hard to tell if she means “softer” in a bad way or a good way.

At any rate, she’s stereotyping us — but it’s one of those stereotypes that’s also a little bit true. Lots of gays are soft, after all. There’s no shame in being femme. If Jake Shears wrote the same lyric, we would probably be giggling with recognition. But there’s a difference when it’s a straight person looking in at our community, versus a gay person talking to their own people.

And let’s not forget that Nicki also excused Eminem’s homophobic rapping by saying that he’s just a character, and doesn’t really mean it.

Well, sure, that may be true. But whether he means it or not, it doesn’t make it any less dangerous to bombard people with lyrics that make it OK to bash queers.

By:           matt baume
On:           May 16, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 41 Comments
    • John
      John

      I find pop culture critics who comment on what is and is not homophobic sadly lacking when these same standards are applied to the very same politicians and political parties we are commanded to vote for every election. Eminem isn’t blocking or refusing to act on my rights. So far as I can tell, this “homophobic” rapper has a more progressive position on marriage equality than HomophObama. Nicki Minaj didn’t refuse to repeal DOMA when her party had control of the White House and Congress.

      Critics who undertake such manufactured controversies serve a very important function: they reinforce homophobia by distracting people away from we should be directing our attention.

      These kinds of pop culture rants are demeaning to queers. You seem to imply we should give two shits about this or that pop icon, but NOT about the people in power who have the power to make it better, but refuse.

      May 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ernest
      Ernest

      Nicki needs to cut her shit cuz it’s the gay fan base that makes her successful, the hoodlums and hoodrats don’t like her!

      May 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kelli
      Kelli

      How is it that you know Nicki Minaj’s sexual self-identification? It seems presumptuous for you to assume that she is not a member of this community?

      May 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ
      DJ

      Ya’ll act like “gay bashing” in the hip-hop community is something new. Seriously, get over it because it’s not going anywhere. Rappers try to project this hard image and we all know that image is brought out well by degrading others. That’s just a part of the facade. Most of them aren’t really homophobic at all. Some of them are even closeted homos.

      And, Nicki Minaj a homophobe? Psh, please. She loves here Mos. And I love her too :D

      May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Perkins
      Mark Perkins

      “But there’s a difference when it’s a straight person looking in at our community, versus a gay person talking to their own people.”

      Would you say that’s the same as the African American community and the N word?

      May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • matt baume
      matt baume

      @Mark Perkins: No, not the same, but I do think there’s a certain degree of symmetry.

      No word has the same history, baggage, and significance as “nigger,” so I wouldn’t say that “faggot” is the same. For that matter, I don’t think that any slur is exactly the same as any other.

      But that having been said, yes, I do think that they are both good examples of oppressed people appropriating the tools of their oppression.

      May 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jay
      jay

      why does nobody say anything when all this rappers say ” dkye ” in there lyrics ? and i dont see how nicki’s is a gay slur at all she said nothing bad about homosexuals and plus nicki has always embraced homosexuality mainly the lesbian side but embraced homosexuality in all as a whole

      May 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Black culture is extremely homophobic. Tylor the Creator is a piece of shit.

      May 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ray
      Ray

      You’ll never take the ghetto out of them so there is no need trying. Just ignore the fools and in a few months they’ll be back working at KFC.

      May 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lucas
      Lucas

      Wow the self-hating hiphop trolls AND gay nazis came out the woodwork. What’s going on here?

      Let me translate the various comments from both groups for easy consumption:

      “Nicki loves me even though ‘soft’ is an obvious pejorative in rap music.”

      “I hate black people.”

      Done.

      May 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Ray: Wow racist much?

      I dont agree with excusing lyrics like that.I like Nicki and she does care about the LGBT community but shes got to step up her game and so do all the other ones out there making excuses for hatred and homophobia.

      May 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikey walsh
      Mikey walsh

      Wow, y’all are crazy racist, this is kind of disgusting.
      Also, OF’s DJ, Syd Tha Kid, (who mixed both of Tyler’s albums) is a lesbian, and Tyler has stated many times that he’s “not homophobic”. I’m not excusing their undoubtedly homophobic and hateful behavior, but you guys should know the whole story before you dismiss them.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Porter
      Chris Porter

      You realize all this attention you all are giving Tyler is exactly what he wants. He is saying what he is saying for shock value, and look, it’s working. It doesn’t matter because he has a few good songs and the rest are whack, so in my opinion he isn’t even worth arguing over.
      As for Nicki. Rap lyrics are like a puzzle. We won’t know exactly what she meant unless directly asked. Also she is openly bisexual. There is a video on youtube of her way before she got famous talking about eating pussy… so yeah.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      I found out about this Tyler fellow and his group a couple months ago. Being that it sounds like a rags to riches success story, I wanted to find something to like in their music, I really did. But after downloading an album of theirs, it didn’t sound like anything special, and then I was bombarded with anti-gay slurs in the lyrics by the second track. I just hit stop and deleted it, another group to ignore.

      There are so many hip hop albums that are revolutionary and don’t resort to gay bashing, and it disappoints me that this group would get all of this undeserved attention while standing in the shadows of giants.

      I check Amazon.com/vinyl every day as a music lover and Tyler’s album has consistently been in the top ten bestselling albums. It makes me pretty sad that people are buying it.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pan Pan
      Pan Pan

      No more excuses for niggers and their “culture.” NONE.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • matt baume
      matt baume

      @Pan Pan: We definitely do not talk that way here. This is your only warning to knock it off.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikey
      Mikey

      you guys seriously need to deal with the racism on your website or i won’t be coming back.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • $0.02
      $0.02

      Nicky Minaj is not a Lesbian or bisexual. She has stated a few weeks back that she only said she was bisexual to gain attention and to some degree it worked. She is straight and actually quite supportive of the LGBT Community.

      Someone on here made a great point, no one becomes outraged and complains when Lesbians/Bisexual women are called d*kes or their sexuality is asserted as some type of kinky sexual favor/chore/fantasy that is for the purposes of pleasing straight men in this music? Believe it or not it actually does happen quite often. Two lesbians spoke up about the use of a pejorative term against gay men. Gay men, why no love back to your lesbian sisters??? Anyone, male or female, gay or straight that will speak up for me, heck it’s only right that I show the same support in return. Just a thought…

      May 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Pan Pan:

      Wow you are despicable please take your KKK loving ass somewhere else .I am WHITE and have tons of african american friends I adore them.

      I do not however adore people like YOU so step off already with your hateful bigoted ass.

      May 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon
      Shannon

      Nicki who? Tyler the What?

      May 16, 2011 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • $0.02
      $0.02

      Oh yeah and to actually address the article/issue at hand here if anything I know my dollars speak. I will never support anyone’s art if it attacks and Gay men, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Trans-sexuals/transgendered folks, Queer Identified people and Intersexed people. That is what I think of this type of shock value.

      Even if it is produced by a member of the community, in this case a Lesbian which makes this worse. It is only a matter of time before that use anti-Lesbian terms against her. Being a Lesbian does not now mean you are in the straight boys club. If they hate/loath/dislike gay men they really do not care for you and who you are either. It will only be a matter of time before they start calling you names when they realize you won’t let them get in on the action… just my $0.02

      May 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adonis-of-Fire
      Adonis-of-Fire

      Who the fvck are these nigroes and why should I care?

      May 17, 2011 at 3:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Why is it that, when a white person like Vince Vaughn says “electric cars are gay”, GLAAD is banging on his doorstep asking for an apology but, if a black person says “faggot” hundreds of times, GLAAD is nowhere to be seen? Interesting double standard, isn’t it.

      This demonstrates political correctness on the part of GLAAD. GLAAD seems reluctant to attack homophobia when it comes from black people.

      May 17, 2011 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      Uh, Queerty, you know I emailed you about Tyler the day his record came out, right? With quotes from his Twitter stream — fucktyler — and a link to the adoring New York Times article that didn’t mention how every other word out of his mouth is “faggot,” “homo,” or “dyke”?

      And, uh, you didn’t write a freakin’ WORD about him.

      I also emailed Other Music, who raved about his cd. They told me a black gay male wrote the review, and he says Tyler is okay, quoting the New York Times. I emailed his record company, who also give us Radiohead and Sigur Ros. They didn’t reply.

      It’s about time we shut this idiot up — and chastize everybody who, as usual, said “He’s outrageous, but he’s cool, because he’s only anti-female and anti-gay!”

      More details — including how to complain to the record label — here: http://worldclassstupid.blogspot.com/2011/05/xl-recordings-is-prestigious-london.html

      May 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alex
      alex

      LOL Tegan and Sara, this site, and any commenter who has something negative to say about Odd Future or Nicki Minaj is out of touch with current gay culture. Go to any gay club when there is a younger crowd and watch what happens when anything Nicki Minaj comes on.

      And seriously, if you choose to demonize Odd Future for just using faggot without actually listening to his lyrical content, don’t post articles about them which make them more popular.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      Alex, you don’t appear particularly smart when you advise people to fight something by not talking about it.

      Here’s some of Tyler Twitter feed as of May 9. Email the news media — Towleroad and Gawker still haven’t written about this — as well as his record label and record stores.

      —————-

      Might Change My Twitter Name Cause Some Faggot Made A Website Named After It, And People Think I Or OF Have Something To Do With It.
      8 hours ago

      6OLDEN 6OLFIN 6OBLIN IS OUT IN EUROPE TODAY. GO BUY THE SHIT OR BE A FAGGOT AND DOWNLOAD IT ILLEGALLY FUCK YOU
      9 hours ago

      @LegoHeaad And Manchild Are So Gay http://yfrog.com/h8hcqxcj
      17 hours ago

      Just Walked Into Abercrombie With My Sister Cause She Wants A Shirt. It Smells Like Faggot In Here.
      8 May

      *waits for real hip hop underground 94 only faggots to complain about me being a fan of 1017*
      8 May

      How Many Of You Faggots Can Relate To HER? I Feel Like Alot Of You Can.
      8 May

      @im_on_foodstamp Thats Not My Website You Fucking Faggot
      8 May

      Feel Better. Sup Faggots?
      6 May

      @KyyleVenegaas I Do Too, Instead I’m A Rapper Who Faggots Like You Tweet At Because You Have No Talent Or Anything Going For Yourself.
      6 May

      So Depressing, Went To A Skatepark Out Here, But Couldn’t Skate Cause These Faggot Photographers And Journalist Were Annoying Me.
      4 May

      Nto Having A Fuckign Working Phone Is Fucking Gay Fuck!
      2 May

      @SeanTheROBOT Well This Isn’t A Year Ago Now Faggot, Get Off My Dick.
      2 May

      @TheMustacheMan Yeah, I’m Back On The 7th! So On The 8th Forsure Faggot
      30 Apr

      It Feels So Fucking Gay Not being Able To Fucking Take Pictures Of THe Retarded Shit I See Out Here
      30 Apr

      Fuck You Lady. Fucking `dyke
      28 Apr

      @christianclancy Got This Gay Ass Shit http://yfrog.com/h8ih4vyj
      27 Apr

      I Said Fuck Faggot College And Followed My ‘Dreams’. That Shit Sounds So Corny But Nigga I Got My Own Fucking Label Now! What The Fuck!!!
      27 Apr

      These Bitches Is Gay http://yfrog.com/gyef9ubj
      26 Apr

      Also, To All My New Faggot Ass Followers Who Only Follows Me Because They Heard YONKERS, Download My Album BASTARD At ODDFUTURE.COM
      25 Apr

      Hey Faggots, THem Niggas At iTunes Fixed The Price On That Deluxe Shit Niggas
      21 Apr

      DAMN, HARD FEST IS SOME GAY ASS TECHNO RAVE SHIT. I Seriously Need OF Fans To Come And Fuck Shit Up.
      19 Apr

      O No! its A Dyke! Ahhhhhh Run!
      18 Apr

      @CaseyVeggies Ay Fag, Congrats Gurl.
      18 Apr

      Fuck Coachella. We Wet That Fat Ass Nigga Up. Taking His Faggot Job To Serious.
      16 Apr

      This Faggot Nigga Just Kicked Us Out Of Coachellahttp://yfrog.com/h09xdataj
      16 Apr

      Faggot Coppies Tyler. Tyler Doesn’t Like It. Faggot Gets Catches Feeling. What A Failure. Coachella Is Super Fun Right Now.
      16 Apr

      Fuck, This Coachella Traffic Is Gay.
      14 Apr

      Fuckign Coachella Might Not Be Swagged Out By Me If My Fucking Asthma Is Still Being A Faggot
      14 Apr

      Damn This Guy Is A Faggot.
      11 Apr

      Fucking Faggot TinyChat Banned The Nigga Who Started It. Fuck It.
      11 Apr

      May 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I don’t give a damn who produced this douchebag’s album, the slurs are disgusting and he needs to be silenced.

      May 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Tyler the Creator is part of Odd Future, Syd is their dj and also raps occasionally and produces a lot of the music with Tyler, she’s also an out and proud lesbian and part of the Odd Future crew. They call Christians whores and liars, have upside down crosses on a lot of their merchandise along with 666, and loudly exclaim that god doesn’t exist. They call everyone and everything nigger. I mean even their entire name OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill them All) is meant to be shocking. Murder your family, etc. The point is, they are not homophobes in the slightest, they are just being loud and obnoxious. If you actually listen to the lyrics they never exclaim to act violence to the gay community. They just call shit faggot and gay to get your attention. Just like when they call some random thing a nigger or tell you to buy guns and kill kids with dads and moms or blow off class and smoke weed. There’s a big difference.

      May 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kit
      Kit

      Yeah, Tyler supports gay marriage, props to the commenter that pointed how that he’s more progressive on that issues than Obama. That was actually a mind fuck.

      May 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RW
      RW

      Yes because when people call others n*ggers – its just a character. They dont really mean it.

      May 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @RomanHans: Wow, that twittermess is painful to read, but I’m glad you made your point so clear about Tyler. Hard to escape the obvious conclusion that he’s obsessed with f___ots.

      That’s just naaaasty talk. & there are NO excuses for it.

      May 18, 2011 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      New Queerty, same ole racism.

      May 18, 2011 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • odb
      odb

      tyler produces all of his own music and all of OFWGKTA, if you don’t like his lyrics then don’t listen to it. I personally find it funny how he can tell the most fucked up story and sound sick while doing it. if you listen to goblin he says at the start of radical that no body should do the shit he talks about because its fucking fiction. He’s funny and talented, get over it. if you don’t like him then don’t listen to him, he’ll never be on the radio so calm your shit. and tegan and sara are just blowing tyler up by bitching about him.

      May 18, 2011 at 2:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      “A lot of people take stuff too seriously. So some of the time it’s actually for them, my subconscious doing it on purpose, just to piss them off. I want people to take that stuff too seriously, especially shit like that. But, just, whatever. I try to preach be yourself and do what you want. It’s not our fault if they’re fucking dumb enough to believe this shit … I just turned 20. I’m just living life and having as much fun as I can. I don’t think about shit like that.

      I’m not homophobic. I just think faggot hits and hurts people. It hits. And gay just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that shit. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic. ([His friend] Jasper walks into the room) But he’s a fucking faggot!”

      Yeah, he’s really calling for our fucking coffins.

      Maybe I should quote the article where he’s talking about how he fully supports gay marriage? Let’s not forget he also calls himself a faggot a LOT. If he was really a gay hating homophobe I really doubt he would refer to himself being a faggot, or wearing womens underwear. Or crossdressing on the covers of magazines.

      May 18, 2011 at 3:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      We have to get on the backs of the liberal media people who give a pass to homophobic slur-uttering acts like Eminem and Tyler the Shit Eater. It is the liberal media that allows these creeps to prosper.

      May 18, 2011 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Just because a lesbian is associated with Tyler the Creator’s work, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for us. There are tons of self-loathing, malignant lesbians out there just as there are tons of self-loathing, malignant gay guys.

      May 18, 2011 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Only Me
      Only Me

      “But there’s a difference when it’s a straight person looking in at our community, versus a gay person talking to their own people”

      There right there kills the whole argument…If black people can’t say “Nigga” without white people bitching and complaining about not being able to use it then Homosexuals can’t say “Fag” and other gay slurs to each other with other people wanting to say the same…I bet its a white person leading this march too…smh…get your shit straight your argument is dumb..

      May 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      I didn’t even know who Tyler The Creator was until last night’s VMAs when he won “Best New Artist”. I was overwhelmed by the amount of filth that was coming out of this kid’s mouth on stage as he “thanked” people for getting this award. MTV had to bleep out every other word that he said. I have never heard any of his music, but after seeing the way he handeld himself onstage last night and after reading this article, I have no interest whatsoever in listening to his music. I think the hip-hop genre has gotten away with being homophobic for way too long now. For some reason it is overlooked by our society if the word “faggot” is coming out of a rapper’s mouth.
      Anyway, I am completely, utterly, and absolutely appalled by this kid’s homophobia, but what bothers me more is how MTV can have an awards show with people like him on it, then turn around through their Logo network and talk about how homophobic this person is. Really MTV? Two-faced much? Pick a side and take it. Either you are for equality or you are not. I’ve always supported the Logo network as it is the only LGBT network on TV with a national presence and amount of exposure and impact that it has being an MTV network, but this seriously makes me reconsider how genuine Logo is as an LGBT outlet on TV.

      Aug 30, 2011 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.R. Weizel
      L.R. Weizel

      I actually find Nicky’s much worse. With Tyler while his choice of language may show a degree of Privilege, I don’t think he’s directly throwing those comments at homosexuals. Saying someone is softer than a homosexual on the other hand is just wow.

      I’m always more concerned than most LGBT, feminist types about concepts rather than individual usages of words, etc., so this could be why I take more offense to that “concept”.

      Sep 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ray
      Ray [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Seriously, he’s not homophobic
      The only people who listen to him are white skater kids (soooo dangerous -_-)
      and it seems that their are more people on this site that are more hateful than him. Its sad that I am more afraid of being around gay, white men than hanging out with people like Tyler… I guess I’ll never belong to GLBT groups, so far they all have NOT been what they are SUPPOSE to BE.

      Oct 18, 2011 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mac
      Mac

      Seriously? Man the fuck up.

      Aug 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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