Black Hip-Hop Fans Must Take A Stand

cannick.jpegJasmyne Cannick, board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, presents a very persuasive argument against the blatant anti-gay messages in hip-hop music. Artists popular in gay clubs, including Missy Elliott and Mary J Blige, contribute to albums filled with hateful “kill the faggot” lyrics, yet gay people toss off such messages and convince themselves their favorite artists really don’t think like that. Yet really, they have no idea what the artists think; but the lyrics are there, clear as can be. It is perhaps a conflict of the ages: you can insult a gay person, as long as they can dance.

If a song was recorded with racial slurs, everyone involved would scurry away out of fear of being associated with the message–and that includes the racists, too, who merely want to do the politically-correct thing to save face. Yet now more than ever, the media allows gay-degrading messages to sneak in as seemingly-harmless jokes and songs, fearing that if they speak out they’ll be labeled as overly-sensitive and void of any sense of humor.

Cannick also points out if white hip-hop fans complain about the homophobic lyrics, it’s easy for the black artists to shrug it off as a racially-motivated conflict; yet obviously, since the black fans don’t say anything now–and even buy the albums–they’ll continue to remain silent as long as the insult has a catchy beat. And taking a stand isn’t difficult: you just don’t buy the albums, you don’t dance to the songs. And an artist without the homophobic lyrics moves in instead, problem solved. But hip-hop fans must start somewhere, because this is getting ridiculous. As Cannick says, “One type of oppression isn’t worse than another. Black America has an ethical and social responsibility to call out its own.” We agree.

Please read the article here. []

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