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Kanye West isn’t the only hip-hop artist whose musical plans were derailed by heartache this year. Tori Fixx, the “godfather of gay hip-hop” had planned to focus his new album “Couture” on the politics of gay relationships, but found himself channeling those issues through the lens of a recent break-up. Of course, while the hip-hop world debates the merits of West’s auto-tuning, precious few are talking about Fixx. The problem? Gay hip-hop skeeves everyone out.
“Sadly, even with credible lyrics and beats, gay rappers like Fixx are unlikely to get much love from DJs at gay clubs.
“The DJs who are receptive to hip-hop are usually kind of receptive to more Top 40, anything that’s on the radio and that’s about it –â€‚nothing underground, nothing off the beaten path,” Fixx says.
The hip-hop industry remains fairly averse to gay artists, ignoring them until Ja Rule or Trick Trick or some other desperate rapper tries to draw attention to himself by trashing gay people.
“It’s sad because this is the only way we make it onto web sites like AllHipHop.com, or into many publications, including a lot of gay and lesbian publications that never would have interviewed us,” Fixx says.”
For our money, hip-hop is the cultural medium we swim in, as pervasive and influential as jazz was in the 20s, but rather than embracing pansexuality and diversity as Harlem did then, modern hip-hop does seem pretty stuck on its machismo, perhaps because all the jewelry, fur and fashion could be seen as pretty fey in the wrong light. This is changing a little. Kanye West for example, wrote on his blog this week in praise of RuPaul’s Obama imitation, “I actually feel Ru-Paul is pretty genius… This photo reminds me of some Dave Chapell work.” But for the most part, gay hip-hop stars like Tori Fixx get ignored by both the hip-hop and gay community. Which is a shame, since he’s really good.
If this sort of thing interest’s you, check out hip-hop writer Toure’s 2003 piece in the NYTimes, “Gay Rappers, Too Real For Hip-Hop?” It’s a great read.