Terrance Dean on Mister Cee Scandal & Lil B’s Controversial Album Title

In the wake of Lil B titling his next album I’m Gay, and the DJ Mister Cee scandal, in which the Hot 97 personality was arrested after receiving fellatio from a man, according to Police reports, the topic of homophobia in hip-hop is sparking discussion. While little’s been said about Cee’s arrest aside from 50 Cent lending his support, Lil B has people talking. GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told XXL they hope B’s title isn’t a gimmick, while Freddie Gibbs, Talib Kweli and Killer Mike, had mixed reactions. Terrance Dean also has something to say. A former MTV Producer, he released Hiding in Hip-Hop: On the Down Low In the Entertainment Industry in 2008. The book documented a down low subculture in hip-hop he considers prevalent behind the scenes. XXL caught up with Dean to get his thoughts on the Mister Cee scandal and what Lil B’s album title could mean for gays in hip-hop, among other things. —Nicole Lopresti

XXLMag.com: What do you think about him naming his album I’m Gay and not being gay?

Terrance Dean: Well, yeah, that’s what I thought was ironic. It immediately took me back to the campaign we did at MTV where we said, “I have AIDS.” Will Smith, a lot of artists and celebrities were wearing the T-Shirts that said, “I have AIDS.” I think we have to realize that we are all a part of the community of hip-hop, so regardless of if it’s someone who’s gay or someone of a different color, you know, whatever faith, religion, things like that, we’re still called and build the body of hip-hop. It’s almost like you can’t deny yourself and still be a part of yourself, so for him to say, “I am gay,” it’s almost like a declaration saying, “You know what? There are gay people that make up hip-hop or are a part of it who help keep it going and who help idolize and be a part of the body of hip-hop.” Plus, we’re all gay in hip-hop. We’re all gangstas, we’re all whatever each person wants to say what they are a part of hip-hop. I think he’s revolutionary. I think with his lyrics and him thinking outside of the box with what he’s done so far as an underground artist, and I think he’s a part of a new guard that needs to be changed in hip-hop. It’s so antiquated. You look at hip-hop, you know there are—the people are old and 30 and 40 and 50 years old who are still trying to hold on to the way hip-hop used to be and not realizing that hip-hop is no longer the antiquated way that it used to be. There’s a new generation. New thoughts of hip-hop. That’s progressive. These young kids are very progressive.

XXL: You feel like Lil’ B’s a part of a more accepting generation?

TD: Exactly. Kids today are so much more accepting, so much more progressive in their thoughts. They have Twitter. They have Facebook. They have a new age way of communicating that we didn’t have before, so it was easier to suppress and keep things secret. That’s the hiding in hip-hop. We were able to do that because we didn’t have cell phones, video phones where we can leak pictures, leak a video. That technology didn’t exist, where today, kids have more accessibility to all those things. Especially with now for television to have, you know, images of gay people who are coming out in Hollywood, who are more than a part of the culture. That helps entertainment keep moving as far as Ellen [Degeneres] and Rosie O’ Donnell] and Andy. Those are the people. Clay Aiken, all those people who are coming forward.

XXL: Would it offend you, though, if Lil B’s whole motive was to garner this buzz and almost using the word “Gay” as a ploy?

TD: Well, I wouldn’t find it offensive as a ploy. I think it’s great marketing.

XXL: So you acknowledge it as a marketing tool?

TD: Yeah, but that’s because I come from the entertainment industry and I come from hip-hop. I know that everything is all about marketing, it’s all about the campaign, the branding, you know? It’s about how you position yourself and how you sell. I understand it, and I think people are much more savvy and smarter today than they were 10 or 15 years ago. I don’t think the public are that naive to believe that like, “Oh, wow! I don’t think this is a gimmick that he is doing.” I think they’re much more smarter now, and I think we do a disservice to a lot of people. We discredit them and play on their intelligence because the audience is very intelligent.

XXL: So what do you think about the whole Mister Cee situation?

I think the reason why people such as Mister Cee, because it’s alleged and we have to wait ‘til June, which is ironically when my next book comes out, Mogul, which is ironically eerily similar to Mister Cee’s situation. But, I think what prevents a lot of men from coming out and acknowledging their sexuality is because we miss a whole section of men who identify as bisexual. So they don’t know. I think because we dismissed that part of the LGBT conversation, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. We always forget the B, which is bisexual. And I think men who could be like Mister Cee, who are probably bisexual and who enjoy sex relationships with men and women, don’t know that that’s who they are because we tend to bump them in the category of, “Well, you’re with this man, so automatically, you’re gay…or you’re on the down-low.” And it’s like, well, no because there is that B-word, which is like bisexual. He could very much so, like a lot of men in hip-hop could be, bisexual, but they’re afraid to admit it. I don’t think they’re ready to admit to themselves. I don’t think women are ready to have that conversation of acceptance of letting a man be bisexual, when it’s very accepting of women to be.

XXL: Right.

TD: For men, I think it’s a very touchy and scary place because you almost run a fine line, where people are going to automatically say, “Well, you’re gay.” And he may not identify as being gay. He just likes sex with both sexes.

XXL: People seem very supportive of Mister Cee.

TD: You definitely want to rally for him and cheer for him and root him on and support him, but he has to be in that space of wanting to be supported, of wanting to be nurtured, wanting to be rallied. I think it’s interesting because you realize, he didn’t say anything. It was the people around him who spoke first. But, again, there were the old guard who were saying, “No, it can’t be true. It’s not possible and don’t you dare.’ It goes back to that old thought. [The old guard] is two decades from some of the younger people who are probably thinking, “Well, what’s the big deal? What if he is?’ You know? He’s been your friend all of this time. You’ve been supportive of his career. And they’ve clearly have said that. He’s been this great impact and the voice of what he’s done and the power of what he did in hip-hop, so what would change with him being gay? That would make it much more powerful.

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  • basedboy510

    Wow…. had no idea half the hip hop crowd is secretly gay.

  • bangaroo

    xxlmag stays with the exclusive! NICKI MINAJ SEX TAPE LEAKED!! www.loot6.com

  • Sha

    Ummmm…. Why is XXL talking to this dude about Mr. Cee???? And on top of it this cat is presumptuous with his analysis. He doesn’t hold any facts and no one in hip-hop is checking what this dude is thinking other XXL. They just gave this dude a free plug for his fake-ass book.

    XXL…. No wonder you’re slippin’.

  • Avenger xl

    I think deans views are driven by sensationalism and spin. I agree hip-hop has become stagnant like almost every modern genre of music but that has more to do with the gate keepers focusing strictly on the club/street side of things and leaving intelligent discussion and hip-hop as a discussion tool in the cold. Lil B can be seen as a performance artist using a platform to make a statement or just a shock artist like a marylin manson of hiphop see tyler to creator and crew(wolf gang wolf gang). This is needed to shack things up a bit but the issue isn’t the old heads either because hip-hop needs the old heads to hold a certain line of crediblity so that cats like lil b can have something to play off of. Would you tell bb king he is antiquated no of course not but you will a hip hop artist because of your retarded views based on your double talking spin driven job. This guy is just another talking head too bad his head is empty

  • Mr. Jonez

    okay, we know that homos exist, but lets not promote diseased minds AND the downfall of hip-hop… take this article down because this is really gross and disturbing. if Lil B would have never titled his album that bs, this Terrence homo would NOT support his music, so lets be real… (Satan, laughing, spreads his wings…)

    • mocha

      your a bigot plain and simple. im sure you hide behind the bible promoting your hate. educate yourself. gay people are born gay. black people are born black. hating someone for sexual orientation or skin color is bigotry either way. its 2011 get over it ! do you really think you dont have freinds or family that are gay? if you do you are really dumb. who cares what adults do in thier bedroom or who they love. if you have a problem with gay people maybe your insecure about your own sexuality. usually the one who make the mostnoise and protest the most are hinding in the closet. something to think about !!

  • M1ssLA

    its funny how sum1 culd say bein bisexual is not “gay”, you cant sleep w/a woman & den turn around get done in da a$$ but not call urself gay, especially if its comin’ from da same sex. If a woman did dat, she would be consider “gay”, as well. So on dat note, I’m more den sure dere is dl rappers but da ones dat are gay on da low-low, stunt in dere lyrics anywayz. For example, your not goin to have a gay rapper cum out talkin about how he use to be a dope boy or a gangsta…REALLY! da shyt sound unreal….Dey exist & we know dis. Why put urself out dere like dat anywayz. HIP HOP is NOT how it USE to BE……HIP HOP BEEN DEAD ever since lyrics didn’t matter no more……nowadayz you got bullshyt on da radio……I LISTEN TO DAT BAC N DA DAYZ ISH…….IF DERE WERE GUD HIP HOP W/NICE LYRICS DEY GET NO PLAY TIME ANYWAYZ CUZ DA RADIO STATION PLAY CORNY A$$ SHYT…..HIP HOP BEEN GONE…..no offense to the gay community but lets be REAL………DERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SOFT RAPPERS…..take it how you want to take it but IF I WANTED TO LISTEN TO SUM1 SOFT (which I do sumtimes) R&B will be it or POP……I have gay friends & I have no problem w/gay folks. For example, dis so call rapper Lil B….garbage (in my opinion) not a lyricist to me……he culd try to cum up how he want but da shyt is not 4 a gud cause…I feel its a publicity stunt………KEEP IT 100 NINJA

    • jj

      you really sound dumb as hell the way you are spelling your words baby…REALLY! You sound a an ignorent nigger!!!!! come on love i know your smarter then that. Write and spell like you got a little education, i’m sure you were raised better then that. i’m sorry it was difficult trying to piece together what the hell you were trying to say. some people(like you) really make blacks seem like we have no kind of education what so ever. CHILDREN PLEASE!!!! dis instead of this; dat instead of that; cum instead of come; Really!!!!!!!!!

      • I’macritic

        “People that live in glass houses should not (ever) throw stones.”
        Ignorant is spelled with an “a” not an “e”! It’s “you’re smarter” not “your smarter”… etc! Suggestion: Proofread. “…a an NIGGER!”
        I digress…
        “Judge not lest you yourself be judged…”

        • Speakthetruth

          Amen. I was done reading the judgmental comment after reading your instead of you’re. If you are going to proofread, at least proof your own comment 1st geez. TD is speaking his opinion and like butt-holes, everyone has one. Terrence’s has been used for ingoing and outgoing traffic and if he likes that….good for him….that doesn’t mean we have to agree with that lifestyle. What people do in their bedroom is just that….bedroom activity………I don’t want to see PDAs from heterosexual people either and I think the origin and relevance of gayness is an idiotic discussion. The problem is that no one has relegated sexuality to their bedroom and everyone has made sexuality a public debate when it is really one of the most primitive acts between two consenting adults. Our society is backwards, delusional, hypocritical, and distracted from matters of importance. Same sex, opposite sex….whatever sex anything is NOT important to me and should be left in private quarters.

  • http://wordpress.com/drlovejones dr lovejones

    Is this dude crazy??? Being bi is and always has been synonymous with being gay. They are one in the same! I’m 35 years old and never in my life has it been fashionable in hip hop culture or in the black community for men to dress like faggs. It would take a gay writer to say something like that. There is no new generation of hip hop because as we all know, hip hop is dead and has been so for almost ten years. Just because pop artists may rap on their songs doesn’t mean its hip hop and just because a man who likes sex with men says he isn’t gay doesn’t mean he’s not.

    • mocha

      do you like to be called nigger ? not nigga but nigger? i dont think so. watch your self with calling people fags (its one g not 2 by the way ) you would think as a black man growing up with racism and all you woud you understand whats its like to be abused for something you have no control over. the only difference between gay people and black people is some gay people can hide the fact they are gay . racsim and homophobia are pretty much the same thing. hating someone for the color of thier skin or sexual orientation is bigotry either way. educate yourself . your 35 yrs old do you really think you dont have gay people in your family or as friends. your doing them and yourself a diservice by being a bigot

  • VReal

    I have to agree with Sha & M1ssLA, also why waste time on this when you could be promoting REAL underground hip hop.
    keeping it a 100 this is just another case of folks who don’t know what hip hop is about and with other interest trying to push that sh*t to any sucker who don’t know any better. P.S. ain’t nothing changed if you have sex with a man you are GAY!!!

  • SwaggerJesus

    In this comment section: Ignorantass homophobes. Get with the times.

  • calicat

    Lil B’s new album title is fucking brilliant. It totally brings out the worst hip-hop fans and makes them look utterly bigoted. How can “real” hip-hop fans say they don’t fuck with ignorant music but say ignorant shit like fuck gays and shit. You listen to hip-hop songs that fight racism, but when it comes to gay rights you say fuck that shit?! Hypocrisy at its best. And this is coming from a straight dude.


    You ppl obviously don’t know that bi=two which therefore yes they are bisexual as they prefer two genders, gay would mean they only like one gender! It’s not that difficult to work out, and how can you be on some satans laughing spreading his wings fuck ass bullshit when you can’t even distinguish bi-sexual from homosexual, much less turn around and tell them what it right or wrong!

  • Who Cares

    Let’s get some facts straight and i mean at this point it really doesnt matter. But i truely hate to see people in a position to be informative and still not ahve the right facts….CORRECTION…..Everybody and they’re mother know’s that Dame Dash & Jay-Z and the old Roc-A-Fella regime started the whole “Pause” thing. “No Homo” was definitely Cam’Ron and not Jim Jones! Let’s get these facts straight and let’s stop rambling just becuase there is a recorder or a mic in front of your face. Let’s use these media platforms correctly.

  • anthony

    Hey i’m appalled at Mr Cee yet it’s his buissness what I dont appreciate is this Dean homo motherfucker trying to promote this life style on the kids and xxl for promoting this bullshit to first our women are taken from us, spread drugs and disease through out every hood and bourough now you want to make these young men think it’s acceptable to be gay or bi or what ever the fuck you want to call it . Man im telling you the powers that be is using every trick in the book to annilate a culture it’s to bad know one is noticing this brothers talk to your children for real peace.