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

XXL: What do you think about rappers saying Pause and No Homo?

TD: I think Pause and No Homo are almost like saying, “Well, I’m not going to call you a nigger, but not to say you’re a nigger. Who said they created that? Wasn’t it Jim Jones who said he created that? Yeah, so that again goes with that whole antiquated way of thought. Those rappers and those people who—to go back to the whole new guard, old guard thing that we were talking about, young kids, they’re much more accepting. They’re in school with me who are gay. Kids today are much more sexually expressive, than say we were 10, 15 years ago. Kids today are exposed to so much more. I think that’s why there is a new thought of kids coming through so boldly and spears hip-hop in such a way, in such a manner, even the kids with the skinny jeans and the way they’re dressing. I’m thinking to myself, I remember so vividly when I was a teen, we used to literally sew our pants, the inseam, to make them skinny because we had the penny loafers.

XXL: Skinny jeans are everywhere now.

TD: So, what is so different from them wearing skinny jeans and from when we used to do it? It really blows my mind how we think that everything they have to be doing is gay or associated with being feminine or soft. Again, I think it goes back to that old guard, those older people who are afraid, who want to keep the homophobia existing, and keep the misogyny existing within hip-hop. They’re afraid of change because, then, if it means that the change is happening and the younger people are going to take over, it’s going to become something they are not ready for. I mean, again, even the rappers who are much older who argued against the Nellys and the Lil Waynes and all the new rappers, they’re making much more money and benefiting from hip-hop because they’ve crossed over. They’re branding and they’re becoming millionaires. But the older ones, it’s like, “I was doing it for the love of it.” I think the younger people are like, “Yeah, I can do it for the love of it but I can make money at it.”

XXL: Could you ever see there being an openly out gay rapper?

TD: I hope so. I really hope so. I think it’s going to take some time, but I think there’s room for an openly gay rapper to exist. You know, there are definitely gay rappers that do exist. But to get on the national platform and to get acceptance from it, it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take a lot of conversation and dialogue, especially in the black and the brown communities because there are deeper issues that exist. I think it’s because of the black church. I think it’s because of the isms. I think it’s because of the thug and gangsta mentality that exists and that’s what’s happening in hip-hop. It’s going to have to take a real, bigger movement. The great thing about Lil B, when he announced the next title will be I’m Gay, ironically did you notice all of his fans were in support of him? The comments I was reading on Twitter were blowing my mind. How even young boys were saying, “I’m gonna go home and tell my mom I’m getting that new album that I’m Gay.” I’m like, “Wow, they’re taking the word and they’ve diffused the meaning of it.” He said it means happy. It means something completely different. That’s powerful within itself.

XXL: So now you’re working on your new book Mogul. Tell me about it.

TD: Mogul, it mirrors the situations that have happened with Mister Cee and with Lil B, which is ironic. And so, my editor and me were talking about that today. My publisher was like, “Wow. That’s perfect timing. The stars are lining up.” And I wrote this book a year ago. To be that prophetic, to see something in its fiction, to see things happening. It’s about an entertainment producer who struggles with coming out of the closet when he’s caught in a comprising position. He has a girlfriend, he has a child, and he’s part of the down-low circle of men in the entertainment industry. Everyone in the book is based off of actual people who I know, actual people in the entertainment industry and artists, executives. This particular producer is a mogul and he’s struggling with whether or not he should come out of the closet.

XXL: What percentage of people in hip-hop do you think are on the down-low?

TD: I always say it’s about 50 percent. And even with me coming out, and everyone knows Hiding in Hip-Hop and me in the industry, I feel more and more men, and more and more people, who want to be a part of this industry, and they know I’m gay and I still get the propositions. And I’m like, “You do realize, I’m out. I’m gay.” And they’re like, “Oh, okay. I know. Am I going to be in book two?” And I’m like, “There’s no book two.” It’s almost like they’re begging for it.

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