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Lord Jamar Says Hip-Hop Is “Not A Gay Music”

You talked about white rappers bringing something to the table that doesn’t necessarily align itself with the sensibilities of hip-hop. Were you saying…
The “Same Love” song is what I’m talking about.

So you’re talking about Macklemore?
To me, that’s an opportunist move that he did. We know the climate we’re in right now. I don’t think he cares about gays one way or the other, but he knew that would be a great way to get attention and a great way to blow up. In the climate we’re in right now, you’ll get a nice pat on the back for something like that. And I’m like, if that’s the way you feel, [then] cool, but to use a hip-hop song to promote it? That’s where I have a little problem about it. [Hip-hop] is not that. It started as a culture for alpha males, especially black and Latino males in the inner city. Those people that started it always shunned shit we deemed soft. You can call it what you want to call it, [but] it’s just part of the culture. It’s not about being homophobic; nobody is running or screaming down the street when they see a gay person. Nobody is trying to beat them up or anything like that. But at the same time, we’re not trying to promote that within hip-hop, because this is not a gay music. If you like that kind of music, make your own genre. I have no problem with it. Y’all had your own genre. Y’all had house music and stuff like that, but it didn’t pop off like hip-hop did, so everybody now wants to attach themselves to the shit that’s poppin’ and claim it as their own. Every culture has it’s own accomplishments and they claim them as their own. We just celebrated Columbus Day—that’s the Italians claiming the discovery of America, which is not even true. But they’re proud of that accomplishment. Should I say Italians are racist because they say nobody can claim a land and that everyone lives here now? That’s what they’re trying to tell me: No one can claim a genre of music.

So the Polish can’t claim poker. The Mexicans can’t claim mariachi. The Italians can’t claim opera? Or the Japanese can’t claim Anime? You know, I like Anime but does that give me the right to go to Japan and make the policy about Anime? No, of course not. We speak the English language; this is the most spoken language around the world. Does every person that speaks the English language have the right to talk about the affairs of England? Of course not.

What do you say to people that say things change and that hip-hop, like other things, evolves?
Things do change, but the more things change, the more things stay the same, too. It’s like things change to a degree and it’s like how you change. It’s also [about] who’s making the changes and who’s making those decisions. And when we say “evolve,” [my question is] we evolve into what? What are we evolving into? The first definition of evolution is just the prescribed unfolding of a plan. The definition that everybody is thinking of is damn near the fourth definition in the dictionary, which is going from the simplest state to a higher state and the making of something better—that’s what your trying to interpret the acceptance of homosexuality, and I’m saying that’s debatable. I’m saying we need to debate that and see is that really evolution—does that even make sense? To me, in evolution you evolve things that help you to get better. You might grow arms and be able to go on land now, or whatever the case may be. Colors so other species can identify you and sexually be with you to procreate the species.

I’m just trying to understand how man on man or woman on woman, which doesn’t create life, is actually an elevation for the species. I understand the elevation of species as far as understanding and loving your fellow man no matter what—I get that and dig that. That’s a good thing. But, as far as the actual act, it’s just debatable. And at the same time, I have the right to not agree with it. I have the right as a human being to not agree with it. To be heterosexual is to be anti-gay, to keep it real. Gays will look at heterosexual stuff and say, “Ew, that’s disgusting,” the same way a heterosexual person would look at that and say, “Ew, that’s disgusting.”

Am I trying to stop from you getting married or stuff like that? No. Am I walking in the street and trying to beat your ass? No. But am I trying to stop you from promoting that type of message within what I feel is my culture? Yes. And I have the right to do that. Because where do we draw the line? It’s bad enough with all the misogyny that’s in hip-hop now. I got to hear about dudes fucking girls and this and that. Now I got to hear about two guys sucking each other off? Cause that’s where it’s going to go. And then were gonna take it there from the audio to the visuals. We can always say turn it off and watch it, and yeah, I’ll turn it off and watch it. How about the young, impressionable minds that look up to the rappers and are ready to follow whatever they’re doing? What about them? You can’t pull the wool over my eyes and you’re not going to stop me from speaking the truth, just by calling me all these names, like old and homophobic. Those are just words to neutralize someone’s voice, and I’m well aware of these tools and that’s why they don’t affect me.

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