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Rappers Respond to Lil B “Gay” LP Title

Over the weekend, the rap world went nuts after a video of Lil B announcing the title of his new album was posted on hundreds of Web sites all over the ‘net. For those still playin’ catch-up, the 2011 Freshman told the crowd at Coachella during his performance on Saturday (April 16), that his new disc will be called, I’m Gay. [Watch above]

Onstage, B explained the reasoning behind the name of the LP. He said that he does not partake in that lifestyle but, but he wants to make a statement about the power of words, or lack thereof. reached out to various artists from the East, the South and the Mid-West: Talib Kweli, Freddie Gibbs and Killer Mike; to find out their reactions to the news.

“Immediately (upon hearing the hubbub) I’m like not that’s a fuckin’ social experiment, if I’ve ever heard one,” Kwe told XXL. “Look I don’t care who you sleep with at the end of the day. I don’t care if Lil B’s gay or not. It doesn’t change my life in any way, but for him to name his album I’m Gay, issues such a challenge to his fans. I’m not sure if it’s brilliant or not, but what he did with that, in one fell swoop, was challenge every single bandwagon fan. Like are you really down with me or not. And me as an artist, I have no choice but to respect that. “

Gibbs, also a former XXL Freshman alum, sees it differently. “[The] Lil B shit was funny at first but now I feel like it’s just a bunch of white people laughing at a nigga, like a minstrel show. Shit is wack. I ain’t dissin’ gays, if you gay that’s yo biz.”

Mike Bigga, on the other hand, feels as if he understands B’s strategy behind the title. “He’s a happy guy, Gay means happy,” the ATLien reminded readers. “It makes perfect sense to me. It’s a provocative, bold thing to me. That’s what B does. It’s not as shocking to me. From a social element . . . this just feels like knocking down walls and stereotypes, embracing controversy and flipping it. Bravo to him for being the next Madonna. I also don’t think Lil B could ever make some of the music that I make. If he’s rapping about (gay) lifestyle the whole album, no I probably wouldn’t want to hear it. If he’s rapping on some hip-hop shit and it’s a weird ass, weird Lil B album . . . I’d probably buy it like i I did his last (album) and have a little laugh.”

Regardless of the differences in opinion, one thing Kweli points out is that the rap world as a whole is becoming more accepting of different lifestyle choices as it continues to grow up, which as he implies, is a move in a more positive direction. “I’m happy to see young hip-hop heads move [away from] homophobia,” he said. “Regardless of what your stance is on gay people, homophobia or the act and practice of it, is extra wack.” —Jesse Gissen with additional reporting from Mark Lelinwalla and Nicole LoPresti

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