Hip-hop and homophobia
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In a courageous, and perhaps even revolutionary move, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) singer Frank Ocean published an open letter on his personal Tumblr site on Wednesday declaring that he had fallen in love four summers ago with another man, and that love had changed his life. It’s no coincidence that Wednesday also marked the annual American independence celebrations. Alongside the armed forces and sports teams, one imagines that ‘coming out’ to the masculine drenched hip-hop community must be one of the most overwhelming feelings, particularly due to some of the lyrical choices of the genre’s most renowned artists. It’s fairly plain to see why hip-hop has been accused of being homophobic when talismanic figures such as the late Notorious B.I.G rapped, “Money and blood don’t mix like two dicks and no bitch” and, arguably the most popular rapper of the last decade, Eminem rapped, “Hate fags? The answer's 'yes'.” Frank Ocean’s situation had an extra dimension of complexity as leader and co-founder of Odd Future, Tyler, The Creator, is widely known for his overuse of the word ‘faggot’ in many of his songs and reportedly used the word 213 times throughout his 2011 album, Goblin. However, Tyler defended accusations of homophobia by stating “I'm not homophobic. I just say faggot and use gay as an adjective to describe stupid shit.” If the hip hop community needed any verification to these claims, Tyler tweeted this yesterday:
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