Rapper Lil B has fallen foul of his fans by coming out straight – a gay man. And he couldn’t care less! The angry backlash he has suffered, he says, makes it more obvious just what homophobia he is fighting against in hip-hop culture.
The rising hip-hop MC and former member of The Pack plans to reclaim the word “gay” for its original meaning, he says. It used to mean “happy”.
Earlier this month, he announced plans to name his upcoming album “I’m Gay,” despite his being heterosexual. What is that all about? For him, it is a re-appropriation of the word “gay” and a supportive message to the gay community. The trouble is that many people are not appreciating the love Lil B says he wants to project.
“I’m very gay, but I love women. I’m not attracted to men in any way. I’ve never been attracted to a man in my life. But yes I am gay, I’m so happy. I’m a gay, heterosexual male,” the rapper told the MTV Channel. He wants more cohesion with the lesbian and gay community, for whom he says he has “major love”.
Regardless of his intentions, the album title has provoked angry reactions from former fans. He mentioned a couple of the negative messages, which stated, “I’m gonna bash your head in,” “you fa**ot,” and “I’m gonna kill you.”
It looks like the Berkeley-based rapper’s attempts to break down homophobic barriers in the hip-hop world are sorely needed. But was he right to do it this way?