IN 2013, rapper Snoop Dogg said while homosexuality may be more acceptable than it was ten years ago, he maintained it “may never be accepted in hip-hop”.
But a new wave of young rappers in the UK believe the genre may have changed more than the veteran rapper thinks.
In an interview with London 360, UK rapper Sway said the hip-hop scene had transformed “dramatically” and cited US lyracist Young Thug as one of the faces leading that trend.
“You’ve got Young Thug who wears a little girl’s dress, wears nail varnish [and] lipstick. May be ten years ago, that would have been unheard of,” he told the Community Channel's half-hour regular TV and online magazine show. “He’s one of the hottest rappers in the game, what does that tell you?”
His comments follow those of the veteran Gin & Juice star, who now also goes by the moniker Snoop Lion, when asked whether singer Frank Ocean’s gutsy decision to come out as a gay artist would make it easier for others to follow suit.
Snoop said: “Frank’s a singer. It’s acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don’t know if it ever will be because rap is so masculine.”
Despite his suggestion that the acceptance of homosexuality and rap music has a long way to go, the rapper-turned-reggae star wanted to make it clear that he “doesn’t have a problem with gay people.”
West London wordsmith George The Poet, who was also interviewed as part of the My Generation series, noted that attitudes were changing for the better.
He said: “The way people’s minds work, especially those of Snoop Dogg’s generation, they’re not open to the idea of homosexuality in rap, but I think in my generation, homosexuality in rap is going to find it’s place.”
East London MC, Lethal Bizzle added: “The gay community has such an influence on everything, including fashion. The way we’re even dressing now, 10 years ago, guys would probably be like, ‘bro, why are you wearing tight trousers though?’”
London360 says it “aims to gives a voice to hidden communities all over London, delivering a diverse selection of stories from around the capital”.