“No Homo?” Seriously, people?
Cam’ron. Not gay, he swears.
There was an interesting article on Slate.com recently that discussed the rise of the phrase “no homo”, a clever bit of hip hop slang that can be tagged on to the end of a couplet to make sure that folks don’t get the wrong impression about people riding your jock, or sucking your dick, or any number of other ways to prove that you’re tougher than everyone else by calling them gay. It really comes in handy, because lord knows you wouldn’t want people to think that any jewelery-obsessed, fashion-line-owning, wildly promiscuous rapper could be less than straight.There, you see? I just mixed stereotypes—gay and black— and possibly offended tons of people. But I don’t hate either group, I swear. You don’t know me at all, though, so how could you know that I was actually just trying to show how funny it is that people who make their living out of boasting how tough and masculine they are—not including smarter hip hop folks/crews like Common, The Roots, etc.—are so afraid that they might be perceived as anything approaching queer? Jonah Weiner, who wrote the Slate article, sees the rise of “no homo” as a small sign of progress; at least gayness is being acknowledged, he argues, and the defense of masculinity that “no homo” provides allows ostensibly gay interests (fashion and design, for example) to slip through unquestioned. Maybe that’s true. But that is one damn small step. As the younger generation becomes more nonchalant towards and accepting of gay folks in general, it’s sad to see their favorite form of music, in many ways, still stuck at the level of 5th grade playground taunts. I mean, auto-tune is bad enough; you have to be homophobic on top of it? Come on. It would be great if we could get to a point where gayness and hip hop cred were not mutually exclusive, where one’s sexuality just didn’t matter. We have a ways to go, so let’s keep moving forward, people.