Queer rappers are approaching the mainstream. Don't believe us? Check out this video playlist.
Hip-hop isn't just for straights, as these LGBT acts prove
Tue Apr 15 2014
Photograph: Santiago Felipe
Until very recently, hip-hop was definitely not a friendly scene for LGBT fans and performers. But these days, rap legends including Eminem and Jay Z have come out in favor of same-sex marriage, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean has spoken openly about his sexuality, and Lil Wayne recently signed Fly Young Red—of "Throw That Boy Pussy" fame—to his Young Money label. A handful of other queer acts have also been making the hip-hop community far more inclusive than anyone might have imagined just a few years ago. Here's a handful of our favorites.
The queer rapper scored a viral hit with the video for his single "Wut." His latest offering—off his debut EP, Hey—is just as infectious, and includes a shout-out to "all the LGBT cuties."
Azelia Banks featuring Pharell: "ATM Jam"
Bisexual wordsmith Azealia Banks ran afoul of GLAAD when she used the other f-word in a Twitter fight with blogger Perez Hilton. Still, the sexual fluidity she flaunts in her lyrics here and in her breakthrough, "212," have made her a favorite among queer fans.
Cazwell: "No Selfie Control"
Rapper, DJ and nightlife scenester Cazwell has been at it for more than a decade. Here he gently mocks our social-media obsession with a typically funny track and sexy video.
Zebra Katz featuring Reddd Foxxx: "Ima Read"
Ojay Morgan originally created his Zebra Katz alter ego as part of a performance-art piece, but it took on a life of its own when designer Rick Owens used the Paris Is Burning–inspired track in a Paris fashion show.
Jonathan and Bpro featuring Rica Shay and Charlie Sheena: "Yaaas"
Paris Is Burning and the uptown ball scene are also clear influences on this breezy track, which deserves to be the soundtrack to your summer.
Mykki Blanco: "The Initiation"
Shattering lines of genre as well as gender, Mykki Blanco draws influence from hip-hop as well as punk and performance art, all on evidence in this creepy clip.
RuPaul featuring Big Freedia: "Peanut Butter"
"The queen diva" Big Freedia—who was twerking back when Miley Cyrus was still a Disney kid—teamed up with cultural treasure RuPaul for this jiggly ode to promiscuity.
AB Soto: "Doin' It"
This energetic Brooklynite has built a cult following with his colorful videos, quirky-bitchy raps and butch-femme fashion mash-ups.
Big Dipper: "Skank"
The bearish, big-boy rapper definitely aims for your funny bone, but his music is too catchy to dismiss him as a mere novelty act.
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)