In this post I am going to discuss the different reflections by the artist that I introduced you to in my previous post.
The reflections ranged from ignoring the issue to full comprehension. First of all, a summarization of the “types” of statements:
- Semantic re-interpretation of homophobic terms compared with:
- a tacit change in appearance (Eminem & Sido)
- ignoring the issue (Bushido)
- Omission of homophobia during the performance of former homophobic lyrics (NAS)
- Full comprehension of the issue (Retrogott)
- Usage of homophobia to raise awareness on the issue (Edgar Wasser)
A semantic reinterpretation does not reduce the issue – homophobic terms are still being used as an insult and simply mentioning that there is no semantic connection intended does not necessarily induce a change in the understanding of the (mostly young male) listeners. To me it is just a failed attempt to extenuate the own foolishness without admitting a fault. These artists are still homophobic and try to avoid social sanctions. But I would suggest to distinguish between these artists based on their shown behavior over time. I think some of them are aware of their faults and even reconsidered their view on homosexuality but do not want to devaluate their old songs while others still do not know any better.
Simply omitting homophobic lines during live performances does not solve the issue at all. Especially because it might be due to instructions by the organizers and not caused by a change of mind. You just cannot tell if no other statement can be found.
I am convinced that homophobia should have no place in a modern society.
Due to this the only considerable way to deal with your own (former) homophobia is to admit to your fault. The only artist I encountered on my research who did this step was Retrogott (former “Kurt Huss”, better known in combination with his DJ “Hulk Hodn”: “Huss & Hodn”). He also made use of a justification based on semantic reinterpretation but later, actually three years ago, reconsidered his view: He admitted his fault: He tried to justify something you cannot justify. I see it as an artist’s responsibility to take up a stance on their former homophobia. Whoever does not just loses their credibility.
For me, this is the only way an artists can go to rectify their former homophobia.
The only exemption that can be made is when homophobia is used to show up our social drawback – Edgar Wasser does a good job on holding up a mirror to all those rappers.
Some of you might wonder why I did not mention any artist who is homophobic and never even talked about it. This is not because there are none to find, actually there are heaps of them. But what is there to say?
My next post will focus on artists who follow a more contemporary approach to homophobia.