In this post I am going to show you some statements by the artists I introduced you to last time about their homophobia. First I planned on differentiating between different types of homophobia that can be found. This would be possible for sure but I came to the conclusion that it would not be beneficial for this analysis for one simple reason: There might be different types and intensities of homophobia but eventually they all have similar effects on the (young male) listener: Many incorporate it in their word pool without reflecting it any further.

A more interesting approach is how the artists think about their own homophobia and if they changed their attitude towards it over the years. On the basis of the artists I introduced you to last time I am going to show you different types of reflection.

Let us start with the most famous rapper and probably the most controversial one, too. Eminem is well known for his lyrics and often has been accused of being homophobic. His justification always remains the same – He just denies using homophobic terms as an insult to homosexual people rather than using them in another semantic context: 

You’ve made it clear again and again that you don’t actually have a problem with gay people. So why, in 2013, use “faggot” on that song? Why use “gay-looking” as an insult?

I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times. But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words . . .

 To actually mean “homosexual”?

Yeah. It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then. It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people. And, not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I’m glad we live in a time where it’s really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves. And I don’t know how else to say this, I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke.[1]

 

But there is more to mention about Eminem. He is friends with Elton John who is homosexual and even had a show with him at the Grammy Awards 2001.[2] In 2010 he openly supported gay marriage in a NY Times interview:

 

You’ve been accused of writing gay-bashing lyrics in the past. Would you like to see gay marriage approved in Michigan, where you live?

I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.[3]

 

The most surprising thing I found was the contrived outing of Eminem in „The Interview“[4]. It is worth a look!

 

Also quite controversial and from Germany are Bushido and Sido. Both are known for their controversial lyrics, especially from their first records they made with „Aggro Berlin“. They showed up at „Markus Lanz“ (German TV show) and spoke about their controversity, especially about their homophobia.[5] Their justification remains the same as with Eminem – Another semantic context for homophobic terms. Bushido repeated this in an interview with „Focus“ by the help of a real poor comparison of homophobia with arachnophobia.[6]

If you watch this video (http://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=8987) which is only three years older than their appearance at Markus Lanz and also take the newer Tracks by Bushido in consideration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odu8UlL4uew) his credibility in terms of not being homophobic just disappears.

Sido seems to be going another way nowadays. In the official video to his Song „Liebe“ (love) you can see two men kissing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPuJlNSigHM). But I do not claim for myself to judge it this was a moral change rather than a financial one…

From NAS I could not find any statements. The only article I found states that he skips homophobic parts while his hype still shouts parts of it in the background.[7]

More interesting is how Retrogott reflects his older homophobic tracks. Lyrics from his older songs can be seen as quite homophobic without any doubt and have been part of public debates.[8] [9] But if you listen to newer tracks homophobia decreases more and more from each album until you cannot find it anymore. In some lyrics you will find the same approach many other rappers chose – a semantic separation:

„Ihr seid schwul!

Und das mein ich nicht im Sinne von Sex

Sondern im Sinne von ‘ihr macht schwule Tracks“

Huss & Hodn – Rokin’ (Jetzt schämst du dich!)

But in an interview from 2013 he refers directly to this line:

„Ich habe versucht, etwas zu rechtfertigen, das nicht zu rechfertigen ist“ (Melodie & Rhythmus Nov/Dez 2013)

 

So as you can see big differences between the artists can be found. Some just stick to their idiotic views while others changed and admitted their faults. In the next post I am going to discuss these positions.

But what about Edgar Wasser? Did you get it? If you did not, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGM5a6-77o4

 

 

[1] http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-eminem-responds-to-rap-god-homophobia-accusations-20131104

[2] http://www.mtv.com/news/1629030/eminem-talks-about-his-friendship-with-elton-john/

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/magazine/20fob-q4-t.html?_r=1

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW31MBrbZnM

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOolAfjv3xg

[6] http://www.focus.de/kultur/musik/tid-32375/jetzt-raeumt-bushido-gegenueber-focus-online-ein-wenn-sich-claudia-roth-entschuldigt-werde-ich-das-auch-tun-ssss_aid_1045142.html

[7] http://www.thewrap.com/nas-cuts-homophobic-lyrics-tribeca-film-festival/

[8] http://www.wn.de/Muenster/2013/10/Homophobie-Vorwurf-gegen-Rapper-Freiheit-der-Kunst-oder-Hetze

[9] http://www.laut.de/News/Retrogott-Hulk-Hodn-Homophobie-Vorwurf-gegen-Rapper-11-10-2013-9883

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