#Music

These 10 Pro-LGBTQ Rappers Are Making Rap & Hip Hop A More Accepting Genre

Yesterday, I shared the story of rapper Wiz Khalifa saying a stupid and homophobic comment.

Khalifa shared his thoughts on eating bananas, and said that men who bite directly into the fruit are suspect.

While I intended for the article to simply be, “See what stupid thing this one guy said,” I later realized that I had presented the Rap/Hip Hop world wrong.

As I read the Facebook comments for the article and the comments on the actual Instinct site, I realized that some readers were taking away the message, “Rap is homophobic/Rappers are homophobic,” and that’s simply not true.

As such, I’ve collected the below list of Pro-LGBTQ rappers who are openly supporting gay life and love.


Jay Z & Beyonce (If You Count "Apes**t")

When R&B singer Frank Ocean came out as bisexual in 2012, Jay Z and his wife Beyoncé came forward to praise and support him.

Beyoncé posted a picture of Ocean on her website with the caption, “Be fearless. Be honest. Be generous. Be brave. Be poetic. Be open. Be free. Be yourself. Be in love. Be happy. Be inspiration.” As for Jay Z, he posted an article titled “Thank You, Frank Ocean” on his Life + Time site.

In addition, Jay Z wrote a song titled “Smile” for his 2017 album 4:44 about his mother’s struggle to raise him while living in the closet. He even had his mother feature in the song.

Lastly, Jay Z spoke to CNN back in 2012 when then President Obama shared his support for marriage equality.

“It’s no different than discriminating against blacks,” the rapper said, “It’s discrimination plain and simple. I think it’s the right thing to do, so whether it costs him votes or not – again, it’s not about votes, it’s about people. So whether it costs him votes or not, I think it’s the right thing to do as a human being.”

Kevin Abstract

 

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You may not know Kevin Abstract, but give him time and he may just take over the world. The Corpus Christi, Texas native started getting noticed in the music scene around 2015/2016. At the time, we was working as a solo performer who was open about his bisexuality.

Meanwhile, he was also forming what would later become “the internet’s first boyband.”

Abstract formed a group of singers, rappers, composers, directors, and more through an online forum. Together, they became the group BROCKHAMPTON, which has toured around the United States, released four albums in the past two years, and gained considerate fame in that short time. All while having the bisexual Kevin Abstract as their leader.

Kanye West

 

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Say what you will about Kanye (I certainly would), but he’s been a stable supporter of LGBTQ people for some time now.

Kanye West not only supported Frank Ocean when he came out, but he also helped his wife Kim Kardashian accept Caitlyn Jenner after her very public transition.

As for why Kanye supports LGBTQ people, he says it’s because of the time he realized one of his favorite cousins was gay.

“I would use the word ‘f*g’ and always look down upon gays. But then my cousin told me that another one of my cousins was gay, and I loved him. He's one of my favorite cousins. And at that point it was kind of like a turning point when I was like, ‘Yo, this my cousin, I love him and I been discriminating against gays."

Young M.A

 

accurate asf! #PettyWap

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The “OOOUUU” rapper gained popularity in the world of Hip Hop without ever having to hide her sexuality. She says she hopes her openness will help young kids be brave and truly themselves.

“I think it was a point where I was just lost, personally and mentally,” she said during an interview with XXL. “I had just lost my brother and I was holding onto this secret of being gay from my family for a long time. It was just a lot of overwhelming stuff that was coming about.”

Macklemore

 

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Macklemore has continued to be a committed ally for the rap industry, black people, and LGBTQ people.

The rapper has participated Black Lives Matter protests, offered support for his fellow rappers, and spoken out for LGBTQ rights. As for why he’s done the latter, he says it’s because he has family who are gay.

“I grew up with two gay uncles on Capitol Hill. I was always around a community of gay people, as a hip hop artist, it's still a taboo issue," Macklemore said in an interview with Music for Marriage Equality. "That is crazy to me. There's so much fear, and so much of it dates back to religion. I think that we have evolved as a society, and this is our time to create the change that is right."

A$AP Rocky

 

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The Harlem native is a platinum-selling artist who loves fashion. It was that very fact that led him to realize his mistake in his prior worldview.

“I used to be homophobic, but that’s f**ked up," he told Pitchfork. "I had to look in the mirror and say, ‘All the designers I’m wearing are gay.’”

The rapper then doubled down on his support for LGTBQ people in a conversation with Interview Magazine in 2013, where he shared that the hip hop world needs to get over its negative thoughts on homosexuality.

“So now that I’m here and I’ve got a microphone in my hand and about 6,000 people watching me, I need to tell them how I feel,” he said. “For instance, one big issue in hip hop is the gay thing. It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip hop is small-minded or stupid — and that’s not the case.”

He added:  “We’ve got people like Jay-Z. We’ve got people like Kanye. We’ve got people like me. We’re all prime examples of people who don’t think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they’re gonna represent me. And if I’m gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way.”

Azealia Banks

 

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You can say what you want about Azealia Banks’s social media presence, but the rapper has helped LGBTQ representation by being openly bisexual.

In fact, it was through Twitter that Banks came out. In 2015, critics were calling Banks a homophobe for using the slur “f****ts” on Twitter. She then responded by saying,

 “For f***’s sake, just give the Azealia banks is a homophobe thing a rest because I’m not," she tweeted. "I have a transgender sibling. My whole life is gay. All of my friends are gay, I am bisexual…. So please… Stop.”

Keep in mind, this doesn’t excuse her social media persona or use of anti-gay slurs, but she’s helped create visibility for LGBTQ people in the industry.

Chance the Rapper & Taylor Bennett

This brother duo are also widely supportive of LGBTQ life and people. The main reason being that younger brother Taylor Bennett came out as bisexual on his 21st birthday.

"Growing up I've always felt indifferent about my sexuality & being attracted 2 one sex & today I would like to openly come out to my fans," Taylor wrote on Twitter. "I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017. #ThankYou."

Taylor’s older brother Chance, real name Chancelor, then shared that he had no idea about his brother’s sexuality before his coming out, but he expressed his total support afterwards.

“We honestly didn’t talk about it until after he put it out on Twitter… so I think it’s cool he could tell everyone via the Internet and kind of blunt the impact,” said the Grammy-winning rapper to Inquirer.net, “I think what he did was stronger than most people.”

He added, “I kinda just stepped back and… admired him.”


These are just a few of the pro-LGBTQ rappers out there.

While certainly there is still an air of toxic masculinity and homophobia in the musical genre, artists like the ones above are paving the way to change that mentality.

Let's Talk About Olly Alexander and His Sexy, Button-Pushing New Photos

Lead singer of red-hot British pop group Years and Years, 27-year-old Olly Alexander is, in some ways, breaking ground. He isn’t the first openly gay pop star, but he’s owning his sexuality and judiciously pushing buttons in a way that calls to mind some of the best, and most successful pop icons before him.

He’s Paper Magazine’s latest cover boy. The photos are sexy AF.

Question: Is this the first photo shoot ever to be wardrobed by both Versace and Nasty Pig? The pics feature Alexander and a male model in various states of undress. We only see the model from the neck down, and Alexander straddles his thigh in one shot, rests his head there in another.

It’s a fun and insightful interview, too. Alexander discusses his influences (Madonna and Whitney Houston, among others), and homophobia in the music industry and beyond.

Years and Years’ critically well-received second album Palo Santo is out now. A few years ago they released their first record, Communion. On the new record, Alexander sings, innuendo-free, about sex with men.

In the interview, Alexander makes a point that he couldn’t have written the songs in Palo Alto as they are a few years ago. So this means, maybe, boys can sing explicitly about liking boys now. All eyes are on Alexander to see where he takes it from here.

Before fronting Years and Years, Alexander was an actor, appearing in Gaspar Noe’s film Enter the Void and TV’s Penny Dreadful and Skins.

Check out more of the interview, and Olly in a jockstrap, at Paper.

Madonna Plays God Herself in Ariana Grande's "God Is A Woman" Music Video.

For many of us, myself included, Madonna has been the voice of God for a really long time already. Well now that’s literally the case.

Ariana Grande just dropped the video for her new single “God Is a Woman,” the follow-up to “No Tears Left to Cry” and the second single off of her upcoming album Sweetener, due Aug. 17. The big surprise here is a cameo by The Queen of Pop, in voice only.

Madge appears at the 2 minutes 24 seconds mark, reading a passage from Ezekiel made famous by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction:

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my sisters. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

It’s a genuinely striking video, too. Grande walks through the cosmos, bathes in pastel paint, dons a stormtrooper helmet, recreates the Sistine Chapel ceiling and literally has insults thrown at her. At one point, she sports a silver bra that calls to mind the structure of Madonna’s iconic Jean-Paul Gaultier contraptions from the Blonde Ambition and MDNA tours.

It was only a matter of time before Grande and Madonna collaborated like this. They’ve been sharing love and good vibes on social media for years. Madonna had Grande onstage with her on the Rebel Heart Tour, and Grande performed at an event for Madge’s Raising Malawi charity.

Watch the God Is a Woman video here on YouTube.

h/t: People

"The Electric Slide" is About a Vibrator, Songwriter Confirms

The Internet is boogie woogie-ing after learning that song you danced to in elementary school gym class, at weddings, graduations and Bar Mitzvahs is, in fact, about a sex toy.

That’s right; the iconic “Electric Boogie” ditty [also commonly called “The Electric Slide”] is about a vibrator. The songwriter, 71-year-old Neville Livingston aka Bunny Wailer has confirmed. Rumors about the song’s origin have had the web buzzing for the past few weeks, and the rumors finally reached Livingston in Kingston, Jamaica where he resides.

“I’m surprised it took people this long to figure out,” he said.

According to Livingston, he penned the tune after a girlfriend told him she no longer needed him because she had a toy she nicknamed “The Electric Slide.”

"Electric Boogie" was released in 1982 and reached number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. It was written and originally recorded in 1976 with Bunny Wailer.

Lastly, we’ll leave you with the video and the lyrics. How could this be about anything but a vibrator?!?!

 

 

It's electric! 

You can't see it (it's electric!) 

You gotta feel it (it's electric!)

Ooh, it's shakin' (it's electric!)

Jiggle-a-mesa-cara 

She's a pumpin' like a matic 

She's a movin' like electric 

She sure got the boogie

You gotta know it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie!)

Now you can't hold it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie!)

But you know it there, 

Here, there and everywhere

I've got to move, 

I'm going on a party ride 

I've got to groove, groove, groove, 

And from this music 

I just can't hide

Are you comin' with me? 

Come let me take you on a party ride 

And I'll teach you, teach you, teach you 

I'll teach you the electric slide

Some say it's mystic 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

You can't resist it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

You can't do without it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

Jiggle-a-mesa-cara she's a pumpin' like a matic 

She's movin' like electric 

She sure got the boogie

Don't want to lose it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

But you can't choose it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

But you know it's there, 

Here, there and everywhere

I've got to move, 

Come let me take you on a party ride 

And I'll teach you, teach you, teach you 

I'll teach you the electric slide

You can't see it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

You gotta feel it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

Ooh, it's shakin'

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie)

Jiggle-a-mesa-cara she's a pumpin' like a matic 

She's movin' like electric 

She sure got the boogie

You gotta know it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie!)

Now you can't hold it 

(It's electric 

Boogie woogie, woogie!)

But you know it's there, 

Here, there and everywhere

Ola ola eh, ola eh (don dela don deloh!)

Ola ola eh, ola eh (don dela don deloh!)

Ola ola eh, ola eh (don dela don deloh!)

Ola ola eh, ola eh (don dela don deloh!)

Ola ola eh, ola eh (don dela don deloh!)

 

h/t: aazios.com

Madonna's Photoshop of Beyoncé Raises a Few Eyebrows

The Beyhive is all in a tizzy after a Photoshopped post by Madonna hit Instagram.

Perhaps you heard: last week, Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped surprise album Everything Is Love, and a glossy Louvre-set music video for lead single “Apesh*t.”

This weekend, Madonna Insta’d a photo from Everything Is Love, feature Bey and J admiring paintings on the wall of the world’s largest art museum… only Madonna replaced all the paintings in the pic with her own album covers, including True Blue, Confessions on a Dance Floor, and Erotica.

The caption read: “Learning from the master…………..lol. #art #equals #freedom."

Was M just having some fun, or was she intending to shade one of today’s reigning queens of pop?

Many Bey fans were outraged. It must be said, there’s some validity to criticizing Madge for posting a picture of two black entertainers looking at a white “Master.”

Was this maybe just a little bit tone deaf? This wouldn’t be the first time Madge’s judgment hasn’t been spot-on. Leading up to the release of her last album Rebel Heart, she appropriated the likenesses of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to an understandable uproar prompting an apology from the Queen of Pop.

Maybe some of the feedback about her Beyoncé and Jay-Z post got to Madonna, because she edited the post… twice. Now the caption merely reads

“Learning.…………..lol.”

In the past, public relations between M and B have been generally amicable.

In 2013, in the wake of her first surprise, self-titled album, Beyoncé said,“I felt like I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire.”

In 2015, Madonna told Andy Cohen in the pages of Entertainment Weekly:

“[Beyoncé] is a great performer and she puts on a show.”

Tweet: https://twitter.com/Madonna/status/1010153540931727360

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles Concert Evacuated, Cancelled Due to Bomb Threat

About 600 people were evacuated from the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale, California on Saturday afternoon due to a bomb threat.

Will & Grace star Leslie Jordan had just walked onto the stage to as a special guest to open the 2 p.m. event when police announced the threat and evacuated the premises, Gay Men’s Chorus executive director Jonathan Weedman told the Los Angeles Times. Adjacent street Brand Boulevard, between Wilson and California avenues, was shut down out of caution.

Police swept the theater and had it cleared by 4:30. The chorus planned to go forward with their 8 p.m. evening show and another 2 p.m. show on Sunday.

Weedman told the Times that this is the first time ever that a GayMen’s Chorus event had to be halted because of a bomb threat. This is also a first for the Alex, which opened in 1925.

Weedman noted the current sociopolitical climate in our nation:

“This is a difficult time for the LGBTQ community, and we will not be deterred,” he said to the Times. “The show must go on, and our message [of inclusiveness] will continue.”

h/t: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-concert-cancelled-20180623-story.html

Demi Lovato Reveals She Relapsed After Six Years of Sobriety

The struggle is real. Mere weeks after celebrating six years of clean time, pop star Demi Lovato revealed she relapsed in her new single “Sober.” 

In the past, the “Cool for the Summer” songstress has been quite candid about past struggles with cocaine abuse, alcohol addiction and an eating disorder. 

Though she didn’t share specifics about the relapse, Lovato first announced the setback via an Instagram post teasing the “Sober” lyric video with the caption “My truth.”

In the song, Lovato tells her fans, 

 

“I’m sorry that I’m here again. I promise I’ll get help…"

 

"I'm sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again. I want to be a role model but I'm only human."

Listen to “Sober” here: https://youtu.be/vORIohoI4m0

h/t: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/entertainment/demi-lovato-sober/index.html

Beyoncé and Jay-Z Just Dropped a Surprise Album and Music Video

The queen of the surprise album drop has done it again—this time with help from her hubby.

On Saturday, Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z released a joint album titled Everything Is Love. They also just released a surprise music video for the track “Apeshit.” The track is killer, and the music video is legit visually stunning. It was shot in the Louvre.

The Carters’ On the Run II Tour has been selling out the largest stadiums in Europe for the past few weeks. The show comes to North America in July.

The family project has been rumored for months. This comes in the wake of two smash independent successes: Beyoncé’s 2016 Lemonade was a critical and commercial phenomenon. Last year, Jay-Z’s 4:44 was also well-received. On that album, Jay admitted to cheating on his wife in the past.

Everything is Love is what therapy looks like when you’re the biggest power couple in modern music.

Watch the apeshit “Apeshit” video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbMqWXnpXcA

h/t: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/entertainment/beyonce-jay-z-joint-album/index.html 

Martin Garrix & Khalid Team Up On Gorgeous New Single 'Ocean'

DJ/producer Martin Garrix drops his latest track today, “Ocean,” teaming up with five-time Grammy nominated vocalist Khalid.

Two powerhouses in mainstream music today, the collaboration is poised to hit the top of the charts.

Ranked number 1 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list for 2016 and 2017, Garrix has been a busy boy scoring huge, viral hits like ‘Scared To Be Lonely‘ with Dua Lipa which notched 551 million streams on Spotify, ‘So Far Away‘ with David Guetta, Jamie Scott and Romy Dya (169 million streams), and ‘There For You‘ with Troye Sivan (354 million streams). 

Khalid’s ‘Silence’ with Marshmello last year popped an amazing 565 million Spotify streams. And his smash hit ‘American Teen‘ album was packed with 15 singles, each garnering millions of streams.

Instead of a high-octane, house burner, the mid-tempo 'Ocean' sits right in the sweet spot for Khalid’s rich alto and falsetto. And Garrix takes his time utilizing live strings with an orchestra putting the beats on slow burn until they kick in for the chorus.

The chill-out track is partnered with a music video featuring both artists in a cool, kaleidoscopic world of light and shadow.

Check out 'Ocean' below.

 

 

The Internet's New Video For "Come Over" Spotlights Love And Found Families

The music video for The Internet’s “Come Over” just dropped and we love it.

The video sees singer Syd, who also directed the video, sending a text to her neighbor and romantic interest.

While the beginning of the video sees Syd flirting with her neighbor, and a cameo from comedian and Buzzfeed producer Quinta Brunson, the later half focuses on the entire band. The video gives us a glimpse into the color-coded rooms of each band member as they hang out with thier respective partners.

If you want to check out the music video for “Come Over” yourselves, you can watch the video down below.

“Come Over” is the latest single form the Neo-Soul band. The band has been working together since their formation in 2011 and have earned two Grammy nominations for their work.

That said, each member has taken time off from the group at some point to produce their own solo projects. Syd’s Fin, Steve Lacy’s Demo, Matt Martians’ The Drum Chord Theory, and Christopher Smith’s Loud, for instance.

But, the members continue to be committed to the band, and are preparing for the release of a new album. Their fifth album, titled Hive Mind, is scheduled to drop on July 20.

Plus, the group are going on tour to perform in cities like Manchester, Dublin, Brooklyn, Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and more.

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