In the legendary words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.”
While the hip-hop industry is typically associated with hyper-masculine and anti-homosexual imagery, events in recent weeks suggest that a major turnaround is slowly unfolding. A week ago, Frank Ocean (member of hip-hop collective Odd Future) stated on Tumblr that he’d previously had a relationship with a man. “4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too,” he wrote. “We spent that summer, and the summer after, together … By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with.”
Naturally, his coming out was well-timed with the release of his solo album, which is now flying off of the shelves thanks to the big announcement. Many of Ocean’s peers jumped to his defense, including high-profile members of the community like Russell Simmons and Beyonce, who showed her support in the form of poetry.
Now, Los Angeles hip-hop favorite Murs is showing his support in the new music video “Animal Style” (Yep, like the In-N-Out Burger masterpiece). The video tells the story of a closeted couple (Murs plays one half of the duo) and even shows the rapper engaging in an onscreen kiss. It’s easy to dismiss the efforts these rappers are making as publicity-seeking (or hopping on the trendy gay train), but what they are doing goes a lot farther than most people even realize.
Check out the video for “Animal Style” below and let us know your thoughts: Is it time the hip-hop community acknowledged the gay community more?