Hip-hop support for gay rights continues with Murs, 50 Cent
The sudden outpouring of support for gay rights from the hip-hop world continues this week with comments from 50 Cent and a new video from Murs that started making the rounds just before the weekend.
Sometimes as bloggers it’s tempting to draw hard connections where maybe only the shadow or suggestion of connections actually exists. Murs’ new video, for instance, was in the works before Frank Ocean created a major stir in the hip-hop world by coming out as bisexual. And Ocean’s album “Channel Orange,” which invited questions about his sexuality with several love songs using the pronoun “him,” was clearly written before President Obama surprised us all by endorsing marriage equality in May.
Still, it’s pretty incredible to watch a coincidental confluence of events line up to generate momentum in a cultural shift. 50 Cent recently became the latest member of the hip-hop community to support Frank Ocean in coming out. He cited Obama’s marriage equality endorsement, telling MTV: “Obama is for same-sex marriage. If the president is saying that, then who am I to go the other way?” He added “Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot.”
Murs’ new video for “Animal Style” is a wee bit more subtle than Lil B naming his record “I’m Gay,” but its story is an explicit denouncement of intolerance for same-sex relationships and Murs sports an American Apparel “Legalize Gay” t-shirt throughout the video.
As Think Progress points out, Murs’ video draws some fire in the comments section from those who aren’t crazy about seeing homosexuality addressed in hip-hop. But of course cultural shifts toward greater acceptance are never without growing pains.
Part of what made Frank Ocean’s coming out extra powerful was his association with Odd Future, a group known for intolerant, misogynistic messaging. Whether facetious or not the messaging stuck with the collective, and made it especially potent to see Tyler, The Creator, Odd Future’s rambunctious ringleader, appear on the “Channel Orange” bonus track “Golden Girl” on Friday.
Hip-hop seems to be undergoing a certified shift toward increasing tolerance. These things usually happen little by little and then all at once, and the same seems to be true here. Bout time! Check out Murs’ “Animal Style” below.