Exactly one month ago to this day, an interview with Keith Boykin appeared on Vibe.com entitled "Is Hip-Hop Homophobic?" Keith pointed to the incessant use of gay-baiting in the subculture: "It’s all about the reduction of black masculinity through caricature; we use gay men as the archetype weak figure. In the music version of hip hop, that’s how they get at one another."
Today, Kanye West, one of the biggest stars hip-hop comes out and says "enough, already." According to an AP report in Newsday, Kanye speaks out in an MTV special, All Eyes on Kanye West, that is scheduled to air tonight at 2230/est. "Everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people," he's quoted as saying, adding that on the streets, gay is "the opposite, the exact opposite word of hip-hop. ... Not just hip-hop, but America just discriminates. And I wanna just, to come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, `Yo, stop it.'"
There's some great backstory to the report—Kanye used to be homophobic, changed his tune when he discovered that his cousin was gay—and we have to say that we're impressed. It actually makes us somewhat sheepish, because we've never been huge Kanye fans. (We'll explain later.) In hip-hop, it's almost de riguer to gay bash, so Kanye's position clearly shows that he knows that he is a leader and he's using his celebrity for some good. (photo via Kate Szatmari)