After Elton examines rap, hip-hop and black gays in a very thoughtful and comprehensive survey, Taking the Homophobia Out of Hip-Hop: A Progress Report. Their findings: "Although progress has been made in combating hip-hop's entrenched homophobia, problematic issues remain," namely hardcore reggae-dancehall acts such as Buju Banton or the "faggot" dissing illustrated by Busta Rhymes and the Touch It remix.
The editors also note the positive: "It's possible that old anti-gay sentiments from the early careers of some rappers do not represent their current views on homosexuality. Case in point, U.S. rapper Common's first four albums contained some pretty rabid anti-gay lyrics. Yet in a change of heart his 2002 CD Electric Circus contains the thoughtful track titled “Between Me, You & Liberation”. In it Common speaks of a childhood friend who reveals his gayness to him, and of his own conflicting feelings in confronting his own homophobia towards his friend."
Some of the best analysis comes on page six where they essay hip-hop homophobia as a symptom of larger social issues: "Solving the lingering problem of homophobia in hip-hop is inextricably linked to solving the larger problem of homophobia in society. In what may be a turning point, there currently appears to be a newfound, unprecedented opening up of discussion on gay issues in the black community" ... exactly what we've seen here and here.
The After Elton report is great reading, especially if you're about to take that morning coffee break.
Taking the Homophobia Out of Hip-Hop: A Progress Report (After Elton)John Legend & Cornel West Against Homophobia (Rod 2.0) Busta: Gays Better Not "Touch It" (Rod 2.0) Busta's Homophobic VIBE (Rod 2.0) Busta Remix Homophobic (Jasmyne Cannick) Hip Hop and Homosexuality (Keith Boykin) Rough Trade: Busta Loves the Gays (Novaslim) Stuff Like This (Scott Poulson-Bryant) Maurice Jamal: Kanye West For President (Vibe) Is Hip-Hop Homophobic? (Vibe) Kanye on Gay Bashing (Rod2.0) Kanye: "My Own Homophobia" (Rod 2.0) A "Gay Friendly" Voice (Rod 2.0) Anti-Gay Acts Dropped from Awards (Rod 2.0) Brit Campaign Against Black Homophobia (Rod 2.0) My Jamaican Guy (Rod 2.0) Beverley Knight on Gay Bashing (Rod 2.0)