Producer of the moment, rapper and fashionista Kanye West continues to speak out on sexuality, masculinity and homophobia. Too bad more of his contemporaries do not. While taping an appearance on VH1 Storytellers, the Grammy Award- winner calls himself an "a**hole" for his previous homophobic ways.
"If a black man from Chicago was taught to stand far away from gay people because he didn't want to be accused of being gay. What would happen if he'd run into a gay man? What's the talk? What would he learn, what would I learn? I learned that people in Chicago were wrong and I had been an a**hole all along."
The 31-year-old star acknowledges he has a big ego, but doesn't believe he should be criticized because he always praises himself rather than slam rivals. "I do have an ego and rightfully so. I think people should have an ego. Think about it - I don't offend people, I don't put anyone down. Do I name names or bring people down? That's not my thing. But I give myself big-ups. I feel good about the music I make."
Gay friendly with a "big ego" versus someone who is more "humble" but a homophobic hater? It's no contest. We'll take the ego and the progressive politics any day ...
Recently the stylish producer-rapper has criticized hip-hop for being obsessed with gays and gay-baiting. Several years ago when Kanye West first skyrocketed on the scene, the rapper created a huge discussion when he lashed out against hip-hop's hyper-masculine homophobic culture and told fellow hip-hop heads to "stop" gay-bashing. West has admitted to having "feminine ways", "an issue with masculinity" and projecting his own insecurities. If only we all were so honest.
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