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15 January 2006

Comments

Mark

That's great to hear. I might be in attendance that weekend to check out Ray J's performance. Also, we should give credit to hip hop legend Doug E Fresh for performing at last year's gay Black Pride in DC, as well as rapper Mr. Cheeks who did so in the past.

algie

we like ray-j. i think he's very talented so bring it on lol.i give him credit for stepping up to the plate

IbouDiop

Rod, here we go again. . .Given the rather vitriolic replies that I and others received when we posted an 'alternative' opinion on the Raz-B issue, I have to say I have serious doubts that Ray Jay’s appearance at The Edge is crossing "impressive threshold" in "hip-hop's hostilities toward gays." Recognizing black gay men as a lucrative market makes smart business sense on the part of new artists like Raz-B and Ray Jay. However, it falls far short of examples of social activism on gay issues. I have more respect for artists who craft pro-gay social messages in their music rather than those who appear for the gay market to push the same hip-hop/R&B hooks they are selling to everybody else.

Social activism has always been followed by forward-thinking social messages IN THE CONTENT OF MUSIC, (to paraphrase a Quincy Jones remark on Stevie Wonder’s musical contribution to social justice). Ray Jay and Raz B haven't changed the 'content' of their messages to address gay concerns. On some level, they’re just struggling artists showing up to selling their sexuality to black gay men in clubs to sell music. If you think their recognition of black gay men as consumer helps reduce homophobia, ask yourself how, on a larger scale, this same type of marketing by whites to black consumers has helped to eliminate racism. This is crude analogy, I know, but itself to the idea that this hip-hop marketing strategy you’re heralding is not necessarily breaking down barriers on the issue of homophobia in the hip-hop or the black community at large.

I tell you . . . this idea--this need for examples of acceptance on the part of “celebrities”, has gotten us all screwed up. . .The struggle for social activism and acceptance within the black community takes place on all levels—across economic, social, and religious boundaries. However, it’s the common folk, like you and me, who show up and speak out on homophobia that make the real difference in the black community.

Rod, love you, love your dedication to keeping us informed, but, please, hip-hop artists’ willingness to treat us as market consumer does not mean they are treating as social equals.

naturalblkluv

I agree with you iboudiop, there is nothing great about a D list artist, coming to take your money. He is going to sing a few songs, sell some cd's and go home. Its not like he's going to party with you or inter act with you or speak to your issues, he's working.

So before you go buck wild, and make him the new homo king, just rememebr your brotha and best bud Kanye west, he was your friend until you made his cd many times platnium. Now hes ashamed to be seen with you, wont let his music be played on homo tv, or ride in the same car with you, but im sure u got 2 copies of his cd and did the gold digger dance until you were sore.

rod

IDiop: First, I never said that these hip-hop artists were treating us as "social equals." I did say that it's a welcome departure from the hyper-masculine, anti-gay posturing adopted by most of the hip-hop community.

Second, I never said that this was social activism on par with Miriam Makeeba, Nina Simone Harry Belafonte's work of the 1960s. DO NOT put words in my mouth. Also, don't be so quick to compare any of today's artists to the Motown artists of the 1960s; these are radically different times, and most of the big Motown artists were very slow to embrace the civil rights movement.

Third, no one ever said that Ray J or Raz B were not trying to have a career and make money. It's meaningless to constantly bring up that argument. Are you saying that you respect artists who are not compensated? So you have much more respect for the out-of-work actor who's never appeared in a movie or television show as opposed to Matthew St. Patrick, Jake Gyllehaal or Taye Diggs who is willing to play gay characters?

Your and NaturalBlk antipathy seems to be predicated on these being "D-list artists." Perhaps you're more comfortable with the black A-list artists that are so gay-friendly. Please name them.

Here's a suggestion to both of you: The next time you criticize what I have to say, why don't you offer an alternative? Both of you never offer alternatives. Your negativity is becoming tiresome and unwelcome on this page.

boogie tonight

Hey Rod nice screen caps, also i agree with your tongue lashing. Keep up the good work

TheRevKev

HERE'S THE DEAL. Why are women who sing to us APPLAUD and REVERED as INSTANT FANS AND FRIENDS OF THE COMMUNITY and MEN INSTANT HOMOPHOBES OR PIMPS?!

I think its COOL...not BRAVE...not SMART...just COOL...that RAZ-B and RAY-J are CUTE and coming to a market that LOVES CUTE MEN! They are not HIP-HOP...they are just MEN WHO SING and ARE YOUNG and being thrown into HIP-HOP, but truthfully, they are just YOUNG MEN TRYING TO MAKE A MARK FOR THEMSELVES!

WOW...I never thought we, as a community, wouldn't APPLAUD the day that YOUNG MEN IN THE INDUSTRY got BOLD enough to just show up for us!

RAZ-B is SMART and RAY-J, who RUNS HIS RECORD LABEL, and MADE THIS CHOICE! If HIS CHOICE was to MARKET HIMSELF AS SEXY AND POSSIBLE TO A GROUP AND MARKET OF MEN, THEN HELLO...he's only ALOUD what GINUWINE and JOHN LEGEND and others sneak around...MEN WHO LOVE MEN ARE LOOKING and RAY-J and RAZ-B are smart enough and bold enough and maybe even confident enough to say LOOK...I'M OKAY WITH IT!!!!

Michael

Hey Rev Kev! I read your book and it is awesome and have seen you on BET many times.

I totally agree with Rev Kev, Mark, Rod and others. As black gay men we have no problem welcoming sisters and "divas", but the minute a black man tries to appeal to the black gay audience he is criticized. They're all trying to make money, from Ray J to RuPaul to Janet Jackson. We should celebrate the black men who are willing to exude confidence.

Some of you queens are ridiculous. What black artists craft "pro-gay social messages in their music"? Besides Me'shell N'degeocello? Give me a break.

One more thing: RevKev, thanks so much for supporting this page!

algie

^^^janet has been someone who when she stepped up to the plate to talk about gay issues she was doing it from the heart and not trying to make album sales especially with the backlash the winans were trying to create with her when she released the velvet rope. but i to agree that as gay black men we need to stop pointing the finger so much sometimes and just embrace honesty and goodness when its trying to come our way in 2006.it really shows how even deeper we need to stop the hating going on within our community and stop being so quick to judge and just enjoy the moment

patrick s

I've been following these comments like most other topics on rod 2.0. It's kind of silly to argue who is supporting gays on moral grounds versus for album sales. It's an argument that you never hear going on in the larger white gay community. They don't try to dismiss who's support is worthy, Madonna versus Kylie versus Heath Ledger versus Cher versus Britney. "Brokeback' is breaking box office and award records, and you never hear the white boys say "Oh, they're just trying to make money." You should assume that they're all in business to make money, but some people are being socially responsible and marketing to the gays. Nothing wrong with that. And of course Ray B and Raz J--or is it the other way around, lol--are cute young'ns who hope to take their shirts off and send the boys out to Virgin or Amazon.com. That's the exact same thing that they have been doing all along--and they have not played to specific gay audiences.

Algie was so right. Let's just enjoy the moment as Rod has suggested and try to grow up. Many black gay men are so negative and quick to point the finger about what is WRONG with the world ... and not enjoy what is RIGHT.

Terrence Redix

Tracy Chapman has always carried herself in a respectful, dignified way. In my opinion her music is very honest, straight forward and could be considered pro gay. Its universal music. I've never seen an interview where someone is asking her about her sexuality; however, i have a feeling if asked questions about her sexuality, she would be real honest about it. She's not hip hop, so i'm wondering if you guys feel her music, celebrity, and opinion counts. I think she's all that and more. She seems to be an orginal thinker who creates her own world and moves at her own pace. I love her music, have a couple of her cd's and was mesmerized when i first heard her lyrics. which are rich in symbolism and meaning. Also, I wonder what Prince would have to say in an interview if he was asked about his sexuality and sex in his music. In his early days, his music, lyrics, and dress screamed for gay identity, rights, and recognition. In my opinion, I feel black gays and lesbians strive to be included in the family, unlike white gays and lesbians who want to be separate from the family. I think family inclusion accounts for all the DL business going on right now. For example, brothas who are married, have baby mamas and girl friends want to include their homosexual behavior into the family rather than making a choice between the two. I'd like to suggest, maybe an approach which respects and recognizes peoples posisitons and relationships in their families might help in aquiring information about sexual preference, and identity, in the music industry. If you think about it, people like Da Brat, and Missy are saying things in their music, dress, and behavior. I wonder if there's a journalist with the sensitivity, intelligence, and balance who could get the information everyone wants so much to hear from them.

Joseph

Hello Rod,
As usual you are on top of the information and putting it out there without a spin that some of the negative people are stuck on. It's truly a shame that (1) we can't ALL just get along and (2) agree to disagree on some things. I applaude the musical artists, TV artists (all others) who identify our way of life, as mainstream America look to them and often silently "watch" to see that it's OK to "rub elbows" and then they all jump on the bandwagon acting like they were "for us" all along. Keep up the good work ROD! They will all one day recognize that we as GAY People are a force that is NOT GOING to be quiet nor step down. One.

jazzi

I too think that some are taking this a little overboard. Remember: these guys are coming as artists, not activist. If they are "exploiting" the Black gay community for its dollars, they won't be the first or the last. Think about all the corporations that advertise on Black radio & tv. You think they do it because they....like us? No. It's because they know that we represent billions of dollars of spending power & they want that money. Whatever their personal feelings or politics are, at the end of the day it's all about the green.

Raz & Ray are d-list, nominally talented artist. Ray isn't as big as Brandy & Raz isn't as big as his former bandmate Omarion, & yet they want to eat & pay their bills. As someone already stated, it's cool that these guys are brave enough to step into an arena that most Black artist wouldn't be caught dead in. I'm not about to label these guys as activists or even pioneers. It's not that deep for me but I do applaud their bravery. Perhaps the love shown will be somewhat lopsided but ultimately, they will be at these clubs & pride events to showcase what little talent they have & make some change & gays will be there to be entertained. Case closed.

H.CHAMBERS

IDIOP,
I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH MOST OF WHAT YOU SAID. I THINK MOST OF THE BLOGGERS WOULD TOO. THE PROBLEM IS SOMETIMES IT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAY BUT HOW YOU SAY IT. YOUR NEGATIVE AND SEEMINGLY BITTER
WRITINGS BELIES THE FACT THAT THERE IS A LOT OF TRUTH IN WHAT YOU SAY. HOWEVER, I MUST DISAGREE
WITH YOU AS TO THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC/ENTERTAINMENT
IN SOCIAL ACTIVISM. JUST THINK ABOUT THE CHANGES THAT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE CONNECTED BY THE "UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE",MUSIC.
STEVIE WONDER'S MUSIC ALMOST SINGLEHANDEDLY ESTABLISHED THE MLK HOLIDAY. BOB DYLAN'S BLOWING IN THE WIND AND ABRAHAM,MARTIN AND JOHN, UNITED DEMOCRATS AND
CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE COUNTLESS GOSPEL SONGS THAT SUSTAINED OUR PEOPLE THROUGH SLAVERY AND JIM CROW.
MUSIC WAS THE WAY BLACKS AND THEIR
SYMPATHIZERS COMMUNICATED DURING THEIR PLAN AND ESCAPE FOR FREEDOM.
MANY HISTORIANS HAVE CITED THE INTEGRATION OF MAJOR BASEBALL AS THE DEFINING MOMENT IN CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY NOT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON OR THE ATLANTA BUS BOYCOTT. THE POINT IS THAT PEOPLE
RESPOND TO WHAT WE SEE. THIS IS HOW IT STARTS. I AGREE THAT CELEBRITY WORSHIP IS A SAD FACT IN
OUR WORLD BUT THE FACT IS THERE IS POWER IN THEIR ENDORSEMENTS AND IN THEIR SUPPORT. THESE TWO YOUNG MEN ARE NOT THE FIRST TO PERFORM
FOR GAY AUDIENCES, BUT THEY CONTINUE TO SERVE NOTICE THAT WE ARE HERE AND THAT WE ARE AN ECONOMIC FORCE THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED.

nOva

The only one worth co-signing here is Mark. It got a little out of hand after that.

Rod, I love you and K. Boykin, but I don't think it's fair to credit them with some kind of progressive movement in hip-hop when they are R&B artists. Doug E. Fresh and Mr. Cheeks, on the other hand, are.

Again, I think this is another case of Raz B and Ray-J "mattering" because they are considered eye candy.

lilalex

PLESE KEEP SENDING I LOVE RAY J HE IS DA LOVE OF MI LIFE. BUT IF YOU HAVE MORE PIC OF HIM OR B2K OR ANY ONE WLSE AT THE MATTER PLEASE SEND THEM 2 ME

lilalex

PLESE KEEP SENDING I LOVE RAY J HE IS DA LOVE OF MI LIFE. BUT IF YOU HAVE MORE PIC OF HIM OR B2K OR ANY ONE WLSE AT THE MATTER PLEASE SEND THEM 2 ME

Incognito

I AM FROM DC MYSELF. RAY J WAS SUPPOSED TO HAD BEEN HERE A FEW WEEKS AGO AND IT WAS SAID THAT HE WASNT AWARE THAT HE WAS COMING TO A GAY CLUB SO HE NEVER SHOWED. I GUESS HIS PRODUCERS CONVINCED HIM THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD PUBLICITY STUNT TO GO AHEAD AND DO SO BECAUSE I SEE HE IS SCHEDULED TO COME BACK THIS WAY ON THE 17TH OF FEBRUARY. SO I WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE THAT DAY TO SEE IF HE WILL BACK OUT AGAIN. I DEFINITELY DO NOT FEEL THAT HE IS GAY. I MEAN IF HE IS, THEN THAT IS ALL GOOD TOO. TO EACH HIS OWN. BUT I FEEL THAT HE WAS JUST TALKED INTO SCHEDULING ANOTHER APPEARANCE. BUT I HOPE HE DOES SHOW AND THE NIGHT GOES WELL.

ZERETMUSICENT

RAZ B ...RAY J....MR CHEEKS...DOUG E FRESH....AND COUNTLESS FEMALE PERFORMERS THAT HAVE PERFORMED AT GAY EVENTS ARE JUST WORKING JUST LIKE THE GO GO DANCERS AND THE DJS AT THOSE VERY SAME EVENTS.....I THINK IT'S A GOOD THING THAT MAIN STREAM ARTIST TKAE US SERIOUSLY EVEN IF IT IS JUST ON THE ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL....

THE FUCK UP PART IS IF THOSE SAME ARTISTS REFUSED TO PERFORM AT OUR VENUES WE WOULD PITCH A BITCH

IT'S LIKE YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY SO DON'T EVEN TRY..

BUT IT HAS TO START SOMEWHERE AND THIS IS STILL A GOOD START

ANOTHER THING I GUESS SINCE DOUG E FRESH AND MR CHEEKS ARE NOT WHAT MOST WOULD CALL SEXY....WE DIDN'T MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT THEM PERFORMING AT GAY PRIDE EVENTS.....I PREFER THAT ALL PERFORMERS ARE WELCOMED...HELL WE PLAY THEIR MUSIC IN OUR CLUBS

IT'S ONLY RIGHT.....EVEN IF IT IS MARKETING.. MARKETING IS MARKETING....AS LONG AS IT IS NOT NEGATIVE....

WHITES/NON BLKS MARKET TO US ALL THE TIME .....WHY CAN'T A BLK STR8 PERFORMER MARKET HIS PRODUCT TO US

HELL THEY ARE THE ONES THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS FROM STR8S AND GAYS ABOUT THEM PERFORMING AT A GAY CLUB

Dexter

It's good that the gay community is getting support from celebrities. Maybe with this support, people will become more tolerant and less ignorant of all things different. People really need to stop hating because someone is different. Society should let people be who they are, not who they think that they should be.

Dexter

Sorry for the double post, but... damn! Ray J is fine!

antneya

Well at this point it doesnt matter since due to a "scheduling" conflict (wink, wink) he backed out of the performance.

ZERETMUSICENT

I'M GAGGING .....BUT I'M NOT SURPRISE THAT THERE WAS A SCHEDULING CONFLICT AT RAY J'S RECORD COMPANY.....I GUESS IT WAS TOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH NEGATIVE PRESS FOR HIM TO GO THRU WITH THE PERFORMANCE...

ONE DAY IT WON'T BE SO TABOO FOR STR8 ARTISTS TO PERFORM FOR US....HELL WE BUY CDS BY THE TRUCK LOADS

WELL I GUESS UNTIL THEN WE WILL ONLY BE ENTERTAINED BY FEMALE RECORDING ARTISTS/PERFORMERS AND STRUGGLING MALE PERFORMERS

OH WELL

THE REAL QUESTION IS ...WAS RAY J TALKED OUT OF DOING THE SHOW ????????????????????

Miss.Meticulous

Just wondering;

What kind of a site is this?!!
Please reply;)

wild17

HES FUCKIN HOTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO

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