Tuesday, 17 May 2011

hip-hop homophobia

Thousands of words have been expended on Odd Future's lyrical content and What It All Means since their rise to prominence over the past year, but only now – as lead member Tyler, the Creator gears up for the release of his second album Goblin – have they been pressed to explain themselves. Which, in recent interviews, Tyler has done in a particularly mealy-mouthed fashion. "I'm not homophobic," he declared to NME last week. "I just think 'faggot' hits and hurts people." It would appear that Tyler's much-vaunted genius does not stretch to making a connection between these statements. Notwithstanding his inability to distinguish between active and cultural homophobia, though, it's important to remember that Odd Future is not a monolith. Frank Ocean, their R&B associate, has penned a song with an explicitly pro-gay marriage slant: "I believe that marriage isn't between a man and woman, but between love and love." And the collective's sound engineer, Syd tha Kyd, is an open lesbian whose response to the controversy is telling: "When I first started really fucking with Odd Future heavy, my dad was like, 'Really? They talk about some crazy shit and as a female, you're slapping a lot of women in the face.' I'm like, 'That's what I do. I slap bitches.'"

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