Before VH1's Gay Rappers...
By Khalil Amani
Now that mainstream hip-hop has finally chosen to deal with its homosexual “Elephant in the Room” via VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood—there are a few things that should be said and made known. For all of you that are shocked, wowed and awed by the homosexual love between a hip-hop producer/rapper named Milan Christopher (@MilanChrisGordy) and a rapper named Siir Brock aka Miles (@SiirBrock) on Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood—be it known that they are the culmination of years of behind the (mainstream) scenes/underground work by people like myself (Gay Hip-Hop’s Straight Advocate & Spiritual Advisor) and literally hundreds of gay, lesbian, Bi & Trans rappers & producers. Milan & Miles aren’t “the first” openly gay rappers! They are merely VH1’s first openly gay hip-hop couple.
Many straight and gay heads wanna know how they became gay hip-hop reality stars, because, certainly, there are many more gay rappers who’ve done way more stuff than these two guys—who are far more popular than these guys and have a body of work that rivals any mainstream straight rapper. The vast majority of heads have never heard of these characters and it has been rumored that even the “known” reality stars on LHHH don’t wanna be filmed with them, in the same room as them or associated with Milan & Miles, citing that they are irrelevant in hip-hop. (Can I say this? Stop the bullshit! We know that most of these known hip-hop personalities have been coached by their puppeteers to keep their distance because of the homosexuality stigma in hip-hop. Keep that shit real!)
As for relevancy—how many of these known hip-hop reality stars have music actively playing on radio, clubs and/or strip clubs? Not nann one, save Soulja Boy (and maybe Omarion & Ray J)! Hating, blocking and trying to stop these two gay dudes’ money & shine based on “relevancy” is ludacrisp (as Mike Tyson would say)! Worry about your own “career” poppin’ before you try to dictate to VH1 your homophobic bullshit objections over gay rappers! Now!
My conjecture is that these two gay rappers were chosen because they live in Hollywood, but more importantly, because of Milan’s kinship to the iconic Berry Gordy who created Motown Records and ushered in some of the greatest groups/singers ever, including Smoky Robinson, The Supremes and the Jackson 5 (Of course, if you don’t already know who Gordy is, kill ya’ self!) Milan is the nephew of Berry Gordy through marriage and even calls himself “Milan Chris Gordy” on his Twitter. Hey! I ain’t mad at him! I’d use the name too if it could help further my career! Why not?
But VH1, Shirea Carroll, et al. (and all others!)—I’m happy to see your liberalness, but at what point will you tell the story of the evolution of gays in hip-hop and stop misleading people with this make-believe, fairy tell idea that these two fellows are hip-hop’s first? Hip-hop has been living a damned lie for 30+ years! Gays have always been part of hip-hop and if you ask the right people, they’d tell you that one of its founders/pioneers is gay! This is matter-of-factly stuff in some New York circles! I’ve even had people in this pioneer rapper’s circle openly admit this “fact,” so if it’s a lie, it ain’t me telling it.
But more importantly, the world should know about those that paved the way and helped bring about the climate whereby an openly gay rapper can thrive in mainstream. VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood & Fox’s Empire didn’t just think it was cool to do a gay storyline. The times have dictated such! And the times were pushed forward by gay rappers like Oakland’s “Deep Dickollective”—a group of openly gay rappers who spit that ill shit. They were poets, spoken word artists & academicians who could articulate the woes of being black & gay in the world.
And there were plenty other openly gay rappers who challenged hip-hop’s uber/hyper-masculine good-ol’-boys-hip-hop-club, most notably Deadlee, a black/Latino openly gay rapper who was the poster-boy for gay rappers, having his video, “Good Soldier II” on the MTV-owned channel, LOGO. He’s been at Allhiphop.com (“the most dangerous site!) as well as The Howard Stern Show and toured the country with other openly gay rappers as part of the “HOMOREVOLUTION” tour—a brainchild of his. Deadlee was also part of the groundbreaking movie, “Pick Up The Mic” (2006)—a movie about the gay hip-hop scene and their plight to be heard and respected. And yes! He lives in Los Angeles. How grand would it have been for him to be part of the LHHH cast?!
Milan & Miles—it is great what you are doing—for the culture—for your gay countrymen and for the greater good of humanity, but understand that you are no “island.” You are not out here to go it alone. You are not the first openly gay rappers, but merely VH1’s choice to give you mainstream attention. You are the “Jackie Robinsons” of hip-hop (if you will) and like Jackie Robinson, who was not the best Negro baseball player, but rather the best Negro to fit white folks’ racists sensibilities—you two are rap’s homophobic homosexuals who fit hip-hop’s homophobic sensibilities—I presume you have decent rap skills, masculine personas and a pedigree to a soul music legend, but first openly gay rappers? Nope!
Literally, hundreds of openly gay rappers have been on their grind to make good music and be heard, recognized and respected. Gay rappers have been banging on hip-hop’s door for a long time! Milan & Miles are standing on the shoulders of their gay rap peers—Deadlee, Shorty Roc, Juba Kalamka, Tim’m West, Tori Fixx, Melange Lavonne, Mistermaker, Bone Intell, Kaoz, Bry’Nt, Drew Mason, DJ Baker, Yo Majesty!, Lester Green, JenRO, Last Offence, Medino Green, Sonny Lewis, Julie Fucking Potter, Johnny Dangerous, Foxxjazell, The Qure, Swanny River, Alicia Leafgreen (white lesbian rapper)—and the list goes on and on and on! Get to Googling!
As for me? Yes! I’m a straight hip-hop head, but I’ve made it part of my life’s work to see a gay rapper in mainstream, so I’m super-elated for Milan & Miles! I’ve been actively writing, blogging and Internet beefin’ with some of your favorite rappers over this gay rapper thingy. LOL. I’m the quintessential “Internet Gangster!” I'm the one responsible for making Kanye West stop his Madison Square Garden concert (2008) and give a soliloquy on hating gays! I'm that dude!
And speaking of firsts! I’m the first straight guy to take hip-hop to task over its homophobia, which has landed me on the cover of DJ Kay Slay’s Straight Stuntin Magazine in 2008 (Again, if you don’t know who Kay Slay is kill ya’ self!), in Spin Magazine (the rival of Rolling Stone), and the first person to write the seminal work on gays doing hip-hop (Hip-Hop Homophobes… iuniverse.com 2007).
(Don't skim by! You see my name on the cover reppin' this gay shit! 2008!)
And before VH1 or Fox decided to open the door to gay artists—DJ Kay Slay and myself put five gay rappers on international radio—Streetsweeper Sirius Satellite Radio (2008).
(Khalil Amani & DJ Kay Slay with 5 gay rappers on Sirius Satellite Radio)
VH1, Miles & Milan—myself & gay rappers been doing this! You are not alone! Respect the architects!
Khalil Amani is gay hip-hop's "Straight Advocate." He writes for Allhiphop.com, DJ Kay Slay’s Originators & Straight Stuntin Magazines. He’s been featured in L.A. Times, Spin Magazine, DaveyD.com, The Biography Channel. Author of six books, including the groundbreaking “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” (iuniverse.com ’07). Follow on IG @khalil_amani, Facebook, Twitter @khalilamani.