Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
Looking Up Hip-Hop’s Skirt…
By Khalil Amani
I admit it! I’ve done things that niggas would consider “suspect” (i.e. gay). Yes I have!—from being a ballet dancer (something that Tupac and I have in common) and a stripper and wearing a thong between my butt-cheeks (something that gang member & rapper The Game and I have in common) to repping for gay rappers to wearing Prince-like poet shirts with lace & frills. Some guys can do this and remain fully heterosexual. That would be me! As Star & Bucwild would say, “I’m a man of a certain age”—so I really give less than two-shits about a nigga waving the “suspect” flag in my direction. I’m built for what I do and rep! They call me, “Gay hip-hop’s Spiritual Advisor” and “Ya Gay Friend’s Favorite Straight Friend.” It gets no more suspect than that! LOL. But don’t get it twisted! I’m straight as an arrow!
But these hip-hop heads and rappers—and rap music, the most masculine genre of music seems to be exploring and experimenting with its androgynous (male/female) side. There’s some “suspectability” (if that’s a word) goin’ on! Gone are the days of oversized T-shirts, baggy pants and fitted caps. They have been replaced by waist-fitted T-shirts, skinny jeans, jeggings and snapbacks. There is a hip-hop accoutrement paradigm-shift happenin'. Niggas are about that Wiz Khalifah, 2 Chainz and Trinidad James swagger. They’re on that Jimi Hendricks/Rick James/Prince/Little Richard ish.
(ATL rapper Trinidad James, a rapping Jimi Hendricks)
But hold on! It gets better (or worse, depending on your fashion sensibilities.) Niggas (rappers) are now wearing dresses—ghetto “Kilts,” which they have swagger-jacked from the Scottish. The fooGAYziness and ratchetness of hip-hop by these trend-setting rappers is getting out of hand!
Yes! They are kilts, but for the undiscerning and uncultured—they are dresses!
DJ Kay Slay once said, “No black man should wear a kilt! You ain’t Scottish! That’s their culture nigga!” In classic Kay Slay fashion, he asks, in all sincerity, “Since when does a man have to lift up his skirt to get some pussy and a woman have to pull down her pants to get some dick?” LOL! (Now that’s funny!)
Slowly but steadily rappers started wearing these “kilts” as some new-jack fashion statement. By all accounts, it started with Andre 3000/Benjamin—when he rocked a kilt/skirt in UGK’s video “Int’l Player’s Anthem.” I don’t recall hearing a peep about 3000’s sexuality! Andre is known for his outrageous dress code, so we accepted his kilt without dissing his sexuality.
(Andre 3000 in Kilt, from UGK's video "Intl Player")
Soon followed Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Kid Cudi and Akon—who is heavily dabbling in sexual ambiguity by hiring his official Dee Jay, the kilt-wearing DJ Benny D and working with transgressive, gender-bending and androgynous artist Jeffree Star—all who have worn the Scottish Kilt—ghetto-faboulously. Kanye West came along and wore a leather dress/kilt in his video “Niggas in Paris” and continued to rock one for a Hurricane Sandy benefit. Rapper Cam’ron took exception to Kanye’s kilt, tweeting ““Pyrex and a skirt? Sh*t ain't adding up. And if u co-sign this I'm blocking u!! Straight up. Ima have to save us." R&B womanizer Chris Brown chimed in calling Kanye’s dress “suspect.” (from a dude who dyes his hair platinum blond)
(Rapper Kid Cudi wearing a kilt)
(Diddy in a kilt. I wonder if he's wearing panties or a thong under...Just askin')
(Rapper Snoop Dogg, the Long Beach Crip wearing a kilt and Chuck Taylors. Damn!)
(Singer Akon and his gender-bending male singing Protégé Jeffree Star)
(Akon's official deejay, DJ Benny D)
Hip-hop is becoming gay—or, at least, embracing the softer side of fashion. Rappers like Lil Wayne, with a straight face rocked “jeggings” (jean leggings) and D12 rapper Bizarre has worn a full-length spandex bodysuit. And then there’s Ceelo Green, who teamed up with Danger Mouse to form “Gnarls Barkley”—where he played “wifey” to Danger Mouse in a photoshoot by wearing a white wedding dress.
(Lil Wayne wearing "jeggings"--women's leggings/jeans)
(Rapper Bizarre of D12 with Eminem rockin' the shiny spandex with his titties out. LOL.)
(Ceelo Green, one half of Gnarls Barkley with his "husband" Danger Mouse)
Pushing the gay envelope into the stratosphere—enter Lil B, who titled one of his albums “I’m Gay”—supposedly to free up the meaning of the word, while at the same time calling himself a “pretty bitch.” (Side-eye). And lest I forget, ASAP Rocky appearing on 106 & Park wearing a full-length dress, which some tried to call an over-sized “wife-beater.” The fuck?
(Rapper Lil B)
(ASAP Rocky on 106 & Park with his dress oversized-wife-beater on)
The lines between gay and straight are blurring. Hip-hop is experiencing a quagmire of fashion sensibilities, most leaning to the gayer side of things. We may accept hip-hop’s kilt-wearing, but what will we do when rappers start all-out dress-wearing? Will we assume that they are D/L or gay because of their admiration for feminine attire? Perhaps this is hip-hop’s way of coming to terms with its sexuality—which is just a microcosm of the greater society—a society where 20% of its population are same-gender-loving-people (homosexual). Perhaps hip-hop is on the precipice of finally coming out of the closet, eh? And when that day comes, DJ Kay Slay’s ghetto-commentary will ring true; “Since when does a man have to lift up his skirt to get some pussy and a woman have to pull down her pants to get some dick?” But until then, expect to see more rappers wearing "suspect" clothing while continuing to feign heterosexual. Stay tuned!
Khalil Amani writes for DJ Kayslay's Originators & Straight Stuntin Magazine. Amani also writes for Hoodgrown, Maybach and Sext Magazines. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter @khalilamani.