The Khalil Amani Reader

Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!

The Genesis: Finding Homo-Hop. By Khalil Amani.

The groundwork for this book was written over seven years ago in a tome I wrote called Ghetto Religiosity II: Uncovering The Naked Truth and another book I penned called Hip-Hop-perations: surgical essays & poems for the ghetto mind ( 2000, 2001). Two chapters I wrote back then are found within these pages: “Homosexuality: The Great Sin of Sodom? Deconstructing The Biblical Myth Against Homosexuality” and “A Man Ain’t Nothin’ But A Homo!”

(The most revolutionary hip-hop book! Hip-hip Homophobes: Origin & Attitudes Towards Gays & Lesbians in Hip Hop Culture; As Perpetuated by Rappers, Thugs, Athletes, Reggae Rastas & Religionists; Essays on the 3,000 Year Old Polemic Against Homosexuality; A Religious Hoax!) Orderable thru Barnes & Nobles and most bookstores. $16.95

Back then, I had no clue that there was something called “homo-hop.” I didn’t even know there were “gay” rappers. I was writing those chapters in support of gay/lesbian rights on some religious stuff, never intending to become a gay rights activist or represent a gay rap artist. I was simply exposing the fallacy of homophobia from a religious/biblical perspective, destroying the myth of a god’s condemnation of a sexual/religious practice. My research revealed that anti-homosexual sentiments in the world were contrived in the name of a god to justify the religious practices of certain people.

Fast-forward seven years later (2007). I’m reading an Internet blog about a gay gangsta rapper named Deadlee. I’m thinking “gay gangsta rapper?” WTF? Then I began to read the very ignorant and homophobic posts about this gay rapper. Downright mean-spirited! Hateration to the 10th power! I felt bad for the rapper, having to read all of this garbage. So I posted a positive comment and reached out to this gay rapper and let him know that there are some heterosexuals who feel your cause and to keep doing your thing. That’s what true hip-hop is about—self-expression—keepin’ it real—being true to who you are—do you!—and so forth and so on.

He responded back with a “thank you” and we began to email back and forth. I told him about my books and the chapter I’d written on homosexuality and how the Bible has misrepresented homosexuality as sin and to read it when he had a chance. He did. He gained some new spiritual insights and perspectives and I became his spiritual advisor. This is how I found homo-hop.

(Gay rapper Deadlee & Khalil Amani. The reason I am involved in this Movement)

I didn’t intend to become ingratiated in this genre of rap! It fell into my lap. After all that I’d written on homosexuality, I’d be a hypocrite to sit back and not let my voice be further heard for a worthy and just cause—homo-hop. Thus, this is what inspired me to write this book—Hip-hop Homophobes… “To whom much is given, much is required.” “When you know better, you do better!” “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” “To thine own self, be true.” These quotes have never been truer for me!

When I began to do the research on homophobia in hip-hop, I found many articles on the subject, but not ONE BOOK! I found books that dealt with the history of hip-hop, rap, B-Boys, break dancing, graffiti, scratching/Djing/turntablism, the greatest MC’s, Tupac, misogyny, etc. But nobody addressed the blatant homophobia in hip-hop in a book! What a shame, I thought. So, as far as I’m aware, this is the FIRST BOOK written with the expressed intent and purpose of tearing down the walls of homophobia in hip-hop by exposing its origin and allowing the reader to see where their worldviews on homosexuality originated. This is also the FIRST BOOK to bring together homo rappers from around the country and the world—showing that gay and lesbian rap artists are a part of a larger genre of music—rap music! For that, I’m proud to be in the forefront of this movement to eradicate homophobia in the world, in general, and in the hip-hop community specifically.

Reppin’ homo-hop as a straight man is revolutionary, in light of the homophobia in hip-hop. It is also eye-raising and the cause for speculation about one’s sexuality—mine! But I’m not too concerned about that. I’m more concerned about the TRUTH! What is the truth? The truth is that homophobia is the result of a 3,000 year old religious pogrom that the world has bought—hook, line, and sinker!—A big-ass lie that we are forever cosigning in the name of our masculinity and heterosexuality. I don’t care who your favorite rapper is and how much money they’ve got and how many records they sell—If they rap homophobic lyrics they are as ignorant and uninformed and brainwashed and indoctrinated and misinformed and culturally repressed as the day is long!

You see, I’m a real hip-hop head! I say “real” hip-hop head because a lot of y’all say you’re hip-hop but then go on and try to define what “real” hip-hop is. All of it is REAL hip-hop—from the wackest MC you’ve ever heard to the dopest MC you’ve ever heard! From the grimiest underground rapper to the most radio-friendly pop rapper! It’s all hip-hop!

I’m Ancient School meets Old School meets New School meets Homo School! Ancient school? Yeah! Everybody wanna talk about those South Bronx rappers and the advent of rap/hip-hop with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash and them! But let me hip you young cats and catettes to ANCIENT SCHOOL RAP. I’m 47 years old. I go back to the original rappers—the progenitors of this rap shyt! Who am I talking about? THE LAST POETS! I was ten years old in 1970 when them niccas came out with When The Revolution Comes, Niggers Are Scared of Revolution, Black Thighs, etc. What you know ‘bout dat? These brothas were rapping before many of you were born! Yeah, I hear you! Rappers have this mentality that once you turn 30ish you should stop rapping, as though you have to be physically in shape like an athlete. Ever seen Fat Joe and Rick Ross? Got Jay-Z rapping, “30 is the new 20.” Phuck that! Listen up all you young niccas! THE LAST POETS started all this rap shyt! Respect the architects! When you were an embryo in your mother’s womb—while you were yet an unborn fetus—when you were a snotty-nosed bebe kid, these brothas were laying the foundation and groundwork for what would become known as “rap/hip-hop.” So stop hatin’ on the ancient and old school cats. ‘Cause guess what? One day you will be an old school rapper to a younger generation! Just keep living. It is from their innovations in which you rappers eat. The word “rap” is not a new word, exclusive to the hip-hop generation! “Rap” has been a part of the ‘hoodman’s lexicon for many years. Ever heard of H Rap Brown—the activist? How about Jack “The Rapper” a.k.a. Joseph Gibson (R.I.P.), the pioneer of black radio? We used to lay a “rap game” on a girl in the ‘70s. Check out movies like Superfly and The Mack and many other ‘70s “Blaxploitation” movies and you will freely hear the word “rap” being used as an expression for talking or running game on a woman. Can ya dig it baby? The Last Poets were rappers in the purest form—without drum machines, 808s, synthesizers, sampling and heavy bass lines.

THE LAST POETS were poets, rappers, spoken-word artists and activists. If you claim to be hip-hop you need their album in your crate. I’ve got mine! And yes, the Last Poets were bitten by the cultural homophobia bug too when they rapped, “When the revolution comes …faggots won’t be so funny then.”

Ever heard of Gil Scott-Heron? The next innovator of rap music. Gil Scott-Heron is considered by many as the “Godfather of Rap.” In 1971 he dropped Pieces of a Man. His most famous song off that album, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1971) has been bitten by the likes of Elvis Costello, Public Enemy, Prince, Common, KRS-One, Wu-Tang Clan, Bobby Brown, Cee-lo Green, Damian Marley, Jamiroquai and even Apple computers used Heron’s famous social statement, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. That’s what rap is about—REVOLUTION! Go back and check your rap history pimpin’! THE LAST POETS, GIL SCOTT-HERON, THE WATTS POETS, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki Madhubuti, Sonja Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni—these brothas and sistas were doin’ it big back in the day! Out of that Movement birthed the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow and Sugar Hill Gang (the first nationally recognized rap group ca. 1979). They say “real recognize real.” Rap music is not an island! Rap music follows one continuous vein that originated from the African Griot storytellers right on down to sista Sojourner Truth who rapped, Ain’t I A Woman? to W.E.B. Dubois’ Talented Tenth to Malcolm X’s The Ballot or the Bullet to Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream to The Last Poets/Gil Scott-Heron’s When The Revolution Comes/The Revolution Will Not Be Televised to Rudy Ray Moore’s (Dolemite) and Henry Louis Gate’s Signifying Monkey to Richard Pryor’s Miss Rudolph and Mudbone to Muhammad Ali’s I’m The Greatest to Grandmaster Flash’s The Message to Public Enemy’s Fight The Power to Johnny Cochran’s If It Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit! to Nas’ I Know I can. James Brown, Michael Jackson, Fab 5 Freddy, Savion Glover, MC Hammer, Tupac, Queen Latifah, Eminem, Deadlee, Nelson George, Toure, Kevin Powell, Saul Williams, Buffie The Body, Karrine Steffins—this is the hip-hop story! The art of storytelling, polemics, music, dance and rhyme. The art of words!

And while I’m on this rap history tangent, let me let you know that white folks have been instrumental in the evolution of rap/hip-hop also. Here’s another piece of rap trivia—the first rap song to become a number one hit was by a white group—Blondie featuring Debbie Harry. In 1981 their single Rapture became the first rap-influenced song to reach number one on the US Billboard Charts, thus helping to legitimize the rap genre. Again—Revolution! Evolution! The wheels of hip-hop keep on spinnin’ like Sprewell rims on a Denali truck. Why wouldn’t you think homo-hop would one day rear its’ head?

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