Sunday, April 10, 2011

Check 1-2, 1-2

This moment was brought to you by the letter C and the number 97…last week, hip hop took a “blow”…wait, that was “below the belt”…how about this…hip hop was caught with its “pants down”, when Hot 97 DJ and hip hop producer Mr Cee was arrested for public lewdness after he was found receiving oral sex from a 20 year old male prostitute.

Mr Cee whose real name is Calvin Labrun, is most known for producing on the late great Notorious B.I.G’s first album Ready To Die. The 44 year old Mr Cee also known as “The Finisher”…come on now…pleaded not guilty. This however was not Mr Cee’s first rodeo. Just last year he was busted twice for loitering with the intent to solicit for prostitution.

Now let me first say, that no one is making an issue out of him soliciting prostitutes. There is a reason why it’s the oldest living profession, the issue is that it was a man. Hip hop, a culture that has been known to glorify violence, gangs, drugs, the degradation of women and basically support all forms of irresponsible behavior has drawn a hard line in the sand on this. Really? Killing old ladies in a drive by shooting, not raising the children you helped bring into the world, selling dope to school kids all can get a shrugged shoulder, but the line is drawn at homosexuality? Word?

As an African American, Black man, I find this so disturbing. If we’re going to over look urinating on an under aged girl, not paying child support since the Clinton administration, and bragging about how we have hoes in different area codes how is this what stops the train in its tracks? As a culture we sweep so much under the rug. Chris Brown beat Rihanna like there was candy inside of her, and he currently has the #1 album out. Rick James went to prison for assaulting and kidnapping a woman with his girlfriend and he died a hero. T.I., Lil Wayne, Lil Kim, 2Pac, Da Brat, Flavor Flav, Eminem etc, hip hop has had a long standing link to arrests and crime but with no lasting penalty. In fact, most became more successful. We’ve been holding up Bobby Brown like he invented the light bulb!

So why homosexuality? There has always been an issue with the acceptance of gay men, especially Black gay men. To the point where a sub-culture was created, the “down low” brother. The man that lives a superficially heterosexual life (girlfriend, wife, children) but secretly has homosexual relationships. If asked, these men take offense to being labeled as gay. C’mon Son!

But let’s be real, hip hop is a predominantly Black culture, though the consumers are diverse, most of the artists are African American. Black people make up nearly 13% of the nation’s population. While close to 15% of the nation’s population is homosexual, so it would only stand to reason that Mr Cee doesn’t stand alone in his behavior. Many hip hop artists have had rumors and run- ins of the gay kind; Queen Latifah, Angie Martinez, Diddy, Usher, Will Smith to Waka Flocka have all had “stories” circulate about their late night activities. In the end…who cares? We are such a hypocritical society; We let Michael slide, repeatedly, gave Kobe a pass, props to Tiger and keeping it 100… we’ve been looking the other way on Eddie for quite some time now…

If hip hop is truly the CNN of the streets then let’s get back to what’s real and what matters. Where is all the equality Public Enemy and BDP were demanding? Tolerance isn’t just about race, it’s about being viewed and treated as an equal. And that means EVERYONE. In the great words of Dead Prez, “It’s bigger than hip hop”. So let's get passed this hip hop homophobia?

With the state of the world now, we could really use “The Message” instead of worrying about Mr Cee getting a “Mic Check” with “No Hands”.

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