Homophobia and black music  

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"[...] What hasn't changed is the gap between rap and house, an antipathy which exists between these two forms of soul music. [...] According to Frankie Knuckles, this goes to the core of attitudes towards gays, especially amongst the black community. "The fact that house got started in the gay clubs makes it tough for some of them to deal with it." This is about more than musical taste; for Frankie, it goes to the core of the future of minority groups in the US. And, ironically, it's rap, with all of its violence and too-frequent lapses into intolerance and homophobia, that has pushed things along." --David Lubich[1]

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Homophobia is considered to be quite prevalent and pervasive in the African American community. This is reflected in some types of black music, most notably in hip hop and reggae.

In hip hop

See entry on gay hip hop

Homophobia in dancehall music

Stop Murder Music

Dancehall music has come under criticism from Jamaican and international organizations and Jamaican journalists, like Ian Boyne, for homophobic lyrics. Such lyrics have been described by J-FLAG, a Jamaican gay rights organization, as one aspect of "widespread Jamaican cultural bias against homosexuals and bisexuals". A report by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch points to the widespread existence of homophobia in Jamaica.

In some rare cases, dancehall artists whose music features homophobic lyrics have had their concerts canceled. Various singers have had international travel restrictions placed on them, and have been investigated by international law enforcement agencies such as Scotland Yard on the grounds that the lyrics incite the audience to assault homosexuals. In 2003, the British LGBT rights group OutRage! called for the arrest of Elephant Man for allegedly inciting the killing of gay men in his song lyrics. He was not arrested. Many of the affected singers believe that such legal or commercial sanctions are essentially an attack against freedom of speech.

Some artists eventually agreed not to use offensive lyrics during their concerts in Europe and the US. These kind of lyrics are virtually non-existent in female dancehall artists' output.

Critics of the LGBT-movement claim that attempts to suppress such lyrics in Afro-Caribbean music represents European cultural imperialism, and are disrespectful to the traditions and religion of the region. They argue that homosexuality is almost universally reviled except in a few relatively small but wealthy countries, and that Jamaica, a relatively poorer and smaller country, is an easy target in an attempt to spread pro-homosexual propaganda.

See also

See homophobia, reggae, Homophobia in the black community




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Homophobia and black music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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