Last week I came across what I thought was a somewhat obscure documentary titled “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” by Byron Hurt (Video clip from the documentary featured above). Little did I know that this documentary actually has won a few awards, and was highly acclaimed for exposing the sensitive/controversial issues surrounding hip hop culture, record companies, and interpersonal struggles that these musicians have come to face over the past decade.
Today’s definition of what “Hip-Hop” is, has changed drastically since its underground pros like beginning; becoming a hybrid of lazy, overly vulgar, meaningless phrases. Somewhere along the lines as Hip Hop and Rap became mainstream, the images and lyrics became more aggressive, male-driven, and ego-centric.
What deeply compelled me and struck me immediately, was the surprisingly large role that Homoeroticism plays in this genre of music. Honestly, I was a bit astonished by this. I guess it was mainly due to the fact that I never really looked at Hip-Hop from a homo-erotic perspective.
However, when I investigated deeper into this concept, It’s was almost too obvious that Hip-Hop’s aggressive, greased up, thug like images, did indeed portray hidden underpinnings of homo-erotic fantasies. It’s actually ironic.
The iconic images of artists pictured shirtless with half-naked women wrapped around their torso, mangled in expensive chains dangling from their necks; totally embodies the essence of homosexually saturated symbolism.
Furthermore, the fact that almost all mainstream Hip-Hop artists refuse to acknowledge this concept, talk about it, or even mention the word “homosexual” in a serious manner, illustrates the deep-rooted homophobic thought processes that have emerged within the music of mainstream artists today as a way of escaping inner homoerotic tendencies.