Why do hip-hop artists — often the victims of bigotry themselves — incite this hatred? For 10 years, Terrence Dean was at the heart of the hip-hop scene as a producer at MTV and Warner Brothers. His life is as ghetto as any of the big name artists. His mother was a heroin-addicted, Aids-infected prostitute whose “clients” held Terrence hostage at gunpoint. His drunken grandmother raised him in the slums of Detroit, and he eventually ended up in prison. When he was released, he headed for Hollywood — and he was amazed to stumble into a gay underworld stocked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop.
I recently interviewed Dean for the gay magazine Attitude. He told me about a man — I don’t believe in outing, so I won’t give his name — who “has been named in the past as one of the biggest rappers of all time by MTV. He’s always trashing gay men in his lyrics. But he is surrounded by a posse of transvestites,” who he has sex with. Dean then runs through a list of hip-hop gays, each more famous and closeted than the last.
He explains: “When the rappers rap about the hatred they have of homosexuals, I know it’s because many of them are struggling with their own sexuality. They hate what they are and in turn they spew their hatred toward men who are reflections of themselves.”
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About the Author
Wayne Besen is the Founding Executive Director of Truth Wins Out and author of “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth” (Haworth, 2003). In 2010, Besen was awarded the “Visionary Award” at the Out Music Awards for organizing the American Prayer Hour, an event which shined a spotlight on the role American evangelicals played in the introduction of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.