On the track, Lil Wayne plays off the homophobic slogan “No Homo” made popular by Harlem rapper Cam’ron when he rapped “No Frank Ocean, I’m straight.”
Although hip-hop has progressed leaps and bounds with its perpetuation of homophobia and misogyny, the genre still distances itself from the gay community.
GlobalGrind decided to explore the history of homophobia in hip-hop, and surprisingly, it goes back all the way to the 1970s with Sugarhill Gang’s smash hit “Rapper’s Delight.”
Check out the history of homophobia in hip-hop below.
In 1979, the Sugarhill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight,” which is the first hip-hop record to become a Top 40 hit. Although their homophobia was miniscule compared to other rappers in hip-hop, “Rapper’s Delight” did exhibit slights to fictional character Superman, who was referred to as a “fairy” for wearing a tight suit.
- She said damn fly guy I’m in love with you
- The Casanova legend must have been true
- I said by the way baby what’s your name
- Said I go by the name of Lois Lane
- And you could be my boyfriend you surely can
- Just let me quit my boyfriend called superman
- I said he’s a fairy I do suppose
- Flyin’ through the air in pantyhose
- He may be very sexy or even cute
- But he looks like a sucker in a blue and red suit
In 1982, Grandmaster Flash‘s “The Message” was revered as one of the most classic hip-hop records. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five pioneered hip-hop with their innovative freestyles and riveting messages through music.
Grandmaster Flash raps:
“Now your manhood is took and you’re Maytag, spending the next two years as a undercover fag.”
In 1986, the Beastie Boys originally wanted to name their critically acclaimed album Licensed To Ill, “Don’t Be A Faggot,” but thankfully, their record label refused to let the group release such a discriminatory title. Years later, the Beastie Boys formally apologized to the LGBT community for the “shitty and ignorant” things they said on their first record.
In 1988, N.W.A. frontman Eazy E rapped about an encounter with a transgender woman while committing a robbery on Straight Outta Compton’s “Nobody Move.”
Eazy E rapped:
- I said: “Lay down, and unbutton your bra!”
- There was the biggest titties that a nigga ever saw
- I said: “Damn”, then the air got thinner
- Only thought in my mind, was goin’ up in her
- The suspense was makin’ me sick
- She took her panties down and the bitch had a dick!
- I said: “Damn”, dropped the gat from my hand
- (What I thought was a bitch, was nothing but a man)
- Put the gat to his legs, all the way up his skirt
- Because this is one faggot that I had to hurt, so
Notorious B.I.G.‘s “10 Crack Commandments” were the rules hip-hop heads lived by. While listing the essential rules to street life, Biggie rapped:
“Money and blood don’t mix like two dicks and no bitch/Find yourself in serious shit”
In 2008, Lil Wayne released Tha Carter‘s smash hit “Go DJ.” Lil Wayne played up on the homosexual stereotype that all gay men have HIV/AIDS.
Lil Wayne rapped:
- “You snakes, stop hidin in the grass,
- Sooner or later I’ll cut it knock the blades in yo ass,
- You homo niggas getting AIDS in the ass,
- While the homie here tryna get paid in advance”
In 2001, Nas was in a vicious beef with Jay-Z, who fired shots at him on The Blueprint‘s “Takeover.” Despite Nas being a very progressive rapper, during his time of hip-hop beef, Nasty Nas called Jay-Z, “Gay-Z” and referred to their label Roc-a-fella as “cockafella.”
“When these streets keep callin’, heard it when I was sleep/That this Gay-Z and Cockafella Records wanted beef.”
Although Harlem rapper Cam’ron had coined the homophobic phrase “no homo” in the early 2000s, it wasn’t until 2009 when he actually incorporated “no homo” in the title of one of his songs. Cam’ron’s 2009 Crime Pays album featured a song entitled “Silky (No Homo).”
Despite being supportive of the gay community, Kanye West dropped a few bars that could be considered homophobic on Jay-Z’s 2009 “Run This Town.”
“It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow
To everybody on your dick, no homo”
In 2012, Lil Wayne is still no stranger to saying “no homo” or “pause,” but since R&B singer Frank Ocean has come out the closet, he’s incorporated “No Ocean” to his list of homophobic sayings.
On Future’s “Turn On The Lights” remix, Lil Wayne rapped, “No Frank Ocean, I’m Straight.”