With the big Kanye-50 showdown coming up next week, I’ve been readying myself for lots of sh*t-talking and manly posturing from all sides. So I have to give a big fixture in the rap world credit for taking a step back and reevaluating his message.
Common recently promised that he’ll never use homophobic lyrics in his music again (perhaps a delayed response to the movement in Reggae music?) after his gay fans called him out. I like Common and his music, but he needed to be called out, since he definitely fancies himself a social mover.
What about Common’s music needed changing? After the jump…
To quote some of Common’s past work: from “Heidi Hoe:” “Homo’s a no-no, so f*ggots, stay solo. I roll my d*ck so it holds just like a Rolo.”
Lovely, I know. But there’s more: from “Dooinit:” “N*ggas hate you, they ain’t paying you no attention. In a circle of f*ggots, your name is mentioned.” (Check out this Web site for some of the worst-of-the-worst anti-gay lyrics in rap – some of Eminem’s are vile, not surprisingly.)
So, yeah – not too progressive, Common. But the hip-hop star said he changed his ways when gay fans confronted him, “They was like, ‘Why you keep disrespecting homosexuality?’ I thought about it. I ain’t here to judge ‘em, so I just decided not to approach it like that.”
Common added that he took out “certain words” on his new album after this realization.
This is great and all – I guess I’m just a little suspicious of someone, who at one point used such hateful words, simply unlearning those kinds of feelings. But I could never complain about an influential star making the effort to clean up his message.
Going back to 50 and Kanye (well, just Kanye pretty much) – I didn’t know this, but Kanye made a No Fag pledge a long time ago. Kanye admitted, when he was growing up, people called him a “mama’s boy,” adding, “And what happened was, it made me kind of homophobic, ’cause it’s like I would go back and question myself.”
But when Kanye found out his cousin was gay, he re-evaluated his views on the subject. “It was kind of like a turning point when I was like, ‘Yo, this is my cousin. I love him and I’ve been discriminating against gays.’”
I don’t really see 50 issuing a statement like that for some reason. “You should love it – way more than you hate it!”