Milan Christopher Is A Rapper Who Is Gay, Not A Gay Rapper (And Yes, There Is A Difference)

The "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood" star opens up about his relationship, rappers on the down low and the use of the word f*ggot in hip-hop.

It’s not easy wandering a path untrodden, especially within an industry that’s heavily known for its heteronormative, anti-gay rhetoric. But that’s just what Milan Christopher is doing (and has been doing) as one of the only out gay rappers and as the newest star of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.

Related: VH1 And Logo Explore What It’s Like To Be “Out In Hip Hop”

Together with his boyfriend Miles AKA Siir Brock, became trending topics on social media Monday night during the show’s most recent episode, which found Brock coming out to his former childhood sweetheart (who happens to be a woman) to be with Christopher, and in doing so, coming out publicly for the first time – and on national television, no less.

Being out might be new for Brock, but for Christopher, it’s always been his tune. He first came out to his brother when he was only 9 and has remained out of the closet since. Now he is on a mission to prove that a rapper’s sexuality should not hinder his marketability in the hip-hop space.

Below, we chat with Christopher about homophobia in hip-hop, the gay African American masc/femme divide and the use of words like faggot.


Have you ever felt any squeamishness from other rappers you’ve been around in terms of not wanting to be associated with someone gay?

Of course. It’s 2015, but things haven’t really changed. I’ve worked with artists who are actually gay and live to the public as though they are straight. We’re friends, and we take no pictures together, we don’t follow each other, because of what people think about homosexuality in our community. It’s like the biggest defamation or derogatory term used in the African American hip-hop culture so they don’t want to be involved or associated with someone who is openly gay because it ultimately affects their brand.

Do you look at those closeted artists as cowards?

Not at all. There’s no blueprint here, no one that has been successful and these people want to be successful and they need to do what they need to do. That’s the route that they chose. Let them choose it. I’ll choose mine, which is to live my life open.

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Brittany Travis

Was there a moment for you right after you first came out when you questioned whether or not you should stay in the closet?

One moment, yeah. I don’t want to say her name because she’s super huge and of course the gays love her, but… I did a music video and I was the lead male in the video, there for 15 hours, 3 days, a long time working for this person. Her stylist just so happened to come to the last day of the fitting and he knew me and I knew him. I was happy to see him, hugs, kisses, and then an hour later they told me it was a wrap. I left thinking nothing of it and was really excited to see the final product especially as such a huge fan of this artist. When it finally came out, I was nowhere in the video. The stylist went back and told her that I was gay. Those are things that happen, even with people that have this huge gargantuan fan base.

Miles, your boyfriend (and LHHH co-star) still identifies as bisexual. Is that a point of contention?

Up until yesterday, I kid you not, it was. But I did this interview with Bevy Smith yesterday, and she brought up bisexuality and I was like ’Oh, it’s just so confusing because I don’t know if he’ll wake up one day and decide he wants to be with a girl,’ and she said, ’Baby, it doesn’t matter. One day he can wake up and say he wants to be with a light skinned guy with green eyes. Don’t be insecure. If he’s with you at that moment, then he’s with you.’ Up until yesterday, literally, I thinking, ’this is bullshit’ and now my entire view of bisexuality has shifted.

Today my Publicist @mattdillon1983 Had me on the go.. I started my day off interviewing with Goodday New York on FOX | @fox5ny @Christalfox5 , then headed over to @viggletv Owned @WetpaintTv , then interviewed with the Iconic @Essencemag Live and my last interview of the day was with Glist Society. Although most these interviews won't be released for a few weeks, I'm ubber excited about them. And now I am in DC because first thing in the morning I'm on DC in the morning @Fox5dc show. And still got Chicago and Indianapolis to hit up before this press tour ends.. We working! I worked for 8years in LA to get to this point. Never giving up on my dreams or my talent despite all the bullshit, naysayers and adversities I faced just for being me and living my truth while elevating and growing along the way. I realized in the last couple of days and weeks that people will belittle you, lie on you and build up whomever they want if you allow them to or underneath your nose.. But I will never be exploited and used again. And that's my word! | #MilanChristopher

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What do you think about the word “faggot” used in hip-hop?

I use the word faggot, is that okay? I use it, especially if someone is being messy or something and I also call my friends faggot, like ’faggot, shut up,’ in a joking manner. It’s all in the tone, like when a black person says n*gga. I do think it would affect me a little bit more if a straight person were to use it, I don’t know why. Or when a caucasian person uses the word n*gga – it’s different.

What about pronouns?

I haven’t made a song rapping about a man yet and the reason being because a lot of the time when I’m in the booth that’s not what I feel when I’m rapping. I become a character when I’m in the booth. I don’t want to use Nicki Minaj, who becomes like Roman, but when I’m in the booth I became a character and I’m trying to make good music with this character. Everyday Milan Christopher is not the one who’s in the booth giving you this whole other swag. I don’t think my music needs to reflect what I am doing personally in my sexual life. I think it should be judged off of how good the music is.

attends Perez Hilton's 35th birthday party at El Rey Theatre on March 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
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How were you able to combat the fact that there isn’t so much a blueprint for African American gay rappers?

I have a really strong father and a really stern mother who both love me. Even though there is a lack of male openly gay black successful men, I decided that I want ot be that. I’m not going to let me being gay stop me from being successful or reaching my goals and I’m going to do everything it takes to be that person for me, for young kids out there who are searching, for our society and for our culture at large.

I want to discuss the idea of masc/femme. The African American gay men portrayed in the media tend to be largely flamboyant (Miss Jay on Top Model, Miss Lawrence on Real Housewives of Atlanta, Alex Newell on Glee). Why do you think that is?

The crazy thing is that people actually prefer, for some reason, to exploit the more feminine characters. When they think gay they want the snazzy queen and they lose the fact that the majority of gay guys aren’t that. I’m not running around here with heels. I’ve played around and done silly shit and I have feminine ways but that’s not all how we live our lives.

My next song is def gonna be about #CaliLife & being a #BeachBoy I love this place!

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What does the DL mean in 2015?

DL is a man who is in a committed relationship with a woman, maybe married, maybe with kids, and living this completely “straight” life and then every so often or concurrently with their base life, they have male sexual encounters that no one knows about. A person who is on the low, they’re gay guys who don’t want the world to know they are gay. So it’s not like they’re out sleeping with women and carrying on these relationships, they’re just keeping their business private

Are their DL rappers in mainstream hip-hop?

Yes. The who among them would be the real gag [laughs].

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I tend to think of you as a rapper who is gay whereas say a Le1f or Cakes da killa fall more under queer rap. Is there a difference?

Yes. Certain people only want to be successful or famous in their own demographic and because of that they will only reach that bubble and then there are certain people like me who do not want to be placed in this bubble and reach everyone, like a Sam Smith. It’s finding that sweet spot between main stream and underground.

What’s next for you?

I have a song “When I Go,” it’s a really dope song that’s going to be serviced to radio; we’re going to shoot the visuals in the next month or two. I have an EP coming out called Final Fantasy, in the new year. And also I have an underwear line, Milan Christopher Intimate Apparel.