A Fat Middle Finger To Homophobia

Written by J.Monkey. Posted in Chin Check, Culture

Tagged: , , ,

Published on November 11, 2010 with 8 Comments

Today Jedi Mind Tricks is playing in Amsterdam, and with that city being known (amongst quite a few other things) for its acceptance of homosexuality their performance has caused a bit of a stir amongst Dutch gay rights organizations. Some of them are calling for a ban, but maybe this will all have a positive side-effect as a cue for discussion. Let’s take a look at hip-hop culture’s awkward relationship with homosexuality again, shall we?

First off, banning JMT would not be the answer. It doesn’t make their opinions and music go away. ‘De Melkweg‘ (the venue JMT is playing) already stated this band has the same rights to free speech as we all do, and they’re right. These same principles grant you the right to oppose these views and if censorship would be the answer the cure might be worse than the treatment. But this does not mean we should condone the spreading of hatred in hip-hop culture.

In an official statement on the venue’s webiste JMT said the following:

Jedi Mind Tricks is not homophobic. Hip-hop is an art form that involves a fair amount of braggadocio. Unfortunately, this braggadocio can be misconstrued by those not familiar with this context. For the sake of clarity, Jedi Mind Tricks is not homophobic.

We’ve all heard, and maybe even used this defense before and it’s not completely off the mark. Calling some thing or person ‘gay’ doesn’t have the same exact connotations in hip-hop culture as it has elsewhere. Lyrics based in battle or braggadocio may call out an actual or potential opponent ‘gay’ or even ‘faggot’ implying that he’s softer than the mc currently on the mic, and therefore will be beat. Nobody will misconstrue this as an actual revelation of the opponent’s sexual orientation, not even when in-rhyme jokes about this ‘perceived orientation’ are made.

Besides that, hip-hop used to be the music of the underdog in society, and from that position it is all too familiar with racial, cultural and sexual stereotypes. Jay-Z even scored a classic hit single playing around with those stereotypes on ‘Girls, Girls, Girls‘ from his first Blueprint album. The context was very different though. It’s one thing to play with stereotypes for comedic effect, it’s a whole different bag of chips when you’re not only reinforcing stereotypes but actively spewing hatred for groups of people or even condoning violence against them. There is very little doubt on which side of the fence JMT’s Vinnie Paz falls. Here are a few choice quotes from his lyrics:

You like to sleep with guys
You a gay maggot
Listening to fucking B2K faggot
Go to raves faggot
Put a hole in your heart
Destroy everything that you know and you thought

From ‘The Age of Sacred Terror

He despises this person, and likens his distaste to his similar distaste for gay people. Still, you might argue, despite its aggressive tone, that this falls under the ‘braggadocio’ aspect. But on ‘Scars of the Crucifix‘ he leaves no doubt about his political stance:

I civilize the savages, while you support gay marriages

From the ‘Army of the Pharaohs‘ song ‘Bloody Tears‘:

Kanye West, gay rapper, thats when lines are drawn

From JMT’s ‘Rise of the Machines‘:

You just a homosexual; I stick the gay rights movement

You do not belittle your opponent by saying that you “stick the gay rights movement”. Not even close. You simply say you disapprove of the gay rights movement. Which calls for nothing more than equal rights for people regardless of their sexual orientation. And if you still don’t think Vinnie Paz is a homophobe, he basically says as much about himself on ‘Beyond the Gates of Pain':

I kill ya thoughts, with a nine MA eagle
Make me sick to my stomach, like y’all gay people

We are quick enough to call for a boycott of a radio shock jock who waltzes over racial sensitivities, or blast Fox News for it’s lopsided and highly questionable content, but where’s the outrage when somebody from our own culture is not only insensitive but actively spreads hate? Is it because it’s ‘just about gay people’? Has being gay become such a high offense in Hip-Hop that this kind of talk is somehow okay?

Take the first Vinnie Paz quote and replace the stereotypes with analogues for any different minority and it sounds like it could come straight out of the KKK song book. It’s not my intention to single out JMT in this (I’ll even admit they have some bangers in their catalogue, and Stoupe is mean on the boards), or even Vinnie Paz, sadly, they are not alone in this. They are one of the worst and most vocal though, and their denial of it shows how clueless they remain about it. This behaviour has no place in our time nor in our beloved hip-hop culture. Simply put, hip-hop needs to man the f*ck up and no longer take this kind of sh*t.

Full disclosure (because I’m pretty sure some will think that would be the reason to write something like this): No, I am not gay. While I’m quite happy with my girlfriend, I also believe in civil rights. When someone stands up for gay rights others often assume he must be sticking up for his own rights, which is ridiculous to automatically assume. There are far worse assumptions though, I’d rather be seen as gay than as a bigot.

No one is free when others are oppressed.



1982 was when Jaap van der Doelen aka J.Monkey shot his way out his mom dukes. A mere two years later he was already battling Big Brother and The Illuminati. Whenever he has time to spare from those efforts he writes (about music, mostly), hosts a radio show and designs graphics for a living. He lives in The Netherlands where he continues to be winning.

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There are currently 8 Comments on A Fat Middle Finger To Homophobia. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. This is an important, and long overdue post. Thanks for sticking your neck out there when almost every one else is content to let hatred pass as art. I love hip hop music, but the homophobia and outright gay bashing only adds a layer of hate and ignorance on top of what is otherwise an incredibly powerful and important form of expression for a huge population of Americans, young and old, black and white. Gay rights is the civil rights struggle of our generation and future Americans will look back on this time and either feel disgusted that we could all be so hateful, or be proud of the progress that we made for humanity. The choice is ours, and is sitting right in front of us, and this blog post is a step in the right direction. Thanks again.

    • You’re welcome. Like you said, it’s a discussion we need to have in hip-hop right now.

  2. Damn it’s like every other battle-rap-ish song these days has to have at least one homophobic slur. You did good calling them out on this, Jaap.

  3. The “I have been saying it my whole life and don’t mean someone is actually gay” as an excuse is weeaakkkkk too. I used to say that when i was in my teens and ignorant but it doesn’t hold any water. That would be fine if people used the term gay in a positive light to counter balance the negative aspect but that almost never happens. Our society needs to wake up and hip-hop in particular is falling way behind the accepted norms on this issue. This aspect of hip-hop is truly embarrassing and hypocritical coming from a movement that was born out of the struggle to make all people equal.

    Oh and I also am not gay and that proves how pathetic on this issue we are as a culture to even have to say that when we are standing up for what is right.

  4. Awesome post. We’re all bred of the same people, descend from the same ancestors, so why hate ourselves?

  5. I love, love, LOVE Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell. It’s in my top 5 albums of all time. But after trying to branch out to some other Jedi Mind Tricks albums, I really can’t handle all the gay bashing. Yep, let’s call it what it is.

    They can argue all they want about using the word “gay” as a derogatory term without intending it as a slight against homosexuals, but come on – these are premeditated lyrics they’ve written down and recorded. It’s not something that just slipped out. They obviously know it’s enough of a problem to issue a statement about it – so back that shit up and quit putting it on your albums. It’s not like it adds anything to the song.

    Just for clarification, the lyrics you quoted from “Rise of the Machines” is actually “You just a homosexual – I think the gay rights movement should meet you and then invest in you”. Not “stick the gay rights movement” as you mentioned above. Not that the real lyrics are any better. A few lines later is the gem: “Snatch ya fucking poetry book and then kick the dyke off”.

    Seriously Vinnie – fuck that. Nobody wants to hear your adolescent homophobic bullshit. Keep that shit to yourself and go back to making incredible music with lyrics that have value and meaning like Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell. Obviously you care about getting out a real message once in a while, but how are we supposed to believe in and respect you when you’re taking such a hard line against gay people? Is there a more selfish, hate-filled, and pointless agenda?

  6. I actually met Vinnie Paz back in 96 when he was in this group called Soulcraft. I was in Stoupe’s basement and everything. This guy who rapped with him Dave from Philly had a summer house where I lived in NJ. The guy Dave is on a couple songs at the end of JMT’s first album. I remember the guy Dave said that him and Vince were no longer in a group and he was going to be in some group called Double Speak and that Vince went with some guy named Jus Allah and was going to be called Jedi Mind Tricks. I know because of JMT’s popularity some may not believe me, but this all really happened. Anyway, while with Dave, we went with Vince to some party and when I listened to this guy talk, I have to be honest, I thought he was a total idiot. He kept saying stuff like, oh we white, we just white with flavor. I’m white and gay. What he says on his albums doesn’t really offend me. I really did meet him once and to me, he’s just a very short, obnoxious, spoiled brat with an ego. As far as his rhymes, he can string some words that rhyme together very well, but some of the things he says, like laughing while throwing the first rocks at Jesus, I strangled the pope with his rosary after boasting about being a white Muslim, on top of the gay bashing. How can anyone in America or any other country even allow this? So many people listen to this “crap” really, and I’ve been through enough bad times in my life to have seen how this gives people like him with the same type of hatred he has, think it’s OK to demonize people. To have that attitude, oh he’s not a person, he’s a faggot so it’s OK to destroy him. Oh, he’s Christian, he or she is not a person it’s OK to destroy them. Sadly there’s people that would say, don’t take music so literally. Well if you can’t see how disgusting Vince is, and how he’s made money from focusing hatred on certain types of people, I don’t even know what to say except whatever spell has been cast on people, I hope they wake up one day. And Vince, I met you once. Your a total wimp that looks like a deformed Patten Oswalt and you might be the man with your boys and your cult followers, but when you alone, all alone, your nothing but a week scared little boy with an ego bigger than Lucifer’s. I hope you enjoy Karma, one day….

  7. FUCK THEM FAGS!!! I’m a lesbian and yes, and Vinnie, ATMA, LCOB and all the rest of the ones y’all considering homophobes, are, in turn, spittin the deeper truth. SO AGAIN, FUCK THEM FAGS!!! Seriously, ever been to a gay parade where they dance around in leather in front of children? SMH . or what about the ignorance of the gay community towards out of box thinking or ideas STUCK IN THEIR FAGGOT ASS LEFT BRAINS. instead they just wanna be soft PUNK ASS pussies. yes it’s ok to be gay but fuck the gay community in general. TOO MANY (NOT ALL) GAYS ARE STUCK FEELING SORRY FOR THEMSELVES AND FORGET ABOUT OTHER CAUSES SO THEY BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND. THEY NEED TO STFU AND TOUGHEN UP maybe they would catch as much verbal slaughter.

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