Amoeblog

LADY GAGA IS LATEST TO ADDRESS HOMOPHOBIA IN HIP-HOP

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2009 05:01pm | Post a Comment

More than any other popular musical form, hip-hop is perhaps the most consistently (and often apologetically) misogynistic and homophobic genre in all contemporary pop music. This is something that Lady Gaga speaks about in the video clip above, taken from an interview with host Touré from on On The Record, that will broadcast later tonight (Monday, Nov 23rd at 9pm) on Fuse TV.  Of course, this is not exactly breaking news to anyone No Homowho listens to popular rap, but it is nonetheless refreshing to hear a high profile person address homophobia in popular rap music. This is something that encompasses recurring anti-gay lyrics in songs and also the whole "No Homo" obsession, popular within hip-hop circles for several years now, whereby the words "NO HOMO" are instantly said aloud by a person right after they utter  something that might possibly be construed as "gay sounding." This two word statement absolves them from the ultimate crime (of being perceived as "homo"). This "No Homo" subcultural movement even spawned its own fashion line that includes the "No Homo" baseball cap (pictured).

In her interview, Lady Gaga, as always, is very supportive and defensive of her large gay following. When pressed by Toure as to which high profile homophobic hip-hopper she is referring to, she won't say. Truth is that it could be a great many rappers out there. But more than likely it is 50 Cent who she is referring to, since recently on the Angie Martinez radio show Fitty in a mocking derogatory tone referred to the scheduled Lady Gaga and Kanye West Fame Kills tour as the "gay tour." (the tour got cancelled due to Kayne's VMA outburst combined with lackluster advance ticket sales). This is the same rapper who in Spin magazine a few years back opined, "In hip-hop, there’s certain standards of things you can’t do. Being gay isn't cool -- it's not what the music is based on." Of course, many, including anyone within the so-called "homo-hop" subgenre of hip-hop, would argue that such a notion is nonsense. But, despite the growing numbers of queer rap artists, this hip-hop subgenre remains mostly a totally separate (and underground) world, and one that does not generally crossover into popular rap. Simply put, while most of the rest of popular culture has at least superficially embraced gays, it looks like it is still a ways off before popular hip-hop will accept its first openly gaHeavy D & The Boysy rap star.

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IT'S THE AMERICAN IN HER: PENELOPE HOUSTON & THE AVENGERS

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2007 10:08am | Post a Comment
penelope houston   
Exactly thirty years ago, June 1977, pioneering San Francisco punk band The Avengers, fronted by a very talented and very young songwriter & vocalist named Penelope Houston, emerged onto the then very fledgling US punk scene to play their first show. Over the next two years, this band, which featured Greg Ingraham (guitar), Jimmy Wilsey (bass), and Danny Furious (drums), would go on to blaze a trail of raw, adrenaline-fueled, politically charged punk rock legend, tirelessly playing a hundred-plus shows that included countless gigs at their hometown punk mecca, The Mabuhay Gardens, booked by the late, great SF punk visionary Dirk Dirkson, and sharing bills with the Dead Kennedys, X, the Go-Gos, and even the Sex Pistols for their final show at Winterland in January 1978. 

The Avengers are one of those bands of legend that most people didn't catch the first time around but learned of them after they had broken up - thanks mainly to their releases most of which surfaced after the band's demise.  In fact during their whirlwind two year existence the Avengers only released one three-song 7" record on Dangerhouse Records.  Their second record (the four-song 12" EP on White Noise) didn't drop until after they had disbanded and the record that most people know them by (the self-titled pink album) wasn't released until much later in 1983.  But none of this mattered to the legions of fans who later discovered and fell in love with such timeless Avengers songs as "I Believe In Me" "Fuck You" "White Nigger" "Corpus Christi" and "The American In Me" whose lyrics are reprinted below  along with a video clip of the Avengers performing the song circa '78 (scroll all the way down to end of thithe avengerss article). 

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