Sunday, May 11, 2008

Guess who's Gus: The gay secrets of hip-hop

Whoever would have thought that, beneath all the macho posturing and crotch-grabbing and bitch this and ho that of hip-hop, there's a lot of closeted homosexuality in the rap world?

Oh, you'd guessed?

Terrance Dean used to work for MTV, and he's now published a book revealing what he's seen. Although he's not actually naming names. Some of these guys have guns, you know:

That gay hip hop subculture certainly seems to be thriving. Dean's book describes a world where many industry executives and some artists are leading secret gay lives, which are often obvious to everyone but rarely talked about. And, despite using some false names, the book contains enough information so that it will undoubtedly spark off a frenzy of speculation as to who some of the characters are in real life.

For example, Dean describes 'Lola', a singer who is a lesbian and had to keep her sexuality secret. And 'Gus', a male rap artist who appeared on television in typical 'gangsta' style yet hid a secret gay life. Then there are the other hints of big-name celebrities close to the hip hop business who are also gay. They include 'Lucas', a married A-list movie star, and 'Kareem', a leading sitcom actor.

Dean claims his motives for publishing the book are pure, and not merely an attempt to sell books off the back of a "guess who this is meant to be" style guessing game:
Dean hopes that by bringing out his book he will allow a leading hip hop figure to come out as gay and thus pave the way for the notoriously homophobic industry to come to terms with its secret side. 'Within the next year I believe a major artist will come out. They are going to have to be brave but I think they can do it,' he said.

It's a bit of a hope - an artist comes out as gay and all of a sudden Eminem's going to be comfortable around gay men who aren't Elton John? Good luck with that one, Terrance.