Over the years, Hip Hop music has introduced a number of words and phrases to the masses. It is difficult to think of any in recent years that have caught on as quickly and as widely as “no homo!” The phrase was coined by either Cam’ron or his protégé Juelz Santana and is to be uttered either before or after speaking something that could potentially be interpreted as homoerotic. It serves as a disclaimer that essentially announces, “In case that sounded gay I want you to know I am not gay.” While many rappers have used the phrase, Lil’ Wayne provides the most illustrations. For example, he raps “I love my ni**as, no homo”# and “I switch it up like Dennis Rodman’s dome, no homo.”# Wayne goes further than most and even uses the phrase when no intelligent person would mistake what he has said to be homoerotic, such as his claim that he gets “money out the a**, no homo”# and that New Orleans has his back “no homo.”
Hip Hop culture has received much backlash over the use of this phrase. Some claim that the phrase itself is hateful because it implies that being homosexual is negative. This is not true. It is not hateful for a heterosexual to desire to be identified as heterosexual and not homosexual any more than it is hateful for a lawyer to desire to be identified as a lawyer and not a doctor. For someone to explicitly deny being homosexual does not necessitate that they perceive homosexuality as negative but simply that they perceive homosexuality as foreign to their personal identity and experience. That said, it is no coincidence that this phrase was born and thrives in Hip Hop culture. In this particular context someone saying “no homo” may be more than a reflection of their desire to be perceived accurately. It may also be a reflection of their desire to distance themselves as far as possible from what, in Hip Hop culture, is the worst of all conceivable sins.
The idea that homosexual desires and behavior are the evils of all evils is so deeply woven into the threads of Hip Hop culture that it is difficult to narrow down a list of examples. Perhaps the most obvious evidence is the history of battles between rivaling rappers. Rappers can and do say all sorts of things about their opponent but when they most desire to humiliate their enemy they always follow the same strategy: call him gay. In Hip Hop culture, there is simply no more deadly blow to deal. Consider the four-year-long Nas/Jay-Z battle as an example. Jay called Nas the “fag model for Karl Kani/Esco ads”# while Nas renamed Jay-Z “Gay-Z” and “H to the Omo” and declared him to be a “d**k riding fa**ot.”# This, of course, was nothing new. After Ice Cube separated from N.W.A. his second solo album included the song “No Vaseline” wherein he quite graphically accused Eazy-E of turning “fa**ot” and committing homosexual acts with the members of N.W.A. and their manager, Jerry Heller. As that group was dismantled Eazy-E followed suit and portrayed his now nemesis Dr. Dre as a “she thing.”# Clearly, Hip Hop has a deeply rooted belief that homosexuality is the sin above all sins and shares Big Daddy Kane’s sentiment that “the Big Daddy law is anti-fa**ot.”
As one who had much of my worldview shaped by Hip Hop culture I shared this conviction for many years and believed that there was no greater evil than homosexuality and that homosexuals should be avoided for that very reason. I now recognize that I believed a lie.
To be sure, the Bible strongly and consistently disapproves of homosexual behavior (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:18-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9). But while God opposes homosexual behavior he does not oppose homosexuality for the same reasons or in the same way that Hip Hop does. There are several especially important differences.
First, Hip Hop opposes homosexuality because Hip Hop perceives it as the worst of all sins. God does not. God opposes homosexual behavior because it is one of countless sins that offend him. Those who want to present homosexuality as the sin above all sins usually point to God’s words in Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”# They use this verse to show that there is something especially offensive to God about homosexual behavior – it is an abomination. This is true. But it is equally true of a number of other attitudes and behaviors. For instance, all of the following are described as “abominable:” the devious person (Proverbs 3:32), wickedness (Proverbs 8:7), false worship (Proverbs 15:18), the thoughts of the wicked (Proverbs 15:26), anyone who is arrogant in heart (Proverbs 16:5), the unjust (Proverbs 17:15), the prayers of the wicked (Proverbs 28:9), and the worship of false gods (Jeremiah 16:18). Proverbs 6:16-19 alone lists seven things that are an abomination to God, “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”# Genesis 1:26 reveals that God created human beings to reflect his image. As such, he hates anything that distorts his personal nature or his creative intent. That certainly includes the homosexual behavior that Hip Hop despises but it also includes dozens of other things that Hip Hop celebrates.
To read more about the differences between God’s view of homosexuality and Hip Hop’s view of homosexuality purchase Lies Hip Hop Told Me in the Rapzilla Store