You really should be paying attention to hip hop

If you’re not paying attention to hip hop right now you’re missing kind of an important cultural moment. The Tyler, The Creator album, Flower Boy, that just debuted at #2, barely behind Lana Del Ray’s new album? It’s basically a coming out album, where he stopped with the fictional narratives and vulgar alter egos of his earlier albums and put the real, vulnerable side of himself out there. People have picked apart specific lines and verses from the album ad nauseam, but it suffices to say that one of the big, overarching themes of Flower Boy is the loneliness and isolation of the closet, and it’s got the best début of any hip hop album that dropped last week.

Meanwhile, over on Reddit’s hip hop sub, kiddies are arguing over whether the hip hop album of the year is the aforementioned Flower Boy, or Saturation by the hip hop collective Brockhampton, a group fronted by the openly gay Kevin Abstract. This on top of the hot festival ticket of the summer being the openly queer Frank Ocean finally deciding to perform for the first time in 3 years. Oh yeah, and after being coy for a few days, a few weeks back, Steve Lacy of the group The Internet (which is fronted by the openly lesbian Syd, formerly of Odd Future fame), decided to come out as bi on his Tumblr after he got a boyfriend.

Speaking of Steve Lacy, the other week I noticed a bunch of people getting on his case on twitter for his tweet about abolishing the concept of the closet, presumably because they assumed it was a straight guy complaining about people coming out. Instead, it was basically a bunch of people jumping on a queer teenage musician who is still feeling his way out of the closet, because everybody is so primed to believe that hip hop is homophobic that nobody stopped to consider whether he was talking about himself.

Basically, right now a lot of the most interesting stuff that’s going on in hip hop is being done by young queer artists, and people seem to be missing it because everybody’s still so hung up on believing Macklemore, who got famous off of unfairly painting the entire hip hop world as an especially homophobic genre. I mean, people even acted shocked that Jay-Z was supportive of his mom because everybody’s so busy believing stereotypes about hip hop that they aren’t paying attention to reality of the genre as it is right now.

So anyway, with that I return you to your regularly scheduled programming. My latest Ryn Reads installment will be up sometime tomorrow. I was planning on posting it Monday but then I couldn’t finish the review because I ate something that triggered my food allergies Sunday night and spent the rest of Sunday and most of Monday doped up on Benadryl, which would be one of the reasons why I’ve listened to a ton of music lately. I’ve linked to a lot of albums in this post that are super good, and I highly recommend checking them out [full disclosure, I used Amazon Affiliate links, though I’d be linking to those albums either way because I don’t link to anything that I don’t already like].


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