Ugandan rapper Bobi Wine defends anti-gay comments that caused two venues in England to bar him from performing by pairing this caption with a picture of himself aside Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Braggadocio and rap are two peas in one pod. Been that way since the beginning and it isn’t going to stop anytime soon, which – in a way – isn’t a bad thing. A savvy gardener knows when to clip the weak branches to make way for the strong ones, that way proper growth is ensured. But that alpha male, win-at-all-cost mentality has its pitfalls. It can facilitate anger and hate, and pave the way for ignorance and homophobia. And while it’s important to note that one opinion does not represent a whole, generally speaking, rap is not the most comfortable place to explore sexuality.
Shoot a faggot in the back for acting like that
Money and blood don’t mix
Like two dicks and no bitch
The Big Daddy law is anti-faggot, that means no homosexuality
What’s in my pants will make you see reality
Part of it manifests through the overt objectification of women. It makes sexuality about as flexible as an iron rod, which means the conversation is over before it begins. It isn’t as egregious as it once was, but it’s still alive and well. So it’s a wonder as how best to silence that sort of ignorance if at all. Across the pond, in places not so far away, these issues are unfolding.
Bobi Wine, a popular Ugandan rapper, had two shows cancelled in the UK for remarks he made about homosexuals or ‘batty boys’ as the term goes. He’s expressed open contempt for homosexuals and is ardent in their persecution. He’s been quoted as saying things like:
“If you’re a man, you better be a man. If you’re a girl, you better stay a girl.” and “All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man.”
Wine went to Facebook explaining that he’s simply paying service to his country. In Uganda it’s basically illegal to be gay (but has recently been annulled). The penalty if caught was up to 14 years in jail. The previous bill called for execution. He also went on to say that 99% of the country is in agreement, which is insane because the only time 99% of a country agreed upon anything was when they were staring down the barrel of a gun. What’s going on over there is bigger than homophobic lyrics and bigger than rap. It’s a textbook case of human rights violation.
Rap has always been a brutally honest art. Lyrics will tell you a lot about the rapper and even more about society, especially when looking at their fanbase. You don’t want to lose that sort of transparency. It’s one of the only things worth hanging on to. The moment you start censoring is the moment you lose a bit of free speech, and at that point, well, all is lost.
The question of whether or not homosexuality should be in rap is as moot a point as the race issue. A lyricist should be able to say whatever they want whenever they want – that’s the beauty of an open mic. And if that topic is filled with hate and rage and there’s an audience for that, the problem is not the lyricist. It’s society, and everyone who supports the nonsensical doctrine attached to it.