It is no longer a death to a rap career to be proudly LGBTQ, partially because of the changing times in the world and partially because of big rap stars speaking out on behalf of LGBTQ rights. Here we explore the multitude of LGBTQ rap acts that have been gracing the scene since before the millennium.
#12 BROOKE CANDY
This young woman grew up in the public eye as her father is the CFO of Hustler magazine and CEO of Hustler Casino. She was raised in Agoura Hills, CA with divorced parents that led starkly different lives. Her father worked in the lavish Hustler offices where she wanted for nothing while her mother was a pediatric nurse who had very little. For a brief time, the rapper lived in her car while working at a strip club, which is probably where she got her twerking skills.
11 MELANGE LEVONNE
The openly gay rapper is highly inspired by her sexuality in her music and released her first album in 2008 after touring for the first time with a queer band in 2007. Her first single “Gay Bash” followed Levonne’s fictional best friend Kevin who was battered and killed for his sexual orientation.
10 Angel Haze
Haze was born into a military family in Michigan and raised in Greater Apolistic Faith which sounds quite a bit like a cult when she describes it. Until she was 16 her family lived in this community where everyone from the church lived within 10 minutes of each other and no one talked to those outside of the church
This American rapper is based out of Los Angeles and is of Mexican American and African American descent. His lyrics take on subjects like class, sexuality, race and police brutality in his first album 7 Deadlee Sins (2001) and the follow-up Assault With A Deadlee Weapon (2008). Deadlee was in the news for attacking DMX, Eminem and 50 Cent for being homophobic and launched his tour entitled “HomoRevolution Tour 2007”.
This famous rapper is not openly gay but there is so much conjecture regarding his sexuality that we just had to include him on this list. These rumors got real in 2015 when actress Vivica A. Fox and 50 Cent’s ex-girlfriend, implied that both 50 and rapper Soulja Boy were gay. All three of them got into it on Twitter but it seems there’s more to the story than just jilted exes. In 2011 rapper The Game also claimed that 50 was gay on his Twitter account. He also stated in a live interview that 50 Cent was gay and made his own AIDs related homophobic comments on the matter.
#7 ZEBRA KATZ
Zebra Katz is an openly gay rapper that came up in the famous underground New York ball culture, he emerged in the 2010’s. In his 2012 show for Paris Fashion Week Rick Owens used a loop of Zebra Katz’s track “Ima Read” which was released on Jeffree’s which is Diplo’s imprint for the huge label Mad Decent. It changed everything for the young artist when the single took off and the video was eventually made by RUBEN XYZ. The song was inspired by the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning about ball culture
#6 BIG MOMMA
At the age of 25 in 2006, Big Momma started getting involved in the music scene by printing t-shirts and helping out with graphic design. By 2010 his own musical styling were beginning to gain a following and began to full on pursue what was once his small hobby
4 BIRDMAN & LIL WAYNE
Like 50 Cent, Birdman isn’t actually out of the closet, although he did admit in an interview that he was bisexual at one time before he realized that he was straight. As with many gay rumors started in the hip hop community, this one began during a feud with Lil’ Wayne and a random interview that Trick Daddy did. Since the rumors about him came out Birdman has been consistent in calling out Lil’ Wayne for being gay with tons of popular rap stars.
3 Azealia Banks
Famous rapper got her start when she was raised in the same city that Maya Angelou got her start; Harlem, New York. In 2008 Banks started releasing music through then famed social media website MySpace. She eventually signed with XL Recordings at the age of 17 and released her debut single there. She identifies as bisexual but hopes that the world will stop feeling the need to label and judge people’s sexual orientation. She has spoken when asked about her sexuality in interviews that she’s not “bisexual rapper” she’s just who she is.
Openly gay Luke Cazwell rose to fame as rapper and singer Cazwell after his 2006 album debut Get Into It. He got his start in the late 90’s performing in a duo called Morplay with female MC Crasta Yo before moving to New York City. In 2003 Cazwell released his first solo single and began to get noticed in the neighborhood.
#1 Frank Oceans
One of the members of popular rap group Odd Future, Frank Ocean also released a widely awaited album quite recently. Back in 2012 the artist came out in what started as a cryptic Tumblr post and ended with a long, poignant letter about his sexuality. The rapper released his first mixtape in 2011 and received critical acclaim for his work. After this Ocean took on some collaborations with Kanye and Jay-Z before linking up with Tyler, The Creator.