Rapper Lil B is coming out as a straight, gay man, and it's costing him many of his hard-earned fans. Not that it bothers him.
The rising hip-hop MC and former member of The Pack announced earlier in April that he planned to name his upcoming album "I'm Gay," despite not being a homosexual. For him, it's a re-appropriation of the word, as well as a statement in support of the gay community.
"I'm very gay, but I love women. I'm not attracted to men in any way. I've never been attracted to a man in my life. But yes I am gay, I'm so happy. I'm a gay, heterosexual male," he told MTV. "I got major love for the gay and lesbian community, and I just want to push less separation and that's why I'm doing it."
Even so, the album title has spawned a nasty backlash against him, as he said he's "many of my supporters have turned on me," and he gets messages from some saying "I'm gonna bash your head in," "you fa**ot," and 'I'm gonna kill you."
The Berkeley-based rapper said that he's trying to break barriers in the hip-hop world; former MTV producer and hip-hop expert Terrence Dean recently wrote a book, titled "Hiding In Hip Hop: On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry From Music to Hollywood," about being a gay member of the rap community and the hurdles that those involved still need to overcome in a column for HelloBeautiful.com.
"Hip Hop is a culture and environment which does not provide a safe place for an artist to come forward or to come out," he wrote. "If you listen to many rap lyrics they promote hate and gay-bashing. It is an environment where the thug and gangster mentality is prevalent. Artists boast of a hyper-masculine bravado, with their crotch-grabbing, degradation of women, and their braggadocios lyrical slaying about the number of women they've slept with and children they’ve produced."
It's those type of examples that Lil B said he's trying to fight against.
"One-hundred years later, people gonna thank me, because people are going to be free. And that's the main thing. Even if it's 1 percent of the people that listen to me and are gonna be free, that's better than none," he said. "That's better than not speaking up at all ... and I spoke up and I did it."
For more, click over to MTV.