By Anna Peirano
Rapper Murs has released a new video (view below) adding to the conversation of homophobia in the hip-hop world.
The video depicts the story of two boys in high school. Roderick, played by Murs, is in the closet and has a secret relationship with Jonathan, another high school student.
Murs raps, “Boyfriend Roderick kept his secret closeted, scared to come out into this world of zero tolerance.”
Jonathan, excited to leave high school behind and move away to college where the two can be together, accidentally blows their cover in front of Roderick’s friends.
Faced with the intolerance of his peers, and an inner conflict with his own religious beliefs, Roderick is driven to violence, killing Jonathan and then himself.
Murs, who is a straight ally to the LGBT community, wanted to do the song to bring awareness to the issue. During the video, he wears a “Legalize Gay” t-shirt, and has said he believes more people in the hip-hop community need to speak out.
“Animal Style is a song I did for many reasons,” Murs writes on YouTube. “The first was to be an advocate for people close to me who are out, and those who have yet to come out. It’s also a love song, which is nothing new for me…
“With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender, really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?
“And finally, I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exist within hip-hop culture. I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. Even if it came at the cost of my own comfort.”