Hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky believes that everyone should be treated equally, and wants to be a role model for those in the hip-hop community embracing the LGBT demographic.
“If I have an opportunity to say something positive, then I’m gonna take advantage of it” he said in a recent article published in Interview magazine.
“For instance, one big issue in hip-hop is the gay thing. It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy,” says the 24-year-old rapper. “And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid—and that’s not the case.”
Rocky continues, “I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they’re gonna represent me. And if I’m gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way.”
Rocky is working to change the hip-hop community’s views on marriage equality and on the LGBT community in general. He believes other artists within the hip-hop world, such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, are great examples of performers who have made a positive impact.
“But now you see me—and other people like me—who are standing up and saying, ‘All right, the jig is up. It’s not a joke. These are actual people we’re talking about.’”
Rocky then compares society’s evolving relationship with the LGBT community with the shift in racism, and places hope on successive generations to overcome discrimination.
“It’s same as with racism. There was a time when someone would get on a plane and request to move their seat just because the person sitting next to them was of a different ethnicity or religion or nationality,” he said. “But I don’t think my generation wants that…That’s how it used to be. People are racist because parents and grandparents are embedding that kind of shit in their heads.”
Rocky was born in Harlem, New York in what he calls a very closed-minded environment. Now living in SoHo, he feels like the Lower East Side has made him think differently about his own beliefs and accept equality.
“It’s 2013. Time goes on. We’ve moved past that. Everybody should be able to enjoy their life, because you only live once. So I just want to get it all out there and be the best role model that I can be…”