Hip hop fans are excited about the comeback of less commercial sounding beats and more authentic lyrics in rap music, but with the old school sound comes competition to gain the crown as the king or queen of the mic. One of the rappers trying to go head to head with titans like Jay-Z and Kanye West is J. Cole, and to get people talking he’s going to the extreme of using homophobic slurs.
Artists like Kendrick Lamar and Wale are amongst the newer rappers who are creating a buzz with their rhymes, reminiscent of the days when Snoop Lion was still a Dogg sipping on “Gin and Juice,” and when Jay-Z was riding a yacht showing the younger generation what “Big Pimpin” was all about. The competition to be the best is driving these emcees to stand out, and that is exactly what J. Cole thinks he’s done in his latest album; in truth, it hasn’t been receiving the best criticism.
J. Cole’s new album “Born Sinner” has been bumped up to be released a week earlier than planned, so that it could go up against with Kanye West’s new album, “Yeezus,” on June 18.
In one of Cole’s more attention-grabbing tracks, “Villuminati,” he makes an attempt at using “faggot” in a playful matter:
“My verbal AK slay faggots
And I don’t mean no disrespect whenever I say ‘faggot,’ OK, faggot?
Don’t be so sensitive
If you want to get fucked in the ass
That’s between you and whoever else’s dick it is
Pause, maybe that line was too far
Just a little joke to show how homophobic you are
And who can blame ya?”
In response to the backlash he is receiving for his usage of the anti-gay slur, he sent in a statement to the Huffington Post stating, “There will soon come a day when people in general, and rap artists specifically, are going to have to answer for their past usage of the word ‘faggot,’ much like the Grandfathers who are ashamed that they used the word ‘nigger’ as kids. At a time when public acceptance of gay rights is soaring (rightfully), hip-hop culture and general are still battling with homophobia (not excluding myself). Rather than run from it I chose to attack it playfully. Those lyrics are meant to make everyone uncomfortable for the sake of this very conversation.”
Other rappers are taking the opposite approach. Pro-gay rapper Macklemore, whose song “Same Love” is rising on the charts, has lyrics advocating equality and being who you are. Harder rappers like A$AP Rocky have also come forward, saying that hip hop and pop culture in general should be accepting of the LGBT community.
Using the “other f word” is now becoming something that gets you more negative feedback than positive recognition, and isn’t considered as cool as it may have once been; even bisexual rapper Azealia Banks has been getting considerable criticism for her usage of the word on Twitter.
Cole’s album drops next week, so the sale numbers and fans will be able to give their final answer on how they feel about the 28-year-old rapper’s new music.