Hip Hop has coined many words and phrases since its arrival into the homes of mainstream America. Hip Hop introduced to the world words like; “Shawty, Bru, and Real Talk” just to name a few. Youth have always been receptive to the style and originality of Hip Hop, and the lingo being utilized in songs can be found in neighborhoods all across the country. The influence of Hip Hop on pop culture has been criticized over and over again by many who do not have an understanding of the culture. The usage of the terms “bitches and hoes” have been condemned for quite sometime. These words are considered offensive and demeaning because they subjugate the value of black woman in our society. If that is the case is it fair to say that you can add the phrase “No Homo” to the list? Is the phrase “No Homo” a form of gay bashing?
The phrase “No Homo” originated in Harlem during the mid 90’s. The phrase was brought to the limelight by the rapper Camron who is the founder of The Diplomats. In the hyper masculine artistry which is Hip Hop homosexuality is not embraced. In Hip Hop holding true to masculinity is so important that stating your sexual preference is essential to the longevity of a lot of rappers. In some instances acts of extreme testosterone can propel an artist to superstardom. A rapper gets arrested or doing something that is equivalent to being a “street nigga” can propel him to rare air only occupied by a few. (Check out 50 Cent or even Gucci Mane if you don’t believe me) For example if a male were to say “I love you” to his friend he has to follow with “No Homo” before the statement is taken out of context. Is it really “homo” to show love to your fellow man or woman if they are of the same gender?
The phrase “No Homo” has evolved from its origins in Harlem. You can now hear many artists using the phrase. Lil Wayne has used the phrase on one of his biggest singles to date. On the platinum selling single Lil Wayne starts the track off by saying “No Homo.” If Wayne didn’t start the track off like that would he have been looked at differently? This was around the time that the infamous picture of Wayne kissing Baby dropped.
Before the kiss do you think they told each other “No Homo”? The song “Lollipop” is light in content and harmonic in a more feminine way, so I’m sure gay men and women alike were in the club going crazy over the record. Kanye West and Soulja Boy have also used the phrase on some of there latest material. If you listened to the first single off of Jay Z’s Blueprint 3 “Run This Town” I’m pretty sure you can recall Ye’s verse. “It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow/ to everybody on your d*** no homo.” Soulja Boy has even used the phrase. “I’m pretty boy swaggin in the club I feel sexy, (no homo) No homo shawty but my chest is straight flexin.”
One person in particular has already spoken out on the vernacular. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill wants the word to cease and desist. Dr. Hill is a television personality on Fox News and is an associate professor of education at Teachers College in New York. Dr. Hill states the following to address his views; “More importantly, the no-homo discourse is further evidence of hip-hop’s obsession with queer identity. After all, in order to punctuate even the most sexually non-suggestive sentences with a homophobic disclaimer, one has to constantly be thinking about homosexuality.”
The phrase “No Homo” is widely used and will continue to be used. I spoke to a friend about this saying, and I could understand his rationale behind his viewpoint. “When we as men say “No Homo” I don’t feel as if it is gay bashing. I personally think of it as clarification.” Clarification is important, but I feel that we as men should be comfortable in our own skin. True indeed sexual preferences are that of the individual, but at the same token I feel that we do have to be mindful of our surroundings and the people we say things in front of. Do I bash the phrase “No Homo?” I honestly do not, but I can understand how a person could feel a certain way. The phrase could come off as insensitive and judgmental to a person who practices acts of homosexuality. The phrase “No Homo” is not going to die anytime soon, so I feel that people should take the time to enlighten themselves. What do you think?