Gay hip hop is here to stay: Syd tha Kid digs in
Last week, Odd Future affiliate, DJ, producer, singer, and overall badass Syd tha Kyd decided to do what young urban punks do in an interview, she flew off the handle giving her unedited opinions on the state of culture. And that’s a polite way to say Syd is frustrated at the lack of gay role models in urban music. She went as far as to question the legitimacy of Alicia Keys’ marriage, along with Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot’s sexuality. “You know she loves her some bitches,” is an exact quote.
Even if you don’t pay attention to urban culture you’re probably still aware of feuds and beefs igniting between entertainers for much smaller affronts. And I don’t really want to speculate on whether or not someone is in the closet. What’s interesting about Syd’s comment is that it is the first step in opening up a culture that is notoriously conservative, but has a huge a gay and lesbian presence. Syd tha Kyd is the only successful gay woman in Hip Hop.
She has the luxury of youth, ambition, and blind faith on her side. The world can be very black and white when you haven’t been pummeled by it much, which isn’t a bad thing. Who’s surprised to know there are closeted gay people in entertainment? Gay characters are also more common in mainstream media. Putting on a show is what we do best, no really. I think what this young skater punk was saying, in so many words, was what’s the big deal?
Syd has been questioned about her sexuality (eschewing lesbian for dyke) so often she just stopped answering the question. Her response as of late is if she doesn’t hear the media questioning her counterparts about their sexual preferences, why question her—though dating one of them would be like dating an antisocial spoiled brat hooked on Ritalin. Her positions seems to come from the casual, and confident, angle of “what’s the big deal?” Her generation prefers the term swagger.
If Syd wants to DJ for Odd Future, if she wants to produce and engineer records for them and her side project, The Internet, if she wants to sing about girls and girl problems, so be it. While the rest of the world is caught up on labeling a person’s sexuality, Syd would rather press forward as if there were no reason for discussion, or better yet, fascination. It’s the kind of iconoclastic attitude that—to borrow a Hip Hop term—changes the game.
Of course the irony in Syd being such an ad-hoc iconoclast is her frustration with the dirth of “openly dyke” artists. Uhm, that’s what you’re here for, right Syd? Here’s to hoping she truly is settled and blasé about her identity, and will let bygones be bygones. Because we’ve all seen how wild Queen Latifah can get (SET IT OFF much?) then again, we also know just how tender, too.