In wake of the release (or rather the leak) of Tyler the Creator’s latest album, the hip-hop world has been on fire with speculation regarding the content of Tyler’s lyrics, namely, those lyrics regarding Tyler’s sexuality. Much of the album’s content (at least three to four songs, it appears) seems to suggest that Tyler the Creator may be gay. One of the more seriously subdued songs on the album, “Garden Shed,” seems to recall Tyler’s struggles with his sexuality and getting his peers to accept his sexuality without having to lose his friends. While Tyler the Creator has yet to confirm or deny the true nature of these lyrics, the sensationalism created from just the suggestion that he might be gay brings to light the history of homosexuality within the hip-hop community.
It was not too long ago when being gay was considered to be a stigma within hip-hop culture. Just a mere rumor of being or flat-out coming out as a gay rapper ran the risk of ending one’s music career. In recent years, homosexuality has become better accepted by the general public, enough that the hip-hop culture is now a safe space for artists like Frank Ocean and Young M.A. to come out. However, looking back to hip-hop’s past tells us just why so many artists preferred to stay in the closet as opposed to letting their sexual preference be known in the world. The incessant need for rappers to stay in the closet led to a lot of listeners speculating on their sexual preferences based on rumors regarding those rappers. Some of that speculation continues to this day. Here are 15 rappers who’ve been rumored to be gay.
15. Tyler the Creator
Here’s the rapper who inspired this list to begin with. As stated in the intro, Tyler the Creator’s latest album has listeners speculating that he may actually be gay. Lines from the album like “Next line I’ll have ’em like woah / I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004” have suggested this to be true. Actually, much of the album itself reflects themes of being closeted, especially his song “Garden Shed.” In fact, reflecting on Tyler’s older music and even his tweets, it seems like Tyler has, for the last five years, been leaving a cookie trail hinting at his homosexuality. The reason why no one has taken notice to Tyler’s coming out for this long is the same reason why fans struggle to believe him now: he’s a troll. He’s said and done so many ridiculous things over the years that it’s hard to tell Tyler’s truth apart from his fiction. Tyler has yet to confirm the nature of his sexuality, and until he does, we can never be sure if he’s serious about being gay.
14. A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky doesn’t fit the usual image associated with most rappers, either in gangster rap or alternative rap. Contrary to most images of rappers, A$AP Rocky presents the image of a fashionista. Not only is he always well groomed and well dressed, but he also happens to be a part-time model. For these reasons alone, many fans have speculated over the years that A$AP Rocky is gay, although these rumors regarding the leader of the A$AP Mob seem to come without merit. In fact, these rumors seem to be based solely on how Rocky’s appearance denigrates from the modern perception of masculinity. While Rocky refuses to conform to the regular norms of the male appearance, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay. In fact, he’s frequently seen in public with different women on his arm.
13. Kodak Black
When the rap world was already engulfed by the beef between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj, the verbal jabs those two threw at each other were enough to inspire an Instagram user going by the name of @sgmybloodline to commence “spilling tea” of his own, as he put it. He posted a picture of his arm wrapped around a shirtless Kodak Black and professed that the two were ready to take their secret relationship to a more serious level. Kodak Black neglected to comment on the situation directly, though shortly after @sgmybloodline’s post went viral, Kodak tweeted that “fake ones” will make up a story if they don’t have one already ready-made. This seemed to hint that Kodak denied any sort of affair with @sgmybloodline.
XXXTentacion is no stranger to controversy. Whether it be due to Drake allegedly ripping off X’s surprise hit “Look At Me” through his own “KMT” track or due to a beef with Rob $tone, X has been frequently at the center of controversy. We can add questions regarding his sexuality to his ever-expanding list of controversies. The speculation regarding X’s possible homosexuality is not based on any rumor that cites him as gay but more due to comments made by him that fans in the rap community would call “suspect.” The bulk of his suspicious comments seems to come from his relationship with Ski Mask the Slump God. X often makes “suspect” comments toward his former cellmate, particularly one he made in an interview with No Jumper and a tweet where X called Ski Mask “stokely pokely.” In truth, this sort of speculation has no weight to it, and X has often recorded himself for social media in sexual situations with women.
11. Afrika Bambaataa
Afrika Bambaataa has always been considered as one of the founding pioneers of classic hip-hop, but some startling news released in April of 2016 had his fans scratching their heads and tempted to change their opinions on the man. It all started when Bronx political activist Ronald Savage accused Bambaataa of molesting him back when the activist was just 15 years old in 1980. Shortly afterward, three more men came forward and claimed that Bambaataa had molested all of them. Afrika Bambaataa would deny these allegations in a piece by Rolling Stone, but a month after these allegations came to light, Bambaataa was dismissed as the head of the Zulu Nation. Whether this is due to the Nation knowing the truth or simply to save face is unknown, but in either case, Bambaataa is still yet to be convicted of such allegations.
10. Young Thug
Young Thug is one of the most controversial artists in all of music, and none of it is due to the actual content of his music. The controversy has always been inspired by his eccentric persona and an appearance that recalls the androgyny of David Bowie. Thugger has never shied away from the fact that he lives a gender-fluid lifestyle, most famously donning a dress for his Jeffrey mixtape. Thugger has also been bold enough to challenge and flat-out criticize gender as a social construct. All throughout the way, he’s been accused of being gay by his critics due to his behavior. Despite the rumors and accusations, he happens to be engaged to a woman named Jerrika Karlae. He plans to wear a wedding dress for his wedding ceremony.
9. Rich Homie Quan
Most Rich Homie Quan rumors regarding his sexuality are in direct connection to Young Thug, another rapper on this list accused of being gay. Most of these rumors stem from Quan’s Instagram, where Quan has posted numerous pictures of Thugger and other rappers with captions such as “bae” and “lovers” underneath. Quan responded to these rumors in an interview with Sway in the Morning where the rapper clarified that everyone in Atlanta knows that neither he nor Thugger is gay. In fact, Quan finds amusement more than anything else in these accusations because they’re supposedly so false he finds it funny how people can take any story and run with it. He also said that he tries to not even respond to such rumors because he knows that’s exactly what trolls want him to do.
8. Kanye West
Rumors regarding Kanye West‘s possible homosexuality date back all the way to 2004. That was when he was interviewed by Sway from MTV, and at a time when homosexuality was still considered a taboo subject, West basically called out hip-hop for being homophobic and advised that the industry should grow up on the matter. The fact that West was bold enough to champion for gay rights back when the subject wasn’t nearly as accepted as it is now was enough for people to start speculating that he was gay. For years, West has fought against accusations and false rumors regarding his sexuality, which have no weight to them. It’s a ridiculous response to a brave statement, especially when West has only been romantically linked to women like Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian. He’s always been an ally to the LGBTQ community but not so much a member, it seems.
In February 2017, someone released a photo to Instagram’s @IndustryOnBlast gossip account of a man in bed with another man, who was allegedly Wale. The person who sent the picture claimed that Wale was having an affair with the person’s cousin before Wale ghosted the man once Wale had his child with his girlfriend, Chloe Alexis. While the story itself doesn’t sound too far fetched in that it’s a common case that happens between couples with a closeted partner, the man in the picture hardly even looks like Wale. Wale then took to Twitter and was baffled at the fact that some people would create drama and smoke where there wasn’t even fire. This was the first and, so far, the last time that Wale was rumored to be gay.
6. Will Smith
Although Will Smith has edged himself a monumentally successful acting career in Hollywood, let’s not forget that he first broke onto the scene as a rapper with multiple chart-topping singles with DJ Jazzy Jeff; one such hit, “Summertime,” even winning Smith a Grammy. Smith has also been long speculated to be a closeted gay man or bisexual, at the very least. More appropriately, the hot ongoing rumor around town is that he and his wife, Jada Pinkett, have been swingers for years and usually swing with partners of all colors and genders. Will himself has never commented on whatever swinger lifestyle he and his wife may or may not live, but Jada herself has alluded to it in the past. In an interview with Howard Stern, Jada said that Will has all of the freedom in the world because she trusts him and because she isn’t his “watcher… as long as Will can look himself in the mirror and be ok, [she’s] good.”
5. Jaden Smith
Much like his father Will Smith before him, Jaden Smith has been the subject of many gay rumors over the years. While his character, Dizzee, on Netflix’s The Get Down is queer, many speculate it’s a case of art imitating Jaden Smith’s own life. While he’s never confirmed or denied his attraction to men in real life, and he’s reportedly dated women like Kylie Jenner and Stella Hudgens, these rumors mostly stem from the fact that Jaden Smith is openly gender fluid. Not only has Jaden frequently been seen in public wearing women’s wear, he models for Louis Vuitton’s line of women’s skirts. Whether he’s gay or not, it’s commendable to see Jaden Smith consistently challenging the barriers of gender identity.
Diddy has often been accused of taking part in behavior that the hip-hop community would consider and call “suspect.” Such consistent behavior includes taking pictures with men while hugging them from behind, exchanging kisses on the cheeks, and getting all-too-close to the facial personal space of other men when engaged in simple conversation. Numerous entertainment personalities like 50 Cent and Yung Joc have tried to out Diddy and accuse him of being gay, but Wendy Williams went as far as to implicate Diddy in a whole new gay scandal when she claimed to own footage of the rap mogul and rapper Loon having a bedside tussle between the sheets. Williams never released such a tape, and Diddy has never addressed any of his longstanding gay rumors.
3. 50 Cent
Despite the fact that this rapper has a history for making alarming homophobic comments over the years (at one point in 2014, going as far as to say that “being gay isn’t cool”), 5o Cent has long been accused by multiple parties for allegedly being a homosexual male himself. During a 2011 Twitter rant, The Game professed that he’s surrounded by many gay people but doesn’t have beef with any of them. He went as far as to name drop 50 Cent as gay but “kool.” In 2015, in the wake of 50 Cent blaming “gay stuff” as the reason why ratings decreased on the show Empire, 50 Cent’s former flame Vivica A. Fox went on Watch What Happens Live and said 50’s comments were like “the pot calling the kettle black.” 50 Cent continues to deny any and all gay accusations.
2. Lil Wayne
Most rumors regarding Lil Wayne‘s homosexuality mostly stem from pictures that surfaced during the early 2000s of Wayne kissing his former father figure, Birdman, on the lips. To be fair, these pics may be a little “suspect,” but only because it’s weird to kiss on the mouth someone whom you look up to as a father. Though Wayne may have been a little too close to his “father” at one point in his life, this doesn’t mean that Wayne himself is gay. In fact, he’s had four children with different women — one with his high school sweetheart and ex-wife Antonia Wright, one with broadcaster Sarah Vivan, one with actress Lauren London, and one with singer Nivea. Until Wayne tells us otherwise, we have to assume that he is, in fact, straight as an arrow.
Most recently, fellow rapper Trick Daddy accused Birdman of being gay in a radio interview. Birdman responded to these comments in an interview with Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning. Birdman clarified that he was a “straight gangster. [Trick Daddy] been in my hood. He knows what’s happening with me. I guess ni**a wanna get on the radio and be funny or something but ni**a know what’s happening with me. Google me, man. Call anything in the 504, and ask about me. Google me, man. Watch what comes up: straight G.” When we Googled “Birdman,” though, we failed to find anything confirming that Birdman was a “straight G.” All we found was pics of him kissing Lil Wayne on the mouth and that he doesn’t seem to be romantically linked to any woman at the moment.
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