UK rapper Mr Strange opens up about being gay in searing verse about homophobia and prejudice
Mr Strange, an up-and-coming rapper from London, has opened up about homophobia and being gay in a new song.
The five-minute video was released on the YouTube channel of RedStarRecords, also known as BL@CKBOX. Mr Strange was filmed in a recording studio, where his song referenced incidents of homophobia that he has experienced for being gay.
A clip posted by the SpotlightFirst Twitter account featured the most poignant verse, where he appears to regret coming out but later focuses on the support he has received and reveals he is now happy with who he is.
UK Rapper opens up about being gay pic.twitter.com/DIt9F7w0Yz
— SpotlightFirst (@SpotlightFirst_) January 7, 2020
Fair play. Cant imagine how hard it is for someone to do that. Especially considering how homophobic black people can be
Being gay’s looking long, I should’ve just kept it in
Always say it gets better, I won’t tell you the cost
You won’t believe if I told you how many friends I lost
This is a common experience among many LGBT+ people, who find that coming out and potentially losing friends or family over it is very difficult to cope with. Many have praised Mr Strange’s decision to rap about his sexuality, respecting him for being truthful to himself and to his fans.
I’m being moved by this brudda a spitting. I admire his determination and honesty. Mr Strange is a real one ✊?
— Nelson Navarro (@MulattoMowgli) January 8, 2020
— Toni Catrina (@CatrinaHot) January 9, 2020
Unfortunately, Mr Strange has received a barrage of inappropriate and offensive comments on his social media platforms in response to this video. Some people have called him “b****boy” and have questioned supporters for “acting like this is acceptable”. Others have even obnoxiously suggested Mr Strange was perhaps pretending to be gay “for clout”.
While there are plenty of negative comments, there are thousands of positive and supportive comments to counteract them. Mr Strange has not yet addressed this on his social media.
Many were both surprised and impressed that Mr Strange decided to openly discuss his sexuality because he is a person of colour. Some Black communities have been said to be homophobic in the past, which Twitter users were quick to point out.
Black ppl hella homophobic, many not gonna wana repeat the lyrics no matter how decent his flow is cause “it’s gay” ?
— iG?SuzyExtra (@SuzyExtra) January 8, 2020
— Bucket Hat Bandit (@Serial__Tweets) January 8, 2020
Mr Strange: ‘I love who I am.’
During the song, Mr Strange raps:
I love who I am
I’m trying to open up the gates
Try to show the world it don’t matter if you’re gay
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Because love is love and real is real
While this song is about the negative experiences he has suffered, Mr Strange is also wanting to advocate for other young black men who are gay. Rap has long been considered a homophobic industry, with rapper J Hus recently complaining the LGBT+ community was being forced onto him. Being a gay rapper is a difficult position to be in and, as such, Mr Strange’s decision to use rap as an avenue for LGBT+ acceptance is all the more important.
In response, writer Thelma Kupe said: “UK rap has always been a space for young black men to speak about some of the harsh realities faced in the community.
“Mr Strange isn’t the only black gay man in London to exist, he’s a part of a community that has always existed, much longer than UK rap has.
“But in the lifespan of UK rap, the stories of this part of our community are yet to be voiced and taken seriously.”