Gay rapper Mr Strange explains why Stormzy’s apology for homophobic slurs was a game-changer
Gay rapper Mr Strange has spoken about why Stormzy’s apology for his historic use of anti-gay slurs changed the game for LGBT+ rappers.
The ‘Vassi Bop’ rapper issued a lengthy and profound apology in 2017 for his past use of homophobic language, making clear: “The comments I made were unacceptable and disgusting, full stop.”
In an interview with Good Morning Britain on Friday, out-and-proud gay rapper Mr Strange said that Stormzy’s apology was “really important.”
Mr Strange: Stormzy’s apology showed his character
He said: “At the end of the day, we’re all human – I’m sure I’ve said homophobic things [previously] too and I’m gay.
“Stormzy, like myself, comes from a street background, and it’s not accepted in that background – so it shows his character that he is able to apologise and change his mind, because a lot of people don’t. They think with that same mindset throughout their whole entire adult lives.”
Mr Strange said: “It’s not widely accepted to be gay in the [rap] music industry. I don’t know any other gay rappers in the UK. I think there was maybe one other person who messaged me, but other than that, I don’t know anyone else.
“I think people don’t want to be the first person to take on board a gay rapper, and the history of the rap industry is constructed around street culture.
“When you come from that background, it is known you don’t accept people for being gay. You say horrible words, and that is why in the rap culture it’s not accepted.”
In his lengthy apology, Stormzy wrote: “I said some foul and offensive things whilst tweeting years ago at a time when I was young and proudly ignorant.
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“Very hurtful and discriminative views that I’ve unlearned as I’ve grown up and become a man.”
Coming out has attracted a lot of positivity
Mr Strange opened up about homophobia his experiences of homophobia in a freestyle rap this month.
He explained to GMB of the track: “It was a really big moment. It was really about spreading my message and talking about my experiences during that coming out period.
“I didn’t know what response I’d get. I knew it would create some controversy and there would be mixed opinions, but I didn’t expect the [overwhelmingly positive] response I got. There’s no words for it really, it was just amazing.
“I’ve had loads of positive comments, and people have explained to me how I’ve helped them come out with their own experiences. For me, that is just the best possible outcome, really.”