A$AP Rocky Tackles the 'Gay Thing' in Hip-Hop

By: Brandon Voss

You know hip-hop has its fierce queer pioneers and allies, but it's no secret that homophobia within the industry is still a major problem that some performers can't seem to get past.

A$AP Rocky, whose debut album Long. Live. A$AP dropped earlier this year, addresses the issue in a new Interview magazine cover story.

"So now that I'm here and I've got a microphone in my hand and about 6,000 people watching me, I need to tell them how I feel," says the 24-year-old Harlem-born rapper. "For instance, one big issue in hip-hop is the gay thing. It's 2013, and it's a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It's crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid — and that's not the case. We've got people like Jay-Z. We've got people like Kanye. We've got people like me. We're all prime examples of people who don't think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they're gonna represent me. And if I'm gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way."

It's not the first time he's discussed the "gay thing" in Interview: "Well, I haven’t been a gay activist," he said in a previous chat with the magazine. "I haven’t protested for gay rights or none of that, but one thing I can say is that a lot of the designers I wear are gay and I like their clothes. Why can’t I be friends with somebody who’s gay? Why not? You can miss out on a lot by being so small-minded and stereotypical about people. It’s stupid. Who people like is their own business. It don’t concern me. I know what I do — and I’m having a lot of fun with the women that I’m with."