Murs, all around fantastic rapper and someone whose entire catalogue you should listen to, recently released a video for his song "Animal Style" off of his album Love and Rockets. The song and video are a tragic gay love story and unmistakably pro gay rights. This comes just days after Frank Ocean came out. Suddenly, homosexuality is all the Hip-Hop world can talk about.
And it's about time. This is one of those stories that both reminds us how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.
Hip-Hop is a global art form that has brought love and comfort to so many, but there's always been a dark side of misogyny and homophobia. It's increasingly embarrassing to hear rappers reference bitches and faggots in this day and age. But it's because of that homophobia that rappers coming out or just coming out in favor of gay rights is a big deal. The two areas in our society that have yet to really come to terms with homosexuality were Hip-Hop and sports, but both are slowly sliding towards modernity.
Murs is just the latest in a continuing trend towards acceptance in Hip-Hop. Starting with Lil B's album I'm Gay we see a movement within Hip-Hop that has grown. Following President Obama's support for gay marriage, Jay-Z came out in support as well. Then we had Frank Ocean's emotional and deeply personal coming out (and the support he got from his Odd Future comrades in doing so). Now Murs' new song/video is the most confrontational assault on Hip-Hop's homophobia yet.
The video and song is shocking for its forthrightness and then shocking again that such a thing could be so shocking in 2012. Tragic love stories are no strangers to Hip-Hop. Yet the fact that the two characters are male makes this big news. It shouldn't be. But the fact that exists means that some day it won't be.