Homo Thugz Blow Up the Spot

A Gay Hip-Hop Scene Rises in The Bronx

With the crowd now posing and styling, two Mary J. Blige imitators in white mink jackets dancing together at the edge of the floor, a couple of B-boys with dreads grinding at stageside, and hundreds more being carried along by the groove, Unknown slips on an obscure recording by the Bronx-based crew Brand Nubian. "Though I can freak, fly, flow, fuck up a faggot," goes the rhyme, "don't understand their ways, I ain't down with gays." Of a moment that strikes one listener as surreal if not perverse, novelist Hardy remarks, "Why love the music? Because you have to take the bitter with the sweet." Or, as clubgoer Kaos, a 24-year-old former video actor and stripper with a ripped physique, puts it, "Everybodyfeels hip-hop." The music "is not for one select type of person. You can say gays. You can say bisexual. You can say faggot. You can say homo thugz or whatever and all that has no meaning to me. Personally, I never categorize myself. There's no need for a title. I don't hide nothing that I do. Society's going to have to move over and understand that."

Research assistance: Cara Buckley, Emma Nwegbo

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