No one loves a scandal more than rap fans, and they certainly got a dilly of a pickle served to them this weekend. Mister Cee, a personality on New York’s legendary Hot 97 who’ll go down in history as being the guy who put Biggie on, got arrested on March 30 and charged with public lewdness, for allegedly receiving oral sex from a 20-year-old in a car. His companion, according to reports, is male.
What will be interesting to see, is if the further development of this story forces hip-hop into its day of reckoning with homosexuality.
Because people will hound this story, and they will stalk confirmation, and if that confirmation comes, hip-hop’s going to have to face the fact one of its own is gay or bisexual. And that is not something hip-hop has ever been prepared to do.
Homosexuality in hip-hop is something I’ve been trying to learn more about in recent years, I even wrote about it for my old blog, an investigation spurred by the realization that hip-hop crosses so many boundaries, yet we never hear about homosexual hip-hop. It’s out there, it just has to be dug for, and some of it is merely a gay flip on the modes of mainstream hip-hop: I’m thinking of artists like Deadlee and his songs like ‘Suck Muh Gun.’ [watch a clip of Deadlee on CNN here]. But it’s always kept in its little corner, the cousin that never gets talking about. This thing with Cee could bring it to the dinner table, and it’ll be interesting to see if hip-hop can accept that.
So far, signs point to yes, with numerous shows of support from colleagues and admirers, though that might be simply because Cee’s pedigree allows him a certain privilege. If I’m a betting man, I’m saying whatever happens here will largely get ignored, people will turn a blind eye, say it’s none of their business [which it isn’t, really], act like it never happened. Good for Cee’s career, but not for the health of hip-hop. It’s disappointing to see the thing I love so much continue to have the blight of homophobia staining its image.
For his part, Cee took the airwaves today as per usual for his Throwback Mix at Noon, with an hour of musical middle fingers aimed at anyone and everyone talking shit, from Jigga’s ‘Can I Live’ to Nas’s ‘Hate Me Now’ to Jadakiss’s ‘We Gon Make It’ [and shit, did I forget how much I loved that song]. It was a powerful piece of business, you can hear it here.
I don’t want to see anything stemming from this arrest adversely affect the man. He’s a legend who’s done more for hip-hop than pretty much anyone running their mouths about him. But I fear doing right by him will cost the culture a prime opportunity to bring what is still its greatest weakness out into the open.