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Kanye West to Fans: Don't Use the Word 'Fag'


A YouTube clip of the final minutes of a Madison Square Garden performance of Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour on August 5th shows the rapper speaking out against homophobia and anti-gay slurs.

Apologies in advance for my rough transcription.

"Open your fucking minds. Open your minds. Be accepting of different people and let people be who they are. You know how many people came to me calling me gay cause I wear my jeans the fresh way? Or because I said hey, dude, how you gonna say 'fag' right in front of a gay dude's face and act like that's ok. That shit is disrespectful. Coming from Chicago, where if you saw somebody that was gay you were supppoed to stay ten feet away. It should be time to break out of the intuitions that I was sayin', the steretypes, or the fear, the backlash that I would get if you don't believe in what I believe in, acceptin' people for who they are...they're very talented and if they do something special in the world and they're discriminated. I've flown across the world y'all, and I've come back here to tell you — open your minds and live a happier life..."

It begins about 1:45 in on the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kanye West: Still Not Gay [tr]
Kanye West and Ne-Yo: We're Not Gay! [tr]

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  1. I've always been a fan of his music but not his ego. He's always been open-minded & that shows in his music. His Mom, who died earlier this year, should be proud. She raised him well.

    Posted by: scar2 | Aug 7, 2008 2:07:25 PM

  2. Another thing: who is buying the music of Rappers & Raggae performers? I saw a special on PBS (they never lie) that showed that the majority of the sales for Rap music comes from white kids. Maybe y'all ought to be asking white kids why do they purchase music with homophobic lyrics.


    as NOAH said, in your tirade against black homophobia, you never even commented on Kanye's effort to fight homophobia. You gave him no couldn't wait to get to the good part: get the blacks! Oh, goody.

    Remember, the homophobic commercial with Mr T we commented on a couple of weeks ago? Some of you were so eager to talk about black homophobia (represented by Mr T) that y'all didn't even mention the producers/creators of that commercial. Some of y'all just don't like black people.

    Once I tried to do to Mormons what y'all do to black people. Mitt Romney had done something homophobic, and I went on a tirade against the Mormons. I think most Towleroad readers got what I was trying to do, but somebody wrote in "....oh, Derrick, you sound as bigoted as those you're criticizing". BINGO! Miss Ann!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 7, 2008 2:21:05 PM

  3. I wonder if he feels the same way about the word 'dyke'. As a friend reminded me, we shouldn't forget these lyrics to "Stronger":

    "So we goin' do everything that Jay'll like
    Heard they'd do anything for a Klondike
    Well I'd do anything for a blonde dyke
    And we'll do anything for the limelight
    And we'll do anything when the time is right
    Baby you're makin' it Harder, better, faster, stronger."

    Posted by: CD | Aug 7, 2008 2:27:52 PM

  4. Yea people really need to cool it with the racial shit. I see plenty of white kids all the time who think its cool to hate on gay people. And I see plenty of blacks, latinos, asians, etc. who think the same.

    As for the gay-friendly, they come in all colors as well.

    However, when it comes to religious beliefs, thats a slightly different matter. There are tons of wonderful and nice Mormons out there, for example, but I have serious issues with the faith itself and feel likewise towards many other forms of organized religion.

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 7, 2008 2:57:27 PM

  5. When someone posts the lyrics of a Kanye song, you realize just how shitty a rapper he actually is.

    Dike rhymes with dyke? Brilliant!

    Chuck D is rolling in his grave.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 7, 2008 3:41:54 PM

  6. Isn't it obvious that KW is gay. I don't read this blog that often so I am not sure if that is a given.

    Posted by: mynameisstolen | Aug 7, 2008 3:46:06 PM

  7. Klondike does rhyme with blonde dyke. But it's still stupid.

    Posted by: person | Aug 7, 2008 4:20:36 PM

  8. Look is this why Kanye says "Blonde dyke"(Stronger) in one of his songs. It's ok to slur gay women and not men? Or is it tht he doesn't like white women see the lyrics to Gold Digger. Is that the idea? Such back peddling... Chicago has a huge gay community and I don't know what the hell he is talking about.

    Posted by: MissThang | Aug 7, 2008 6:24:02 PM

  9. I want to applaud Kanye for that statement. I think that there is so much homophobia in hip-hop because there are some men on the DL. I have known some people that were so homophobic because they were trying so hard to denounce the fact that they were indeed, gay. Kanye's right. Wake up. As a lesbian in the black community, I know how it feels to be discriminated against by your own people. I think that's why there are so many cases of HIV/AIDS in the black community because the black community is so closed minded about the LGBTQ community. Again, KUDOS KANYE!

    Posted by: Trinidad | Aug 7, 2008 10:56:00 PM

  10. I can't even imagine Madonna saying this from the stage.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Aug 7, 2008 10:12:22 AM
    Well if you were at her Meadowlands concert in NJ back in the late 80's you would have heard her not only do so, she stopped her music to rip the assholes who booed her when she dedicated a song to Keith Haring, a gay artist friend who died from AIDS.

    She went on to tell her 'fans' that if they wanted to be her fans they could not be homophobic. Madonna was one of the first, along with Ms Taylor, Midler and few others who were there from the start. Know your facts before you trash people. While I don't care for her music of late, or her other choices, I am in dept for her standing up for us from the start.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Aug 8, 2008 7:13:27 AM

  11. Let's face it, no one pays to go to a concert to be lectured to. Many here would object to going to a (insert artist name here) concert, and being lectured by said artist to "keep Jesus in your heart and obey the scriptures" in the strongest possible terms. I wonder what set him off. Someone should ask him. They should also ask him to write an op-ed for a newspaper or magazine and perhaps put the gist of it in a new song.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 8, 2008 10:49:10 AM

  12. Don't be such a sycophant and educate yourself! I'm not trashing Madonna but simply stating a fact. If it upsets you, call Liz Rosenberg.

    In 2006 (not the 80s) Madonna thanked the notoriously homophobic mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, from the stage during her concert which he attended:

    Luzhkov is on record for calling gays "satanic" and officially banning any Pride parades. Yet Madonna thanks him. Its an ugly fact and a slap in the face to our gay and lesbian comrades who have been beaten bloody in the streets of Moscow simply for who they are.

    FYI, Ray Of Light is one of my favorite recordings of all time. A gorgeous record (I have the Japanese vinyl pressing). I like her music. I also think she's a opportunist who could give two shits about the gay community, unless of course it generates income and/or ticket sales. She's not alone.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Aug 8, 2008 11:28:09 AM

  13. I love everything about what he said and that he goes out of his way to spotlight homophobia. But shouldn't he have added "...and I'm gay too"?

    It seems like a specific tactic. Kanye's already said that if he were gay or closeted, he'd probably avoid the topic altogether or just keep a distance. So it doesn't seem crazy to me that he'd take an opposite approach and emrbrace the cause, to show everyone how COOL he is with gays --- all b /c it's the opposite of what he thinks ppl are expecting.

    Simply put, I think he's gay and instead of coming out, he becomes Defender of the Gays to divert attention and kill suspicions. his "efforts" bother me the same way that it would bother me if Ricky Martin made this statement.

    Posted by: littleBIGchris | Aug 8, 2008 1:00:01 PM

  14. I'm sorry, it's absolutely ridiculous to suggest Madonna is anything short of one of the gay community's biggest allies. She has been a tremendous ally throughout her entire career.

    I applaud Kanye for saying this. We have to take what we can get... No, he's not perfect, but it's definitely a step in the right direction and I am happy that he did so. Better this than nothing.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 9, 2008 10:05:47 PM

  15. Crispy, when did Chuck D die? Last I checked he was alive and well.

    Posted by: wetcnt | Aug 10, 2008 5:22:16 PM

  16. Thank you for speaking out, Kanye. Your words will hopefully spark a good light against homophobia in the Hip Hop and Rap community, and in all communities, in fact!

    Posted by: CK | Aug 10, 2008 9:24:40 PM

  17. I think its great he spoke out against it, but what about the N Word? Doesn't that fall into the same category?

    Posted by: JT | Aug 10, 2008 11:55:06 PM

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  20. can't even begin to describe how much I hate hip hop now, I grew listening to hip hop in the 90's like Public enemy, Black sheep, 2pac, Nas..real artist..Hip hop was the only thing I trusted..Thanks to the Generation of Kanye west, lil wayne and a other bunch of bubble gum rappers..hip hop is a fucking's got no street value, no substance...bunch a meaningless words over a catchy beat...fuck you Kanye and the millions of your fans your blindly leading. born with a silver spoon in your know nothing about the struggle...fukin wankster

    Posted by: nate | Aug 14, 2009 7:40:39 PM

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