Hip-Hop | Le1f | Music

'Hip-Hop Conservative' Claims That Le1f Is Feminizing the Genre; Le1f Responds

In a recent New Yorker profile, self-proclaimed “hip-hop conservative” Lord Jamar (pictured) said that the openly gay rapper Le1f’s performance on The David Letterman Show was “just the beginning” of the hijacking of hip-hop and the jettison of its essentially macho origins.

Lord_jamarLord Jamar has become a controversial figure for making such statements in the past. In particular The New Yorker notes:

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been a particular source of anger for Lord Jamar, in large part because of the success of their pro-gay-marriage single “Same Love.” That song, in which Macklemore admonishes hip-hop culture for not being more tolerant of homosexuality, encapsulates everything Jamar believes is wrong with the current hip-hop landscape; it struck him, he said, as the equivalent of someone walking into a stranger’s home and trying to redecorate the living room.

In September, he gave an interview on VladTV in which he addressed white rappers directly, telling them, “You are guests in the house of hip-hop… Keep it real with yourselves: you know this is a black man’s thing. We started this. This is our s--t.” Macklemore, Jamar said, may love hip-hop, and some of his songs might even be pretty good. “But he’s trying to push an agenda that he, as a white man, feels is acceptable,” he added. “Those proclivities and sensibilities are not at the core of true hip-hop.”

In regards to artists like Le1f and Kanye West ruining hip-hop with their flamboyant styles and lyrical content, Jamar said:

“You can’t just arrogantly wear whatever the f--k you want to wear on some ‘self-expression’ bulls--t… in order to preserve a culture there are certain guidelines and boundaries that have to be there… [Hip-hop] started with the alpha males. And now it’s being given to the beta males to try to flex their s--t.

“I have no problems with pushing boundaries… But everything has its limits. How far do you go with this pushing of boundaries before you’ve turned it into something else? That’s what I want to know. How much water can you add into the whiskey before you no longer get drunk?”

2_le1fIn response to Lord Jamar's comments in The New Yorker profile, Le1f wrote on his Facebook wall:

dear Lord Jamar,

Choose your battles. If the whitening of rap is a concern to you, please leave my name out of it. If you think being gay is the same as being white, you are as ignorant as your enemies. I'm darker than you. I'm african. I'm a black man and I experience all the same racism you do, if not more, on top of homophobia, including from black men just like you. Are you proud of being a hateful member of a majority? Rap started out as a creative response to oppression, and no matter my outfit, I know oppressions you will never understand.

All respect,


In the past, Le1f told Newsweek that he does his best not to focus on other people's expectations for his music:

"At this point where I’ve gotten so much pressure, like ridiculous stuff, I don’t care...The headlines and things I’ve gotten for some real serious press. At this point I know that I’m making the music I want to make regardless of how people talk about my music on the Internet. I don’t feel pressure to make anything because of how people talk about me."

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  1. So much illogical nonsense, I give up.

    Posted by: HKfCA | Mar 26, 2014 10:36:20 AM

  2. anybody who "thinks" the way he does not only isn't much of an artist - he's just not too smart. The ghetto grows a lotta these guys; unfortunately, many don't outgrow the ghetto.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Mar 26, 2014 10:42:32 AM

  3. Oh my god how does this person dare to show his face? where does he live? In a corn field in Iowa? On the side of a mountain or under a bridge? I'm embarrassed for him.

    Posted by: radtastic | Mar 26, 2014 10:47:36 AM

  4. Feminization is wrong but why straight men are against it? They are the ones who love femmy things

    Posted by: litper | Mar 26, 2014 10:51:09 AM

  5. First off you racist P.O.S. there is no "the ghetto" it's "a ghetto" and where in this article did you learn he lived in A ghetto? Don't think your coded language doesn't get past us black folks. We're on to your idiocy.

    I'll agree with Lord Jamar on the white rappers bit, a problem white cis heterosexual men have a problem with in general, putting their nose in business that doesn't belong them. However Lord Jamar is obviously a homophobe so he's an idiot. Le1F's response was classy.

    Posted by: Derrick | Mar 26, 2014 10:51:13 AM

  6. "Hip-hop conservative" WTF?

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 26, 2014 10:54:09 AM

  7. Well, let's ask 50Cent, or Diddy or Russell Simmons, or Jay Z about Mr Lord Jamar's remarks. They have made millions from Hip Hop and HipHop fans. Let's see what they have to say.

    Oh, and Litper (Rick), you were so eager to make a anti-Black/anti-fem statement that your comment didn't make any f.ckin' at all.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 26, 2014 11:05:31 AM

  8. I love how many times he says, "You can't."

    Umm, actually, ya can, dude.

    Posted by: Mikey | Mar 26, 2014 11:09:13 AM

  9. @Derrick

    "I'll agree with Lord Jamar on the white rappers bit"

    Seriously? Well I guess we should disinvite blacks from doing Opera, Broadway, Classical Music, Country Music, and Folk music, because you know those are WHITE music traditions.

    And FU you with the cisgender slam. Stop insinuating that we have NO struggles with gender just because I was born with a (white) penis and have no problem with that. I do have a problem with other gay men and straight people constantly policing my gender behaviors and the gender behaviors of others (e.g,. Le1f).


    Posted by: qj201 | Mar 26, 2014 11:16:31 AM

  10. I'm sorry... how does something named "hip hop" have masculine origins?

    Posted by: Doug | Mar 26, 2014 11:26:05 AM

  11. @ "Seriously? Well I guess we should disinvite blacks from doing Opera, Broadway, Classical Music, Country Music, and Folk music, because you know those are WHITE music traditions."

    Derrick can speak up for himself, but there is part of your comment I have to respond to.

    Much of Broadway show tradition comes out of the Minstrel era (which Blacks played a part in), and Country and Folk have been influenced very by Black American music--and vise versa.

    Classical European and Opera? Well, you're correct.

    But Classical American music is something called JAZZ.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 26, 2014 11:31:22 AM

  12. Feminizing the rap genre is something Queen Latoofah could never do, am I right fellas?

    Posted by: K-rap! | Mar 26, 2014 11:41:01 AM

  13. They are all full of sh*t. I can't respect Le1f after he spoke out about Macklemore and Frank Ocean.

    Boo hoo, you get lots of sh*t! Have you seen how much Frank Ocean gets? Still?? From actually legit black blogs still talking badly about Frank etc, the hate is disgusting. And Macklemore? Why doesn't he mention that it was Jewish writers, producers and execs who MADE rap happen????


    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 26, 2014 11:48:35 AM

  14. Derrick from Philly,

    But you and I know that all this was made to happen because of white Jews helping the blacks. To ignore that is disgusting, sick and GD stupid.

    Maybe a Kenyan president is needed or more African actors/actresses in Hollywood are needed in order to make change in the US?

    I can not believe post Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin-(producer from Jay Z to every GD rapper) to Def Jam-first co black owned label started with THREE other Jews and Russell Simmons-that anyone can even try and agree with this nut job.

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 26, 2014 11:57:51 AM

  15. Hey, ROWAN,

    I respect and appreciate your first comment. I will not blame Jewish folks for any particular problem faced by any particular people (that's a problem I used to have with Spike Lee movies)

    I've dealt with Black men like Lord Jamar all my life. In my home neighborhood of North Philly and then from the African Studies Program on the campus where I work. They speak about the attacks on "Black manhood".
    Some of the historical events and institutional policies they cite are legitimate grievances, but some of what they say is pure bullsh.t.

    Hip Hop is the music of atleast three generations of young folks world wide. It AINT going anywhere. But it IS going to evolve, and young Gay Hip Hop artists are going to be part of that evolution. Deal with Lord Jamar.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 26, 2014 12:15:56 PM

  16. "Classical American music" is jazz, sure, and even rock could be considered black in origin. But America also created folk & country/western before jazz. I don't really know your point, Derrick.

    Anyway, Jamar is wrong that the origins of hiphop are alpha male heterosexuals. HIS brand of hipop came along far after the likes of The Sugarhill Gang. But he just wanted to be racist and homophobic, which only proves Macklemore's point. Sad.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 26, 2014 12:18:43 PM

  17. Go Le1f! His response was PERFECT! I'm going to watch his video again!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Mar 26, 2014 12:18:53 PM

  18. Absolutely perfect response. Le1f impresses me more every time I hear something from him.

    Posted by: Kakapo | Mar 26, 2014 12:40:19 PM

  19. Robert,

    What regional area of the United States did Country and Folk music evolve? What types of Americans lived in that region? What did they sing and what music did they produce, and how did their musical contributions influence all American music?

    All Americans have played a part in ALL American based music.

    Good Lord, I feel like I've just made a public service announcement for American Unity. Any moment you'll hear Kate Smith belting out,

    "God Bless America....land that I love"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 26, 2014 12:51:17 PM

  20. Some of the most spectacularly gifted classical singers have been people who aren't of caucasian/european ethnicity, despite the origins of the art form. Because it's a true art form, anyone who has the talent and puts in the work can succeed in performing it. If rap is an equally valid art form as many would attest, then white people performing it should bolster that assumption rather than serve as an irritant to those who think it should be "black only".

    Posted by: The Milkman | Mar 26, 2014 12:57:34 PM

  21. Derrick from Philly is the biggest racist out there, so just ignore what he has to say.

    Posted by: Mikey | Mar 26, 2014 1:23:45 PM

  22. "Keep it real with yourselves: you know this is a black man’s thing. We started this. This is our s--t.”

    Umm, then why do I love Macklemore, yet I've never heard of you before, and probably won't again after this blog post? Loser.

    Posted by: Jae | Mar 26, 2014 1:27:32 PM

  23. Le1f just gets more and more fascinating. Thank you homophobic closet-case for provoking that amazing response.

    Posted by: VSo | Mar 26, 2014 1:27:33 PM

  24. Typical white racists. Stealing hip-hop like its your own. Stay away and go play a guitar or something...

    Posted by: DERRICK FROM PHILLY | Mar 26, 2014 1:29:31 PM

  25. @ "Derrick from Philly is the biggest racist out there, so just ignore what he has to say."

    And your sorry azz has never looked up the definition of racist or racism.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 26, 2014 1:30:42 PM

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