‘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,

Le1f

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."

Comments

  1. DannyEastVillage says

    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.

  2. radtastic says

    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.

  3. litper says

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

  4. says

    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.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

  6. qj201 says

    @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).

    moron.

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “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.

  8. Rowan says

    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????

    Ridic.

  9. Rowan says

    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.

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

  11. Robert says

    “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.

  12. Kakapo says

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

  13. Derrick from Philly says

    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”

  14. The Milkman says

    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”.

  15. Mikey says

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

  16. Jae says

    “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.

  17. VSo says

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

  18. DERRICK FROM PHILLY says

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

  19. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “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.

  20. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “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”

    Who’s the “White Racist?” Lord Jamar?

    Rick, you’re a psycho…even when you post as Mikey.

    BTW, whose weenie is samller–yours or Mikey’s?

  21. jaker says

    i guess since white people created hollywood, black people are just “guests” in that house too.

    police it all you like but black people don’t “own” hip hop anymore. sorry.

    le1f’s “blacker than thou” shtick isnt helping either.

  22. Frank says

    Judging by the lack of roles for African-Americans, save for epic slave movies, I’d say yeah, it definitely feels like we are guests in Hollywood’s house. Also, you’re right black people don’t own hip hop anymore, but then again everyone with a sense of history already knew that it was only a matter of time, given what happened to Jazz and Rock & Roll.

  23. SpaceCadet says

    I think the idea of a culture or a race “owning” a form or genre of music is silly, but I get where the angst comes from. It is just important to remember and acknowledge where and how that music originated from. Music transcends culture and race and helps to unite everyone.

  24. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Oh those Africans… the brain-trust of the world!! LOL”

    Oh, please, DAN CORN COBB, look at that picture of Lord Jamar. He only has slightly more African strain in his DNA than you. How do we know what makes him a bigoted fool–his African blood or his European blood?

    Answer me, you old 56 year old b.tch (RICK)! Oooops, I’m the same age.

  25. dizzy spins says

    Lord Jamar doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Rap came out of disco, which was about as a gay subgenre of music as exists. If anything, the macho, violent b.s. of hip-hop co-opted a more dance-oriented, gay-inclusive style of music. Man Parrish, hello?

  26. Just A Thought says

    I don’t think Lord Jamar is an “Idiot” but I do think he’s thinking kind of small. The people who purchase and listen to any kind of music ultimately determine how the genre evolves. Hip Hop is about struggle (at least originally it was) and being “real” so being true to oneself is critical to the genre, this means that a gay artist is going to “rap” about his struggles, there will be some similarities with “straight” rappers, but being gay will bring new layers and new viewpoints to the Hip Hop Genre, if these layers and viewpoints resonate with the LISTENERS then it is worthwhile to the genre and the genre evolves. This same thing can be said about rappers of any color, race, sexual preference. Lord Jamar is entitled to his opinion, but if what written here is true, then his opinion seems flawed, because it ignores the fact that the audience ultimately defines the genre.

    This is also playing out in the country genre with Steve Grand, and in that case it’s also true that the audience will determine how successful Steve will be. Steve is unique, not for being gay, but for actually singing from a gay point of view, meaning that by just listening to the words of his songs you can tell that he’s a man singing about loving and being in love with men.

    The Audience will decide in both cases if they are ready to accept these evolutions of their favorites types of music, and that’s how it should be.

  27. Cake says

    If ever there was a more cringe-worthy person on this earth…

    What a big baby. I hope Le1f becomes hugely successful and even more flamboyant just to spite him.

  28. Nick says

    In the world of Lord Jamar(born Lorenzo Dechalus)there are no alpha gay men. If you are gay you are beta. Pull your head out of your ass Lord.

  29. Kev C says

    The problem is that seperate cultures no longer exist and everything is multicultural. Is it ok for a german polka band to play hawaiian folk music? While it may be seen as flattering, or as blasphemous, it certainly isn’t authentic no matter how talented the polka band is. Gays have their own style of music and it doesn’t include rap. Gay rappers are an inauthentic novelty.