A new video has California rapper Murs wearing a "Legalize Gay" shirt and kissing another man, but ending in a murder-suicide intended to call out homophobia.
In a video for "Animal Style," Murs takes on the role of Roderick, a closeted high school student who hangs with a homophobic crowd. He's in a secret relationship with Jonathan, another high school student.
"Boyfriend Roderick kept his secret closeted, Scared to come out into this world of zero tolerance," Murs raps. "Wanted Roderick to follow him, He see him in the halls but Rod would never acknowledge him."
When Jonathan tried to make his feelings public it leads to the violence in the last scene: "Shot him right between the eye, then turned it on himself because he refused to live a lie."
Rappers Will Smith and Jay-Z came out firmly in support of marriage equality after President Obama's announcement. Then T.I. seemed to do the same. And Frank Ocean came out in a song on his new album, Channel Orange. Murs said hip-hop culture needs more people to speak out.
"With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender, really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?" he wrote on YouTube. "And finally, I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exist within hip hop culture. I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. Even if it came at the cost of my own comfort."
Watch the video below.