Meek Mill, the rapper famous for getting into a beef with Drake last summer, is at it once again. This time, he's released a diss track against The Game, calling him gay slurs and picking on him for being a former stripper.
The beef between the two rappers stemmed from a night out that ended with the police getting involved. The Game suspects that Meek Mill "snitched" on him and told police that he was involved in the robbery of singer Sean Kingston's $300,000 chain at an L.A. nightclub earlier this week. TMZ obtained a copy of the police report from the incident showing no evidence that anything about The Game was "snitched" to the police.
Whether this beef between the two is being led by toxic masculinity, homophobia, a need for attention, or a combination of them all, the disses between the two rappers are laden with overt and covert antigay sentiments and slurs, instead of actually focusing on, you know, music.
Meek Mill claims The Game is using the attention from their beef to promote an upcoming album release, but the visibility of the homophobia in the diss track sends an ugly message to LGBT hip-hop fans. Why must the LGBT community get dragged down in a derogatory way for Meek Mill to feel empowered over another man?
The strange thing about Meek Mill's homophobic diss of The Game is that the beat he is rapping over is originally taken from a song called "OOOUUU" by Young M.A., an out lesbian rapper who has one of the biggest hits of the year. The music video from the Young M.A. song has over 20 million views on YouTube. In a 2015 interview, Young M.A. spoke openly about the homophobia she has has faced in the hip-hop community and how it is overshadowed by the love from her fans.
"It's people out there that I may see in the comments say things like 'What is this he-she?' you know what I mean. It's hateful comments out there, but that's with everybody. Even if it ain't about that, it can be about this, it can be about that so I know that's gonna happen 'cause this is the world that we live in, I expect that. But it gets overshadowed with so much love that I don't even pay attention to that," Young M.A. told The Boombox.
Fortunately, there are enough out queer and trans rappers who provide an alternative to the homophobia rampant in songs like Meek Mill's. Queer hip-hop artist Mister Wallace told The Advocate "Who?" when he was asked about the beef between Meek Mill and The Game. "The only nigga that's Talkin' Greezy.... The only nigga that matters... the real Killa is Cakes!"
Wallace refers to out rapper Cakes da Killa who has a new album coming out later this year. Cakes da Killa's rep told The Advocate via email that he doesn't "comment on politics or drama," saying instead "he prefers to talk about his music and positivity." Cakes' new video Talkin Greezy released this month, and his new album Hedonism is coming later this fall.
In an interview with Vlad TV in 2011, The Game said that he has no issue with LGBT people and that they should "be gay and be proud." He went on to tell Vlad TV that he only has issue with those who hide their identity. But yet as demonstrated by the Instagram post below, he has no problem with resorting to using homophobic jokes to pick on Meek Mill.
As the mess between these two rappers plays out on Instagram, the ones who are most negatively affected by it are LGBT hip-hop fans. As Karamo Brown pointed out for The Advocate around this time last year, while writing about gay artist Milan Christopher on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, the issue is not as simple as the played-out false narrative that hip-hop or rappers are more homophobic than artists working in other genres of music.
Rather, Brown notes that artists reflect the culture, which can be homophobic, and that reality shows itself in any genre. Let's not forget homophobic statements made by country singer Blake Shelton, for example. And, Brown mentions, heteronormativity is pretty much a given in pop music.
In 2016, it should no longer be acceptable for artists to resort to homophobic baiting in their music, and if certain artists are engaging in that behavior, then LGBT fans thankfully have alternatives. Take LGBT indie label FutureHood for instance, or queer rappers such as Mykki Blanco, Sylvester, and Cakes da Killa, to name a few.
Or, really, anyone that's not going to use homophobia as a way to drive sales or traffic.