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Gay rapper
exposed as fraud

Gay rapper
exposed as fraud

J.T. LeRoy, watch out. There's a new phony in town.

Gay rapper Caushun was exposed as a fraud when his manager, Ivan Matias, gave an interview to, admitting he wrote and performed all of Caushun's rhymes. Matias also acknowledged that Jason Herndon, who has portrayed Caushun in public, was really a hairdresser with no musical skills.

A few years ago, Caushun was a moderately popular figure in the New York hip-hop scene. Caushun was created when, as a joke, Matias called a hip-hop station and pretended to be a flamboyantly gay rapper. Matias, a straight man, recorded demos and passed them to radio stations as the work of Caushun. The lie snowballed, and Matias enlisted Jason Herndon to portray the public face of Caushun.

Caushun attracted high-profile fans like clothing designer Kimora Lee Simmons, wife of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons. Hernon was Kimora Simmons's hairdresser, and he convinced her he was also Caushun, the talented gay rapper. Caushun was almost signed to Kimora's record label, but after Herndon was arrested for identity theft, the lie started to unravel.

Matias didn't seem necessarily contrite in his interview. He told, "It's business at the end of the day. In the beginning, it was a sting, but I learned that's my job. My job is to make things that people can buy and sell again." (The Advocate)

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