The Quiet Revolution of Rap Music and LGBT Rights

The relationship between hip hop artists and the LGBT community has been historically strained—to say the least. Offensive slurs—targeted at gay young men in particular—have manifested in popular songs going back to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message." But as public opinion on issues such as marriage equality shifts, so too has the prevalence of homophobic lyrics in rap.

Analysts at Rapalytics, a website that analyzes and interprets popular music, looked at more than 10,000 songs from 150 prominent artists in the last 25 years (from 1987 to 2013) and found that homophobia seems to be declining in the rap world. The genre reached an apex of lyrical homophobia during the gangster-rap era of the late-1990s into the early-2000s.

Homophobia in Rap

If you take Eminem (Marshall Mathers) out of the equation—which Rapalytics has, omitting the fact that the controversial rapper "performed live on stage with Elton John and endorsed marriage equality"—then the statistics are even more impressive. "So is Eminem really the most homophobic rapper?" the website asks. "Not really!"

Generally speaking, misogyny has been well-represented in hip hop culture; but unlike recent trends concerning sexual orientation in rap, gender-based discrimination is actually on the rise:

Rap and Misogyny Homophobia

By breaking down the number of profanities used per 15,000 words in rap lyrics, the website developed a list of "rappers ranked by homophobia that have at least 15,000 words processed by Rapalytics." The results might surprise you.

Top 10 Rappers Homophobic Lyrics