The world of hip hop has traditionally been seen as unwelcoming towards LGBTQ artists. But in recent years, a number of prominent gay rappers have found success while breaking down barriers. Though the industry still has progress to make, these 11 openly gay MCs represent increased acceptance and inclusivity in rap music.
Here We Go with 11 Famous Gay Rappers
1. Lil Nas X
No gay rapper has achieved more mainstream popularity than Lil Nas X. The Georgia-born artist rose to fame in 2019 with his country trap smash “Old Town Road.” Subsequent hits like “Panini” and “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” further cemented him as hip hop’s biggest queer icon. Beyond making great music, Lil Nas X’s openness about his sexuality through things like his “pregnancy” photoshoot has pushed hip hop culture forward.
This trailblazing NYC rapper gained buzz in the underground scene with mixtapes like 2012’s Dark York. His unique flow and avant-garde production stood out in a genre not used to openly gay artists. Le1f collaborated with artists like Dev Hynes before releasing acclaimed albums Riot Boi (2015) and Rain Forest (2020). Openly addressing his sexuality and experiences in songs like “Boom,” Le1f remains one of the most influential gay rappers in the game.
3. Cakes Da Killa
With a ferocious flow and raw, raunchy lyrics, Cakes Da Killa burst onto the indie rap scene in the early 2010s. His mixtapes like The Eulogy (2011) drew critical praise for their musicality and Cakes’ talent for wordplay. While some find his overtly sexual bars controversial, Cakes Da Killa does it on his own terms as an openly gay MC. His gift for rhyme schemes even led to collaborations with artists like Prodigy and Azealia Banks.
4. Brooke Candy
This provocative LA-based rapper and singer has never shied away from her pansexual identity. After her 2012 stripper anthem “Das Me” went viral, Candy released the abrasive track “Opulence” in 2013. Her defiant attitude and brash lyrics consistently address sexuality and gender. Redefining female empowerment in hip hop, Candy incorporates burlesque, shock value, and other elements into her Kalifornia Klassskult style. Check out more interesting topics at our Blog.
5. Mykki Blanco
The innovative Mykki Blanco combines performance art and experimental rap sounds to create socially-conscious music. Born Michael Quattlebaum Jr., Blanco adopted a female persona early in her/their career while also identifying as a gay man. Tracks like “The Forced” tackle complex issues like homophobia and violence over dark, grimy beats. Recognized for her gender-bending wardrobe and high fashion looks, Mykki Blanco remains one of rap’s true trailblazers.
This Atlanta-based rapper and singer burst onto the scene in 2014 with his infectious hit “Tuesday” (featuring Drake). The single was a viral smash, showcasing ILoveMakonnen’s genre-bending sound that blended hip hop and R&B. After publicly coming out as gay in 2017, Makonnen encountered some backlash from fans. But he continues releasing catchy, introspective tracks like “Spendin’” true to himself.
7. Fly Young Red
Buzzing out of Houston, this dirty rapper gained a following online for raunchy bangers like “Throw That Boy P***y.” His fearless embrace of his sexuality led to collabs with heavyweights like Lil Kim and Juicy J. Later, his song “Look Like You” became a queer anthem. Never afraid of controversy, Young Red’s provocative style tests hip hop’s comfort zones when it comes to gay artists.
8. Big Dipper
One of the first openly gay rappers with national exposure, Big Dipper debuted in the late 80s with collaborations with hip hop icon Kool Moe Dee. Later, he carved his own lane within the LGBTQ hip hop community with albums like 1991’s Big Dipper & The Whole Scene. His upfront lyrics and funky old school flow made Dipper a celebrated gay rap pioneer.
This West Coast rapper has repped the LGBTQ community hard since debuting in the 1990s. His 2007 album Assault with a Deadlee Weapon featured possibly rap’s first openly gay MC dissing Eminem for anti-gay lyrics. Never compromising, Deadlee merges unapologetic queerness with in-your-face rap skills. His King of Free Speech mixtape series promotes social justice causes and keeps old school hip hop vibes alive.
10. Young M.A
After her hit “Ooouuu” went viral in 2016, this Brooklyn-born MC has become one of rap’s most popular lesbian artists. Young M.A’s gritty lyrics and nimble flow on tracks like “Walk” dazzle without overemphasizing her sexuality. However, songs like “She Like I Like It” openly embrace her identity as a gay woman. Signed to Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers label, Young M.A’s talent places her among contemporary rap’s finest lyricists.
This rising MC from Brooklyn is pushing boundaries as a gay woman in hip hop’s male-dominated landscape. After her mixtape run, Siya dropped acclaimed album SIYAvsSIYA in 2018 showcasing her skilled wordplay and soulful vibe. Songs like “Chosen” tackle her sexuality and identity with clever rhymes and infectious melodies. As one of NYC’s top queer rappers, Siya continues forging her own path.
The contributions of openly gay artists have enriched hip hop’s tapestry. Though the genre still contains offensive elements, these rappers have boldly forged ahead while expanding possibilities. Their music tackles complex themes of identity, sexuality, and self-acceptance over cutting-edge production. A part from Gay you might be intereste to kno more about mexican rappers and atlanta rappers. By succeeding on their own terms, gay MCs like Lil Nas X and Cakes da Killa challenge preconceptions and bring well-deserved representation to queer communities. The talent and artistry of these 11 rappers exemplifies how diversity strengthens hip hop.
FAQs About Gay Rappers
Who was the first openly gay rapper?
Many consider Caushun to be the first openly gay rapper to attract mainstream attention with his 2000 single “Loaded Luxury.” Hip hop pioneer Big Dipper paved the way even earlier as an openly gay MC in the late 80s and early 90s.
Is Frank Ocean a rapper?
Though Frank Ocean blends rapping into his alternative R&B style at times, he is primarily known as an R&B singer and songwriter. So while a groundbreaking queer artist, Ocean is not considered an openly gay rapper.
Who was the first female gay rapper?
MC Lyte was rumored in the 90s to be secretly gay, but never officially came out. More recently, Siya, Young M.A, Brooke Candy, and artists like OOLY have broken new ground as openly lesbian rappers.
How did Lil Nas X come out as gay?
In 2019 during Pride Month, Lil Nas X tweeted indications he was gay while “cakes by the ocean” was trending. He later officially came out on the last day of Pride Month by tweeting his song “C7osure.”
What rapper came out as gay in 2021?
In September 2021, Florida rapper Saucy Santana came out publicly as gay in a tweet. He’d previously faced false rumors about his sexuality before embracing it.