Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg) is a legend in the rap world. Everyone, even grandma, knows who he is. In the past 20 years, the rapper has branded himself well enough to be a household name.
In a recent interview with UK publication The Guardian, Snoop shares his views on a few social issues. One particular issue that Snoop touches is his current views on gay marriage, and says he supports it.
The interviewer, Simon Hattenstone, proceeds to ask Snoop his views on Frank Ocean coming out as bisexual. His response was "Frank Ocean ain't no rapper. He's a singer. It's acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don't know if it will ever be acceptable because rap is so masculine.
"It's like a football team," Snoop continued. "You can't be in a locker room full of motherfucking tough-ass dudes, then all of a sudden say, 'Hey, man, I like you.' You know, that's going to be tough."
So why is homosexuality only acceptable for R&B singers, and why is rap comparable to football? Is it really a genre that is so macho that only the manliest of men can do it?
Jack Freeman is a sultry singer from Houston who has given performances with an audience of women only. Rocks Off recently had a chat with the ex-college football player (who is straight) to get his thoughts on what Snoop had to say.
Rocks Off: What's your take on what Snoop said about R&B singers being more accepted for being openly gay?
Jack Freeman: For starters, the stigma of being gay in the music industry, whether we know it's true or not, the accusation will come up anyway. When artists are really successful a few things can be said about them.
They are either gay, taking steroids or a part of some secret society that no one has ever heard of. Now it's to the point where it's not even about the music anymore people care more about the artist's personal life. Hip-Hop and R&B music has a lot of growing up to do.
RO: Do you think Snoop was being old-fashioned with that comment?
JF: Yes, in a sense, but times are changing, because five or six years ago it wasn't cool for 40-year-olds to be still rapping, but he is very successful at what he does. Snoop is legendary. I kind of want to believe that he doesn't agree with the comment he made, because the the hip-hop world is quite homophobic.
RO: How did you feel about the homophobic responses from males who were once fans after Frank Ocean's coming out?
JF: Many guys out here are overlooking Frank's talent. They fail to understand that real life doesn't afford you to be morally responsible when it's convenient for you. These are the same guys that once said Frank's music was live, but now they can't play it because he's gay.
RO: Why is there such a stigma behind R&B singers being "soft"? What makes rap so masculine?
JF: Many of these singers are dancing and doing things that are known today as feminine, like showing emotions. Chris Brown can pop-lock, dance his ass off and get all the ladies only to be accused of being gay.
On the other hand, no one ever questions -- just as an example -- if Gucci Mane or Rick Ross likes boys. It's about the music, and people should care about that more.
RO: Miguel mentioned in another interview that Ocean's announcement overshadowed his music. Do you feel that way?
JF: It does, because we are in an age where people crave information. People are addicted to the Internet, and I even tweeted if they could find out what type of toilet paper Jay-Z and Beyonce used that it would make the news. I'm glad Frank expressed who he was but I just don't like the fact that his sexuality is what he'll be known for more than his music.
RO: As someone who used to play football, how did Snoop's comment about the locker room make you feel?
JF: That's going to end very soon because football players will not wait until they retire to come out. Football is a very manly sport, though, and the mentality of people is something like a gay man will never bench-press, run or throw better than a straight man. When in all actuality some of the best players just might be gay.
HP: Lastly, do you think guys downplay the manliness of R&B singers because they are jealous of all the women they get?
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JF: Of course, they feel threatened. Not everybody can sing. You can train to be a good athlete or study to be a great doctor or lawyer, but with singing it's either you got it or you don't. That bothers some people, so they will accuse us of being soft or gay to take the attention off of the talent.