October #75 : Hip-Hop Hope - by LeRoy Whitfield

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents

Vagina Monologues

A Negative Exposure

A Dangerous Age

Dissing Disability Queens

POTUS Priorities

Hat Trick

The Chastity Beltway

Burn in Helms

CALL TO ACTION

Exchange Suit

Piece of Pie

Mama Bear

Naked Eye

Rock Steady

Hip-Hop Hope

The Viral Lode

Rent Checked

D.I.Y. Thoreau

Shingles Scene

The Brits Are Revolting

U.K./U.S. Orals

Chronic Fatigue

Pulp Friction

Snapshots: Rebekka Armstrong

Mailbox

Butt Out

Wart's Up?



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

October 2001

Hip-Hop Hope

by LeRoy Whitfield

He's rap's first openly gay artist, poised to make a much-hyped debut. Will Caushun throw it to the winds for AIDS?

Among hip hop's core fans -- young kids of color -- AIDS stats are rising faster than the profits on a new Jay-Z joint. But the genre's record on AIDS has been, at best, inconsistent. Sure, Eazy-E used his deathbed as a platform to warn his homies and fans, TLC sang hauntingly about AIDS in the song "Waterfall" and Mary J. Blige and Lil' Kim have been hawking lipstick for the MAC AIDS Foundation.

But can Caushun, the 23-year-old Brooklynite who has captured national media attention as hip hop's first openly gay rapper, push the limit to bring the noise about blacks and HIV? "My whole presence in the hip-hop community revolves around my sexuality," Caushun tells POZ. "I'm rhyming about my life as a gay black man. I couldn't do that without talking about AIDS."

On his way to becoming the nation's premier queer lyricist, Caushun was a celebrity hairstylist for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Carmen Electra and Rosie O'Donnell. His fate changed in the summer of 2000 when he began dialing a New York hip-hop radio station and intriguing hosts and listeners by identifying himself as the Gay Rapper, a name he has since trademarked.

Today, after snaring profiles in Newsweek and Vibe as well as the support of industry heavyweights such as Russell Simmons, Caushun is scurrying to lay the final tracks for his much-hyped freshman effort, Proceed With Caushun, and says he's on the verge of inking a landmark record deal. But he's still undecided over whether a song he wrote about taking HIV meds (Caushun is, by the by, HIV negative) will make the final track list. Many gay hip-hop artists, waxing rap-sodic beneath the media and industry's radar for years, are skeptical about their breakout brother actually taking a stand on AIDS. "I wouldn't rely on gay hip hop to address AIDS," says Tim'm West, 29, HIV positive since 1999 and a member of the Bay Area rap group Deep Dick Collective (DDC). "Gay rappers don't always feel a commitment to do that, because of the cliché."

But West concedes that Caushun has potential. "I think he's witty, funny and has a good flow." The album is already full of lyrics sure to cause controversy -- rap's essential ingredient -- like the "Gay Rapper's D-Lite (I Want You)," which has Caushun trying to sex every rapper from Snoop Dogg to Jay-Z, and "Come Out (Gay Pride Anthem)," which begs closeted rappers to come to terms with their sexuality. Still, Caushun is conflicted about how to approach the A-word on wax without sinking his commercial viability. Are mainstream hip-hop heads ready for a queer rapper spewing homoerotica and lamenting about dead homies lost to AIDS? "I'm not trying to be a gay messiah," Caushun says. "I want to talk about AIDS in a way that's natural. Hearing the statistics makes me want to be more creative and tactful in my delivery of the message, not just more adamant about getting it across."




[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    dambitious
    Gone
    New York


    soy_Ric
    Rochester
    New York


    sefarady
    New York
    California


    albsur7436
    San Francisco
    California
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Are you a regular coffee drinker?
Yes
No

Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.