Homo hop—a subcategory of rap that encompasses a queer perspective—hasn't gotten much of a shake in the Windy City, but that's about to change. On Fri., July 21, Johnny Dangerous— one of the best queer rappers around —will perform at HotHouse
and several queer MC's ( including Dangerous ) are the focus of the award-winning documentary Pick Up The Mic, which will be shown at the Chicago Cultural Center on Fri. and Sat., July 21 and 22. Dangerous took time out from his busy schedule to dish about the movie and clear the air concerning Will Smith, among other things.
Nightspots: What exactly is homo hop?
Johnny Dangerous: Homo hop is basically hip-hop from a gay or lesbian point of view.
NS: Who are some of the other top LGBT rappers?
JD: Deep Dickollective, obviously; they've been doing it forever. There's myself, Tori Fixx ( who's also a producer ) , and God Des, who's had the most mainstream success. Her video has been number one on LOGO for about 11 or 12 weeks; she was with mainstream artists like Madonna on that list. Deadlee is another one; he's a hardcore homo cello hip-hop fag from Los Angeles.
NS: You call yourself 'the world's most dangerous faggot MC.'
JD: Correct! I started taking that because, in one of my songs, it says 'the infamous dangerous top faggot MC' and I think someone misquoted and said 'the most dangerous'—and I said 'I'll take that, too!' [ Laughs. ]
NS: Have you heard from any mainstream rappers?
JD: No, surprisingly. I don't think mainstream has still caught on to this whole thing. Of course, there were rumors about rappers being gay so everyone was looking for 'the gay rapper.'
NS: I'm sure that someone is...
JD: Oh God, yes! If you figure that it's 10 percent...
NS: Now what do you think of Kanye West's call for an end to homophobia in hip-hop?
JD: I think it's great and all, but the proof is in the pudding. Put a gay artist on your label or have an openly gay producer on your CD. You can say all this stuff, [ but ] where's the proof?
NS: Tell me about Pic Up The Mic.
JD: It's an extraordinary movie done by director Alex Hinton. He googled 'queer hip-hop' one day and all this stuff came up—and he was amazed that there was this untapped market that no one ever talked about.
I feel that this is history that we're making. There'll be more gay rappers 20 or 30 years from now and this movie is documented proof that this happened—and being a pioneer is amazing. I'm glad I had an opportunity to be in it—and to be a highlight! [ Laughs. ]
NS: I read that one of your idols is Will Smith.
JD: No! I don't know where that came from. This guy asked me what type of music I listened to when I first got into rap, and I was heavily influenced by Salt-N-Pepa, who were out when Will was big with Parents Just Don't Understand. I listened to him when I was younger, but... no.
NS: Tell me about your next CD.
JD: I'm so excited about it, I could just spit. It's called Gayngsta Glam, so I'm puttin' it all in your face. It's definitely something different; it [ uses ] irony and satire. The first CD was angry; this one has more humor and more dance tracks.
See www.johnnydangerous.net and www.pickupthemic.com .