Le1f Responds to Lord Jamar’s New Yorker Profile

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A recent profile in the New Yorker about Lord Jamar, former Brand Nubian member, has upset many people, one of whom is Le1f. In the piece, Lord Jamar, a self-proclaimed “hip-hop conservative” slams contemporary rappers like Kanye West and Le1f for straying from the genre’s machismo roots, taking issue with their clothing choices and experimental music: “This started with the alpha males. And now it’s being given to the beta males to try to flex their shit.” The piece ends with Jamar’s reaction to Le1f’s “The Late Night With David Letterman” performance – he tweeted “THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!” Now Le1f has responded on his Facebook:

dear Lord Jamar,
Choose your battles. If the whitening of rap is a concern to you, please leave my name out of it. If you think being gay is the same as being white, you are as ignorant as your enemies. I’m darker than you. I’m african. I’m a black man and I experience all the same racism you do, if not more, on top of homophobia, including from black men just like you. Are you proud of being a hateful member of a majority? Rap started out as a creative response to oppression, and no matter my outfit, I know oppressions you will never understand.
All respect,
Le1f

POSTED March 24, 2014 1:05PM IN MUSIC NEWS Comments (16) TAGS: , ,

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COMMENTS

  1. albert ross says:

    Brand Nubian were pains in the butt. Just ask anyone at Arista.

  2. Terrance says:

    I read that article that Lord Jamar did, and he never said “being gay is the same as being white.” I hate when people put words in other people’s mouths. That’s called propaganda in my opinion.

  3. jbk says:

    Terrance, they believe that homosexuality itself is a practice started by white people. they do make connections between whites and gays. the “whitening” and”feminizing” of hiphop go hand in hand in their conspiracy theory. sorry im not very good at explaining this. I don’t like to even put myself in their fd up mindset. just because he didnt say it that way, its still the way he thinks.

  4. Dion says:

    Terrance: no, Jamar didn’t explicitly compare homosexuality to whiteness, but it’s pretty clear he views both of them just as critically and think they’re both equally destructive to hip-hop. So on that point, I think you missed the point of Le1f’s response.

    Jamar is obviously an old-school homophobe who is stuck in outdated paradigms of what “manhood” is (this talk of “alpha” and “beta” males was childish and silly…I’d expect that from a teenager or a twenty-something, not a grown man)…and in that case, he is very much a “conservative”, in the political sense of the word. If he wasn’t a homophobe, he should have been able to at least embrace Le1f, for actually being black, and yes, homosexual, too. There are many retrogressive themes that hip-hop would only benefit and evolve from letting go of (materialism and misogyny being a few), and homophobia has long been one of them. If he can’t even embrace a fellow black man in hip-hop just because he’s gay, what does that say about Jamar’s sorry state of mind? It shows he’s prejudiced and hateful, that’s what. Makes me wonder what he thought of Lil’ B’s “I’m Gay” album. Le1f’s homosexuality isn’t some conspiracy by white people, like Jamar might want to believe, like Le1f is some gay Trojan horse in hip-hop planted by white people; believe it or not, some people are just gay, period. It has nothing to do with pushing a so-called “homosexual agenda”, or pushing a conspiracy to “whiten” hip-hop; it’s just who they are, and people should be free to be who they are without fear of backlash or violence.

    I agree with Jamar on the current state of hip-hop being in the toilet with the likes of Kanye and Mackelmore, but his obvious homophobia and one-dimensional “Mad Men” view of manhood is disgusting and inexcusable. As long as he holds despicable views like that, he will never be considered hip-hop’s future, only its past.

  5. BUTCHCRAFT says:

    YES DION! YES!

  6. THE REAL ONE says:

    Respect to Lord Jamar. Le1f beat it with that nonsense. they’re destroying Hip-Hop and your helping. Gay is not natural, period point blank. You were a black man, now your something else.
    Enough said !

  7. Jay Solomom says:

    Lmao really THE REAL ONE his being gay doesn’t change the color of his skin. That was the dumbest response . He’s still a black man even if you don’t like it. What yall need to be talking about is how black people still slaves to a religion that a white man gave them.

  8. Joanna says:

    Thank you JAY SOLOMON!!! Black people are sooo embarrassing. SMDH. Not my kind of black! Get away from me-I’m educated, open minded, successful and non judgmental, like many blacks I know.

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  11. real niggas says:

    gay or not, men need to be men

    fuck outta here with this female shit. i stopped paying attention to what rappers do other than rap. thug’s dope but i cant fuck with the dresses and skirts and shit. cmon black people. cmon all people.

  12. ba says:

    Hmmm. What does Lord Jamar think of 1981 Tom Tom Club’s Wordy Rappinghood, or Blondie’s Rapture?… maybe that was JUST THE BEGINNING? Or maybe 1977 White German Kraftwerk samples in Afrika Bambaataa’s 1982 Planet Rock was JUST THE BEGINNING?

  13. tyler says:

    The most disappointing thing to me is that I’ve always seen Brand Nubian as important innovators in the medium. Here with Le1f we have one of the most original artists working in the medium in a good while. I always hope to here past heroes of a genre praise new growth. Le1f is such a great rapper- I hate to see an important moment in his career be met by something like this.

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  16. ssstop says:

    men can be whatever they want, real niggas. if men not acting macho makes you feel uncomfortable then you have some deeply seated issues.