Love is love, y’all. The U.S. Supreme Court agrees. Yesterday, June 26th, 2013, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment. DOMA was signed into law 17 years ago by Bill Clinton, and defined the term “spouse” as a member of a heterosexual marriage. It also called for non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal benefit-related purposes. Now that DOMA is dead, same-sex couples will be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples – on a state AND federal level. For “Throwback Thursday,” we decided to revisit our Duck Hunt article from Mass Appeal Issue #40 dealing with the phrase “No Homo.” Check out the article below and let us know if you think the same homophobic sentiments expressed in hip hop culture are still prevalent.
Have you ever found it really hard (no homo) to get something off your chest (no homo) without paranoid homophobia (no…homo?) derailing your every thought (maybe not this time…do you think? Really?…okay, just in case: no homo.)? Here at Mass Appeal, it’s gotten awful tough for the manly men who bring you this quality product to even communicate the witty, clever and painfully slept-on ideas that keep you fiending issue after issue. With the zeitgeist of a generation, the only member of literary cannon still in print—that’s right, Mass Appeal magazine—on the line, you must be racking your brain—what could possibly be the root of such tragedy? Simply put, Cameron Giles.
You see, in the late ’90s, a phenomenon started in New York. It involved the tacking on of “A-Yo” after any statement, which caused an awkward silence, often between a man and a woman. Yes, hetero. Finally, there was a solution to those awkward situations we all dread—sitting down for a tasty chicken dinner at your friend’s house, exclaiming, “Mmmm, Mrs. Yetnikoff, your breasts are so succulent!” “A-Yo” soon gave way to the more literal “Pause,” as if to say, “Stop right there. I know what you’re about to think, and…No.” That’s when things started to get kind of, well…gay.
Where as “A-Yo” and “Pause” began as a way to diffuse a moment of awkwardness, saying “No Homo” became a preemptive strike of insecurity. While the phrase grew organically from insecure homophobes in New York, it was undoubtedly popularized nation-wide by Killa Cam, with early recorded references like, “I sat in the cell with thugs / One year, eight months, still felt the love—no homo.” The phrase soon gave license to the most macho, muscle-bound MCs to threaten to get in that ass and demand that you suck his dick. Finally! You can say gay things and be vehemently homophobic at the same time.
Yo, I just got back from the docks and I kept running into mad sea men. No homo. My skin is looking real fucked up; my girl says I need a facial. Nullus. At the beach near the naval base I kept getting splashed in the face by mad sea men. No Homo.
It was funny at first, when it referred to an illogical occurrence. But then it got absurd because people would use it on anything. Example: Yo, I just had dinner with my man, no homo. Yo, last night I was making out with this girl. No homo. That’s a nice shirt. No homo. That avocado definitely looks ripe. No Homo. Girls have even started saying “no homo” to negate a potentially heterosexual comment (which is a bit like when the whites refer to British black people as “African-Americans”).
Nowadays, we need to embrace complexity and be secure. Besides being amazingly homophobic…Stop acting like 10-year-old boys. Stop avoiding the nuts aisle at the supermarket.
Pharrell is perfectly comfortable stating that he is known to “swallow guys.” Biggie would gladly suck daddy’s dick to get to his daughter.
Lines in hip hop that could have used a no homo. Because let’s face it…that shit is gay.
Illustrations by Cycle