Russell Simmons Says Hip Hop Homophobia Exaggerated

Music icon proclaims "hip hop artists are less homophobic than the rest of society"

Posted: 07/11/2011 12:37 AM EDT
Filed Under Russell Simmons

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has advocated for gay rights and against harsh song lyrics, but he recently came to the hip-hop community's defense about homophobia among artists and gay-bashing lyrics.


"I'm not suggesting there's no homophobia. I'm suggesting that homophobia exists everywhere, and it's horrible," he tells XXL Magazine. "I'm saying that hip-hop artists and the hip-hop community, the poetic community, are less homophobic than the rest of society. Whoever you can think of, hip-hop is less."


"If [rappers] use harsh language or say things that exemplify a truth in our sadness, our sickness in our community, that is shocking," he continues. "That's just reality. They're just dealing with what we're just trying to brush under the rug. They're mirrors of our own sickness."


Do you think he's right that homophobia within the hip-hop community is not as bad as people think it is?

(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)