Earlier this month, Kid Cudi called out the hip-hop industry for being the "least outspoken" about gay rights. But yesterday (June 27), fellow rapper Vic Mensa took a step in proving that theory wrong.
He took to Twitter to share with fans and followers his own personal experience with, and connection to, the LGBT community, writing:
"A year ago I remember having a conversation with a family member about LGBT rights. I've always been in support, but I didn't feel personally attached or really feel like it was battle to fight.... It wasn't until a member of my own family revealed to me that they identified as queer this year that it really started to sink in with me. It made me uncomfortable at first. And that's good. We have to be removed from our comfort zone to be able to grow.... I realize now that as a creature of love, the battles of all people fighting to love are also mine. And I will stand with them. Will you?"
And in effort to show his support, Mensa has recruited openly gay rapper Le1f, singer Halsey (who identifies as bisexual), Lil B (who, though straight, released his controversially-titled I'm Gay album back in 2011), and spoken word artist Malik Yusef for "Free Love," a new song that name-checks the various forms of discrimination that today's LGBTQ community currently faces.
Over acoustic guitar strumming, pitch-shifted whistles, a descending two-beat bop, and some synths and keys, the crew alternates verses and covers a range of topics including income inequality, North Carolina's "bathroom bill," the limitations of civil unions and domestic partnerships, gender-neutral clothing, the "free the nipple" movement, gun violence and more, but we've gathered the most moving, hard-hitting, in-your-face, and inspiring lyrics below.
Vic Mensa: "It's a free country, that's unless you love the same sex/ To people with no place to stay, I hope you stay blessed/ You ain't gotta flex that you straight, long as you straight flex"
Vic Mensa: "But lesbians is put parallel with Jeffrey Dahmer/ Eating people, eating pussy, there's a difference, your honor"
Le1f: "So respect my existence, if not expect my resistance/ Nobody needs your permission, stop lettin' bodies hit the floor"
Le1f: "Throwing shade on love is crazy wild/ Who made you the one to judge and put my life on trial?"
Halsey: "You'd rather wrap your son's hands 'round the trigger of a pistol/ Than catch him in the mirror with a motherf—king lipstick"
Halsey: "Crazy white girls say they tryna 'free the nipple'/ But they quiet when somebody pulls a gun on a misfit"
Lil B: "California, we gotta do better than domestic/ Partnerships, they don't got the same benefits"
Lil B: "If they try to make you feel bad from the get-go/ Don't believe 'em 'cause you special"
Malik Yusef: "If you don't like gay marriage, then ni—a don't get gay-married!"