Everyone remembers Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV VMAs. Less memorable, though equally enjoyable, was Missy Elliott busting on stage to spit a few lines of "Work It" after the pop-star trio swapped spit. After the performance, The Guardian asked Missy why she didn't partake in the snogging. "No, no, no," writer Hattie Collins quoted saying while nearly choking on her food. "Hip hop would never do that. Never, never, never in a million years."
Sorry, Missy. But not only is hip hop "doing that," but acclaimed MCs are rapping about loving, kissing and doing a whole lot more with lovers who happen to be the same sex. Artists like Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco, Angel Haze, Le1f and more are making waves in the hip hop community despite not adhering to traditional gender and sexuality norms.
Get to know 12 badass queer acts carving out a place in hip hop culture.
Birth Name: Freddie Ross
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Big Freedia is known as the queen of bounce music, the frenetic hip hop genre from New Orleans. She solidified her place in booty-shaking history when she led the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for Most People Twerking Simultaneously last fall. She's collaborated with RuPaul in the studio (listen to their addictive 2012 single "Peanut Butter") and opened for The Postal Service and Matt & Kim.
This year, her Fuse reality show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce won the 2014 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Program. Catch the season 2 premiere on June 11 at 11/10c. Find Fuse in your area with our channel finder.
She's currently prepping her new album, Just Be Free, which features Diplo and, believe it or not, Missy Elliott.
Badass Quote: "I wear women’s hair and carry a purse, but I am a man," she told OffBeat.com in 2011. "I answer to either 'he' or 'she.'"