What is so shocking about this story is not the comedic salacious details, but how it was all handled…
For those of you who don’t watch mtvU or live in a dorm, Asher Roth has been rocking stages this past year with his crowd pleasing brand of stoner college boy rap. He sorta had a “hit” with campus fave “I Love College” but the only things that really caught my ear from his debut Asleep In The Bread Aisle besides the album cover were his collabos with Busta and Keri Hilson. Hip Hop message boards didn’t exactly light up when this gay rumor started spreading, but a few blogs did run the story. In what seems like something from the limited imagination of a bored 14-year old with allegiances to Eminem, the word on the street was that Asher was going to come out on E! News over the holidays after having recently attended a gay rights parade with Lady Gaga, Clay Aiken, and Michael Stipe.
Roth also moved to “a gay section” of NYC, was outed as “the gay rapper” in a recent book about hip hop’s down low culture, and was dropped from his record label so went the rest of this ridiculous litany of stupidity. And while a typical chest beating, alpha male, “I love p*ssy” response would’ve been expected from a rapper who is the subject of gay rumors, something refreshing and encouraging happened. Asher responded with an unexpected classy, mature, and thought-provoking statement which read:
“I hate to disappoint and take away the entertainment of it all but I am straight, not gay. It’s disheartening to know such news on someone’s personal life can be portrayed as fact with no viable source. This, to me, is an opportunity to expose our vulnerability to lies and manipulation through unprofessional and irresponsible news outlets, in which people consider TRUTH. Further, someone’s sexual orientation should NEVER be big news, as it delivers a troubling message to children that they can’t be themselves without fear of judgement. Race, creed, and sexual persuasion should not just be tolerated but understood and accepted. It’s extremely disappointing that this topic would be used with the intention of being hurtful. We are near 2010….2010!! Yet race, sex and religion still play a major role in a hate-driven society.For the love of the future and humanity….let’s wake up.”
I’m not sure how much of this is him, but his publicist deserves a raise as of yesterday. With so much negative press often being written about hip hop and its cliched jail bound performers gladly doing the stereotype shuffle, how dope is it that there are artists that will side step an opportunity to spout ignorance and instead preach a message of tolerance, love, and respect?
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