Tag Archives: Out Rapper

‘Sisterhood of Hip Hop’ is Back, And So Will Out Rapper Siya

Like country music, the rap music industry has a bit of a bad reputation as being homophobic. Many rappers will regularly use the f-slur or use their lyrics to degrade and ridicule gay people, seemingly for comedic effect.

Rap music is also regarded as a hostile place for women too as although Nicki Minaj is a household name (with the bars and sales to back it up) she is one of few and a quick glance at the comments sections in article about her will show you that she is often criticised more harshly than her male counterparts.

The rapper has also said herself that some men don’t want to sing along to her songs because, despite her phenomenal talent, they fear it will make them look weak.


Consider New York-based rapper Siya a bit of a double whammy then. She considers herself to be “the first openly gay female in the industry” yet despite the chips being stacked against her, she is rapidly rising through the ranks with catchy jams like ‘Real MVP’ (which is a love song of sorts) captivating listeners.

She’s used to tough situations and male dominated groups though as Siya first turned to rap when she was just 7 years old, having to deal with the struggles of a drug-addicted mother and an absent father at the time. Siya also explains that she “grew up very closely with other people from my ‘hood and we were knuckleheads as far as hustling and getting into trouble. I was one of the few females hanging with a bunch of dudes.”

Siya is also adamant about being a role model in the industry too, saying that:

“I’m very open about my sexuality. I make it clear because I’m not ashamed, nor am I afraid of what other people might say or think. For me to not conform to how they want us to be, act or look, I think I do a great job being an idol for little girls.

Women don’t need to strip down to succeed in the music business, she added, which is why you won’t find her wearing skimpy outfits in any of her videos. I want to show them it’s OK to do something better than a man and not have to take your clothes off. I think that’s a very powerful statement.

If your music is dope, it’ll speak for itself.”

The swathes of positive comments from fans on Siya’s social media profiles demonstrate exactly how much of a role model she is proving to be. As a returning cast member on the upcoming season of Sisterhood of Hip Hop (a show that documents how five female rappers are breaking through in the industry) which will air on Oxygen later this year, that positive reach is only go to be so much wider.

Siya released a mixtape in January and her debut album S.T.I.L.L will be released soon.

Rapper Angel Haze Records Coming Out Freestyle to ‘Same Love’ Beat.

Rapper, Angel Haze has just released her own unique version of ‘Same Love’ – one of the biggest LGBT themed songs to be released ever – and boy is her version powerful, raw and honest.

Haze, who identifies as pansexual and eschews gender pronouns in her music, always exhibits an insatiable thirst for authenticity and a take-no-prisoners attitude, making her rapid-fire rhymes all the more compelling.

She is currently dating model Ireland Baldwin (the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger). The couple made their red carpet debut at the MTV Movie Awards in August last year, since dating rumours begun months before. They have since been outspoken about her relationship, supporting each other the long away.xcvbnmnb

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116460209″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

At age 13 my mother knew I wasn’t straight
she didn’t understand but she had so much to say
she sat me on the couch looked me straight in my face
and said you’ll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS
it’s funny now but at 13 it was pain
to be almost sure of who you are and have it ripped away
and i’m sorry if it’s too real for some of you to fathom
but hate for who you love is not exactly what you’d imagine
and i guess it was disastrous
cause everything that happened afterwards was just madness
locked away for two years to keep me on the inside
because she’d rather see a part of me die than me thrive
and it’s tougher when it’s something you can’t deny
and ignorance teaches us it’s something that you decide
you’re driven by your choice is an optical illusion
here’s to understanding that it’s not always confusion

Angel Haze

Watch the original – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft Mary Lambert

Azealia Banks Defends Use of F-Slur, Says Gay Men Are ‘More Misogynistic’

The use of slurs in popular culture is a subject that often draws heavy debate. On the one hand, many people say that if we keep using the words and ‘reclaim’ them then people would have nothing to get upset about, whereas other people feel that once something is established as a pejorative term it will always be a pejorative term and we should stop using them.

One thing is certain though and that’s that slurs can cause offense. This is something that Harlem-based rapper Azealia Banks learnt the hard way after calling notorious blogger Perez Hilton a “f****t” during a Twitter spat.

In an interview with The Guardian, Banks told the publication that although she doesn’t regret using the term, she’ll “never do it again, because [she doesn’t] care enough about the person to have the battle again and defend my use of the word faggot.”

She then added:

“A lot of gay men are way more misogynistic than straight men. The s**t they say about women behind their backs, it’s like, ‘Wow, oh my God!’ You can be a straight faggot, you can be a gay faggot. A faggot is anybody that hates women.”

It’s like, y’all sing along to my words when I’m saying n***a and ****, but as soon as I call this one white man a faggot the whole world exploded.

Listen, I didn’t say all gay men are faggots; I said Perez Hilton is a faggot, so don’t try and bring the rest of the gays down with your faggotry.”

Azealia Banks

While it’s hard to argue with her feeling that gay men are more misogynistic than straight men – gay men’s misogyny has long been an issue in the female LGBT community – it’s not hard to see why someone would be staunchly against her defence of the word “f****t”.

As someone who is an out and proud bisexual woman, Banks has stated on several occasions that she couldn’t possibly be a homophobe yet even so, should she really be using such a potent slur? It’s been used for many years to insult and disgrace gay men and so at the bare minimum only other gay men should be able to say it.

Banks herself notes that listeners of her music sing along and say the n-word, taking some issue at it, so she clearly understands that there’s a right and a wrong for who can say which words. It is unfortunate that such a vocal LGBT ally doesn’t understand why this is a contentious issue but as she’s booted it from her dictionary (at least in public anyway) let’s hope we don’t hear the f-slur from her again.

SIYA is the Mainstream Lesbian Rapper You’ve Been Looking For

As it stands, we have yet to see a lesbian rapper in the mainstream music industry. Contrary to popular belief, female MC du jour Angel Haze isn’t a lesbian (she’s pansexual) and despite well publicised rumours touted by the tabloids and the media, Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot aren’t ‘openly’ gay either.

It means that there’s a glaring lack of representation and a missed opportunity too. There are already plenty of rap songs out there about women, but when it comes to shared experiences, only a lesbian would be able to relate to the hardships of being a lesbian. But, up and coming rapper SIYA could be this very voice.

A cast member of The Sisterhood of Hip Hop (which began airing on Oxygen in August), Siya joins four other talented hopefuls (Bia, Nyemiah Supreme, Diamond and Brianna Perry) as they “navigate their way through the male-dominated music industry.” Produced by T.I the show has featured everyone from DJ Khaled, Pharrell, Eve, Rick Ross and Lil Jon just to name a few, each of them helping the women breakthrough and breathe a fresh, female perspective into the rap genre.

SIYA is one to watch for queer viewers of the show not just because of her unashamed sexuality (she’s openly gay and one of her mixtapes was even called D.Y.K.E) but because of her raw talent. Whether she’s rapping about her ‘Real M.V.P’ and why her lady love deserves some trophies or ‘I’m Gone’ which discusses both the high life and the struggle with honesty, SIYA’s bars are brilliants and her beats are catchy.

There’s no skirting across the issues here and just like Drake’s branded style of music, things are emotional and relatable and with tracks like these it’s really no wonder why SIYA was named one of “10 New York rappers to watch for”.




Comeback Queen – The Rise and Fall of Azealia Banks

The world of hip-hop is notorious for being a haven of misogyny and laced with homophobia. However, in 2012 Azealia Banks took a stand and publicly admitted she was bisexual.

However, cut to one year later and the LGBT friendly artists caused mass controversy by using a number of homophobic slurs on twitter. First, she battled with then rising rapper Angel Haze, in a spat where her insults were strongly transphobic. She then picked a fight with gossip blogger Perez Hilton and resorted to homophobic insults. Her behaviour caused a massive media backlash and her Twitter account was cancelled.

Move forward in time and she was released from her contract with Interscope/Polydor. She was signed to the label for two years, but they didn’t release her debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste.

Now in 2014 and Azealia hopes to release those songs on her own label, and move on with her life.

She has a new single out – ‘Heavy Metal and Reflective’, which comes with a new video. A video where Azealiais driven out into the desert and left to die alone of thirst, which shows some awareness of the state of her career given the roll she was on two summers ago.

“I’ve literally just been sitting here waiting to get off the label. For awhile it was like, ‘What is she doing? She’s here, she’s there, she’s doing this, she’s saying this. When is the album coming out?’ So I’m really happy to get this project off. Cause I’ve already started working on a bunch of new stuff.

I’m still connected to the [Broke With Expensive Taste] music, but I’m still somewhere else, with these other projects, because I know how quickly I like to move and my fan base likes to move. So I’m halfway, like one foot in Broke With Expensive Taste and one foot in the next project, and having all these other ideas. But I’m just happy that I can do whatever I want now.”

Azealia Banks

Watch Azealia Banks’ ‘Heavy Metal and Reflective’ video:

Oxygen’s New Reality Series Sisterhood of Hip Hop Includes Out Rapper SIYA

Oxygen Media introduces the next generation of female emcees in the new reality series, “Sisterhood of Hip Hop” – #SisterhoodofHipHop , which includes up-and-coming out rapper SIYA.

Discovered and mentored by the biggest names in hip hop, the new hip-hop stars – Bia, Brianna Perry, Diamond, Nyemiah Supreme and Siya each bring a unique voice and style to the table. The eight episode series will also include appearances by hip hop icons, mentors and friends such as Eve, Lil Jon, Travie McCoy, Rick Ross, Tank, and Irv Gotti among others.

With Grammy-Award winning recording artist T.I. serving as Executive Producer, along with Christian Sarabia, Rabih Gholam and Roy Orecchio, this new series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the music business and what happens when women want to change the game to root for each other and not against each other. Despite the sacrifices they often make in their personal lives, these “femcees” are determined to succeed, but not at the cost of the sisterhood they have built while overcoming the barriers and challenges that come with a rise to stardom.

“The talented artists featured in ‘Sisterhood of Hip Hop’ are vibrant characters that will resonate with Oxygen’s young, female viewers. The optimistic and empowering nature of the show is truly unique and we look forward to rooting for each woman’s success and giving fans the opportunity to follow along on their journey.”

Rod Aissa, SVP, Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media.


Born in California and raised in Bed-Stuy, a legendary Brooklyn hotbed of influential hip hop music, Siya overcame many challenges early on including a drug-addicted mother and incarcerated father, as well as her own run-ins with the law. Siya’s true support came from her grandmother who took her in, but also from the streets of Bed-Stuy. Music became an outlet for her and after moving to Atlanta to pursue her dream, she eventually built a rep for herself and caught the attention of many major labels and well-known artists. While some people in the industry were afraid of how an openly gay female rapper would fit in the genre, Siya remained determined and refused to compromise who she is, always staying true to her own unique voice and style. One of Complex magazine’s rappers to watch out for in 2012, word around the industry is that Siya is the next big thing.