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Hip-Hop's Anti-Gay Tone Shifting After Frank Ocean's Coming Out

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Associated Press
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August 23, 2012
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Snoop Dogg has rapped in songs where gay slurs have been tossed about.

He's even said them, part of a long list of rappers who have freely used the f-word – the other f-word – in rhyme.

For years, anti-gay epithets and sentiments in rap have largely been accepted, along with its frequent misogyny and violence, as part of the hip-hop culture – a culture that has been slow to change, even as gays enjoy more mainstream acceptance, particularly in entertainment.

But while perhaps glacial, a shift appears to be on the horizon.

"People are learning how to live and get along more, and accept people for who they are and not bash them or hurt them because they're different," Snoop Dogg said in a recent interview.

Frank Ocean may be largely responsible for that. The rising star, who revealed on his blog last month that his first love was a man, is technically an R&B singer. But he has produced and collaborated with some of music's top hip-hop acts, from Jay-Z to Andre 3000 to Kanye West to Nas. He's also co-written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber and John Legend, and is a member of the alternative rap group Odd Future.