Last Saturday Isaiah Rashad hit the stage for Coachella festival and opened his set with a montage of media commentary from earlier this year when video footage leaked that allegedly showed him engaging in sexual acts with men.
The TDE Rapper didn’t say anything else directly about the scandal, and went on to perform a high energy set of some of his latest hits. This being his first public performance since the leaked video was an important moment for Hip Hop culture, which has had an ever present homophobia problem.
Despite initial hurdles, Artists Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator have made significant inroads in helping RnB and Hip Hop audiences more aware and supportive of gay and bisexual artists. More recent examples of artists encouraging the culture to be more open minded include openly gay Rappers Lil Nas X who has been in an ongoing “beef” with Rapper Boosie over his sexuality, and Saucy Santana who has admitted facing challenges in the game for being himself and a belief that his lyrical content would be more embraced if he were a woman.
Since the unfortunate video leak and by extension ‘outing’ Rashad has gained an enormous amount of support from core fans and people all across the sexuality and gender identity spectrum.
There are parts of Hip Hop culture that are still struggling to accept openly gay or bisexual Rappers and pushing back against a new, and ever more sexually fluid generation of talent. Despite the remaining homophobic and misogynistic stigmas in the culture, Isaiah Rashad’s clear determination to continue thriving in the face of it all shines through.