The Hip-Hop community has often been accused of being homophobic, especially in lyrics that are considered anti-gay or gay bashing. But many artists have come out themselves over the last decade or have revealed that family members are part of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more) community.
Diddy has long spoken of the inspiration he got from his uncle, who was gay, to enter the fashion field, which the hip-hop artist-producer did with his successful Sean John clothing brand. Cardi B often talks about her queer sister, Hennessy Carolina, who usually at seen events with the rapper.
Back in 2017, Jay-Z spoke about when his mother, Gloria Carter, came out to him as a lesbian. He even wrote a song about his and her dealing with her sexuality called “Smile.”
“Imagine having to live your life as someone else and you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and protect her kids … [she] didn’t want to embarrass her kids for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and say, ‘I think I love someone…’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story,” Jay-Z said on David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction series on Netflix in 2018.
“I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free. This happened eight months ago when the album was being made. She told me. I made the song the next day,” he says.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian/Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/Society shame and the pain was too much to take,” the 53-year-old Grammy winner rapped in the song “Smile” “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her/I just wanna see you smile through all the hate/Marie Antoinette, baby, let ’em eat cake.”
In the closing verse of the song, Gloria recites a poem celebrating her freeness.
Here are three Hip-Hop artists with an LGBTQ mother or brother.
On June 2, Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria, wed her longtime partner Roxanne Wilshire in Tribeca, New York City.
The celebration was attended by their friends and family including Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé; Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson,; former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland; filmmaker Tyler Perry; and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, People Magazine reported.
The Chicago rapper’s younger brother, fellow artist Taylor Bennett, announced on Twitter in January 2017 that he is bisexual, Billboard reported.
“Growing up I’ve always felt indifferent about my sexuality & being attracted 2 one sex & today I would like to openly come out to my fans,” Bennett wrote. “I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017. #ThankYou.”
Following Taylor’s statement, Chance the Rapper tweeted his support for his little brother: “Love this man right here, through any and all. He has grown into a great man. He’s got God and me behind him, he cannot fail he cannot fall.”
In August 2012, 50 Cent revealed in an interview that his mother, Sabrina, is queer. “Yeah, she liked women. My whole childhood was like that,” the New York rapper revealed during an interview with gossip blogger Perez Hilton. “My mom was a lesbian.”
Photo, Clockwise, Left to Right: Gloria Carter and her partner Roxanne Wilshire, YouTube screenshot, ShukaBwoy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0dVrJyWta8/Jay-Z arrives at a special screening of “The Harder They Fall” at the Shrine, on Oct. 13, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)/Chance the Rapper arrives at the Pre-Grammy Gala on Feb. 4, 2023, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)/50 Cent at the Wireless Music Festival, in Finsbury Park, London, July 9, 2023. (Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)