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international news _ 22nd February, 2007

Brighton Bars Gangsta Rap

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Councillors in Brighton announced this week they’re to introduce bylaws banning all anti-gay and hate packed music from local bars and clubs, including tracks by rap artist 50 Cent and Jamaican ragga star Buju Banton.

"This would give us more power to deal with this awful murder music," licensing chief Jeane Lepper reportedly explained (Brighton Argus).

The council's move came soon after US author Terrance Dean promised to lift the lid on closet gays in American gangsta rap, as his publishers leaked details of his upcoming book 'Hiding in Hip-Hop: Confessions of a Down Low Brother in the Entertainment Industry'.

Press reports this week said the book documents 'the author's life as a closeted homosexual working in the film and music industry and his relationships with other closeted homosexuals—film stars, rap artists, and music producers' with celebrity rappers' identities only thinly disguised.

"Let's put it this way: You'll know who they are," a spokesman for the publisher said, "It's a no-holds-barred look at Hollywood and hip-hop and who's living on the down-low." (Memphis,rap.com)

The topic first emerged last year when US radio DJ Wendy Williams read out an article on her show called Confessions of a Gay Rapper, written by an anonymous rapper, which prompted a whirlwind of speculation on who the star was.

Ms Williams responded by telling listeners 85% of US rap stars are gay, adding that some experiment in return for prestige record deals with others being ‘born gay’, while all hide their true passions.

"The scariest part is that on the surface, everybody is playin' the thugly masculine role real well," she said in an article published on Io.com.

"You would never know they were gay 'cause they are always talkin' bout knockin' niggas out, f**kin' women, getting' high and making money. It is a role they play to keep their deepest secrets from you, the record buying public," she added.

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