It took only a couple of years for the LGBTQ community to regroup itself. By the early 2010s, a new wave of openly out hip hop musicians began to emerge, spurred in part by the increased visibility and social acceptance of LGBTQ people. It was the time when society had become more accepting of queer people, e.g. same sex marriages became legalised in many countries. But there was also a noticeable shift in the hip hop world.
The scene was becoming more diverse. People from different ethnicities, financial backgrounds, genders became successful hip-hop artists. In addition to that many popular heterosexual artists such as Murs, Macklemore, and Ryan Lewis released LGBTQ-positive songs. Also, mainstream hip-hop stars such as Azealia Banks and Frank Ocean were no longer secretive about their sexual orientation as other hip-hop artists had been only 15 years ago. The Internet played a vital role in the rise of both of these queer hip hop waves. The first wave had came a bit too early. The main platforms the artists use nowadays to reach their audience were just starting out during the first wave, platforms such as youtube, soundcloud.
By the 2010’s these were already the most powerful channels from where people can democratically reach new music. In 2012 New York rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco went viral online with his steamrolling club banger “Wavvy”. Artists such as Le1f and Cakes Da Killa are all over our Soundcloud feeds. The music scene is not so much controlled by the record labels anymore. Musicians who are not able to get contracts with big labels are still able to find an audience. It was Drake who heard queer rapper ILoveMakkonen’s song “Tuesday” and then released a remix of it to social media and it went viral. It is this kind of acceptance and inclusion of the mainstream artists which enables the up and coming artists feel free to express themselves honestly.It is also important to note, that during the first wave often the message was more important than the music quality.
During the second wave the focus has shifted. It was often claimed that the homo hop was not so widely accepted by the mainstream public because the quality was often sacrificed to put more emphasis on the message. This alienated the wider public and made the music more suitable to closed LGBTQ communities. During the second wave the subject of the songs are more focused on more universal subjects. Of course there is disagreement over whether the artist’s sexuality is important when it comes to music. Many argue, that the it is arbitrary to label music made by queer hip hop artists as queer hip hop as it sounds like ordinary hip hop. However others find that hip hop and music world in general has been very exclusive and it is difficult to make it in the industry if you are different.
Thus queer role models are needed to pave the way for new artists and for marginalised audience to find a musician to relate to. It is also important to note that the new generation of young artists have grown up in a society where the public attitudes have changed for the positive towards homosexual people. They have not lived at the time when hip hop music was heavily homophobic, misogynistic and ultra-masculine.