Rapper Lil Uzi Vert is making an effort to prove he isn't gay -- rightfully so.
Lil Uzi Vert has released the long awaited Pink Tape. On a couple tracks Grammy nominated artist put their foot down on the heavily circulating rumors regarding their sexuality. The initial surmise of Uzi’s private life began in 2022 after they changed their pronouns (he/him to they/them). Moreover, Uzi introduced their alter ego “Leslie” paired with various androgynous outfits posted to their Instagram.
“Flooded the Face”, the album’s opening track, immediately denounces the speculations.
“First of all, I f*ck eight b*tches a day, How could you ever say Lil Uzi gay? / F*ck four of ’em raw, f*ck four of ’em safe, Think I’m splittin’ the odds before you to debate.”
If you listen to Uzi’s catalog, you’d quickly learn he’s quite comfortable discussing the details of his sex life, nevertheless, Uzi directly addresses the rumors for the first time.
On June 25, at the 2023 BET Awards, Uzi debuted the song “Spin Again”, — also featured on “The Pink Tape”— where he doubles down on the claims about his sexuality.
"She had a lil 'fro, she look like Ice Spice / She call me lil' bro, fuckin' on models in Vogue / N****s, they thought I was gay, but I do not know how to vogue."
In an interview with 032 Magazine, Uzi attributed their wardrobe decisions to be strictly designer-led and not an act of bravery, as well as expressing admiration of queer artists and creatives.
“Bravery has only a ten percent chance of living. I’m not brave at all. I just think good product is good product", they said. "Think about fashion: gay and trans designers are some of the biggest talents out there, and gangster-ass guys wear their stuff without a thought. What you make is what matters, not how you identify.”
Often times there is a conversation surrounding homophobia that exists within the black community. While Uzi has admitted to being heterosexual, it doesn't totally eliminate the queer themes presented in his image and the likelihood he could be treated as if he were, in fact, a homosexual.
Excerpts from a Frontiers research article provide some insight into the issue:
"Numerous communities perceive homosexuality as “something that white people do” and “blacks should not do” (Carbado, 2001, p. 250). Consequently, identifying as LGB clashes with what it means to be black within many of these communities (King, 2004).
Since the 1960s rap and dancehall music and culture have reified this philosophy and reinforced the belief that homosexuality is an attribute of white ethnicity and western culture (Carbado, 2001).
For this reason some scholars describe dancehall and rap music as ideological weaponry that reinforce Caribbean socio-cultural anxieties in the form of colorism and homophobia (Dawe, 2004; Nelson and Melles, 2010; McGinley and Cooper, 2012).
Uzi is aggressive in the confirmation his sexuality because it’s an ongoing battle for not just him, but many persons of color. The battle to be yourself, and nothing more. Pink Tape was released on Friday (June 30), after two years of several delays.
The project features Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Don Toliver Babymetal, and Bring The Horizon. Check out Pink Tape below. https://open.spotify.com/album/2ua5bFkZLZl1lIgKWtYZIz