Secret Bonus Level presents:
The Secret Bonus Level Band is finally back! Improving beats and music for us to rap and freestyle over. But tonight is also special for another reason!
It’s the last Wednesday in June. And June is national LGBTQA+ Pride month (gosh I hope I got that acronym correct, I realize it changes quite often to be more inclusive and all that good ish). Being an ally and normalizing love is especially special to me.
So, making rap more inclusive for all flavors of queer etc. persons became very important to me about a year ago. I wanted to invite my older brother to a rap show. I was trying to see if I could get other members of my family into rap. And I knew my brother would love the headliner on this particular bill. But when I thought about the rest of the bill, I realized the guys performing were going to throw around a lot of homophobic slurs in their performance. And when my older brother, who is gay, hears that, he has to go on the alert to make sure he is in a situation where he is physically safe. And that’s not okay. No one should ever fear for their physical safety because of their orientation, and it’s especially gross to think that it would happen to someone trying to enjoy and support art.
That made me think about all my other gay, trans, etc. friends who really love rap music, but I’d never seen at a rap show. And I thought a lot about how homophobic slurs show up in the lyrics to rap music, even music created by rappers I knew personally to be allies to the LGBTQA+ community otherwise. Homophobia in rap has almost become this bizarre tradition of proliferating slurs and this kind of language, which sometimes branches off into things much more dangerous. Normalizing hate speech in any kind has a ripple affect.
Since then, we’ve vowed to make every rap show and event we throw a safe space for people of any orientation, gender, whatever. And to make our radio show, and all other endeavors, friendly and inclusive to everyone.
To help celebrate pride, tonight’s edition of “Can You Rap To That?” will feature beats from a DJ set performed by two amazing allies, DJs Reinhold and Beat Kitty. Reinhold and Beat Kitty are part of Party Liberation Front, which has recently welcomed me. They performed this music at Ignite! just a few weeks ago. I’ve marveled at their tremendous spirit of inclusion and thought they’d be the perfect way to close out Pride month on Secret Bonus Level.
Love is love.
Oh yeah, this is a rap show.
NoahPage 216 June 28th, 2018