“Bubblegum trap” rapper Lil Yachty blew up a few years ago from his bizarre videos and repetitious hooks, even gaining the prestigious distinction of shilling soft drinks alongside Lebron James.
And his new album artwork for his upcoming album Teenage Emotions should by all accounts be a progressive’s wet dream. It has fat people and skinny people and albino people and even a green haired lady sharing the cover. But apparently one aspect piqued the cultural appropriation police: two men kissing.
There’s not even really any Twitter outrage about Lil Yachty’s cover (save for this one) and most people are supportive of the album art, but apparently the faux pas was enough to garner multiple articles in leading magazines.
Billboard asked a number of LGTBQ hip hop artists what they thought of the “controversial” gay kiss.
“When the hip-hop community gives a nod to LGBTQ issues, I roll my eyes a bit because I’m thinking, ‘Oh, so because this straight rapper acknowledges gay people or queer people or trans people, you all are willing to show some kind of faux sense of acceptance,” Mykki Blanco, a “multi-gendered” hip hop artist told Billboard.
Cakes Da Killa said the gay kiss would have worked better if it were two black guys.
The other artists interviewed seemed to be down with the inclusivity of the album art.
Writing for GQ, Ira Madison III called the cultural appropriation allegations “fair,” but said there must be a little “cultural tourism” to “elevate voices not being heard.”
“We should be willing to let art be flawed as it stumbles toward a light in the dark, he wrote.”
So what does all this mean? Can Lil Yachty still be your problematic fave?
I say yes, but only if he’s the one making out with a dude on the next album.