Rapper 50 Cent is making a declaration that his is not anti-gay. The hip-hop star, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, addressed the issue while recently promoting his new Sundance Channel series, “Dream School.”
“I don’t have homophobia. I never did,” 50 Cent told the website TheWrap.
The rap star is the producer of the six-part unscripted series “Dream School” helmed by Jamie Oliver. The show focuses on troubled teens that get mentored by stars like David Arquette, Oliver Stone and Swizz Beatz. One person featured on the show is a transgender teen named Alan.
Despite some questionable song lyrics and social media messages over the years, the New York-bred lyricist said he was never homophobic and was also open and supportive of his mother’s same-sex relationship.
“When you actually make music that mirrors the environment, you use the terminology,” he said. “You use the language. Like if you were making a painting, and you were painting the American flag, if I told you to do that, and not use red, not use the harsh terms or the tougher messages, you would never successfully paint the flag.”
He added: “I would use the terminology that would be going around. My grandfather may say terms — people may actually say terms based on their experiences that were happening at that point. … You’ve got people that would call some people a redneck, or some people n—-. It’s the term of that time or that period. They’re not necessarily racist, but they’ve heard those terms used around them, and they use them.”
With “Dream School,” 50 Cent now has the opportunity to be an advocate for the LGBT community by telling Alan’s story.
“I started realizing that I felt different when I was in middle school, when I was hitting puberty,” the teen explains in the series, per a transcript on 50 Cent’s website. “I would bind my chest down and try to pass as a boy. That was because I felt like a guy and I wanted people to see me as a guy. I got good grades. I was on honor roll. And once the bullying started that all stopped. I didn’t want to go to school. I can’t remember the last time I went to school. I honestly can’t say that I feel safe in school.”
50 Cent hopes this show “Dream School” helps to make progress in the acceptance of the LGBT community and believes that hip-hop — especially post Frank Ocean — is changing as well too.
“When new artists or new approaches come to the culture, it grows,” he said.
“Dream School” airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. on the Sundance Channel.