NO MORE NO HOMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Over the past year, many rappers have become obsessed with the "No Homo/Pauseâ€ phenomenon. Recently, I've had a series of run-ins with people who punctuate their sentences with "No Homoâ€ or "Pauseâ€ in order to reassert their heterosexuality. Here are a few examples:
EXAMPLE#1 - I was hanging out with two multi-platinum selling rappers who shall remain nameless. I asked the first rapper why he was able to sell so many records. He replied, "I couldn't have done if [rapper#2] hadn't gotten behind me on the project. Pause. No Homo!â€
EXAMPLE#2 - My brother and I were playing basketball with some young guys in our neighborhood. One of the guys, who was 6â€²5 and cocky, demanded that we pass him the ball on every possession. Each time our team had the ball, he would scream "Feed me! No Homoâ€¦ Give it to me! No Homoâ€
EXAMPLE#3 - I stumbled into a local restaurant during karaoke night. One the men, who was apparently a regular, decided that he would depart from his normal catalog of disco covers. He grabbed the mic and said, "Tonight, I want to try something different. No Homo!â€
EXAMPLE#4 - A few hours after the NBA draft, Spike Lee was asked about Dan Dickau. Spike replied, "I love Dick!â€. Gus Johnson, the uber-professional interviewer, interjects by saying "Pause.â€
In some ways, "no homoâ€ and "pauseâ€ are part of a long tradition ghetto language games that evince the quick-wit and linguistic sophistication of Black and Brown people. I must admit that it took me a few seconds to understand what the brother was talking about during karaoke night. Once I did, I laughed out loud at the childish absurdity of his decision to clarify that he wasn't planning a gay rendezvous.
More importantly, the no-homo discourse is further evidence of hip-hop's obsession with queer identity. After all, in order to punctuate even the most sexually non-suggestive sentences with a homophobic disclaimer, one has to constantly be thinking about homosexuality. While there's nothing wrong with this position (pause) per se, I would think that hip-hop's hypermasculine ethos would suggest that brothers don't even consider "gay shitâ€ when they're talking. On the contrary, they seem to be thinking about little elseâ€¦