I was on a road trip recently and "Punks Jump Up" came on XM radio,
so it was uncensored. It had been a long time since I heard Brand Nubian
in all of their raw boom bapness. The contrast between the serenity of the
gold, orange, yellow trees and the Rocky horns in the songs intro
couldn't have been more stark.
Yet there was something priceless about the moment.
I turned to Filthy and was like, why is Brand Nubian
talking about gay men so much? As both Sadat and Lord Jamar
mention gay folks in their verses.
Oh yes, Im the bad man, and bad men wear black.My first reaction was that was that it was quasi homoerotic.
And if it comes to droppin bombs, yo, Im with that.
Though I can freak, fly, floow, fuck up a faggot.
Dont understand their ways I aint down with gays.
Did you want some more? I didnt think so.
Just got whipped like a faggot in the clink, so
I suggest you take your bloody mess and find a piece of wire,
Fix your broken jaw, then its time to retire.
No, I am not saying that Sadat or Lord Jamar are gay.
What I am saying is that looking back at the lyrics 15 years later,
in total, the lyrics are over the top, anti-gay and they make me wonder
why does doing harm to gay cats play such a central role in this song?
One answer is that what is present in American culture is acutely
obvious in Hip Hop. Crime, homophobia, single parenthood.
You name it, both America in general and Hip Hop specifically has it.
The irony is that I saw Sadat perform his verse of the song
this summer, and he did deleted the word "faggot" from his verse.
Granted the performance was in Park Slope, at Prospect Park, so
he may have inferred that it wouldn't have played too well in uber
gay friendly neighborhood.
Just a thought.