ILoveMakonnen Opens Up To L.A. Pride And Shares Moment With Mom [PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: ILOVEMAKONNEN @ L.A. PRIDE 6/10/17
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It can’t be denied that being gay in hip-hop culture is no easy task. When homophobic slurs riddle diss tracks, and straight machismo tends to rule the radio waves, being called out or labeled as gay can, and has derailed many a promising career. But as the new generations of music fans, whose beliefs have been shaped with a more open-mind, discover new hot music, the sexuality of the artist is almost an afterthought.
Perhaps it was the “more friendly” socio-cultural climate of today that encouraged his announcement earlier this year, but social media was abuzz when ILoveMakonnen announced on January 20th, 2017 that he was a gay man. More power to ILoveMakonnen for being true to himself, and more power to his music for having the L.A. Pride festival audience bounce and head-bob with him with every beat.
It’s his music, and not his sexuality, which opened eyes during his performance. The Atlanta-bred singer/rapper succinctly hit every lyric against the hard-hitting 808 beats that played behind him. As the last time I saw him perform, he was charismatic and engaging as he ran back and forth across the grand stage to perform for his fans. He had the crowd eating out of his hands.
Though he clearly didn’t need to speak his mind about his public revelation in order to garner acceptance from the crowd, he did so anyways, proudly affirming his sexuality from the stage. In a sweet moment, he also took the time acknowledge the undying support of his mother, who he brought out on stage to share the moment.
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— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) June 17, 2017
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.