Even if you aren't a big fan of hip hop, chances are you've at least heard of Mr Cee. He's the host of Hot 97, New York's prominent hip-hop radio station, and a big producer in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was instrumental in Notorious BIG's Ready to Die album and the DJ for Big Daddy Kane. And, oh yeah, had sex with a transsexual prostitute. At least, according to recent reports.
As the story goes, Cee had a transaction back in 2011 and the savvy entrepreneur-of-the-night recorded the ordeal. It recently leaked out to the internet and media. He had earlier resigned from his hosting job but later reconsidered his position. Now, he's becoming an advocate for AIDS.
"The decision I've made this week to open up about my sexuality has definitely been the most difficult thing that I've ever had to do in my life," Cee said. "But I felt like this was the time to do it personally and professionally. For me, I felt worried about how my family would be affected, how my co-workers, my friends and even my fans would be affected by this decision, because in this hip-hop community of ours, it's not cool to be gay. It's not cool to be bisexual."
His PSA for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is above, and it is definitely worth a watch. Cee is right: there is a lot of internalized (and in the case of dance hall, very explicit) homophobia in the hip-hop community, and a lack of visibility is certainly part of the problem. While it has gotten better in the past year — Macklemore's “Same Love,” Frank Ocean's sort-of coming out and even Azealia Banks's obsession with drag queens — it is still a very touchy subject. The more conversation we can bring to the matter, like Mr Cee does here, the easier it will be to address.