Cazwell – The openly gay US rapper with no selfie control
I just can’t get enough of this cheeky, sex positive, gay rapper! Feeling inspired by his lyrical suggestion to take my Truvada with a Piña Colada, I’m PrEP’D to get down with Cazwell’s dirty little discography.
Rap. It’s not a music genre notorious for being sympathetic towards the plight of the LGBTIQ community. With mainstream artists like Eminem having a long history of being hauled through the pink papers accused of homophobic slurs, you might be forgiven for assuming openly gay rappers simply don’t exist. While this patch of the music industry isn’t necessarily known for cultivating and nurturing queer artistry, there are a talented few who have flourished nonetheless.
As well as being a rapper, Frank Ocean has written songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend and Beyoncé. He made global headlines in 2012 when his first commercial release, Channel Orange, provided a platform to discuss another man as his first love. And maybe the real Slim Shady isn’t so bad after all considering he invited Solomon as one of the first openly gay rappers to be featured on Eminem’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show in 2008.
Rapper QBoy pioneered a subgenre colloquially known as “homo hop” in the UK. While over in the USA, Katastrophe is perhaps the first openly transgender singer in the genre. Furthermore, up and coming gay rapper Le1f’s 2015 debut studio album, Riot Boi, was positively described by critics as “bombastic, and transgressive.”
“Lick it up quick before it melts on the floor” – from Ice Cream Truck
Yet with a back catalogue spanning a decade, more records in the top 50 US dance charts than you can count on one hand, and over a million views on YouTube within the first week of releasing his hit single Ice Cream Truck… may I introduce you to Cazwell. Three studio albums under his belt later, Cazwell has come a long way from the low budget ironic underground classic he claims is Courtney Love’s personal favourite, I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King.
One of Cazwell’s most noteable trademarks is his in-your-face sex positive attitude that comes through in his lyrics and videos. Although coming under occasional criticism for overt objectification of men, his response published at Miami.com is simple, “I didn’t objectify anyone who didn’t want to be objectified.”
“Believe me I’m easy, just blow me like it’s breezy” – from Guess What?
Similar to smash hit Ice Cream Truck, another example of his role reversal objectification is to be found in his catchy track Rice and Beans.
Over half a million YouTube viewers have amplified his unapologetic revelry in his celebration of Latino men — worth a watch for the badly animated Chihuahua and headstand-twerking male dancers alone.
Cameos from prominent transgender model, socialite, singer and performance artist Amanda Lepore pop up in various tracks, though Get Into It is perhaps the most notable.
Speaking of guest appearances, Cazwell doesn’t shy away from working with other femme fatales. Peaches, renowned for her Fuck the Pain Away track features on Unzip Me, a song about getting a handjob in a club.
English pop starlet Luciana joins in the fun jumping around in the sexy, intense and bizarre video for Guess What? This should come as no surprise Luciana having featured on hits with The Cube Guys, Hardwell, Will Sparks, Richard Vission & Static, and Revenger.
“Take my Truvada with a Piña Colada” – from Hot Homo
Much like how I find myself personally torn between wanting to be Cazwell and wanting to root Cazwell, it’s a tough call to decide on a favourite track.
For a dance floor pleasing club stomper with suitably satisfying video to match, try the highly entertaining monkey business in Get My Money Back.
Though for sheer audacity alone and fully playing into his self proclaimed narcissism, I can’t resist No Selfie Control.