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New local hip hop entertainment group releases music video for “gayest song ever” ‘Imma Homo’

Rainbow Noise artists Cee, Loco Niinja, Jay Squared , Stud Phamous

Gays in hip hop has always been a complicated subject. It’s no longer completely unknown, Cazwell has stormed the scene, Lady Sovereign is big in the UK, Katastrophe and Athens Boys Choir are constantly touring favs, and there’s dozens of smaller queer hip hop acts both local and national.But much of mainstream urban music can still be homophobic and there’s still a hunger for more positive representations of LGBT MCs and DJs. And a big project just emerged from right across the river called Rainbow Noise Entertainment.

RainbowNoise is an entertainment company that specializes in marketing lesbian and gay talent to mainstream audiences without compromising the artists’ individual style or gender presentation…From conscious rap to old school and party hip hop styles, RainbowNoise artists cover it all. The keen focus on production quality and lyrical strength sets them ahead of many independent labels in their class.

This is a worthy project that is interesting enough for it’s goal but there’s even more compelling aspects.

One is that it’s based out of my hometown, Vancouver, Washington, just across the river. It’s part suburb, part independent city that’s the 4th largest in Washington, and part up-and-coming LGBT mecca. Is this where you can go to remain local and raise a family or just live more cheaply? Is this Portland’s version of Bernal Heights (Maternal Heights) or the East Bay? Well, perhaps, but right now it’s just another cool local happening.

But the best part? They’re actually really effing good, and getting some mainstream attention.

Spin notes that the track features the same spare, programmed beats that you’d likely hear on most of today’s party rap but gives kudos for hard rap authenticity. I think for the most part music writer Brandon Soderberg doesn’t get it calling former homo hop acts:

…a bit hard to take seriously because, while [gay hip hop is]  big on advocacy and ideas, it’s pathetically short on listenability, and doesn’t even come close to the technical quality of homophobic hip-hop. Most homo-hop gives off the same pseudo-subversive feeling of Christian Rock: The signs and signifiers are there, but it’s been gutted of all the energy and musical appeal in favor of politics or didacticism.

I disagree entirely, and think there’s quite a range of fun to political homo hop acts out there that have varying levels of hip hop realness. But it’s worth noting that such a mainstream music publication is starting to notice at all. Soderberg also says that RN features the same spare, programmed beats that you’d likely hear on most of today’s party rap, but that’s the point. RN admits they’re going for “mainstream appeal” and it looks like it’s working.

Their introductory video below, “Imma Homo,” has been making the interweb rounds in LGBT, music, and urban related publications and besides the toughness the first thing real reviewers seem to notice is the tight ass rhymes. These studies, bois, ladies and a couple dudes are tough and they rap like hard MCs. And I have no doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more from them.

You can check out more videos, find out more about the artists, or get involved on their website: http://rainbownoiseent.com/

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