Erick Sermon on Transgender Hip-Hop Artists: "They've Taken the Culture Too Far"
Published Apr 29, 2015ABC's broadcast of an interview with Bruce Jenner brought awareness of transgender issues to millions last weekend, but that openness might not translate to the world of hip-hop — or at least according to EPMD's Erick Sermon.
Sermon was tracked down by TMZ and grilled over his thoughts of the Jenner interview. The rapper questioned the timing of the piece, suggesting it was a ratings stunt (there's an upcoming E! documentary series about the former Olympian's transition towards a "new life as a woman"). But Sermon also conceded that it could be helpful to shed light on transgender issues.
The interviewer switched topics and asked, "Do you think something like that will ever be acceptable in hip-hop?" The rapper quickly replied, "No."
"You know what, the way of the world is going, you never know because we've got some rappers who are close to that," he said.
While prodded by TMZ, he didn't go on to name anyone in particular, but he did elaborate on his position.
"They've taken the culture too far," he continued. "You have to be what hip-hop represents. The culture is what it is, and what it represents. What it stands for."
He additionally called hip-hop a "sport for men and women who are representing the culture, and not some other people trying to do something else," and delivered an analogy on how openly gay football player Michael Sam has been kept out of the NFL. The defensive end had been drafted into the league, but didn't make cuts for either the St. Louis Rams or the Dallas Cowboys, with many suggesting these were political decisions.
An interview from 2012 likewise had Sermon holding the position that there would never be gay MCs in hip-hop.
You can watch the TMZ interview below.