Texas rapper Adair Lion has made headlines with the YouTube video for his new single “Ben,” now also known as the “‘Gay is Okay’ Song.”
First posted on April 30, it got noticed late last week by by Perez Hilton, MSNBC, Time, and Gawker, which headlined its post “The World’s First Pro-Gay Rap Song is Actually Not Half Bad.”
Gawker also called the song “a moving plea for gay acceptance.” Wrote Neetzan Zimmerman:
Sure, the signature bravado and braggadocio of the genre is still unabashed (“gay is okay / the number one thing a rapper shouldn’t say / I said it anyway / and I made history”). But all is forgiven when Adair softly speaks the song’s poignant epilogue: “Coincidentally, Ben is the name of someone I’ve never met: My dad. So why would I judge someone who’s trying to be two of what I never had?”
The video has received more than 100,000 views, which was no doubt helped along by a retweet from syndicated sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage.
As Hypervocal noted:
The song, which samples Michael Jackson’s 1972 hit of the same name, is all swagger and confidence as he calls out big-name rappers who refuse to risk tarnishing their image by simply not dissing homosexuality. “It’s long overdue. Where you at, Wayne? I said it’s long overdue. Where you at, ’Ye?”
(For those who aren’t sure, “‘Ye” would be Kanye West.)
Lion bills himself on Twitter as being from El Paso (where he was born), Austin (where he attended the University of Texas and came up in the music scene with MC Overlord), and Amarillo (where he lives now). His album, Michael & Me, comes out June 25, the third anniversary of Jackson’s death.
Watch the clip for “Ben” below: