Sunday, 23 June 2013

1 Queercore, MoQuo + the role of the gay anthem

1. I've read a bit about Queercore, and LGBT hip-hop, part of the radical queer underground music scene and subculture. As a DJ, where do you see yourself in this ?

As a musical genre, Queercore in part distinguishes itself through lyrics which explore themes of prejudice, sexual + gender identity and, more generally, offer a critique of society, often expressed in a light-hearted way.

My own interest in this -as a queer DJ- is primarily in the concept of the gay anthem, as described by Simon Gage, Lisa Edwards + Howard Wilmot in the 2002 publication 'Queer - The ULTIMATE user's guide' in which the criteria + themes of the gay anthem are explored. In the book, the following ten main themes are listed:

(1) Big-voiced divas with powerful, uncompromising voices, singing songs about: (2) Overcoming hardship in love often with a narrative of a wronged lover who comes back stronger than before; (3) Solidarity in the form of songs about coming together; (4) Overcoming adversity by throwing care + caution to the wind; (5) Hard-won self esteem where the theme is fighting through oppression, darkness or fear to gain freedom or self esteem; (6) Celebrating unashamed sexuality through transcending cultural shame to celebrate one's sexual nature; (7) Searching for acceptance by envisaging a promised land where the dream of acceptance, belonging + hope lives; (8) A torch song for the world weary where the narrative is about being used, abused and surviving to tell the tale of lament; (9) The unashamed pledge tinged with tragedy with tales of not giving up despite seemingly insurmountable odds; and (10) Uncompromising self affirmation + an absolute refusal to apologise: "I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses..."

Consequently, when we see straight couples walk into our queer clubs, shake their heads + openly mock what they see or hear, we should not -from a queer activism viewpoint- apologise to the heterosexual majority, replace the DJ, dilute the music policy and replace it with a "more popular" selection of "contemporary pop and r'n'b.

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