Jan 6, 2014

The New Boyz: Shirtless Instagram Pics and a Gay Tweet

You have to be very careful in reviewing rap artists.  Homophobia is ubiquitous. For every gay-positive rapper, like Romeo, you find a dozen who bellow against gays with the raw hate of a fundamentalist preacher.

This photo of rapper Legacy, formerly part of the New Boyz,  offered enough beefcake to warrant further investigation.  But I proceeded with caution.

New Boyz consisted of Ben J (Earl Benjamin) and Legacy (Dominic Thomas), two California teens from the same high school who were originally antagonists, but bonded through their love of music.  They began performing as the Swagger Boys in 2008, then as the New Boyz.

Theire single "You're a Jerk," released in the summer of 2009, popularized the "jerkin'" style of dance and reached #24 on U.S. charts (#4 on rap charts).

They released two albums, Skinny Jeans and a Mic (2009) and Too Cool to Care (2011) before breaking up to pursue solo careers.

Their lyrics are extremely heterosexist -- every other word is "girl! girl! girl!"  Or, more likely "hoe!"  They're extremely sexist, too,

But I didn't notice any homophobia, except maybe in an exchange in "Cashmere," where they compete over a girl:

Legacy: I was wonderin' if you could be my first date here
Ben J: Excuse my friend, he's kinda new to meeting girls cause he's used to men.
Legacy: Used to men!
Ben J: Girl, this dude is stupid huh?
Legacy: Yo, I ain't gay.
Ben J: Man, why don't you tell the truth for once?
Legacy: She want me.
Ben J: You don't even got a mustache yet.

Even that seems very mild.

Two more things you should know about the New Boyz:

1. Legacy is fond of shirtless instagram pics, some considerably more explicit than the top photo.

2. Ben J apparently came out in a tweet:

I am admitting to being gay, can't be fake with y'all no more.  Take it or leave it. Thanks for all the support though!!

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