Why Mr. Cee Matters

34 comments
April 11, 2011 ‐ By nativenotes

It’s almost been two weeks since the Legendary Mr. Cee was arrested for lewd sexual conduct, now maybe we can have an important dialogue about homophobia in hip-hop and the black community. The Internet and NYC radio stations have been in an uproar since the arrest of famous Mr. Cee for having allegedly been involved with a male prostitute. As the police report released by the Smoking Gun tells it, Mr. Cee was receiving fellatio from a transvestite in his car when the cops picked him up. If you don’t know who Mr. Cee is, he’s the guy who helped jumpstart the career of the Notorious B.I.G, and he has been at Hot 97 since I can remember. He’s a hip-hop legend and if you know anything about hip-hop culture it’s as Kanye West put it,  “the opposite of gay”.

Homophobia runs rampant in the African American community so it’s no surprise that homosexuality is taboo in Hip-Hop as well, being largely dominated by men of color. Mr. Cee’s sexual preference is of no concern to me, remember Eddie Murphy too was also caught with a transvestite, so stranger things have happened. However, this Mr. Cee situation could prove to be a teachable moment for not only Hip-Hop but for the black community at large in confronting homophobia. Why is a man of Mr. Cee’s stature allegedly patrolling the streets of NYC for male prostitutes? Possibly because homosexuality is so taboo, that men have no safe space to admit their sexual desires and in turn live these double lives sleeping with both men and women. Women to the public, men on late nights in unusual places that are known to attract gay male prostitutes.

Rapper/ Business Mogul 50 Cent came to the defense of Mr. Cee in his interview with Hot 97 personality Miss Info, joking that Mr. Cee should just say “I’m Rick James b!tc#” and go on about his business. I agree, but 50 and I are saying that from the safe space of being straight black men. It’s easy for us to imagine that it’s as simple as saying, “you do you, I’m going to do me”. Homosexual men don’t often have the privilege of expressing their sexual preferences and not being demonized by the society in which they live. So Mr. Cee’s debacle, and his friend Funkmaster Flex’s denial of these actions which Mr. Cee hasn’t even denied himself paint the picture how not cool it is to be black, gay and male. Flex is on the radio shouting, “Hey people do what you do but these rumors about Mr. Cee are untrue”. As if being gay is the worst thing a person could be. Sadly amongst some black males, there isn’t much lower on the totem pole you can go. Black women are no different; they demonize gay black men too.

All of this ridicule and the lack of responsible discourse around homophobia are doing two things, 1.) Pushing men to the outliers of society so they are now paying for secret gay sex, while living a lie expressing outwardly that they love women. 2.) We are losing some of our brightest lights in the African American community to suicide and mental health issues because there is a lack of acceptance of alternative lifestyles.

Just last year Joseph Jefferson, a prominent youth homosexual advocate committed suicide due to the pressures of being young black and gay. Recently Marsha Ambrosius hit up 106 & Park to discuss her “far away” video that deals with bullying and gay bashing. Some have gone as far as to suggest that the black communities rejection of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle has helped to create the phenomenon of brothers on the down low. Given the alarming statistics concerning black women and sexually transmitted diseases, it’s not a far stretch to imply that women are catching diseases from men who have risky sex with male prostitutes as well as women.

Do you think if we stop demonizing homosexual activity as a community and create safe spaces for men to “come out” would that lessen the phenomenon of “down low” men?

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  • tina

    I dont care who having sex with who. And I know plenty of men who are sexually attracted to other men and women. And I know women who would accept a man who has slept with other men. I am not one of those women. As a woman I would rather know if you like sticking your stuff in men, I do not want to have sex with you if you do. Respect that and find a woman who doesnt mind. If you need to front for your family, marry a woman that knows your sexuality preferences. The misconception is that you have to open up to the world about your sexuality, no you dont! People are always going to have negative views about all different lifestyles. Stop waiting on the world to accept you, just make sure who ever youre dealing with accepts you and your lifestyle.

  • Andre Jones Jr

    If Mr. Cee's "The Finisher" then does that mean he's not a bottomer?

    Anyway. Gay bashing's bad, don't do it, it's wrong, drop a bomb on that, peace!

  • prettyS

    Your're so right cuterepping NYC

  • prettyS

    You're so right cool chick

  • prettyS

    Be hones with yourself, be gay have a boyfriend, whatever. I think people would respect someone more if they were honest from the jump!!!! But, don't bring women and children into your mess!!!! Keep it REAL , Mister CEE hip-hop legend or not.

  • MS.

    just thought i would say it !

    I dont care who, what or where you are you need to take resposibilty for your actions! He only is, who he is, because of the public he has a obligation to the public to come clean and we have to accepted whohe protrayed himself to be now the real MR, CEE is out and were have to deal with Him as well !

  • anon

    The down-low boogie man infecting countless black women with HIV is an urban legend. The CDC stated that this myth is responsible for many black women being even more at risk because they are overlooking more dangerous sexual behavior like a man who has unsafe sex with a different woman every other night. If you repeat a lie long and loud enough eventually people will believe it……. Just look at the President Obama birth certificate nonsense.

  • thatcoolchick

    Black women do not demonize black gay men who stay in their lane. Its the black men, or shall I say men period who sleep with both sexes and never reveal their preferences to their girlfriend. That's the issue that we as women have with men who participate in this practice. Mr. Cee has a wife and children. If someone wants to have this type of life, don't involve others in your in your closeted issue.

  • CutieReppinNY

    That article is a bunch of bull, blaming the black community for black men being on the down low. I've seen plenty of gay and proud black men around my way, so if a man is hiding who he is and pretending to be straight, he is nothing more than a coward. Of course there are going to be negativity and homophobia to deal with, but that's what comes with the territory. Just as interracial couple deal with people not accepting their situation, a gay person must do the same. Everyone is not going to like you or your lifestyle and that goes for anybody straight or gay. Also there are tons of people that commit suicide everyday for various reasons, so are they any less important because they're not gay?

  • lively09

    Alot of gay men are in hollywood, hip hop community, or in the workplace. The problem is that most of these men are married, and going home sleeping with their wives. There needs to be an open dialog about this issue, and education on the dangers of it.

  • April

    Two

  • Georgia

    When I hear, "We need to change the thinking, image, perception, etc. I can not stop seeing the reality of what your asking,

    I'm see it like the reparations movement the Civil Rights leaders of our race pursued for awhile.

    You're asking someone to acknowledge wrongdoing, apologizes to you, and pay reparations–DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATHE!

    If change doesn't happen, like in many cases it doesn't, what legs do you have to stand on if that is not an option?
    What EXACTLY do you want–I think–it is to live, work, and provide for yourself and your family.

    "The only thing I will agree with the writer of this article about is not bothering them. Let them live how they wish. That does not mean I'll ever view it as normal or tell my offspring that it is normal, but I will teach them the same thing I always have and that is even if you don't agree, leave them alone. Let them live their lives and you live yours. That's the best I can offer. Sorry if folks were wanting to hold hands and have marches and what not. I'm simply not there and doubt I ever will be or if I should be."

    THAT IS IT, PERFECT!

    Instead of wasting time trying to change me, tell what you want.
    BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE–a minority who hides in plain sight is a coward, those of us who don't have that luxury know this. If your gay, be gay, stop hurting innocent people because you don't accept yourself and don't want to deal with all that comes with being gay.
    Point to the obvious, constitutionally I cannot prohibit you from all rights I have.
    ACCEPT as a gay individual there will people who like you, and some who don't. Some who will accept you to a certain extent and other who will not at all–ACCEPT that being in a minority comes with cretin set-backs and realities
    AND THEN MOVE FORWARD!
    PROGRESS IS NOT SYNONYMOUS WITH CHANGE
    Stop waiting the closure or the change or the utopia on earth: if it's 2011 and we haven't gotten there after thousands/millions of years of pracrtice–what are you REALLY waiting on?

  • Georgia

    We need to stop talking in GRAND hypotheticals and start talking with real world about REALITY.

    THe concept of truth states, a lower case (t) true-though true many times has absolutely nothing to do with REALITY, capital (T) truth

    If your waiting for this acceptance, that is based on 'fairness,' I would say to you–please don't hold your breathe while you wait cause will be passing out

  • Georgia

    I said earlier…

    With everything that is happening now, I see that at the end of the day.

    Indeed what the LGBT community is fighting for is what we were fighting for, the ability to live.

    But this issue of stigma, perception, and basically human respect is a SIGNIFICANTLY harder issue, it is one even us as black people have not nailed down yet. ..How do you get the majority to respect you, to see each and everyone of you as an individual, and allow equal opportunity of access to resources and scenarios that would better your life.

    I'll be very honest, I am not fully where this movement would want me to be on this matter–honestly. Speaking from a perspective where I have alot of great gay male friends, spent time with them, talked about life and aspirations for our futures, seen with how they lived their lives. EVEN WITH ALL THAT…

    The sphere that Gay Men exist in and the sphere Straight Men exist in are two completely different things, for me personally. And I wish the discourse and general vernacular would allow us to talk in these terms: the ones we think in. Some say: well then the (easy) solution is we should change our judgments and perceptions of Alternate Lifestyles–what I say to that it is– it is 2011, 2-0-1-1, we as human beings have existed for thousands or millions (depending what you believe in) years. The ONLY WAY that change would truly happen, would be if a mind wipe was possible, but that is UNREALISTIC–unfortunately so is that notion of this easy solution. BECAUSE the word ALTERNATE is before the word lifestyle.

    I say this openly too, The sphere where My Gays live in and the sphere where my Man live in are two separate entities that I NEVER want near each other or to over-lap AT ANY TIME OR ANYWAY.

    The way I define masculinity, manliness, and what a real man is; the very first and most import criteria is A MAN IS STRAIGHT, and any deviation from those words is not a REAL man–he's a gay man or bisexual man or whatever he defines himself as, and those titles come with their own judgements, expectations and perceptions. What I expect from my contact with a man is much different from what I expect my contact with a gay man is. I respect him as a person, but there are some very HARD FACTS to consider. You mention a HUGE one, the spread of AIDS, STDs and Down Low culture, and there are others.

    I don't know, am I making sense? I'm being honest here! I think alot on this, but I'm definitely conflicted: I know where my perceptions are and more importantly where my loyalties lie, and the easy/simple solution is NOT that easy or simple to me.

  • jaclynsd

    Until hip hop finally grows up and gets in touch with its sexuality and accepts not only themselves but others. Whether they’re gay or straight we’ll still be here. Many of us that grew up with hip hop have grown up, and know that being gay doesn’t mean your any less of man, or for that matter any less human. Unfortunately as much as I love hip hop I think that its growth has been stunted and we’ve accepted that for far too long. It’s time we call hip hop on it’s sh*t and ask it to grow the f*ck up because we love it but we don’t need accept its failure in growing up and not growing out of its own prejudice/homophobia!

    • http://twitter.com/nativenotes @nativenotes

      Great comment, much appreciated

    • Georgia

      Unfortunately Jaclynsd I don't agree with you.

      What has not be mentioned yet is that Black Culture and Black People are also tie firmly to the Black Church.

      A real man stands up for their beliefs, you are not contending or considering this real thing, so this simple advice to "grow the f*ck up IS NOT SIMPLE..

      YOU may believe everything you said, but here already in my response, I'm saying I don't believe this.

      • jaclynsd

        Just like you’ve said “a real man stands up for his belief” well a real woman is standing up for hers. You don’t have to agree with me (and I’m not asking anyone to) but we can respect each other enough to feel different. That is why I respect when a man (or women) says he believes/feels he is gay. Who are we to tell them different, who are we to tell them what to believe or what to do. The mere fact that we are all humans, regardless of sexual orientation, should be enough.

        • jaclynsd

          We cant use church or religious to spread hate and try and hide behind it and say well its what the bible says. I don’t believe that. If you’re a real man (or woman) than figure out what you really believe/feel? Not what church, society, hip hop or anyone thinks but what you and you alone feel. All these things are here to help us grow, not to dictate who we are. Whether you believe it or not I’m a person of great faith and its my belief in God that leads me to feel and say these things. We don’t have to like it and in our own homes (church) we may not even have to accept it but we should learn to respect and love each other as people, at least enough to allow others to live and do in their homes what they feel is right. Last time I checked God didn’t need or ask us to judge others or ridicule anyone for him. I ask God to judge me on my actions not on how many people I’ve judged or felt mightier than.

          • Georgia

            YES this is EXACTLY what I'm getting at.

            " Maybe I should try harder to understand, but honestly, I doubt MY "feelings" of it being off somehow will change. That's not to say that my stance is the right one. I'm just saying it's my stance. "

            And you are in the MAJORITY, this what I mean by reality of the situation.

            We need to talk like this about race, sexuality, and differences.

        • April

          Truth

          • April

            Truth to Jaclynsd

  • jaclynsd

    Follow up to the above…(comment was to long for one post)

    Can anyone really do that and who will step out…who will be the less ignorant one? That takes A LOT of courage so much so that even the heavy hitters of hip hop have either denied it or separated themselves from it. I’m glad that 50 was brave enough (even if done so in a mocking matter) to say what he said even if he knew some would then accuse him of being gay himself. I mean what real man stands for gays, he must be gay himself right?

  • jaclynsd

    I think this is a whole question of life imitating art or is it art imitating life? I think most of us can agree it’s the latter. I’ve been a fan of hip hop since before I can even remember and loved it for its raw portrayal of life in our neighborhoods. When it came out I gravitated towards it because finally it was something I can relate to and connect to. Finally I felt we were on the map and there were people out there living the same life I was. No longer an outcast or one of the few. Seeing that you can have a life like mine and then go from small time to big time fame and fortune was not only inspirational but gave hope. We bought into it and loved it…best thing…we connected to it. But we also connected to the homophobia, the so called being hood and strong and the now “no homo” is what connects all of us. To go against that grain is to separate us from what we know and to be outcast from family and our neighborhoods in a sense. Its like asking to go against not only ones belief but upbringing.

  • ARCELIA

    I MEANT THE NUMBER 2

  • Georgia

    With everything that is happening now, I see that at the end of the day.

    Indeed what the LGBT community is fighting for is what we were fighting for, the ability to live.

    But this issue of stigma, perception, and basically human respect is a SIGNIFICANTLY harder issue, it is one even us as black people have not nailed down yet. ..How do you get the majority to respect you, to see each and everyone of you as an individual, and allow equal opportunity of access to resources and scenarios that would better your life.

    I'll be very honest, I am not fully where this movement would want me to be on this matter–honestly. Speaking from a perspective where I have alot of great gay male friends, spent time with them, talked about life and aspirations for our futures, seen with how they lived their lives. EVEN WITH ALL THAT…

    The sphere that Gay Men exist in and the sphere Straight Men exist in are two completely different things, for me personally. And I wish the discourse and general vernacular would allow us to talk in these terms: the ones we think in. Some say: well then the (easy) solution is we should change our judgments and perceptions of Alternate Lifestyles–what I say to that it is– it is 2011, 2-0-1-1, we as human beings have existed for thousands or millions (depending what you believe in) years. The ONLY WAY that change would truly happen, would be if a mind wipe was possible, but that is UNREALISTIC–unfortunately so is that notion of this easy solution. BECAUSE the word ALTERNATE is before the word lifestyle.

    I say this openly too, The sphere where My Gays live in and the sphere where my Man live in are two separate entities that I NEVER want near each other or to over-lap AT ANY TIME OR ANYWAY.

    The way I define masculinity, manliness, and what a real man is; the very first and most import criteria is A MAN IS STRAIGHT, and any deviation from those words is not a REAL man–he's a gay man or bisexual man or whatever he defines himself as, and those titles come with their own judgements, expectations and perceptions. What I expect from my contact with a man is much different from what I expect my contact with a gay man is. I respect him as a person, but there are some very HARD FACTS to consider. You mention a HUGE one, the spread of AIDS, STDs and Down Low culture, and there are others.

    I don't know, am I making sense? I'm being honest here! I think alot on this, but I'm definitely conflicted: I know where my perceptions are and more importantly where my loyalties lie, and the easy/simple solution is NOT that easy or simple to me.

  • Dream Job

    i think its just his position in the marketplace of hip hop which has people going crazy like its something new…its like finding out super man wasn't really powerful to the people who really look up to him and the fact that he brought Notorious BIG to us..who many look up to and probably makes them question him …

    Walmart Giving Back After Laying Off Over 50,000 People.. $1,000 Giftcards – I Grab 2 of Them..LOL http://goo.gl/g4zvo

  • Georgia

    I hear what you're saying Grandprize, especially your point on DA/DT and the huge coming out that will happen, but to honest with you: I don't think that's going to matter.

    This is issue of stigma, image, and negativity are real. And it doesn't matter what you do, as in a job or career, certainly when you consider that "MAN'S Work" is quickly becoming an out dated word with women work almost all jobs now.

    What I'm talking about is EVEN with this new movement, the rules don't really change.

    Femininity is a hard concept—I was born a woman and even if I lost all my hair, had both my breast removed, and (god-forbbid) could not have children, I would still be a woman and my femininity would never be questioned.

    Masculinity is NOT–because the moment a whisper of homosexuality or submission to other men is associated with you—you are NOT considered "A REAL MAN"

  • Worldchanger

    Just like we had 2 change the image of black people from coons and porch monkeys, we have to change the image of gay men from crossdressing skinny flamboyant weirdos after any and every man. Black gay and lesbian men and women live fairly simple non orgy, non AIDS filled lives. When people can understand that, change can begin. Until then though watch The Boondocks story of Gangstalicious II.

  • Diaspora Life

    Nice article… until the last 2 paragraphs:
    "Given the alarming statistics concerning black women and sexually transmitted diseases, it’s not a far stretch to imply that women are catching diseases from men who have risky sex with male prostitutes as well as women.
    Do you think if we stop demonizing homosexual activity as a community and create safe spaces for men to “come out” would that lessen the phenomenon of “down low” men?"

    - Yes, it is a stretch to imply that the rising HIV infection rate of black women is due to 'down'-low' brother activity. Let's place the blame squarely where it most likely belongs – in the laps of 'low-down' married men that put the family jewels in play outside of the matrimonial bed! I do not absolve men that lead 'double lives' but they are not solely to blame.
    - A safe place to 'come out' should be wherever you are… starting at home. But that can't happen until we all begin to live by the golden run.

    Of course this is all easier said than done.

    • http://twitter.com/nativenotes @nativenotes

      Thanks for commenting. Let me clarify that I was not blaming the entire rise in std rates for black women on down low brothers. I was merely acknowledging the link, it has been discussed that there is a link but I had no intention of placing the blame squarely on the soldiers of "down low men"

  • jzycaramel

    Natiivenotes thank you for writing this article. If nothing more it will create dialogue that is long over due.

  • Andi Williams

    First off 50 Cent is gay. He and Lloyd Banks are lovers.
    Secondly, I agree to a degree that if it weren't as taboo and "dirty" in black culture (music, church, families, etc), more black males would feel more at ease to come out of the closet.
    However, in many social circles like career and the like, having a spouse is entry into those circles. There are many prominent men that know having a wife will make them even more of the "it" factor in their field of occupation (sports, actor, CEO of oil company, etc)
    Therefore, if there were more acceptance of this lifestyle, there would still be DL men. Not because of being ostracized by commuinity, but ostracized in work/social settings.

    • nativenotes

      I guess the simple but we both know it would not be simple solution there would be to work to make alternative lifestyles acceptable in all settings.

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