First Openly Gay Drill Rapper Mr Strange Says 'Toxic Masculinity' Is Killing Men
The first drill rapper to come out as openly gay says 'toxic masculinity' is holding men back from finding out who they are.
Drill rapper Mr Strange has also opened up about his 'accidental' gang past when he was growing up in London.
Speaking to the NME. Strange said he knew he was gay from a young age and although he decided to come out, he can understand why other artists might not.
"I've always known that I was gay," he says. "As a kid, these feelings were so weird to comprehend, but when you get older, you're like, "S***, I was always gay!"
Strange also takes issue with toxic masculinity in the rap game. According to him, it 'obstructs anything of purpose or meaning in life.' "It prevents people, especially guys from being themselves," he says.
He also links it to the high suicide rate among young men.
"When someone can't explore their sexuality, that causes a lot of depression," he says. "After I came out, I was a lot happier than when I was in the closet.
"They can't explore themselves, due to this thing that we call toxic masculinity. You don't have to be this tough guy, you don't have to conform. I don't conform and I'm doing just fine."
Strange decided to come out via a freestyle on his YouTube channel. "They think because I'm gay that I can't bully tracks," he said. The video has now garnered 53,000 views on YouTube channel [email protected]
"Once rappers get past the fact that I'm gay, all they'll realise is that I'm one of the mandem," he says.
He admits he was 'disappointed' by the reaction to the freestyle in which he came out, from rappers such as Taze and Section Boys, but thinks the pressure from their own communities to distance themselves from gay culture was a driver.
"It's mad disappointing but I don't even take it to heart. A lot of these guys are Jamaican, African, where in those countries, you get your head chopped off for these things," he says. "So I can't really blame them"
"I just want to spread awareness and love. I want to make it okay to be gay. I'm full of love, energy and fire. I feel like I can't be stopped."
It is these barriers that Mr Strange wants to break down. He said that he received messages from people in the LGBT+ community telling him that his coming out video helped them to come out too.
The rapper was candid about his past gang life too. "It happens init?" he said. "At the beginning, it's just innocent kids trying to have fun."
"I was just hanging around with people. You kick ball with your mates, start doing things here and there. It's innocent, it's all very innocent. Before you know it, people are getting stabbed and shot.
"It wasn't necessarily a choice, but once you're in, you can choose to stay in or leave."
You can read the full interview here.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram: @thestrangegram