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Fly Young Red is a gay hip hop artist who makes hip hop music specifically for gay people.
His latest video, "Throw That Boy Pussy," is the first single off of his "Pretty Boy Realness" mixtape and already has over 400k views on YouTube since its premiere in mid-March. In a traditionally hetronormative genre of music, Fly Young Red is both making waves and challenging mainstream understandings of hip hop.
In order to better get to know Fly Young Red as an artist, The Huffington Post chatted with him about his new video "Throw That Boy Pussy" and his own vision for his work.
The Huffington Post: Why did you decide to make "Throw That Boy Pussy"?
Fly Young Red: I decided to make this video for lots of reasons. When I go to gay clubs and I look around I see a lot of gay guys dancing to songs that are made by straight rappers talking about females... I think females are beautiful I but I don't find them sexually attractive. I like gay guys, so I made a song for gay guys to enjoy and dance to. I made it to play at gay clubs. I never wanted this song on the radio at all -- I'm not trying to push a gay agenda on the African American race or turn young black youth gay. This music is not for either of them. All I wanted to do was make a song for the gay people that like hip hop to dance to. That's it. Reason two: I uploaded about six songs on my personal YouTube page that are going to be on my mixtape "Pretty Boy Realness." All I had was a picture with a hat on and the music playing in the videos. This particular song got over 7,000 views in four months. The other songs had like 400 or 500. I also looked around on YouTube and saw that a lot of other straight artists barely had 200 or 300 views and their songs had been up for years. So if you were a hip hop artist and you wanted to make a video for one of your songs to promote your mixtape, which song would you make a video for? Another reason: many gay clubs all over the country have video screens that play videos while the songs are playing. My song is very popular in the gay clubs and I wanted to make a video for them to play while my song was playing.
Do you consider yourself a queer artist? How does your identity impact your music?
Yes, I do consider myself as a queer artist. My identity impacts my music a lot. When I was 16 I started to gain notoriety for my rap and I started rapping with a rap group and they wanted to sign me. At this point in my life I also started to realize I was gay. So, I'm rapping about females and hanging out with my straight group with a reputation that they worked had for. I didn't feel comfortable. I was living a lie. Why would I wait until someone outed me, have a chance of losing my rap career and messing up the reputation of these people who had nothing to do with what I was going through? So I quit. I stopped living my dream. So, as time passed and I got more comfortable with my sexuality, I realized that the only thing that was in my way was me. So I went back into the studio and what came out was this. My identity also impacts my music because I cant put my songs on the radio. I'm not trying to force my ideas on anyone. So I have to use alternative methods to promote my music because it is different.
Check out the video for "Throw That Boy Pussy" above and head here to hear more from Fly Young Red.