rapper makonnen comes out with a message of love
“Spread the love and stop the hate,” the Atlanta rapper tweeted.
There have never been as many openly LGBTQ+ people in the United States as there are today. This isn't simply an observation gleaned from witnessing the support for federal marriage equality, enthusiasm during nationwide Pride celebrations, and mourning following the shooting in Orlando. It is, according to a newly published Gallup survey, a fact. More people are coming out, more people are celebrating it. One of these people, as he revealed on Twitter earlier today, is rapper iLoveMakonnen.
"As a fashion icon, I can't tell u about everybody else's closet, I can only tell u about mine, and it's time I've come out," said Makonnen in a series of tweets, before stating, "And since y'all love breaking news, here's some old news to break, I'm gay. And now I've told u about my life, maybe u can go life [sic] yours."
For those unfamiliar with Makonnen's elastic, exuberant sound: the Atlanta rapper initially began crafting tracks using a keyboard and busted Gateway desktop, buzzing off the internet as his incubator for creative freedom. His penchant for unconventional melodies and free-associative lyrics garnered the attention of Santigold (who tapped him for woozy 99¢ cut "Who Be Lovin Me"), Alexander Wang (who enlisted him in the #WANGSQUAD's spring/summer 16 campaign), and, most notably, Drake, whose flip of Makonnen's mega-viral single "Tuesday" earned the pair a Grammy nomination.
Makonnen's tweets have been heralded with support from fans, and some jokes asking why he didn't make this announcement on the weekday he made so famous, Tuesday. Well, it might have something to do with the fact that today, a Friday, one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ tickets in recent memory has just assumed this nation's highest office. Even if Makonnen's intentions weren't political, his announcement is a ray of light on an otherwise dark day for civil liberties.
"I hope people take a message of loving yourself, as always, and accepting yourself for who you are. Of course, there's gonna be negative times because real life happens, but just remember to go back to that positive light and spread it whenever you can," he told i-D when we spoke about his last album. "If you want to change the world, change yourself, so that you can be the change you want to see."
Text Emily Manning
Photography Eric Chakeen