20 LGBTQ Rappers You Need To Know

You are currently viewing 20 LGBTQ Rappers You Need To Know

Rap and hip-hop has undergone significant changes in recent years, with growing acceptance and, indeed, celebration of LGBTQ artists.

A wave of openly LGBTQ rappers in the 00s helped to pave the way for the scene today. Nowadays, some of the most popular rappers in the world are LGBTQ.

There is still some way to go, but increasingly, we are seeing LGBTQ rappers succeed in the industry, regardless of their sexuality and gender – whether they define as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, pansexual, or anything else.

Here is a selection of some of the LGBTQ rappers you need to know.

20. KC Ortiz

KC Ortiz is a talented and versatile rapper and visual artist, who has become an underground sensation for both her music and artwork.

The Chicago-born, Copenhagen-based artist has discussed her sexuality in several interviews recently.

When asked how she identifies, in one interview she said, “It’s hard to describe. I love being trans. I don’t identify as straight because I like the gay stuff. I like going to the gay clubs with my friends. I’m not straight, but I identify as a girl.”

19. Young M.A

American rapper Katorah Kasanova Marrero is better known by her stage name Young M.A – an acronym for Young Me Always. She first gained widespread notoriety in 2016 with the release of quadruple-platinum hit single ‘Ooouuu’ which broke the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100 – reaching over 400 million YouTube views.

In interviews, Young M.A has been open about her sexuality, explaining that she has been attracted to girls “since first grade.” However, in recent times she has been averse to labels. When asked about her sexuality in one recent interview she stated, “We don’t do no labels. I just wouldn’t date a guy. Nah, bro, I don’t like that.”

18. Zebra Katz

Jamaican-American Zebra Katz is a rapper, producer, and songwriter. He has famously collaborated with artists such as Gorillaz and Busta Rhymes. Katz became a noteworthy figure in the music industry after designer Rick Owens used his song ‘Ima Read’ during his show at Paris Fashion Week in 2012.

Katz self-identifies as queer, but throughout his career has questioned the idea of a “queer rap” genre. In an interview with the Guardian in 2013, he spoke about the significance of being openly queer in the world of hip-hop.

“It was necessary to create a powerful, black and queer male character,” Katz insisted. “Because that’s not a common sight, particularly in hip-hop.”

17. Doechii

American rapper and singer Doechii rose to prominence with the viral success of her song ‘Yucky Blucky Fruitcake’ on TikTok in 2021 which had followed the release of her debut record Oh the Places You’ll Go the previous year.

Doechii appeared on the scene three years ago and has been open about her sexuality ever since. In a 2022 interview with GQ Magazine she discussed how she identifies.

“I always knew that I was queer, and I was bisexual,” Doechii said. “But I didn’t really feel comfortable talking about it, because nobody around me was gay.”

16. Le1f

Le1f first gained recognition producing tracks for Das Racist before entering the rap scene as a rapper in his own right. He is the founder of hip-hop record label Camp & Street.

In 2012, Le1f revealed details about his sexuality, and received a negative reaction – an experience that was unfortunately common at the time.

However in recent years, Le1f has become more self-assured and went on to admit that he enjoys the attention saying, “to be honest, I’m kind of digging the spotlight being on me.”

Le1f has been hailed by the Guardian as “a proficient, charismatic, openly gay rapper…beloved by fashion magazine editors and critics who wish hip-hop was more sexually progressive.”

15. Ppcocaine

American social media personality and rapper Lilliane Catherine Diomi is known professionally as ppcocaine. Having also previously performed under the name trapbunniebubbles, she is probably best known for her track ‘3 Musketeers’ that was immensely popular on video-sharing platform TikTok.

The artist previously identified as lesbian, but her more recent TikTok video, captioned, “I guess this is me coming out” has been interpreted to suggest she is bisexual. She has also announced directly on Twitter that she identifies as genderfluid.

14. Brooke Candy

Brooke Candy is an American rapper, singer-songwriter and tattoo artist. She found fame after starring in Grimes’ music video for ‘Genesis’ in 2012. Candy’s reputation began to grow amongst the underground scene with her own songs ‘Das Me’ and ‘Everybody Does’ finding success.

In 2014 she released her debut major label single ‘Opulence’ along with an EP by the same title.

Brooke Candy has generally avoided the labels of gay, lesbian, or bisexual, describing herself as pansexual. In one interview she said that she “explore[s] life now in my natural gay, homosexual, masculine way, and in this very different feminine way.”

13. Angel Haze

Angel Haze released their debut mixtape Reservation in 2012 before signing a record deal with Universal Republic Records. A year later came their debut album Dirty Gold which featured singles ‘Echelon (It’s My Way)’ and ‘Battle Cry.’

Haze has openly stated they are pansexual and agender and that they have since begun using they/them pronouns.

In an interview with Out, they discussed how they went from identifying as lesbian, then bisexual, before having the revelation that, “sexuality is like having a favourite color. It doesn’t rule you, you know? And I should be able to do whatever and whoever I want at any given time…And then I realised I was attracted to transgender people and people who classify themselves as ‘other.’ It didn’t change anything about how I looked at life.”

12. Cakes Da Killa

Cakes da Killa is an American rap artist famed for fusing hip-hop, house and electronic dance music. He has been credited amongst the most important figures in helping LGBTQ rappers to find acceptance within hip-hop.

Cakes came out of the closet in third grade, and his acknowledged the support of his mother in helping him to be open about his sexuality throughout his life.

He has a large LGBTQ fanbase, and in one interview said, “I don’t make music trying to gain acceptance from straight people. The gay dollar makes a lot of pop stars.”

11. Saucy Santana

After starting his career as a makeup artist for the hip-hop duo City Girls, Saucy Santana began rapping in February 2019 and released his debut single ‘Walk Em Like A Dog’ that same year.

After becoming a regular guest on the reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop: Miami, Santana gained further recognition when in 2021 his singles ‘Walk’ and ‘Here We Go’ went viral on TikTok. The artist himself identifies as gay.

“The world has changed so much, and gay is everywhere,” Santana said in one interview. “[We need] to just keep banging down the door.”

10. Big Freedia

Big Freedia is an American rapper and performer known for his work in the New Orleans genre of hip-hop called bounce music. He is celebrated for helping to popularise the genre which had been largely underground since slowly evolving in the early 1990s.

Freedia identifies as a gay man who embraces his “feminine side,” and is flexible with the use of pronouns.

“I’m gender nonconforming, fluid, nonbinary.” Freedia reveals. “If I had known the ‘queen’ in Queen Diva would cause so much confusion, I might have called myself the king!”

9. Kevin Abstract

Founding member of Brockhampton, Kevin Abstract released his debut album MTV1987 in 2014 to wide critical acclaim. His second album American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story was released two years later with a third – Arizona Baby arriving in 2019.

Abstract announced he was gay in 2016. “My goal is just to normalize it,” he has said about addressing his sexuality in his music. “Straight rappers talk about their sexual relationships without warning me. And they are more explicit and violent. I have to express myself and who I am. I don’t want to be a queer icon. I want to be an icon.”

In 2022, Abstract began dating Brockhampton collaborator and stylist Nick Holiday.

8. Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco began as a teenage girl character for a YouTube video in 2010 but has since evolved into a ‘musical and performance art piece’. They have come to be regarded as a founding figure in “queer rap”.

Talking about how acceptance of LGBTQ artists has developed, Mykki said to the Guardian, “I don’t ever want to take responsibility for anyone else’s creativity, but just knowing that there were doors that were closed that I helped to push open, and now other people benefit from that, is a cool feeling.”

7. ILoveMakonnen

Known by his stage name iLoveMakonnen – often stylized as ILOVEMAKONNEN – Makonnen Kamali Sheran is an American rapper, singer and record producer. He is perhaps best known for 2014 hit ‘Tuesday’ which featured Drake.

In early 2017 via Twitter – Makonnen came out as gay.

“Here’s some old news to break, I’m gay.” Makonnen announced. “And now I’ve told u about my life, maybe u can go (live) yours.’

6. Chika

Chika is a Nigerian-American rapper who first gained public attention on social media before eventually signing to Warner Records in 2019. The following year she was included in XXL’s 2020 Freshman Class and nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Chika identifies as bisexual, regularly addressing her sexuality in music and videos. In March 2020, the artist took to Twitter and confirmed her identity to the waiting world.

“I’m bisexual.” she tweeted.

5. Snow Tha Product

Snow Tha Product is a rapper, singer, actress and YouTuber. Her most significant works include her 2013 mixtape Good Nights & Bad Mornings 2: The Hangover and compilation album VIBEHIGHER from 2018. Notably, Snow appeared in several episodes of the hit US series – Queen of the South.

The artist has openly identified as queer or gay on various occasions. Discussing the acceptance of LGBTQ rappers, she said in one interview, “I would definitely say it’s more accepting now than at the beginning of my career. I think we’ve come a long way and there’s still a long way to go as far as acceptance but I’m happy we’ve taken the steps towards, for sure.”

4. Taylor Bennett 

Known to some as the brother of Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennett has successfully built his own solo career irrespective of his relationship with Chance. He has released four albums since 2015, all of which have been underground successes.

In early 2017, Bennett came out as bisexual on his Twitter account before his 21st birthday.

“Growing up I’ve always felt indifferent about my sexuality & being attracted 2 one sex & today I would like to openly come out to my fans.” he tweeted. “I do recognize myself as a bisexual male.”

3. Tyler, the Creator

Rapper and record producer Tyler, the Creator is one of the founding members of the legendary music collective Odd Future, and one of the most critically-acclaimed rappers in the world today. During his career he has won two Grammy Awards, three BET Hip Hop Awards, a BRIT Award and an MTV Video Music Award.

The artist has used social media a number of times and suggested he identifies as an LGBTQ person.

“I TRIED TO COME OUT THE DAMN CLOSET LIKE FOUR DAYS AGO,” he tweeted in April 2015. “AND NO ONE CARED HAHAHHAHAHA.”

Years later he would respond to Kendall Jenner tweeting him the phrase “Apparently we’re dating…” to which Tyler responded on Twitter saying. “NOT POSSIBLE, WE’RE BOTH GAY.”

In a recent song, Tyler appears to apologise for hiding his sexuality in the line, “Sorry to the guys I had to hide/ Sorry to the girls I had to lie to, who ain’t need to know if I was by the lake switchin’ tides, too,”

2. Frank Ocean

The enigmatic Frank Ocean is one of the great recording artists of our time. The rapper, singer, and producer is regularly praised by critics, with both Blonde and Channel Orange routinely appearing on lists of the greatest albums of all time.

His introspective, often avant-garde works frequently allude to his sexuality, although he avoids publicly making direct statements about his sexuality, clearly preferring to keep his private life personal.

In 2012, in a much discussed statement on his Tumblr he appears to reveal fluidity in his sexual preferences, saying. “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely,” he added cryptically. “I can hear the sky falling too.” He has said little else publicly about his sexuality ever since.

1. Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X is one of the most commercially successful artists within the rap genre in recent years, initially finding stardom with the release of his country rap single ‘Old Town Road.’ The smash hit song spent an incredible nineteen weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the longest-running number-one track since the chart debuted in 1958.

In the summer of 2019 – the last day of Pride Month and at the height of his song’s popularity – Lil Nas X came out as gay, and, interestingly, became the only artist to do so while having a number-one record.

“some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more.” he tweeted. “But before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure.”

Lil Nas X later confirmed that the song ‘C7osure’ held “clues” about his sexuality and was intended to confirm that he identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community.


You might also like:

Leave a Reply