"If y'all love hip-hop, make some muthafuckin' noise!" barks 27-year-old Shorty Roc (his mama named him Devalle Boone) as he takes the stage at El Cid Mexican restaurant. The L.A. crowd, sparse and tentative, rewards him with a few tepid nods. The slim and handsome Shorty has the unenviable task of getting the party started. But this is no ordinary party--it's fraught with meaning beyond "throw your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care."
Tonight is day 2 of the 11-day, 10-city HomoRevolution tour, a first for LGBT rap artists. In a year when brand-name music festivals like Coachella and Rock the Bells are top heavy with A-list performers and fleshed out with indie darlings, the HomoRev tour similarly pulls together a who's who and who-might-be from the spectrum of homo-hop: Miss Money, Deadlee, Tori Fixx, Julie Fucking Potter, Salvimex, Shorty Roc, Foxx-Jazzell, Johnny Dangerous, QBoy, Bigg Nugg, Mz Fontaine, and more. The line-up fuses races, rap styles, and gender presentations. And ironically, given the homophobia that courses through the culture, the homo tribe returns hip-hop to its outsider roots.
"There is a place for intelligent, loving, conscious hip-hop from a group of highly talented people," says San Francisco's 29-year-old Julie Fucking Potter. "Minorities speaking their truth and putting it in your face is exactly how hip-hop started."
Hip-hop culture is now mainstream culture; status quo. Much of the language, cadence, and flow of words and bodies, of ideas and politics that …