Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fearless Melange

AfterEllen: Mélange Lavonne uses her mic to talk about important issues, especially within the LGBT community. In the video for "Gay Bash," the out MC calls out those who hated her friend Kevin enough to kill him, when they didn't even know him (Mélange Lavonne "Gay Bash").

AfterEllen: Lavonne, who is working on a new album, brings all of herself — including her sexual orientation — to her music despite the fact that hip-hop is often experienced as misogynistic and homophobic. HomoRevolution, according to the tour's MySpace page, "is not just a revolution against those who oppress us sexually but also musically. Today's LGBT Community should know we exist." "I'm trying to get a message across, trying to spread awareness … about what I've endured and what my friends have gone through," said Lavonne, who has been the victim of anti-gay discrimination herself, specifically through the loss of a collegiate athletic scholarship. "I had a basketball scholarship at Dillard University in New Orleans," she explained. "The 60-year-old female coach had suspicions that some of the players were playing around with each other, and she told us that she couldn't have dykes on the team, that it would not be tolerated. She pulled me aside specifically and said that I could either get psychiatric help or lose my scholarship" (HomoHop's Melange Lavonne).

Mélange Lavonne (born c.1978) is an openly gay hip hop artist whose music addresses political themes including homophobia, racism, exploitation, and discrimination within hip hop culture. Lavonne's 2008 song "Gay Bash" featured on Logo TV's Click List, a showcase for LBGT short films. "Gay Bash" tells the story of Kevin, a fictional gay man murdered by gay bashers. It was directed by Little Red Pictures, with Lavonne as executive producer. As well as performing well on the Click List, the song was in January 2009 listed on's sampler of "songs from the new breed of out artists who are blazing a trail for a whole new generation, who aren’t afraid to be overtly political or sexual". It was also played at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival as a short before the Queen Latifah movie Life Support (Wikipedia).

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