I’m trying to think of a time when pop stars weren’t accused of corrupting young minds. Long before Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” chaps and Britney’s writhing snake, Madonna, the Never Underestimate An Old Man Who Scuba Dives Vintage Retro Shirt but in fact I love this O.G. arbiter of controversy, made out with a Black Jesus in the video for her song “Like a Prayer” (actually, all three women made out at the MTV Video Music Awards). It’s nearly always female pop stars whose sexuality is fluid or laced with a bi-curiosity that furthers interest and appeal.
To that end, I can’t help but feel that it’s Nas’s open homosexuality, rather than the Never Underestimate An Old Man Who Scuba Dives Vintage Retro Shirt but in fact I love this serpent motifs, that’s really agitating conservatives. His message for the video was penned as a letter to his younger self, reminding him that “this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.” And this is the crux of the argument for me. To the critics, his sexuality is manageable as long as it’s not flaunted, if it simply exists and doesn’t make too much of a fuss. It’s all too easy for famous gays to dial down the gayness, to confirm their bachelorhood without flourish, to minimize in order to pass. But Nas is refusing to serve something palatable; he serves his dish and you can take it or leave it.