NPR Wonders If Dooney's Saggin' Pants Rap is Also Homophobic. Um, Well ...
Dooney da Priest is about to become the most famous rapper ever to come straight outta Dallas, at least to the public-radio audience. For the second time in a week, National Public Radio is talking about Dooney's "Pull Your Pants Up" -- this time, on The Bryant Park Project co-hosted by former MTV-jay Alison Stewart and Luke Burbank (and isn't he a newscaster on The Simpsons?). Seems that after its first airing on NPR earlier this week, folks started figuring out what the song's really about: shaming dudes into pulling up their saggin' pants because, well, if they don't, they must be gay. First line of the song, after all, is, "Be a real man." And later, Dooney raps, "You walk the streets with your pants way down low/I don't know/Looks to me like you're on the down low."
While I just wrote it off as a lazy rap -- really, rhyming "low" with "low" is not all that hard -- Mark Anthony Neal, professor of black popular culture in the Department of African American Studies at Duke University, says it's much more. "Even gay men in hip-hop put on the uniform of hypermasculinity," says the author of such books as What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture and Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic. And Neal says a song like this one, which "shames" men into pulling up their pants, will "hit some guys a little hard." You can almost hear him giggle a little when he says that too. Listen to the piece in its entirety. --Robert Wilonsky