Gay Rap Opera

In the Stanley Cup Finals of unexpected musical phenomena, Bash’d would sweep any opponent in four games (so would that metaphor, in the Stanley Cup Finals of bizarre, barely workable literary devices).  The brainchild of writer/actors Chris Craddock (“T-Bag”) and Nathan Cuckow (“Feminem”), Bash’d is a gay rap opera starring two white Canadians.  And no, that acid isn’t finally kicking in – you just read a sentence containing the words “a gay rap opera starring two white Canadians.”

According to Variety magazine, it isn’t as bad as you’d think.  In the past, any mention of the word “rap” within about thirty words of the phrase “white Canadians” was a signal to brace oneself for a painful account of terrible, embarassing music.  Variety brings up Snow, for example.  I’d throw in Shawn Desman as well.  Fortunately, Craddock and Cuckow come correct, delivering “some radio-worthy hip-hop.”

Even better, the duo also put a “smart spin on gay rights.”  By realistically portraying “each facet of the … debate,” Craddock and Cuckow emphasize the ambiguity inherent in an issue like the gay community’s “relationship to straight culture.”  As the author of the Variety article notes, “the increasing acceptance of gay marriage only propels both sides: From one vantage point, marriage equality grants everyone the same human dignity, but from another, it assimilates gay people into hostile hetero traditions.”  There are no easy answers.  Craddock and Cuckow are, apparently, unafraid to explore these questions.

And, while it’s always good to see a reasoned, creative addition to the gay rights debate, it’s almost as good to see Canadian hip-hop get some props.

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