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The best kept secret in music


Latino Puts Gay Hip Hop on the Map
Deadlee featured in Outfest 2006 documentary on gay hip hop movement
By Camilo Arenivar | Web Published 7.6.2006

Los Angeles’ one and only out gay rapper Deadlee is about to assault Angelenos with his “Deadlee” weapon of homo hop, a gay and lesbian take on rap and hip hop music, through a high profile movie debut and a series of special performances during the weekend of July 13th through July 15th.

Dubbed “the Blaxican gay rapper” by L.A. Weekly, the so-called “GayPac” is one of the key rappers in Director Alex Hinton’s acclaimed documentary on Gay Hip Hop/Rap, “Pick Up the Mic”. On Friday, July 14, the film is being featured as part of Outfest 2006, the 24th Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Deadlee (website:, who is one-fourth black and three-quarter Mexican, is experiencing rising popularity as a result of his work in the documentary and a heavy push on MySpace, Gay Media and being featured in LOGO’s Hip Hop Homos. He recently received interest from MTV and The L Word. His performance in the film has been noted in the straight rap magazine URB and in articles in the NY Daily News as well as other sources. In June, He had a full page photo in the Nation’s number one Gay and Lesbian magazine, The Advocate

“With Deadlee, I've watched him over the years, and he's turned into such an amazing performer. That scariness is brought to the table, but he really allows audience members to accept him and to get into what he's saying. He's definitely a superhero,” says Director Alex Hinton in the June 7th NY Daily News.

Deadlee’s HomoHop counterparts land in L.A. Thursday, July 13th at 10 PM. Hollywood’s famous Knitting Factory is where the pre-party for “Pick up the Mic” launches. You can catch the Deadlee experience live that night, as well as Johnny Dangerous, Katastrophe, and Scream Club, with others expected to be added. Admission is $10 and this show is all ages.

“Pick up the Mic” will be screened at Outfest 2006 on Friday July 14th at the Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood. Deep Dickollective (Oakland, CA), Juba Kalamka (Oakland, CA), Miss Money (Houston, TX), Johnny Dangerous (Chicago, IL), Tori Fixx (Minneapolis, MN), Dutchboy (San Francisco, CA), JenRO (San Francisco, CA), Katastrophe (San Francisco, CA), JB Rap (Oakland, CA), Scream Club (Olympia, WA), QBoy (London, UK) in addition to Deadlee will be on hand to perform live after the screening.

Saturday July 15th at 8 PM, The Stone Bar in Hollywood is the location for “The Deadlee Show: Video Release Party for Good Soldier II”. This event will be hosted by comedian Anthony Dominguez (website: and celebrates the video premiere of ‘Good Soldier II”, Deadlee’s first professionally directed video. The video is directed by USC graduate Johnny Skandros. The show will include comedy sets by Deadlee, Bobaloo, Benny Mena, CJ, and Anthony Dominguez and musical performances by Deadlee, Tori Fixx, JenRO, QBoy, Katastrophe, Johnny Dangerous, and Salvimex. The show will also be a unique opportunity for Deadlee to perform with his collaborators, who are from all over the Country, but all in Los Angeles this special night. For more info please go to


Suck His Gun
Deadlee, gay and strong

By Ernest Hardy
Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:00 am

Photo by Marla Rutherford

The blaxican gay rapper Deadlee is standing in the lobby of the DGA, having just attended a Los Angeles Film Festival screening of the lackluster hip-hop–inflected Afro-boho/slacker film Men Without Jobs. “Butterfly is still fine as fuck,” says Deadlee of the former Digable Planets member who stars in the film, “but his ass can’t act.” An actress working the crowd approaches him, thrusting a calendar of herself into his hands. “I had some of these made up to promote myself,” she tells him, “and I still got a few lying around. Thought I’d give one to a brother who looks like he could appreciate it.” He smiles and graciously accepts the gift. It’s a laughable sign of the times, I tell him after she leaves, that his looking like he just escaped from County is construed as heterosexuality. He laughs and nods.

Deadlee, whose sophomore CD, Assault With a Deadlee Weapon, was recently released, gives off enough mixed vibes and crossed references that it’s easy to get snagged on his surface: cholo gear; ruffneck gait; tats curling around his neck, over his arms and across his back; an impenetrable glare till he gets to know you, then it’s all warm smiles. Effortlessly sexy (with a propensity toward sleaze), he’s also surprisingly sensitive, almost shy in person. The new CD builds on its predecessor’s electronica/rock/sample-heavy grooves, stirring in a more West Coast, G-funk sound. Deadlee gives his age as 29; he makes no secret of wanting to go beyond cult status.

L.A. WEEKLY: What are the differences between the first album and this one?

DEADLEE: I put out my first album, 7 Deadlee Sins, by myself, completely indie. On this one, I had the support of a label, ACRONYM. Matt Wobensmith, who ran [the gay punk label] Outpunk in the ’90s, is trying to do the same today but with gay rappers. I was the first artist signed, and he encouraged me to take it to the next level. I’d say my first album was a lot more abstract, which I like, but it was time to bring all the issues to the surface. If you listen to the first album, I give signs of my sexuality, but I was very Prince-like — I left you guessing. On Assault, I don’t hold back. There’s no question as to what I’m saying and who I am. I hit you right off with “Suck Muh Gun.” My gun is my voice, my cock. Or you can take it literally as a weapon. I’m taking the whole gangster image and flipping it. I’m a strong gay man, and I’m challenging all these motherfucks to try and challenge my manhood. They can’t! I use my sexuality as a plus, treat straight fucks like they’ve treated and disrespected women and gays all these years. I’m one faggot you can’t fuck with. I break out of the stereotype.

What’s your take on “downlow” culture?

I struggle with this. I understand why a lot of men keep it on the DL, but, at the same time, it’s a cop-out. I address it in my song “No Fags Allowed,” that a DL brotha is a punk who runs away from the truth. It takes more balls to be open ’bout your shit. A lot of it comes from communities not accepting their gay family. With Latino and black communities, it’s the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. That leaves a lot of young Latinos and blacks to adhere to the DL way — that and the fact that a lot of them don’t connect with the white Queer Eye, Will & Grace faggot. Mainstream media has ghettoized “gay” as a joke, a feminine queeny thing. When I see these images, even I want to be DL. [Laughs.] I just keep pushing my agenda to show other Latinos and blacks that you can be open with your shit and still be strong. To be open doesn’t demasculinize — is that a word? — you. Since telling my family I was gay, I have no fear. It really got me to the next level in my life.

You’ve scaled down your posse. Why? Where are the drag queens?

The gay community is very rich. There are so many different people and backgrounds — trannies, drag queens, homothugz, lipstick lesbians, butch dykes, FTM and MTF . . . Goddayum! When I first started performing, I really wanted to showcase all of that. I wanted the hip-hop audience to see that there’s [an unacknowledged] world out there that digs hip-hop. But I felt my message was getting lost with all the go-go boyz and queens I had onstage. I scaled it down so the content of my raps gets heard. Plus, drag queens aren’t a shock anymore. It’s more shocking to see a masculine man onstage rap about sucking dick.

Why do you think the West Coast has been the most fertile terrain for gay/queer hip-hop?

West Coast is the best coast, just like Pac used to say! I guess it’s because, in general, L.A. and San Francisco are gay-friendly, and it may be easier to be yourself. Also Juba Kalamka from the rap group DDC [Deep Dick Collective] has been instrumental in bringing gay hip-hop to light with the yearly festival Peaceout in Oakland.

Rate yourself as a rapper in comparison to othe - LA Weekly

Pop Profile: Deadlee
Josh Tager

Deadlee, an East L.A. homothug rapper -- a gayngsta, some say -- smashes standard gay stereotypes in one fell swoop with his second release, "Assault with a Deadlee Weapon." This sexually explicit and graphically violent album is a hardcore, no-holds-barred blend of rap and rock, in Spanish and English, and it's infuriating those committed to convention while uniting the truly angry and disenfranchised.
Claiming the influences of Ice T, Lil Rob and even Sid Vicious, Deadlee tackles the virulent homophobia of mainstream culture. His work is both political and autobiographical. Known for his blunt sexual descriptions and stories of gang-banging, Deadlee yields to no one.

His manner is as aggressive as his lyrics, in solid gangsta-rap style. His fiery contribution to this genre is drawing together an eclectic fan base of drag queens, transsexuals, cholos, b-boys and b-girls, punks, gays and assorted dissenters.

Fearless, Deadlee directs the brunt of his anger toward homophobes, in particular rappers DMX and 50 Cent. Rather than wince, retreat or turn the other cheek, as some are inclined to do in the face of such contempt, Deadlee offers a simple counter: "Suck Muh Gun!" -- a sentiment that also serves as the title of the second track on his album.

He placed a more detailed response to these "homo-haters" on his album with the bonus track "My G.A.Y.N.G," a live recording from the 2003 PeaceOUT hip-hop festival in Oakland, featuring a full complement of homo-hop superstars.

Deadlee's sound is rather familiar. Each track is a combination of persistent, sturdy beats and gnashing guitar. The thinly layered music is dramatic. The lyrics are peppered with "bitch," "pussy," "faggot" and more. Like many of his gangsta-rap peers, Deadlee's albums are intense, writhing outbursts of anger. The notable distinction here is that when Deadlee bashes, he's bashing back. He is a vigilante for social justice, committed to confronting homophobia wherever he sees it.

Though he's often criticized for the belligerent themes of his work, he's also earning respect from some of his peers. "Deadlee is like a master's thesis on power and gender politics," said Juba Kalamka of hip-hop's renowned Deep Dickollective.

Deadlee is a destroyer of stereotypes. He is tough, he is contemplative, and he's scaring the bejeezus out of homophobes. Fans of gangsta rap with a gay sensibility now have a star all their own.



'Gayngsta' Rapper Deadlee Headlines Homo Hip-Hop Tour, Disses Eminem, DMX, 50 Cent
By Nolan Strong
Date: 1/23/2007 10:30 am

Popular Los Angeles based gay rapper Deadlee has announced that he will headline what is being billed as the first ever organized regional tour of gay, lesbian and bisexual rap & Hip-Hop artists.
Billed as the Homorevolution Tour 2007, the ten-city trek will feature a variety of popular gay and lesbian MC's, including Johnny Dangerous, Delacruz, Melange Lavonne, Salvimex, Bigg Nugg and JFP.

Covering five states, the tour is set to launch in San Diego in March.

"The HomoRevolution Tour is a direct challenge to the old status quo in Hip-Hop," Deadlee told "Times are changing and if openly gay rappers aren't invited then we are kicking the door in - and inviting ourselves...we are taking the mic. It's our turn too."

Deadlee, born Joseph Lee, has grabbed headlines in publications like The New York Daily News, The Advocate, LA Weekly, Urb, instinct and others, with sexually charged music referred to as "Homohop"and "Gayngsta" rap.

The self-described "Queer Bastard Child of DMX & Lil Kim," has also contributed his music to a series of motion picture soundtracks including On the Down Low and Vengeance. He was also the focus of a reality show on LGBT television network Logo, called Hip-Hop Homos.

In the traditional nature of Hip-Hop, his music confronts some of the industry's biggest rappers, including Eminem, DMX, and 50 Cent.

"Eminem was called out for his juvenile, hateful approach to homosexuality, especially in his song 'Criminal,' [The Marshall Mathers LP]" Deadlee said. "He was the biggest rapper at the time and if he used the same song as a diss to Blacks or Latinos, he would probably be dead. Eminem likes to pick on the 'weak' but gay[z] aint weak and he might be a f*g himself. He knew all the subcultures in that song."

Deadlee, who was born in Denver but calls Los Angeles home, also has issues with DMX's constant use of the word fa**ot and his references to "homo thugs."

"I find it crazy when his videos are very homoerotic," Deadlee said. "All the guys kicking it with their shirts off!"

Deadlee saved his harshest criticism for rap's biggest superstar, Queens, NY rapper 50 Cent.

In April 2004, 50 Cent made international headlines when Playboy published an article with the rapper expressing his views on homosexuality.

"I ain't into fa**ots," 50 Cent told Playboy. "I don't like gay people around me, because I'm not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I'm not prejudiced. I just don't go with gay people and kick it - we don't have that much in common. I'd rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that's cool."

"F*ck him. I don't like ignorant b**ches around me, so he can suck my gun," Deadlee stated. "He is a classic man who had Homo-feelings and chooses to lash out because he is afraid he might act out on his true feelings. 50 Cent has deep rooted homosexual tendencies."

Deadlee will host Logo's NewNowNext, which airs Feb. 4.

Below are the tentative dates for the Homorevolution Tour 2007:

March 29: San Diego, CA
March 30: Los Angeles, CA
March 31: Las Vegas, NV
April 1: Phoenix, AZ
April 2: Albuquerque, NM
April 3: El Paso, TX
April 5: San Antonio, TX
April 6: Houston, TX
April 7: Austin, TX
April 8: Dallas, TX



7 Deadlee Sins (2003)
Assault with a Deadlee Weapon (2006)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Cholo. Roughneck. Explicit. Fearless. Blaxican. Gayngsta. Homo thug. Grimy. Confrontational. Groundbreaking. Aggressive. Fiery. Vigilante. Sexy. Sensitive. "Queer Bastard Child of DMX & Lil Kim". Rapper, poet, performance artist and actor. All of these words and phrases have been used to describe the artist who has for several years now been performing as DEADLEE.

DEADLEE launched his career earlier this millennium with his first release, the critically acclaimed 7 Deadlee Sins. A blend of hip-hop and rap, with a thrash rock undercurrent, his lyrics tackled race, class, sex, and even police brutality. The CD positioned DEADLEE as a key player in music's latest underground movement, gay rap/hip hop. He went on to play a variety of music festivals including the Peace Out Festival in Oakland, Peace Out East in NYC, and HomoAGoGo in Olympia, Washington. The mainstream gay community did not initially accept his confrontational style. The Long Beach Gay And Lesbian Pride Festival extended and then withdrew an invitation to play at their festival. As his name became more synonymous with the growing gay homohop/rap scene, the community started to come around. DEADLEE later performed at the Los Angeles Latin Gay Pride festival, the annual Christopher Street West/Los Angeles Pride festival in West Hollywood, and the San Francisco GLBT Pride Main Stage two years. He received considerable press with articles or reviews in the now defunct QV Magazine, LA Weekly, The Advocate, Frontiers Magazine, and most recently in URB magazine.

In the fall of 2005, after being involved in motion picture soundtracks and the subject of documentaries, DEADLEE released his much anticipated follow up to 7 Deadlee Sins. The new CD was called Assault with a Deadlee Weapon. Fueled with retaliatory attacks on rap and hip-hop's biggest homophobes such as Eminem, DMX, and 50 Cent, the beats had reached a new peak. "Assault" has a tighter production and a lot of support from fellow rappers and artists such as Johnny Dangerously, Tori Fixx, Salvi-Mex, Dutchboy, Barnes, Drastiko, Clint Catalyst and more. A video for the powerful track "Solider II" is scheduled to be released this spring. The CD has a sound and message that will keep it playing for some time.

Despite his notoriety as a controversial gay rapper, DEADLEE has also contributed music to "On the Down Low", directed by Tadeo Garcia, and "Vengeance", directed by Daniel Zirilli. Both movies feature songs contained on "Assault with a Deadlee Weapon". In addition, DEADLEE demonstrated his acting skills in Zirilli's gangbanger drama. A card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild, DEADLEE is a rapper and an Actor. 2006 sees him making film festival appearances in support of the homohop documentary, Pick Up the Mic, which he is featured in. He also appears on the LOGO network's documentary series, Hip Hop Homos. The multifaceted artist has recently performed several stand-up comedy routines that have nothing to do with his experiences as a gay rapper and will be one more venue to watch out for DEADLEE in.