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Echo Park as center of the gay hip-hop movement

January 18, 2009 | 11:14 am

Gayrapper Where is the epicenter of the gay hip-hop movement? Not surprisingly perhaps, it's Echo Park. And Joseph Lee, one of the most prominent gay rappers. Here's more from Jeff Weiss in The Times:

Echo Park resident Joseph Lee doesn't necessarily look like the leader of a musical movement. Blanketed in thug-like tattoos, a menacing goatee and often photographed in bandanna and Tupac Shakur tee, Lee could easily pass for a long-lost member of Cypress Hill. Yet under the sobriquet Deadlee, Lee is arguably Los Angeles' most prominent gay rapper, having helped organized the first national "homo-hop tour." In spite of frequent censure from the greater hip-hop community, a vibrant gay hip-hop subculture has evolved -- both locally and nationally -- with the clear-cut goals of defying bigotry and realizing self-expression.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Captain Magik