We knew way back in August that FX had ordered up the new animated series Chozen. What we didn’t know at the time was that Chozen was a white dude. Who rapped. And was gay.
Yes, the show’s lead and namesake is Chozen, a guy who went into prison heterosexual and came out a loud and proud homosexual with the goal of becoming a rap star. It’s all the product of Grant Dekernion (Eastbound & Down) along with Adam Reed and Matt Thompson from Archer. Bobby Moynihan, Michael Pena, Hannibal Burress, Method Man and Kathryn Hahn all lend their voices to the characters.
Of course, he’s not the first gay rapper to appear in a cartoon because everyone fondly remembers Gangstalicious. But Chozen’s the first rapper playing for the other team to have a full series dedicated to him. And he’s fulfilling the role in full flaming mode, taking on all of the stereotypical behavior of rappers and gays. Previously, the two cultures only interactions could be described as clashes instead of acceptance.
But, that’s why I always get irked when comedians get forced to apologize for remarks they make during a stand-up routine. Comedy is one those sacred areas where it’s okay to be offensive and say what everyone else is only thinking. A non-PC joke can begin with small, uneasy laughter in an audience before working its way to flat-out rolling in the floor. Those jokes can break down walls of communication that exist between groups and cultures.
Depending on what direction the show’s writers take Chozen, the cartoon has a chance to do just that. Let’s face it – rap’s never been too friendly to the idea of homosexuality. In a music genre and culture built on machismo, being gay is a perceived no-no*. Even talking about where Hip-Hop stands with homosexuality is a hush-hush topic.
Meanwhile, in the real world, we have a generation of kids growing up in a larger society who has warmed to same sex marriage, gays in the military, etc. Those kids also listen to the same rap as the rest of us. Chances are a few might grow up to be gay and they might even rap so they’ll definitely be making their way onto your iPod, whether you knowingly accept it or not.
Ready or not, rap world, here comes Chozen when the series premieres January 13th 2014 on the FX channel.
* — I tend to think that R&B’s never had this problem to the same degree. Howso? Two names: Luther and Quincy Jones. God bless the dead but we all just naturally made that assumption about Luther. For Quincy, nobody pulled my quote to his alleged actions until the past two years. listen here, starting at the 4:00 mark, then just do some Googling. Talk about floored?
But, he’s been in the game longer than most of us have been alive and given us so many hits that what’s most important – his work – speaks before anything else. Same with Luther. Their art transcends any discussion about their sexual preference.