Yesterday New York City hip-hop radio star Mr. Cee acknowledged having sex with a transgender sex worker in a tearful 30-minute interview on his own station, which then published a statement accepting his resignation and wishing him well. But almost immediately, there was another development.
On Thursday afternoon, following the urging of Mr. Darden during the morning interview, Mister Cee had seemingly un-resigned. He was back in his noon timeslot, playing defiant songs interspersed with grateful ones — Jadakiss’s “The Champ Is Here,” Maino’s “Hi Hater,” AZ’s “I’m Back.” “Let me just live my life/ Just leave me alone,” he rapped along with one Cam’ron song. In between songs, he barked out the details of the clubs he’d be spinning at in the coming days. “The truth will set you free,” he said. “I know it now.”
Near the end of his hour, he switched from hip-hop to classic soul. “If you’re down and out, if you’re struggling, if you think you can’t overcome something, maybe this record may lift you up like it lifted me up last night when I listened to it,” he said before playing Sly and the Family Stone’s “You Can Make It If You Try.” He followed that with the group’s exuberant anthem “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again),” and Mister Cee’s message was clear. He had been supporting others for so long. Now, finally, he was the subject of his own tribute.
The New York Times evaluates:
Mister Cee’s confession comes in the middle of a stretch that has seen the gradual easing of hip-hop’s internalized homophobia. Over the last couple of years Frank Ocean, the soul singer and affiliate of the hip-hop crew Odd Future, openly discussed his love for a man; ASAP Rocky and Kanye West have loudly disavowed homophobia (though Rocky visibly struggled at the MTV Video Music Awards when put on stage next to the openly gay basketball player Jason Collins), and Jay Z voiced his support for marriage equality.
This reflects a generational shift in attitudes, a slight class shift in hip-hop’s mainstream, as well as a broadening of hip-hop’s fan base. Anti-gay sentiment has long played a part in hip-hop, but as hip-hop becomes more central to pop culture,its values are evolving. A decade ago this scenario would have probably been unthinkable. But there was Mr. Darden assuring Mister Cee, “There’s nothing wrong with being who you are,” and at one point encouraging him by exclaiming, “You’re free, Cee!”
Mister Cee has been arrested twice for sex with male prostitutes, most recently in May during an undercover sting conducted by the NYPD.