*Last night, rapper Taylor Bennett joined FOX SOUL’s Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee Uncensored on FOX SOUL, where he discussed his upbringing in Chicago, his journey toward coming out as bisexual, his work with his brother Chance the Rapper and how his relationship with record producer, entrepreneur and fashion designer, YE (formally known as Kanye West) influenced him personally.
Some quotes from Taylor Bennett’s interview include:
On finding the courage to be openly bisexual: “It wasn’t an easy thing, I was like 21 so when you’re 21 you’re still finding yourself but I also had had a decent deal of like success prior to 21 like through 18 to 21 so a lot of things in my life were set. I had friends around me, I had a stable kind of situation in terms of where I was living, and of course, I was saying this yesterday when you come out as anything, things change around you so like after I did come out, I did a lot of work with homeless youth, because a lot of people that are a part of the LGBTQ get kicked out their cribs, cause you lose your crib, you lose your family, you lose your friends around you, a lot of different things change. I and just to be 100% honest was at a point in my life where I felt like so many things for me wouldn’t change.”
Bennett then added: “I think the biggest thing of course as a thought was my career, so like the trajectory, like me being like ‘Yo I’m openly bisexual,’ especially being a hip-hop artist could change the looks that I get.”
On his coming out story on Twitter: “I came out on Twitter, so that was the other advantage so not only did I have some kind of I think stability in terms of where I was in life but it was also a thing where I had the technology. I didn’t tell my dad, I didn’t tell my mom, I didn’t tell my brother, I literally said it on Twitter and then walked in the house and then told my dad, told my mom told my brother while we were like in Malibu, Miami for some trip that Chance was on. I think it was like a thing where because I had that tool it made it something where I didn’t have to have those conversations like a lot of other people do or still do and then also again which this isn’t everybody’s situation. I was thinking all these different things like wow you got all these reasons that you could come out and be this person. Don’t let the idea of you know I had money you know what I’m saying like I’m not saying I have more money now and I wasn’t super-rich but it wasn’t like again I wasn’t a kid and that again why I did a lot of work with the homeless youth, cause a lot of kids to lose their cribs. Like I grew up with different kids that were sleeping on the train and maybe not even telling me because they had been kicked out of their crib. So you know, technology man. “I think the biggest thing was that I was about to be 21 so it was just like space and a time where god I think kind of tapped me on the shoulder and also sheltered me.”
On his relationship with Kanye: “I was just thinking about this the other day because the album that I have deals a lot with stereotypes right so like there’s a lot of album coming of age that just dropped, it’s all about genre-bending but also stereotypes cause there’s a lot of different things that we’ve seen since the early days of American cinema. The first and I talk about it on my project, D.W. Griffith he’s the guy that made ‘The Birth Of A Nation,’ so, like the oldest film, the first film to be shown by Woodrow Wilson in the White House depicts African Americans as very similar to what we are also depicted today which is like thieves, criminals, you know extremely sex-driven like all these different kinds of stereotypes that are really stuck there. Just to bring it back to Kanye West, the reason why he’ll always be so influential is that there’s a lack of representation when it comes to strong African American role models, period. So no matter what anybody says about Kanye West, there will always be young black kids like me that look up on tv and say ‘I’ve never seen a black man talk like that. I’ve never seen a black man feel like he isn’t owed but that he deserves this and that he won’t let anyone take it away from them.’ I’ve never seen a black person that controls his narrative in the way that he does and doesn’t allow people to change what his thought process is whether it be wrong or right.”
On being Chance the Rapper’s brother and his humility with his own career: “I think that when it comes to my brother a big thing about it is his brand he’s such a positive person and he’s always been on the right side of things and is just like a hard as anybody in the world, especially like me and the ‘Be Yourself’ brand, it’s hard for anybody to feel like at some point you’re this huge giant let’s try to knock you down. Now the difference and the reason why I was also so willing to engage with my brother and his business is that I see and that is one of the gifts that God has given me, I see the potential in almost everything and everybody that I talk to and what Chance represents not just for the African American community but for artists, for independence is something that is timeless, something that is generational, like people he’s already won three Grammys, like that thing you can’t take away from him but there are also things that because he’s been awarded them now there’s an expectation and I do understand that very well because similar for me once I came out as the LGBTQ Taylor Bennett, there are expectations for me and my career and things that I do feel like I have a responsibility to handle.”