She Grew Up To Be An Openly Bisexual Singer Who Angered The Gay Community
She is Meshell Ndegeocello! Remember her? She first hit us with her ’93 classic, “Dreadlocs,” and then “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night).” The songs she started releasing soon after those first two, such as “Who Is He and What Is He To You” and the religious rebellious song “Leviticus: Faggot,” is where the real shock started to happen.
Now for those who aren’t very familiar with Meshell, she is a powerful singer and musician who knows how to perfectly blend her religious rebelliousness/confusion, her political activism, and her complex sexuality into one big melting pot of soulful gumbo. Meshell was one of the only entertainers of the 90’s era who was openly gay, or so we thought…then we found out that she wasn’t actually gay, but she was openly bisexual and that is where the extreme amount of backlash from the lesbian community began for her.
You see, initially Meshell was presumed, by most of her fans, to be a lesbian R&B artist and although her first single was about running her fingers through a man’s dreadlocs, somehow, the lesbian perception was still there. So when her first album came out with songs that were primarily about loving and making love to a woman, but had a few heterosexual love songs sprinkled in between, the lesbian community called her a “sellout to a straight America,” according to Rolling Stone.
Meshell’s response was “I could care less.” She was always focused on staying true to herself and according to her friend and collaborator, Wendy Melvoin (formerly the guitarist for Prince’s Revolution band), Meshell Ndegeocello is a very bisexual woman, who never hides that reality from the world.
The backlash Meshell received from the gay community was understandable, if we look at it from their point of view, because the confusion that was caused by the images they were being marketed, versus what Meshell’s entire body of work represented, would have thrown anyone for a loop.
“I think early on when the music business was a little different, and they had to create some sort of persona to sell, I think I got sold as this angry, black, gay person. I think that’s a huge misconception. Other than that, I don’t really think about it. That’s why I had to ask you,” says Meshell Ndegeocello. [Out Magazine]
“I’ve come up with a new term: I am sexually functional with both genders. I just choose to be with this particular one. Who knows what the future holds? It’s just such a weird concept to me that it’s so important to how you judge my music or my character or anything about me. I’m never assuming what heterosexual people are doing.”
And there you have it. Meshell Ndegeocello is a woman who never bites her tongue – not in her music, nor in her everyday life and that is why we love her. When we really get down to it, record labels should never filter the true representation of their artists. Otherwise, what’s the point in calling an artist and artist? If we leave it up to these labels, we might as well just call them prepackaged puppets, with a hint of their true selves added.
-ILoveOldSchoolMusic, old school news with a new point of view