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Queer Hip Hop returns Wednesday

“Queer Hip Hop: Uncensored” will take the stage at the Nugget Grill and Pub today as a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender hip hop artists perform their unfiltered lyrical rhymes.

Cal State Long Beach’s third Queer Hip Hop concert is returning to campus after skipping 2012, said Julie Potter, a CSULB graduate student and coordinator for “Queer Hip Hop: Uncensored.”

Potter said the event aims to promote the diversity in the hip-hop music industry and break the stigma attached to LGBT members in the hip-hop community.

“Hip-hop is so, in general, homophobic and sexist,” Potter said. “There are gay, famous rappers. You don’t know them, but there are millions of them.”

Potter said she had performed at other college campuses that hosted queer hip-hop shows before bringing it to CSULB.

“What inspired me [for this event] is that I love hip-hop, and I’m gay,” Potter said. “I’ve been a [hip-hop] performer for over a decade now.”

Notable headliners who will be performing include Mack Mistress, a female rap artist from Oakland, Deadlee, a “pioneer of homo hop” and various drag king artists.

Potter will perform with her own hip-hop band, the “JFP experience,” which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members as well as gay allies.

After the Queer Hip Hop event missed last year because it was never planned, Potter said she was determined to make it an annual event. She said she has received positive responses from the CSULB community about the event’s return.

The idea for the first Queer Hip Hop event in 2010 came up when Potter was a student assistant at LGBT resource center. With the LGBT resource center, LGBT Hip Hop was launched as a part of National Coming Out Week in 2010 and 2011, Potter said.

“There were a lot of dedicated people involved,” Potter said. “Everyone I have always asked has been willing to help out.”

She said that many on-campus organizations have helped her to make this event possible each year, including the University Student Union Program Council, who receives funds for the artists; the students from the Gay Straight Alliance, who design and post fliers; and KBeach, who advertises the event and promotes artists.

“I would love people to come in with an open mind,” Potter said. “It’s a music event of hip-hop. People will come away with an experience, and [it will] definitely be worth their time. Enjoy a great show, and see some good artists.”

The event will be held at the Nugget today from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

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