Russell Simmons Says Hip-Hop Homophobia Isn't That Severe

Russell Simmons, hip-hop mogul and Def Jam co-founder has been a longtime advocate for gay rights. He's also spoken out about artists needing to take responsibility for their harsh lyrics.

So Simmons coming to the defense of hip-hop when it comes to gay bashing lyrics is a somewhat of a surprise.

"I'm not suggesting there's no homophobia. I'm suggesting that homophobia exists everywhere, and it's horrible. I'm saying that hip-hop artists and the hip-hop community, the poetic community, are less homophobic than the rest of society. Whoever you can think of, hip-hop is less."

Russell continued in an interview with XXL Magazine stating, "If [rappers] use harsh language or say things that exemplify a truth in our sadness, our sickness in our community, that is shocking. That's just reality. They're just dealing with what we're just trying to brush under the rug. They're mirrors of our own sickness."