Anyone who’s been keeping up with the drama on Love & Hip Hop Miami knows that rapper Bobby Lytes tends to be an over-the-top character. He can rub fans, and a few castmates, the wrong way, but his true dream is to storm the music charts like his rap star cousin, Trina. Season after season Lytes has been embroiled in on-screen physical altercations, but the notoriety is helping the 28-year-old reality television star build his fanbase.
“I’m such a sucker for some good old shade, but unfortunately, that sh*t gets me in a lot of trouble,” he told VH1 last month. “I hate the idea of people considering me the ‘messy gay guy on Love and Hip Hop.‘ I’m so much more than that—the fans know it, my supporters know it, the cast knows it, I know it! All of the drama I surrounded myself with this past season definitely took away from the opportunity for people to see just how talented I am. The music for me is super important because it’s my career and my passion at the same time. Soon the world will see.”
Last season, Lytes inked a record deal, snubbing his cousin’s label and carving his own path. For years conversations about hip hop and openly LGBTQIA rappers has been a hot topic, but the successes of artists such as Young M.A, Frank Ocean, Kevin Abstract, ILoveMakonnen, Mykki Blanco, and many others has shown that the rap game is on its way to becoming more accepting of alternative lifestyles.
Yet, Lytes prompted a discussion on both Instagram and Twitter after he shared on IG that his sexual orientation was the only thing preventing him from being a chart-topping artist. “If I was ‘straight’ I would have went platinum, let’s argue,” he tweeted and later posted on Instagram. While some people agreed, others cited that his portrayal on reality TV is what’s really holding him back. Does Lytes have the chops to be the next big thing in hip hop regardless of his sexual orientation? Or are LGBTQIA artists still not fully accepted in hip hop?