Is the line between thug and homo-thug the same line that's between happy and gay? Let's ask someone who knows:
50 Cent's gay-ishness has been documented brilliantly and exhaustively by Rod. It's a particuarly fun, if not crucial search in light of 50's comments last year about gay men not having a place in hip-hop, which could have actually been a benign observation if he didn't start it with, "Being gay isn't cool." (Hellllooooo! Being gay is the new pink! It is so the coolest!!!!)
But even if his observation is true, even if hip-hop effectively (not inherently) has no room for homos, Fiddy's vanity project has plenty of room for homoeroticism. I swear, when I sat down to watch Get Rich or Die Tryin', I wasn't even looking for gay. But 30 minutes in, as 50's Marcus character is explaining how he fell in with his gang and describing their living situation, gay found me and snapped me on the ass with a wet towel.
(More evidence, including the uncensored version of the above shot, after the jump. Warning: This post contains male butts, Terrence Howard's seemingly minuscule wang and wack rapping. Proceed only if your stomach is strong. Or if you like male butts.)
It isn't a big-budget, nicely lit Flava Works production. It isn't a sneak peak at the upcoming season of Noah's Arc. It's 50's life onscreen and it is g-g-g-g-gay.
Not that it's the rapper's fault -- his rhyming suggests a head lodged permanently up an ass. It was probably impossible to pull it out read the script or attempt to understand what director Jim Sheridan was doing. Sneaky, sneaky Jim Sheridan. Take, for example, the point in the film in which 50's character lands in jail. The movie wastes no time (it's like 15 seconds after he's booked) to remind us what a sausage party prison is.
It's not long before a fight breaks out. A steamy, nude, grunt-inducing cluster of a fight.
50's on the inside. Jealous?
Sheridan keeps the view from this wide angle. In doing so, penises are allowed only to impress us from afar -- there's no flopping in our faces. The only one who comes out, as it were, is Terrence Howard who probably shouldn't (that shot is particularly NSFW). He eventually steps out and his bubble butt (who knew?!) becomes the real star of the scene.
I said it before, but this time I mean it: I don't know about everybody else, but I love bubbles. And at this point, I wonder just whom Sheridan's intended audience is. It's not for the straight dudes, and it's about as for-the-ladies as
Playgirl clear mascara.
The naked, sweaty, ecstatic sparring leads to this, by the way:
Nothing like a little bondage to go with your rough-and-tumble play, right?
These examples are the film's most overtly homoerotic, but they serve to tip you off to a treasure trove of implications that are yours for the observing. Like 50's character naming himself Young Caesar, after noted bisexual Julius Caesar.
And what about that impeccably groomed, molesty mustache he rocks in a scene or two? It is the marker to John Waters' pencil-thin 'stache.
How about the film's ever-present muscle worship?
Or the fact that "Window Shopper," the soundtrack's dud of a first single, opens with 50 exclaiming "Oh!" like his ass is sore, followed by the line "The top feels so much better than the bottom!"
But you'd be gay, too, if your mom were this fab and encouraged you to sing along to Chaka's "I Feel for You":
Or if the guy you saw once and assumed was your dad had a haircut resembling Rick James' during his flamingly permed period, which then prompted you to hang up a picture of Rick and look at it every day, basking in the rays that his orange hair and seriously questionable sexuality emitted:
Even 50's role model, kingpin Majestic, gets down with the flamboyance. Here he is in a mesh shirt (with aforementioned Rick wannabe):
And here's Majestic saying, "Work your ass hard, that's what your ass get," even though the English language offers approximately 7,000 other ways to express what he's trying to say without conjuring images of clenching holes and power-bottoming.
One or two of these examples might not even register a blip on gaydar. All of them working together like some big, frilly and lispy machine makes you no longer able to see straight. Shit, by the end, a simple, "I love you, man," might as well be, "I want you inside me!!!"
Of course, to counter it all, to scream "NO HOMO" at you, 50 is given a love interest, played by Joy Bryant. Theirs is a picture-esque romance.
Cliché, cliché. Slap a two-strawed ice-cream soda between them! Even when he's with a girl it's gay!