Sexy rap swag comes in all shapes and sizes, and, if you’re gay bear Big Dipper, also with witty rhymes and fat beats. The Chicago-born rapper, known for his sex-positive hiphop and day-glo videos, has lately been hustling from his current home base in L.A. to capitalize on the viral success of singles like “Lookin,” and to help build his community of indie queer artists.
Said hustle might entail directing a video for another performer, or producing his bi-annual, L.A.-based outdoor festival and market, Fruitcake. Or the Big D might be popping up at a Pride near you to perform tracks like “Pressed” and “Thiccness” that celebrate big boys, and have made the rapper a smirking, rhyming poster boy for body positivity. Not that he set out to help galvanize a movement.
“Initially, I thought it would be fun to make almost pop star visuals on myself, because I feel like we’ve not seen a fat, hairy dude sexualized the way that Britney Spears has been sexualized,” says the artist. “And I thought for specifically the car wash video for the song ‘Lookin,’ we’ve seen so many cheerleaders doing a car wash, bikini-clad models at a car wash, what if we just did that, but it’s all chubby dudes? And not in a comical way, in a real sexy way.
“I got such positive feedback, with people saying, ‘I feel represented by you and I feel like I could be stronger.’ Body positivity is such a buzzword right now,” he continues. “You can roll your eyes at something that feels like a trendy buzzword, but for the majority of the human experience we share the fact that we are walking around in human bodies together. Why do we have to hate our different bodies? Why are we so hateful towards some bodies versus others?”
Combating hatred is one reason Big Dipper will rock the stage at this year’s Capital Pride. “All these transwomen are being killed constantly, people are still being bashed on the streets,” he says. “The more public and the more visible we as a queer community become, the more threatened the bigots become, and so it’s great to have the celebration for Pride and great for me to get out and do shows and entertain people because the queer community deserves a little lighthearted entertainment.
“But it’s also our responsibility to make sure everyone feels empowered to keep fighting and keep moving,” he adds. “Pride was not founded at a pier party where everyone just did fucking GHB and danced along to Ariana Grande songs. Pride was started because people were fighting for their lives. That is a message that gets lost really quickly, but it’s not lost on me. We need to be able to keep fighting.”
Big Dipper performs on the Capital Pride Concert Stage between 5 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 9. For more information visit www.capitalpride.org/concert.