Yesterday, I finally received my advance copy of Hiding in Hip Hop, former closeted entertainment industry gadfly (pictured) Terrance Dean's much-hyped autobiography about all of the gays that are, well, hiding in hip hop. I've read about half of it so far. Dean has already proven himself eager to trot out blind items about male celebrities he says he's hooked up with, and the book doesn't disappoint in that regard. Today, an overview of what the book is and isn't, and then some of what you've been waiting for: three TV actors, a famous rapper, and a "megastar," anonymously outed.
When word of this book first got around, plenty of people hoped that Dean would just out some famous rappers outright, by name. Barring some unforeseen surprises later in the book, he's not going to do that. But he does like to tell salacious stories about people using pseudonyms, while giving enough identifiable details about them that it's certainly possible to make some very good educated guesses at their identities.
It should also be noted that this book is not just about hip hop. It starts off with Dean's life story—poverty, molestation, a heroin-addicted prostitute mother. He goes to college and moves to LA to break into the entertainment business. He socializes with a wide range of people from movies, television, and the random parts of the LA celebrity-industrial complex, as well as people from the music industry.
Finally, it's clear that this book is not a work of great literature. Nor is it intended to be, judging by the porny quote selected for the book jacket. It's basically an extended tease from a man who was deeply ensconced in the "down low" culture.
And now, today's highlights—there are lots of gay scenes with anonymous people in this book, but these are the ones that seem to involve the most famous subjects:
- Dean is at Keenen Ivory Wayans' birthday party. "There were two male celebrity actors standing a few feet in front of us. They didn't notice us because the club was dark. Both men are young and very attractive and have starred in some comedic and dramatic films. One of the actors, "Junior," is a tall, muscular, brown-skinned brother who got his start in television and is known for his comedic roles in films. He never married, but has a couple of children with a girlfriend. The other dark-skinned actor, "Fritz," has been in a few movies and has starred in a popular television drama."
- The two are obviously a gay couple, which surprises Dean, although he says there has been much speculation about "Junior."
- Dean's friend Sandy is working on a film with some major stars in it. "The lead was "Lucas," who is a megastar. No matter what film project he was attached to it was bound to be a box office smash. In Hollywood, he is considered a golden boy and very bankable. However, there were already many rumors swirling about his sexuality, and even though he married, it was hard for him to shake those pesky gay rumors."
- Every day, Sandy says, Lucas' friend "Kareem, a leading [married] sitcom actor," visits his trailer, where they go inside and—everyone believes—have sex. Dean also says that Lucas runs with a circle of high-level superstar down low types. He later meets Lucas again and finds him to be "smooth, charismatic, and charming," and his wife even brings goodies to the film crew.
- Dean's friend "Corey" is a singer-songwriter who was featured on the MTV series The Cut, opened shows for Jay-Z, appeared in a Broadway musical, and then signed with "Eli, a popular multiplatinum rapper, who had just started a label at the time (in the 90s)."
- "Eli was a force to be reckoned with. He flew out the gate with his debut album and would become a mainstay in the ever-changing Hip Hop industry, where many rappers are one-hit wonders. He has been hailed as one of the greatest rappers to bless the mic."
- It turns out that Corey has been giving oral sex to Eli (whom Dean describes as "fine as hell") in Eli's home studio. "Up until that moment I had never heard anything remotely close about the rapper being gay. Eli was a burgeoning superstar who parlayed his marketability into television and movie credits. He even had a promising clothing line. But every man's got needs and Eli's needed tending to."
I have some guesses. Do YOU?