When Frank Ocean came out recently, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons remarked, "Today is a big day for hip-hop."

The cultural effects continue to develop, but Los Angeles rapper Murs wanted to take another step in the right direction. His video for "Animal Style" is, I'll admit, a little on-the-nose: it tells the story of Jonathan and his closeted boyfriend Roderick (played by Murs). But while the "homophobia is toxic" sentiment seems obvious to many of us, it's still a point worth hammering home.

Murs, who wears a "Legalize Gay" shirt in the video, shares a brief kiss with his on-screen boyfriend. He explained his motivation for the video on his YouTube page.


With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender, really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex? And finally, I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exist within hip hop culture. I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. Even if it came at the cost of my own comfort.

Unrelated, but yes, the title "Animal Style" refers to the fries at In-N-Out. Nothing will bring us all together like a shared love of grilled onions and secret sauce.