Interview: Makonnen Tallks Coming Out, Negative Comments and More
Makonnen spoke in an exclusive candid interview with The Fader about recently coming out and announcing he was gay. After bouncing between Atlanta, New York, and California Makonnen picked up and moved to Portland, Oregon to find solitude. He even moved his mom there as well into a high-rise. After living there since late last year, he decided in January to admit he was gay. Take a look at some of what he had to say and read the full article over at The Fader.
Fader: Why did this feel like the right time to come out?
Makonnen: I don’t even know. It’s just me and my life. I’m living. I’m 27. The world is changing, right? Donald Trump [was] about to make his big announcement on the goddamn 20th [of January]. Everybody know I’m gay and shit, so it’s like, I might as well go ahead and make my little announcement to the world so I can move on with my life. I said whatever I said in my tweet, and then I moved on with it. Here goes America, let me focus on that!
Fader: Was it scary?
Makonnen: I’ve been a fighting motherfucker, I’ve been living, I’ve been to jail, I done did the real shit already. Saying I’m gay, that’s like, “Oh shit, I’m man enough!” In this current day and age, where everybody is being so real and so out, and so, you know, straightforward, I was like, I guess I might as well be part of the movement, right?
Fader: Did you ever consider coming out earlier, like when you were first getting attention in music?
Makonnen: I just respect the game I’ve been invited to play. It’s like you’ve been called into the NBA and “Oh shit, you scoring!” And then you decided you want to wear a goddamn bandana, and that’s kinda not part of the NBA rules but, like, “It’s cool bruh, you can play, do your thing!” So the elders, they were kind saying, “Hip-hop, we don’t do all of that gay shit, we all on straight shit.” But now it’s like — I put my bandana on.
I guess everybody felt like I was lying and I was ashamed for it, ’cause I didn’t come out as gay earlier. It’s like, why do I need to come out as gay to do open heart surgery on your dumb ass? Please explain that.
Fader: When did you tell your mom you were gay?
Makonnen: I told her, like, right before I was gonna tweet? It was like, “Hey mom” [mumbles] “I’m gay.” End of the day, sky’s blue. The next morning she like, “Makonnen what the fuck! Everybody calling my goddamn phone!” You’d have thought I won the Grammys. Like, “What did you do?!” “I just came out as gay!” She like, “What? I thought it wasn’t a big deal.” “That’s what I’m saying, it’s not a big deal!” Well, it is a big deal in my field of … but she come from the hood. She know all this shit.
Fader: Do you think people care who you’re sleeping with?
Makonnen: Yeah. Because it’s like, yeah. I like cock! I’ve had sex with vagina. Maybe one day later on if I want to maybe, you know, whatever — I don’t know! I’m living and learning. But right now it’s like, yup, I’m 27, I’m gay, this is me, whatever y’all. But you just get told, “Oh you gay, you this, you bi, you a faggot, you this, you straight, why you out here playing with this girl, da da da. I was like, “Lemme start figuring out what I’m doing.”
I didn’t start having sex until after 18 or something like that. I didn’t start developing into those sexual parts of my life until later on. I couldn’t say when I was 13 or 14, “Oh, I’m gay. I’m straight.” I wasn’t having sex then! Like, “When did you first start knowing you were gay?” “When did all y’all start fuckin’ getting ya dicks wet and start having nuts and catching hard-ons and shit??!” That’s all I’m doing is catching a hard on. Plain human.
And it’s not like all of a sudden I’m gonna start wearing dresses and high heels and shit. I’ve always worn stuff and people been like, “That’s gay, that’s gay.” Hell yeah, that’s what I wanna wear. And I’m still into the goddamn fight shit.
Fader: What’d you think of Migos’s comments about you in Rolling Stone?
Makonnen: [They said] some comments like, “World’s fucked up.” My world, that I was living in, was fucked up for me. That’s all I can say to clear those comments up like that. My world. The world itself is a beautiful place. It’s a natural habitat where people can live at.
Fader: What’d you think of the statement they released afterwards?
Makonnen: Y’all gotta do y’all for face game to save your face. Y’all gots to do y’all. I’m gon’ always do me. I got no animosity towards y’all. [Pause] Why is it about me? Why you talkin’ about Makonnen? y’all “Bad and Boujee” right now. Why we talkin’ bout Makonnen? It’s whatever. Ain’t nobody hit me up personally. Y’all want to reach out to me? I’m not hard to find! I’m not hiding from nobody. Don’t talk on me saying I feel like I have to hide, don’t mention anything about me.
After splitting with OVO Sound, Makonnen says he had a run-in with Drake and crew in an altercation at an MTV VMA afterparty.
Fader: What exactly happened at the party?
Makonnen: I was threatened by others. Someone I so-called look up to. Saying, “We gon fuck you up the next time we see you.” And I was like, “Let me stop being me.” I started to go back to, “I’m just gonna go eat anything, and just be hiding myself and shit.” And then I was like, “No! I’m not doing that no more! I don’t give a fuck! I’m — me.” And that’s what led me to coming out and shit.
Fader: This was in New York, right?
Makonnen: It was in the middle of the goddamn afterparty at the Up&Down club. Everybody that was in there was in there. I’m in here around these Vanguard Awards and I’m accepted and I took pictures with Chainsmokers and G-Eazy and everybody and we all friends. And I’m here in the middle of the floor, no security, and they coming and I just step to the side and they see me and stop and the biggest motherfucker in the game goes, woo woo woo, “Next time I’ma fuck you up!” And all security and everybody stop like, “What the fuck.” And the guys with me was like, “What you do?!”
Fader: It was a big group of people approaching you?
Makonnen: Around all that security, the dude that’s doing it — we have a platinum-selling record together! The guy! The leader of the crew! This a nice VMA party, bruh. This ain’t no little back alley on the southside of Atlanta. Do you think I’m on some let’s buck shit. I guess it came back from my freestyle, from that Tim Westwood. When I’m rapping, people think I’m throwing shots. I ain’t rapped no names! All I did was rap!
Fader: What’d you do next, after the incident?
Makonnen: I was like, Let me go ahead and withdraw and put something out [on Twitter] in case some shit ever happen to me. ‘Cause everybody did see that, but I know everybody so scared of those motherfuckers that if anything did happen to me they’d just be like, “Yhh.” Then I went back to L.A., and then I moved here to Portland. [Pause] And if I look at your track record — when I was really in the streets selling dope you was on the goddamn TV screen-acting. I just met you on a song together and then y’all acted funny style on me. Or maybe I acted funny style on y’all. But somehow our relationship didn’t work out, and then the next time I saw you again you tried to threaten me.