Stooping to the down low

Posted on 26 Jan 2007 at 3:59pm
By John Wright Staff Writer

Song for campaign against sagging pants tells young men their exposed underwear means they’re closeted homosexuals



Caraway

Homophobic lyrics in a locally produced rap song that’s part of a campaign against sagging pants have prompted the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to get involved.

Rapper Dooney Da’ Priest’s “Pull Your Pants Up” has become the signature song for Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway’s push to eradicate sagging pants and exposed underwear, particularly among black youths. Caraway has unsuccessfully tried to get the City Council to pass an anti-sagging ordinance, but earlier this week the first of more than two dozen billboards urging people to “pull “‘em up” was unveiled.

In a reference to what he says is the origin of saggy pants, Da’ Priest appears to try to scare young men into pulling up their pants up by suggesting that if they don’t, it means they’re closeted homosexuals.

“You walk the streets with your pants way down low/I don’t know/Looks to me like you’re on the down low,” Da’ Priest raps.

In the black community, “on the down low” is used to describe men who have sex with men but identify publicly as heterosexual.

In addition to penning the song, Da’ Priest reportedly helped design more than a dozen billboards that were donated to the anti-sagging campaign by Clear Channel. The billboards, which debuted this week, say things like, “That’s not hip-hop. That’s flip flop,” and, “Represent yourself like you present yourself.”

In an exclusive interview with Dallas Voice on Friday, Oct. 26, Da’ Priest claimed saggy pants originated in prison with inmates who wanted to signal that they’re available for sex.
According to most sources, however, the phenomenon likely has more to do with mis-sized clothing and prohibitions against belts in prison.

In any case, Da’ Priest told the Voice he did not intend the lyrics as an attack against the gay community but merely wanted to educate people.

“That’s what it actually means behind bars, and what I’m trying to do is let young people know,” Da’ Priest said. “If they want to make themselves available to another man, I have no problem with that.”

Da’ Priest said he does, however, believe the Bible indicates that homosexuality is a sin.
“Homosexuality, along with adultery, along with lying and cheating, is an abomination to God,” Da’ Priest said, adding that he’s a Christian.

Caraway could not be reached for comment Friday.

After the issue was brought to GLAAD’s attention by Dallas Voice on Friday, a spokesman in the organization’s New York office said he was working on a response that likely would include an action alert and a press release.

The homophobic lyrics initially were reported by National Public Radio on Thursday, Oct. 25 and appeared on a Dallas Observer blog Friday morning.

E-mail wright@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 26, 2007

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