Rapper Lil Uzi Vert, whose diamond-embedded forehead was inspired by Steven Universe, appeared to come out this past weekend, subtly changing their pronouns to “they/them” on Instagram with no additional fanfare.
All they’ve posted on Instagram since the change occurred is a promo video for their recently released single, “Space Cadet.” The song appears on their forthcoming EP Red & White, which is a prelude to their forthcoming long awaited album The Pink Tape. While it’s unclear whether or not we’ll get a further statement from Uzi about their pronouns, many have taken to social media to discuss the controversies surrounding the rapper.
Many have pointed out Uzi’s history of abuse, and how certain fans of theirs are somehow more pressed that they have apparently chosen to use gender-neutral pronouns, and not that they were charged with assault against their ex-girlfriend earlier this year. They accepted a plea deal and were sentenced to three years of formal probation, one year of treatment for mental health and substance abuse, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling, and more, according to TMZ.
One Twitter user also dryly joked that Uzi was the first rapper to be “nonbinary and transphobic.” One song, “That’s a Rack,” off their critically acclaimed sophomore album, features the lyrics: “I was checkin’ my DMs, found out she was a man (No, no, no) / I can’t DM, never, ever again (No) /Lucien on my vision, that’s the only thing that’s tran (Yeah).”
While Lil Uzi Vert is probably the highest-profile rapper to use they/them pronouns, they’re far from the only one. Angel Haze, who refers to themself as a “two-spirit multidisciplinary” on their Instagram, has been open about identifying outside of the gender binary since 2015. Princess Nokia told Them in 2020 that they use both she and they pronouns. And although Janelle Monae is primarily a singer, not a rapper, they also use they/she pronouns. All of which is to say: Although Uzi using they pronouns is certainly notable, they’re also just another reminder that a celebrity being nonbinary does not mean that they’re someone to look up to, and that there are plenty of other nonbinary celebs and musicians out there.