In Starz’s drama series ‘P-Valley,’ Lil Murda is an aspiring Chucalissa-based rapper who yearns for fame beyond his little city. While spending a night at The Pynk, he encounters the strip club’s owner Uncle Clifford and strikes a connection with the latter. Irrespective of the several complications, Lil Murda and Clifford nurture a fascinating companionship together. As the show progresses, the rapper confronts the need to hide his relationship since it can harm his emerging career. Since Murda’s relationship with Clifford is a significant part of the show, fans have been curious to know about the former’s sexual orientation. Well, let us share what we know!
Is Lil Murda Gay?
Lil Murda’s sexual orientation is undetermined. Ever since the beginning of Lil Murda and Uncle Clifford’s intricate relationship, admirers of the characters have been wondering whether the former is gay. According to J. Alphonse Nicholson, who portrays the character in the show, Lil Murda is exploring his own sexuality. “He’s [Lil Murda] still trying to figure it [sexual orientation] out. He’s a mix of emotions. He’s a complex and layered guy, and he’s really trying to find himself and who he is. I want people to see him as that,” Nicholson told TV Guide.
Even though Lil Murda’s relationship with Clifford is intense, it is also tumultuous since he is yet to exactly understand and label what it is, which is evident when he tries to hide the same in front of Rome. Still, their relationship and feelings matter irrespective of Lil Murda’s identity or label. “Love is love. Any type of intimate feelings between two people can be real. Sometimes people just want to have a good time. It’s more common than we think,” Nicholson added.
Nicholson, who identifies himself as heterosexual, looked back on the homophobia that prevailed in the all-Black community he grew up in while preparing for the role. He considers portraying Lil Murda as an opportunity to be a heterosexual ally. “Taking the part I was like, ‘How can we mend these relationships? How can I understand Black gay men, all gay people, and be an ally?” he told TV Guide in the same interview. “These conversations need to happen more in the Black community, and we can get to a place where we accept someone for who they are, simply because of who they are,” he added.
Katori Hall, the creator of the show, had also expressed how the intimacy between Lil Murda and Clifford is significant. “We are used to the heteronormative visual articulation of sex in media. Proud to be part of this groundbreaking moment in tv [Lil Murda and Clifford’s sex scene] where we can explore black intimacy in all diverse ways. There is diversity within diversity,” she shared. Lil Murda may figure out his sexual identity/orientation as the intimacy between him and Clifford grows.
Is Lil Murda Based on a Real Rapper?
No, Lil Murda is not based on a real rapper. The character is conceived by creator Katori Hall. However, Lil Murda’s resolution to overcome his insecurities and fears to build his career as a rapper may have parallels in real life. Through the character, Hall also explores the homophobia of the hip-hop scene. “Homophobia is especially rampant in the hip-hop world with some still having to choose between success and truth,” the creator shared. She cites the example of Lil Murda being asked to hide his relationship with Clifford from Rome.
“How many gay Southern rappers can you name? Woddy rolling up on Lil’ Murda before his big performance to advise him to keep his burgeoning relationship with Uncle Clifford underwaps comes out of a place of protection for Lil’ Murda’s career,” Hall shared. Even though the rapper is yet to determine his sexual orientation, he still fears the homophobic nature of his community. Hall, with the depiction of Lil Murda’s fear, explores how hostile any community can be.
Lil Murda’s songs in the show are originally sung by the actor J. Alphonse Nicholson himself. However, the character is fictional and isn’t connected to the actor’s life.
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