POSTED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 8:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 8:34pm
EL PASO, TX — "I was trembling the whole time. I thought to myself, if I do this, and it is not popular, I basically have nullified my music career," said Rapper Adair Lion.
Lion, an El Paso native, says he risked committing hip-hop suicide when he uploaded his latest single "Ben" onto YouTube last week. Lion got his paws on Michael Jackson's first solo hit, of the same name, sampling the track to convey the message, "gay is ok."
"I immediately lost like 20 friends off my personal Facebook, and I lost about 15 to 20 likes on my artist page," said Lion.
Lion, who calls himself a "straight ally," wrote the song after a college friend came out.
Though "Ben" didn't immediately receive a warm welcome, within hours, Lion began his meteoric rise to viral video fame, garnering national media attention from "Time," "MSN," "The Huffington Post," "Perez Hilton" and even "MTV."
"I've been getting emails that, and messages on Facebook and Twitter, that said, 'you saved my life,' 'hey, because of you I was able to talk to my parents, and were like a Baptist family, and now I just showed them your video and I was able to open up dialogue," said Lion.
The video has become a roaring success for this Lion with more than 120,000 views. However, he says his mention of Li'l Wayne and Kanye West has prompted some to accuse him of being a hater.
"Those are my idols. Those are people I look up to. Those are great artists that I think everybody should enjoy their music and I didn't mean any kind of harm towards them. I was just saying you guys are people I look up to. It's long overdue for you to open up this topic with your influence in music," said Lion
Setting the record straight, spreading love and not hate. "Ben" will appear on Lion's upcoming album called "Michael and Me," which drops June 25, the third anniversary of Michael Jackson's death.