Butch & Nellie Take the Rap Game is inspired by my own experience in a real life gay rap group with my best friend in New York City. In 2005, both of us were fresh out of college, working shitty temp jobs that required very little of our attention. We went out, tried to get laid and instead ending up making rap songs and dancing to them by ourselves in a corner. We began to write the songs down, and as luck would have it some of our friends offered to make us beats. A strange phenomenon was born, and we played shows throughout the city for the next four years.


When I was growing up there wasn’t much representation of gay people in media, and it meant that when I looked for role models I couldn’t really find them. I didn’t know anyone whose life mine would look like. It meant that I had to find my own way, and the only way I got through that was with the help of my best friend. We called each other every night. We told each other every mistake we made was normal. We told each other we were the two most interesting, sexy, dynamic and captivating people we knew while other people told us we were fags. And it worked. Those other people stayed home and ate Dorritos, and we started a rap group in New York City.

Butch & Nellie, the series, is the culmination of a lifelong friendship between two gay men which blossoms as they are growing into adulthood. Their world is one that’s not always receptive to hearing all the details about what it’s like to be young and gay in America. Our protagonists, however, demand that you listen to all the details, even the ones that make you uncomfortable and that you have fun while doing it. Their world is inclusive and modern, and while Butch and Nellie aren’t necessarily “role models” per se... they are inspirational because against all odds they assert their voice. Even if it’s not "the" voice.

-Conor Fetting-Smith

Writer/Director, Butch & Nellie Take the Rap Game

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