"No homo" was originated by rap star Cam'ron, who had an affinity for wearing anything pink but didn't want it to be perceived as gay.
Since being made popular by Cam'ron and his Dipset hip-hop crew, the expression has evolved into a ubiquitous slang term used to chase any phrase, action or idea that could be perceived as gay.
The "no homo" phenomenon has even birthed a series of YouTube videos that spoof the term.
Now Hill, a television personality on Fox News and an associate professor of education at Teachers College in New York, is urging people to cease using the vernacular.
Read Hill's essay on why the use of "no homo" must end:
"Over the past few years, there has been a disturbing trend in hip-hop culture that has spilled into everyday urban life: the use the phrase 'no homo.' Essentially, a man will say 'no homo' to ensure that no one mistakes their remarks as homosexual in nature.
Still confused? Here are a few examples: I once appeared on New York's Hot 97 radio station with members of the Dipset rap crew. One of the members, Freeky Zeeky, was talking about an upcoming album and said, 'I couldn't have gotten it done if Cam'ron hadn't really gotten behind me. No homo!'
More recently, my brother and I were playing basketball with some young men in our neighborhood. One of the brothers, who was 6-foot-5 and cocky, demanded that we pass him the ball on every possession. Each time we had the ball, he would scream: 'Feed me! No homo... Give it to me! No homo. I want it! No homo.'
Last week, I stumbled into a bar during karaoke night. One of the men, who was apparently a regular, decided that he would depart from his normal catalog of disco covers. He grabbed the mic and said, 'Tonight, I want to try something different. No homo!'
In fact, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear someone utter this ridiculous phrase.
In some ways, 'no homo' is part of a long tradition of ghetto-language games that evince the quick wit and linguistic sophistication of black and brown people. I must admit that it took me a few seconds to understand what the brother was talking about during karaoke night. But once I did, I laughed uncontrollably at the childish absurdity of his decision to clarify that he wasn't planning a gay rendezvous. Still, despite its intellectual and comedic richness, the 'no homo' fad spotlights our troubling relationship with gay identities.
By punctuating even the most sexually nonsuggestive sentences with a homophobic disclaimer, we reinforce the idea that gay and lesbian people are worthy of ridicule, shame and surveillance.
This notion is particularly troubling within hip-hop culture, which is sustained by the creative work of gay stylists; writers; choreographers; and, yes, rappers.
The use of 'no homo' also reveals a deep homoerotic impulse within our culture. After all, how can you constantly say 'no homo' without constantly thinking about gay sex?
Perhaps, instead of finding new ways of deriding gay and lesbian people, we could devote that same energy to figuring out why we're obsessed with them. The answer may be deeper than we think. – Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
For more information on Hill, check out his Web site www.MarcLamontHill.com.