I understand celebrities trying to keep their private lives private, but when a hip-hop artist is in a long-term relationship, I believe that the public needs to know about it.
Mainly because I am sick to death of male entertainers perpetuating the idea that effing every girl in the world is the pinnacle of success while they’re living this secret life of monogamy whipped by one woman for years.
It’s one of the reasons I wasn’t a fan of Jay-Z and his secret relationship with Beyonce in the early 2000’s and why I’m not a fan of Nelly now. Nelly has been with Ashanti since at least 2004, yet nearly ten years later, he is still saying “we’re just cool”. That doesn’t even make sense. The man can go on national television and admit to watching Bridezillas, but he clams up like an oyster when it comes to admitting he has a girlfriend.
I’m not trying to come down on Nelly. He is probably one of the tamest rappers ever compared to some of the downright insulting lyrics these other rappers spit and call music. However, he is a prime example of entertainers in general being more comfortable sexually objectifying women than admitting one woman is the object of his affection.
In his “Bye Baby” song, I think Nas called these men “fake pimps”. They’re definitely fake.
With unplanned pregnancies, HIV, and general lack of true love running roughshod through the black community, it is utterly irresponsible for rappers to continue to promote destructive behavior as though they’re not contributing to the problem. It’s worse when they don’t even believe in the life they’re selling. Why not just sell the alternative?
In his Op-Ed “Jay-Z Should Rap About Marriage”, writer Jozen Cummings asks:
When are we going to hear one of these married or crazy-in-love rappers like Jay-Z rap about holy matrimony?
Jay-Z prides himself on keeping it real, and what’s more real than being married?
To be clear, hip-hop doesn’t have a vulnerability problem. There are plenty of rap songs about the ups and downs of being in a relationship, but marriage? In rap, it might as well be called the M-word because almost no rapper wants to say it in a song, let alone write three verses and a hook about it.
Jay-Z is definitely not shy at all about his wife in public, but Jozen raises an excellent point. Jay-Z can have an entire song titled “Big Pimpin” but where is the song about being a husband?
DJ Cotton who interviewed Paul Wall, Bun B and EZ-40 in his piece Happily Ever After: Life As A Married Rapper says:
Usually, the only time you hear the word “marriage” in Hip Hop is when a rapper is talking about being married to the game, married to the money, married to the music or some other non-human entity. Once every blue moon you’ll hear a rhyme about a down A$$ chick or a ride or die broad, but it’s rare that you’ll hear the word “wife” uttered out of a rappers’ mouth. For some reason, talking about marriage in a music that is roughly 30 years old now is still a risk.
Maybe rappers don’t talk about marriage because they’re not married. I can understand that, but plenty of them are in loving relationships, so why not talk about that? Why choose to embody this reckless persona? So many rappers are whoring through the industry and have no qualms admitting that, so we need more men to step up and say they’ve laid that life aside.
Of course some supporters will say that pretending to have “ho’s in different area codes” is part of the image and we shouldn’t be surprised when we find out that Ludacris is actually dating a woman in medical school and that his daughter’s mother is running for Delegate to the DNC. We shouldn’t expect people like P. Diddy to confirm he’s been in a relationship with Cassie for years. Some will argue that they have an image to sell and it’s okay for them to promote a fictitious life. I disagree.
If these guys can parade their misogynistic viewpoints and lifestyles of indiscriminate sex around through their music, then they need to be able to admit — in the same venue — when they’ve found true love in real life.
What do you think?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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