A most curious thing occurred on my drive home from work recently. As I was flipping through stations looking for some bearable music to listen to, I came across a segment on a radio show where people were calling in and giving a “shout-out” to their side pieces. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a side piece is someone you mess around with, but they’re not your significant other. You sleep with them, but you don’t necessarily involve yourself in their day-to-day life. However, the people calling in seemed proud of their other lovers.
“I wanna give a shout-out to Deandre on the East Side. I’ll see you later, baby.”
“This to my side chick Breanna. You the best!”
This radio segment really caught my attention – and turned my stomach.
Who were these people okay with being given a shout-out on the radio for being a side-piece? Has society’s morale really sunken that low? There was a time when being a mistress or a male lover on the side was not a good thing and was severely frowned upon; it was gossiped about in beauty parlors and laughed at in barbershops.
So this got me to thinking: When did being a side piece become an honorable thing?
With the explosion of Twitter and Instagram, everyone has become accustomed to seeing people do things that they normally wouldn’t do – like air out their private lives to the world. Through social media, Christina Milian has seemingly become the spokeswoman for side pieces. Her “situationship” with Lil Wayne has been mentioned in all the blogs, and not in a good way. Here’s a beautiful woman with a career and a child, yet she is happily defending a one-sided relationship to strangers online. If you’ll recall, all this mention (albeit coy at times) of Lil Wayne ended up sparking an Instagram war of words with Weezy’s most infamous and most proud side piece, Karrine Steffans.
Steffans took an indirect shot at the “Dip It Low” singer earlier this year, saying, “And most importantly, little girl, be careful not to claim a man who belongs to the world.”
Milian shot back: “It’s such a shame a woman has to settle for that mentality when no man has ever cared to claim that.”
Ironically, all of this bickering was going on while Lil Wayne hit up different events with his former fiancée, Dhea Sodano.
Even after reading up on this Instagram beef, I discovered Drake’s side piece anthem that he performed at the 2014 ESPY Awards. The melody plays out like a romantic love song, but he’s really joking about women settling for second best in the sports and entertainment world. As the lyrics put it: “This is dedicated to all of the side pieces. I know you’ll never be more. And you’ll always be less. But there’s comfort in knowing that you’re okay being second best.”
Say what now?
Look, if someone called into a radio station and gave me a shout-out for being a side piece, I would feel so low and disrespected. I can’t even begin to understand how some people think this is okay. It’s bad enough that you’re second best, but now it has to be called out? I don’t want to come across as “preachy,” but something is really wrong when you have well-known stars arguing about their side-piece status on social media.
I don’t see how you could ever win being a side piece. You’re on the outside of someone’s relationship looking in, hoping to become number one, but we all know the story rarely takes that turn. And while there are many reasons to self-evaluate if you find yourself in this type of “situationship,” there are none more greater than being shouted out, or really, put on blast, for happily settling for a second-place finish in someone’s life. Let’s do better.