Here’s what “I wanna know”: Meek Mill had a clear shot–why did he flub it? There’s only one thing that he needed to address in his response to Drake’s “Back to Back” freestyle, and that’s this right here:
“Shout-out to all my boss bitches wifin’ n****s.”
That’s the line where folks thought Drake went for the jugular. And, apparently, going for the jugular in this particular standoff between two male rappers meant diminishing the other person’s manhood by highlighting the fact that he’s dating a woman who is considerably more successful (financially and otherwise) than he is. So, I suppose, Drake may as well have said, “You’re a bitch because you’re dating a boss bitch.”
Hip-hop fan or purist, Drake lover or hater, Meek supporter or gunner–you’ve probably been tuning in to “rap’s biggest beef” right now. (And if you’re still somewhat clueless about the origins of said beef, read this primer by Shamika Sanders.) But you don’t have to be authentically interested in this war of words to follow along. I, for one, wasn’t even paying attention until I noticed all the daaaaamn-ing that was happening on social media over Drake’s “boss bitches” lyric.
We all know the old-school thinking that would have us believe that “Shout-out to all my boss bitches wifin’ n****s” is an ouch-worthy blow. But, in 2015, how is it not a laughable occurrence when one man discredits another man by saying his girlfriend is more successful than he is?
I wish Nicki Minaj weren’t caught up in all this. I don’t like to see a powerful, smart, interesting and influential woman seemingly reduced to being a punch line in a gotcha joke in a whose-is-bigger competition.
I also wish I knew Meek Mill. If I were his friend, I’d have pulled him aside and said, “Look, man. You have an opportunity here….” Then I’d say, “Meek, all you need to do is take the whole damn track–the whole damn thing!–and point out that dissing a man for dating a ‘boss bitch’ isn’t actually a diss in the first place!”
Meek’s comeback track might’ve been a lot more effective if it had just aimed to do one thing: Feminist-shame the hell out of Drake.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that a man who dates a powerful woman is any less of a man. So if I were Meek Mill, one of my “wanna know” questions would be: Who’s to say that the “ni**a” being wifed by a boss chick ain’t a boss himself and ain’t wifin’ her back? Heterosexuals can be co-wifin’ sh*t up in this piece.
And don’t get me started about how Drake has gone and completely ruined the word “wifey” for the rest of us. Once a “you’re my number one” term of endearment (albeit rife with complications and vulnerable to various interpretations), it’s now a body slam of an insult when the gender roles are reversed. For any dude who hears that Drake line and laughs at Meek Mill with some “he ohhh-ed you!” shit, I’d raise my eyebrow, and think, “Please. You wish you were a wifed-up ni**a.”
In general, I’m over dudes bashing Meek based on his happy and modern relationship with a Black woman. It’s not the first time he’s been called out for being enamored with Nicki. As if it’s offensive or distasteful when a Black man is publicly smitten with an influential, vocal and successful Black woman. But it seems perfectly acceptable when Black men are publicly smitten with anonymous and racially ambiguous model types.
As far as Meek’s response rhyme goes, he did have that one bit about “All I hear is platinum that, platinum this. Meanwhile, I’m on the carpet with a platinum chick.” But the sentiment just left me hanging. I wanted him to school us on what “platinum”-partner status can really mean in a relationship. And how your girlfriend’s platinum financial status doesn’t mean your financial situation isn’t tight, prenup or not.
Alas, I know hip-hop beefs aren’t meant to be feminist critiques or scholarly dissertations. Still, I can’t help but think that a Women’s Studies 101 approach might’ve made this current round of the #Dreek battle royale a little more interesting.