If you thought I was talking about the TV show …
I got ya ass LOL!
What I’m talking about is the realization I came to that I’m in love with a genre of music that doesn’t necessarily love me back sometimes. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to throw the whole thing away.
But just like we talked about being careful of what we absorb (remember this?), we have to include music too.
I was 15 when I started listening to hip hop because my parents weren’t having that “noise” in their house before then. My little boyfriend made me a tape with Volume I on one side and Illmatic on the other. I was so hyped.
I put the tape in my Walkman and I’ve been bopping, in love with hip hop ever since.
And I’ve gone to war many times over my boo.
I’ve gone toe-to-toe with professors in college over the validity of the genre.
I’ve shot back dirty looks when the old couple pulls up next to me at the light, shooting me looks of disapproval.
I’ve swiped away naysayers when they criticized my beloved for its depictions of violence and misrepresentation of urban life.
But never once did I think of defending myself and the way this thing I loved so much talked about me.
Since I started listening, the MAJORITY popular music in my favorite genre bae blared through my headphones telling me that I am a bitch and a hoe — even when made by women.
I’ve heard that if I am fair skinned enough, that I could be the object of some man’s desires – I don’t land on that side of the brown paper bag.
I’ve listened to them tell me that if my edges lay down without gel and a scarf and I put up with whatever my man dishes out, that worthy of being chosen – my baby hairs defy even the strongest of concoctions and we’re going to have to talk about how long the journey is and how we got there if I’m going to ride or die.
Oh, and my favorite (please note the sarcasm), that I should always expect to be cheated on; that I should feel lucky to be the main chick because those who don’t fit what he deems desirable are either side chicks or not chosen at all – as if somehow being chosen is critical to my human survival.
Yeah … I could go on, but just writing that was exhausting.
In some ways, I felt like it was so important to me that our young men had a voice (regardless of how ugly that reality may be), that I never took time to consider where I, and all of the other women who didn’t fit the mold of the women they described, were impacted.
We’re all from the same space, so why are our struggles not being considered? Why aren’t we being held up, instead of degraded? Hell, why are we openly degrading ourselves?
Now before someone points to some of the wonderful artists out here who do echo this sentiment, please save yourself the time.
If you don’t know, I consume massive amounts of music and am very well versed in the intricacies and nuisance of the bass and lyrics I’ve danced, cried, and lived to, so save it for someone else.
What I’m saying is that I think it deserves some thought.
Thought about if the boom bat of the beat is enough to disregard the blatant disrespect being spewed.
Thought about if there’s some deep seated issue within ourselves that believes what’s being said about us.
Thought about the ways in which women has been described and regarded throughout history; and if like many other disregarded groups, we’ve come to own the BS being thrown at us, in essence twisting the demeaning into something positive.
But just like Sway, I don’t have all the answers … Just questions for us to ponder.
Regardless of it all, I’m going to keep bobbing my head …
Because I think expressing ourselves is something that should be protected …
There was a time when I thought the poverty, corrupt police, and horrible schools I saw in my community were just in my community. If nothing else hip hop, has shone a light on these social issues and made a way for many young boys who would not have had many other opportunities improve their lives and the lives of those around them.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish there were just more of them not doing it at my expense.
Until next time, folks,
Think about what you’re consuming …
And if it’s feeding your soul …
Making you better …
Or if it’s doing something else.
Love and Light,
What did you say?
You miss me when I’m gone?
Well, you know you can keep up with my antics every other day of the week …
You can also find all of my books The Becoming of Us, Vol. I, The Becoming of Us, Vol. II, What’s Hiding in the Dark: 10 Tales of Urban Lore, and They Eat on Amazon: