It is quite revealing that Hip-Hop, the most testosterone driven music genre in the world, is dependent on women for it’s survival. Sisters are both valuable commodities and expendable capital, used solely to raise the stature of rappers whose talent, or lack thereof, proves insufficient for success.
Decency and chivalry typically do not apply, because in the topsy-turvy world of commercialized rap, being a “real man” means acting like 7th grade girls in the gym locker room when it comes to gossip — or high school boys who are so excited by sex that they have to tell any and everyone within a 50-mile radius that they’ve “had some” or know someone who has.
This is clearly the case with D-List rapper ‘Gucci Mane,’ who is apparently trying to increase his visibility by engaging in a war of words with Young Jeezy. Never heard of either one of these fine fellows? Don’t feel bad, with all of the “Youngs” and “Manes” two-stepping around, it’s completely understandable. Gucci, or as his mother named him, Radric Davis, and Jeezy, born Jay Jenkins, have been sparring for close to a decade. According to the L.A. Times, Davis was “arrested in the shooting death of an alleged Jeezy associate after a break-in at his home. Davis claimed self-defense and was acquitted on lack of evidence.”
The bickering pair have traded insults back and forth since then, and rumor has it, that Rick Ross (The fake one, not the real one; shout out to Uncle Ricky) and Jeezy’s altercation at the BET Hip-Hop Awards brought it boiling to the surface. Matters also weren’t helped any when Jeezy called Gucci “retarded” during a radio interview.
Why, you ask? Who the hell knows; the larger point is that it could be [insert rapper's name] here and the argument always, without fail, ends up including the disrespect of a woman. For Pac and Biggie, it was Faith; for Jay and Nas, it was Carmen; for everyone else, it was Superhead. In this case, Keyshia Cole, Jeezy’s ex-girlfriend, has filled the role of lyrical punching bag:
“I did a song with Keyshia Cole and I know you still miss her / But Puff was f**king her while you was falling in love with her,” Gucci warbles.
This swing-and-a-miss attempt at manly rap diss led to Cole swiftly denying the accusation and her husband, NBA player Daniel Gibson, taking the matter to the tweets, calling Gucci a “failure,” and posting a picture of his wife, and mother of his son, with the words:
“Just when I think she can’t get anymore Beautiful. She sends me a pic like this. This why they can’t keep her name out they mouth.”
Sorry, Daniel, beautiful though she is, that’s not it. Cole was inserted into the equation because small minds resort to petty antics. There is absolutely no worthy reason for her to be thrown into what amounts to nothing more than a pissing contest for her reputation to be mauled in the court of public opinion. In trying to anger Jeezy, all Gucci managed to do was disrespect a married woman and her family — and once again prove that ignorance, sexism and misogyny are alive and well in substance free rap being marketed as Hip-Hop to the masses.
True, it extends well beyond music. Woman in the role of property to be fought over, slept with, then discarded is nothing new. That’s how these boys in men’s clothing define manhood. By how many women they can “cut,” “smash,” disrespect and disregard so other men look up to them and want to be them. Unfortunately, though, this mentality has metastasized throughout Hip-Hop. Women are routinely reduced to rap battle collateral, with no thought to the residual damage in their lives.
The sad truth is the continual degeneration of Hip-Hop through the exploitation of women is a reflection of our communities, which is often a reflection of our homes — where young boys often have no reflection of manhood. Commercialized rap will continue to be a breeding ground for sexism as long as these “artists” are rewarded for disrespecting women with radio rotation and album deals and not even a semblance of accountability. Without women, rap as we know it would cease to exist — which isn’t a bad thing — and with that much of a controlling stake in any business, we should let it be known that we are more, much more, than tangible manifestations of male egos.
As for this current situation? Mr. Radric Davis should probably examine his lame display of male bravado and figure out why he believes gossiping about the sex lives of other adults, and insulting women on wax, makes him look anything but pathetic.
Do better, Mr. Davis. The cycle has to end somewhere.
And in the words of the incomparable Ms. Lauryn Hill:
“Even after all my logic and my theory, I add a muthaf*cka so you ig’nant [rappers] hear me.”