Southern rap can be funny at times. But if it means making fun of individuals with disabilities, then it’s time to draw the line. Rappers DMoney and Smoove created a music video entitled “Wheelchair Shawty” that features a dance mocking the movement of handicapped persons who use wheelchairs.
The opening scene of the video features a conversation in a barbershop, where the barbers and clients are clowning around about seeing a man in a wheelchair speed by.
“Do the dance so good you would think I’m special and I look kinda handicap!” the rappers state comically in the music video. As creative as the dance appears, the song adds itself to a long list of reasons why some southern rap songs discount themselves from quality of hip-hop. There appears to be an extent to what we value and appreciate as funny. But in this case, the song isn’t smart—it’s outlandish.
Individuals with disabilities are one of the largest minority groups in the nation that goes unrecognized by the public. We must be considerate in the ways in which we choose to depict these individuals, just as we would for all minority groups. Some may believe that the song is meant to bring light humor to the issue of being handicapped. However, the terminology in the song about appearing “special” highlights the negative stigma that is often associated with disabilities.
The production of this song follows the release of “Short Bus Shawty,” a viral video that ridiculed southern rappers Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, and Soulja Boy for their lack of creative ability in music.
Sound off, readers. We would love to know your opinions on this video.