So I saw this article last week and I’ve been dying to comment every since. But, I had to wait for my Monday slot, so I spared you all my comments. Lucky you.
Why is NOW the moment that rapper Jay-Z vow to stop rapping about women in a derogatory way? Why is it, that when he finally has a DAUGHTER, he decides that using words in such a way is no longer acceptable? It’s seems all too simple, really. He finally has a daughter and he sees the error of his ways. His words that he once used to define women in his music were now barbaric, crude, and ignorant? What a big change 9 months can make.
Let’s look back. Jay Z has been on the hip-hop scene since 1996. He’s been a part of 15 albums. He’s won multiple Grammy awards as well as BET awards. He is seen as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Without getting too deep, he did build a portion of that empire by referring to women in less than admirable ways. 50 million albums went out with those references, in fact. But a man grows up, eventually. In 2006, Jay-Z helped focus his tour on global water shortages due to his experience in Africa. When Hurricane Katrina hit, he dunked in a cool million. Yet, he didn’t say he was going to change his lyrics.
Fast forward to 2008, when he marries Beyonce. He finally was part of a union, a marriage, a partnership, if you will. He still didn’t talk about changing his lyrics. That was 4 years ago. The couple continued their success, being ranked by Forbes as Hollywood’s top-earning couple in 2009. Still, no change in lyrics.
January 7th, 2012, Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born. January 9th, Beyonce and Jay-Z write a song about her. In that statement, he finally decides that he’s going to start changing his lyrics. The lyrics that built his empire, brought his fame, won him awards, are suddenly unacceptable, after just two days? What was going on during the 16 years, 4 of those being married to a female?
What this is about is not about his daughter, this is about Jay-Z. It’s about him rather than her. In his own words: “Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it“. That says it all. “NOW”. “Now with MY daughter”. Not before that moment, when Beyonce was pregnant. Not when he decided to commit to his partnership with his wife. Not 16 years ago when he showed up on the rap scene. But NOW, when he’s gained something, THEN it needs to change. Only when it affects him, his possession, his feelings. THEN, it needs to change. Seems a little self-centered, doesn’t it?
Look, the fact of the matter is that how we treat women is how we’re asking our daughters to be treated in the future. Maybe that’s what Jay-Z is trying to say. But why not change the behavior BEFORE we have a person vested interest? I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where it’s okay for them to be referred to any of the terms in Jay-Z’s music, so I DON’T USE THOSE TERMS. I don’t refer to their mom like that, a female driver, or even a co-worker I can’t stand. It’s about character; doing the right things even if no one is looking.
I’m raising daughters. I’m raising girls. I’m raising women. I’m not raising any of the terms Jay-Z had in his music, regardless if he continues to use them. I’ve had that resolve from when they were first born. I knew of those terms before their birth, and I chose to walk away from those definitions. I didn’t do it JUST because they were born. I did it because that was the right thing to do.
Thanks for being a dad…..