“Shit I.. parts with nothin, y’all be frontin
Me give my heart to a woman?
Not for nothin, never happen
I’ll be forever mackin
Heart cold as assassins, I got no passion
I got no patience
And I hate waitin.” Jay-Z, “Big Pimpin’”, Vol. 3 Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)
TRUTH. Happy Monday Daily Dosers! I hope this post finds you all off to an energetic morning. I had a good weekend. The Hawks won so…I’m happy. I also got a chance to spend some time with my mom and sister for Easter dinner. That was fun as well. While visiting my mom, we all got to talking about Barack and Michelle Obama and how her flight had to be aborted last week because of an error on the part of the FAA. Imagine how Barack felt to know that his wife’s security was compromised. Ya know he don’t play ’bout Michelle. I’m sure some heads rolled. That led us into a conversation about relationships, which ultimately gave me the inspiration for today’s Daily Dose of Realness. Last week I posted a clip from class called Where is the Love? HipHop2020 students posed questions about relationships – specifically looking about Jay-Z’s “Ain’t No” in order to get a glimpse at his early perspectives on intimacy. ”Big Pimpin’”, one of Jay’s unforgettable hits, is another testament to where he was in his life then. Pre-Beyonce Shawn Carter was one of the most misogynistic rappers in the game. And lines like “You know I thug ‘em, f’ ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em cuz I don’t f’in need ‘em. Take ‘em out the hood. Keep ‘em lookin’ good, but I don’t f’in feed ‘em” are characteristic of Carter’s early perspectives on love, and is indicative of the contemporary way many young men and women feel about relationships.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it is warped because relationships are a part of life. No man or woman has ever accomplished anything without the help of another. No man has ever stood tall without the help and support of a woman. Where would Dr. King be without Coretta? Where would Andrew Young be without Jean or Carolyn? Where would President Obama be without Michelle? And where would Shawn Carter be without Beyonce Knowles? While women’s efforts to hold their men down has not been praised enough, I love the idea of women being the backbone of men. I love how women do it discreetly and without hesitation; never expecting a praise because holding a man down is so natural and necessary for some of us.
The Daily Dose of Realness: In “Big Pimpin,’” Pre-B Jay-Z suggests giving his heart to a woman is totally out of the question. He has no passion, no patience, and he hates waiting. Is it wrong of me to say that I sometimes feel like this? Sometimes I do. OK I admit it. But even Carter contradicted himself a few years later, and thank God he grew out of that phase of thinking that women are only worth upgrading with material items, but not worth feeding. Not worth his time, and not worth his patience. Society fools us into thinking that it is not cool to love; that we should be forever mackin’. We even go so far as to teach our young men that “mackin’” defines masculinity. And we teach our young girls to compete with one another to win the heart of a man. As if that defines femininity. Real men know that it takes a real woman to hold him down, and vice versa. That’s why Barack pulled out a can of whoop ass on whoever threatened the security of his first lady. So I ask you, who do you love? Who is holding you down? These are questions I ask myself because giving my heart – all the way – is a continuous struggle for me. God bless.