“My Favourite Rapper Wears A Skirt”, was a phrase coined by Canadian emcee Eternia. I totally fell in love with the cheekiness of the slogan as I felt it was a cool homage to dope female rappers. However, after the handful of male rappers who have been donning skirts and other seemingly effeminate attire, the slogan can now also be attributed so some of our favourite MALE rappers too.
So… last week, Lord Jamar (of Brand Nubian) released his Kanye West #FactTrack entitled “Pull Up Your Skirt”. Word spread like wildfire on the blogosphere and I hurried to check my Twitter timeline. Of course (as expected), the timeline was full of insults being hurled at Lord Jamar. Blogs labelled him as being “homophobic” and “irrelevant,” with a small handful of supporters championing the message. Well, clearly he’s not irrelevant if everybody caught feelings about his opinions, and looking at the below lyrics, it’s not hard to see why so many people had such adverse reactions to the track.
“Somebody mad at my hashtag/ Instagram black man looking half a fag/ With the blazer and dress/ I’m just amazed at the mess/ Pioneer of this queer shit is Kanye West/ He introduced the skinny jeans to the rap scene/ Then he wore a fucking skirt on a video screen/ Then he wore it again at a memorial/ I can’t pretend that this shit ain’t deplorable/ I bet this nigga think he looking adorable/ Your music good, but your ego is horrible/ Now these other niggas wanna follow suit/ I tell the truth/ Talk shit, you’ll be swallowin’ a tooth/ Duckin hollows in the booth/ Wishing that you showed the respect to an OG you followed as a youth/ I rebuke all this gay shit, some are scared to say shit/ You might lay and take this, but I’m not to be played with…”
In my book, the word “Fag” is as offensive to me as the word “Nigger”. I never use it, EVER, so I do not condone the usage of the word in this song or the threats of violence, but as a 5%er, if you know anything about the Nation of Gods and Earths then you also know that this is what Lord Jamar is supposed to stand for. Not the violence but the overall message. He is not supposed to be in favour of homosexuality, so why is anybody really shocked? His stance hasn’t changed for as long as he’s been in the biz.
Then I got to really thinking… How do I feel? How exactly do I feel about rappers rocking skirts or long tops that look suspiciously like dresses? Do I even care?
Several months ago I saw the pic of Kanye rockin’ the black “kilt” and made a remark about it. At the time, it didn’t sit well with me but nobody else really seemed to bat an eyelid. I feel as strongly about my favourite rapper rockin’ a skirt/dress as I do about skinny jeans. I don’t like it. It’s not about sexuality for me but it has a lot to do with gender, period. Because of my strong views on things, from time to time I am wrongly accused of being a Feminist. I couldn’t be further from a Feminist if I tried. A modern woman I may well be, but a lot of what I represent personally resides more on the side of Tradition. You know, marriage, babies… family. All that girly ish. In being that way, rightly or wrongly I have a sort of fixed image of the way I feel a man is supposed to carry himself whatever his sexual orientation. In my mind, men wear trousers (pants) and shorts. And jeans which give their man parts space to breathe. I don’t like dudes rockin’ skinnies because quite plainly, in my opinion they don’t look good. Neither do skirts. If I ever have a son, I don’t want him to think he’d look good in a pair of girl jeans either. By making this issue about sexuality, it does the majority of gay men (who do not rock dresses or skirts) a disservice. Gay doesn’t automatically equate to skirts and heels. Let’s be real. Being a women doesn’t automatically equate to that.
For me, whichever choices we make in life are ours. If as an adult, we decide to make certain decisions then it’s our right to do so BUT when we are in the public eye it is important that we are mindful of what we are putting out there and the way in which we decide to do so. Kanye’s “kilt “could have been perceived as being a bold move in the face of adversity and prejudice. Much like his legendary “Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” statement. He knew he would face some backlash but he didit anyway and never went back on his words. I will always respect a person’s decision to stand up for what they believe in passionately whether or not I share those views. It’s difficult to be a leader in a world full of sheep but Yeezy’s decision to then try and pull all of these images off the internet contradict what I thought was firm stance on creativity and individuality. Suddenly it wasn’t a designer women’s skirt, it was a Scottish leather kilt. Uhhh… Ok. I find this a little unbelievable. Why the need to attempt to pull all the images offline then? Was it simply a pr stunt which backfired severely for him? Perhaps.
It’s time for rappers to stop doing and saying shit just because it’ll get tongues wagging. If you’re gonna stand, stand firm. Don’t put half arsed, wishy-washy subliminals out there for our youth to eat up without understanding the gravity of your actions beforehand. In 2013, there is really no Watershed and now thanks to the internet and social media, our children are exposed to every kind of controversy there is. While you’re busy backtracking, our kids are throwing on skinnies, skirts and poppin’ Mollies because they saw their favourite rapper do it. We can’t undo what we are doing to these vulnerable, young minds. So, if you can’t stand behind the skirts, dresses, Molly, coke and all the other shit 100%… just leave it alone. Let our kids be kids… Just the way we were allowed to be growing up. Fortunately for me, my favourite male rapper didn’t rock a skirt then and he STILL doesn’t to this day.
*People may say all these issues have already been spoken on, so why even mention it again? If there’s no change, there’s still PLENTY of work to do. Imma keep on talkin’…*