Valentine’s Day: The 6 Degrees of Love


Beyond the long stemmed roses, boxes of chocolates and historical ties to pagan fertility hoopla, you will find that the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is still embedded around love. Yes February 14th is upon us and thus will be a momentous occasion for all of those smitten couples floating on cloud nine. Love also dwells in the hearts of many of your favorite Hip-Hop acts. As fans we’ve watched them hit the red carpets together, and rooted for their success whenever the paparazzi managed to snag a photo showcasing their affections. Some of these couples made us laugh while others pulled on our emotional senses in confusion over miss matched items. Most were gossip worthy and had their moment under the limelight whether short or long lived.


Unfortunately the promise of happily ever after has not lasted for a few couples within the culture. The pressure of maintaining superstar roles sometimes can take a negative toll on these relationships. Living the fast life may lead to worldly temptations that can lead anyone astray or in the dust. These couples have endured scrutiny due to love, lust and lies and the result has manufactured an interesting spider web of smut. Perhaps an examination of those celebrities who did not stand the test of time is often needed to makes those who are still intact appreciate what they have as a unit.


Six degrees of separation (or in this case togetherness) is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. Let’s explore the journey of this connection through the burned out relationships hip hop has produced. The nucleus of Hip-Hop’s relationship shortcomings could have very easily been any platinum selling rap star. Alas every story has a beginning so let’s start with the man who profoundly once boasted “Me give my heart to a woman, not for nothing never happen I be forever mackin” yet today is proudly married.


Jay-Z is married to Beyonce who is managed by her father Mathew Knowles is now getting divorced from his wife Tina Knowles after 30 long years. The Knowles also have a daughter named Solange. Solange use to be married to Daniel Smith but that quickly fizzed out. Beyonce use to be in the group Destiny’s Child where LeToya Luckett originated. Ms. Luckett use to date Slim Thug, but I guess he just didn’t want to put a ring on it. Beyonce also use to date Marques Houston. Hova use to be business partners with Dame Dash and both have links to Aaliyah. Dash is now divorced from fashion designer Rachel Roy. Recent headlines are printing that Foxy now admits to an affair with Jay as well. If you remember the crazed lyrics to the song “Super Ugly” than I’m sure you’ll recall that Jay also had a short lived romp with Carmen Bryan. Carmen has a daughter with rapper Nas.  Nas married and divorced Kelis and Kelis got paid.


Jay is friends with many within the industry, among them is his pal Kanye West. The Louie Vuitton Don was one time engaged to Alexis Phifer before meeting up with the media’s new favorite whooty Amber Rose. Kanye gave Common a deal with his imprint G.O.O.D. Music and Common use to date Erykah Badu. Erykah Badu was with Andre 3000 back in the day and had us all asking, “What are they wearing?” Jay signed Rihanna to Def Jam. who dated Chris Brown and we all know how that fiasco turned out. However these two were not the only troubled couple that was plagued by domestic abuse. Many may recall when Mary J Blige and K-C from Jodeci were the unpleasant talk around town.


Mary J & CB both have worked with Lil Wayne who married his high school sweetheart Toya then broke up. Toya has the BET reality TV show Tiny& Toya. Tiny use to be in the R&B group Xscape with Candy who went separate ways from her fiancé AJ right before tragedy struck.  Tiny is now with TI who signed Young Dro who dated Fantasia for the last two years. The cause of death was too much ghetto fabulousness.


Jay was a friend to one of the greatest rappers to ever hold a mic, the Notorious Big. Biggie used to be married to Faith Evans who did the song “Kiss the Girls” with Eric Benet who is divorced from Halle Berry and checked into sex rehab long before Tiger. I’m sure many admirers are still asking to this day, “How does any man cheat on Halle Berry?” Jay Z and Diddy can both be linked in various ways. Whether music, business, or charities the scandalous result lies around hip hop’s most famous jump off  Karrine “Superhead” Steffens. Puff also signed Biggie who outside of his wife had numerous encounters with female rappers Lil Kim and Charlie Baltimore. Lil Kim worked with and was rumored to date Ray J. Ray J use to date Kim Kardashian, which spawned one heck of a  sex tape.  Ray J is songstress Brandy’s brother. Brandy use to be with producer Robert Smith and Kobe. Ray J was with Whitney who use to ride or die for Bobby Brown. Ray J also was with “Superhead” who was with many more, and I do mean many including the aforementioned Bobby Brown and Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq being in the NBA has naturally played against Chris Webber who use to date Tyra Banks. Tyra Banks is best friends with Kimora Simmons who use to be married to Russell of course. 


Biggie’s fling Charlie B-more would later become affiliated to Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc and become label mates with Ashanti. Ashanti possibly dated her boss and definitely called Nelly her boo, but after a long court ship the carriage turned back into a pumpkin. Murder Inc’s biggest star was none other than singing/rapping artist Ja Rule. His career nose-dived once a feud was ignited with Curtis Jackson. Young Buck use to be on G-Unit and dated the still standing Monica. 50 dated then embarrassed Vivica Fox then it was onto the next with Ciara. Ciara went form being this star’s back up dancer to being his first puppy love as she dated Bow Wow. Bow Wow was discovered by Jermaine Dupri who dated Janet Jackson prior and after the infamous Super Bowl showcase.  50 Cent once said his guns were bigger than Lil Bow Wow.


Since they can’t stop / won’t stop let continue with the Bad Boy umbrella. Stevie J who was apart of Diddy’s production team the Hitmen, use to be gaga over the pitbull in a skirt Eve. Eve was label mates with DMX who was married to Tashera who with stood major public ridicule before finally being disrespected enough to throw in the towel. Also Swizz Beats was a part of the Ruff Ryders crew. Swizz Beatz was married to Mashonda but shattered her world by leaving her for Alicia Keys. Alicia  co-starred in the movie The Secret Life of Bees with Queen Latifah. Back in the hey day, Queen Latifah used to mentor Naughty by Nature which leads us to Treach who was married and divorced from Pepa. Pep’s looking for love in a reality show now.


Back down south we can remember that Jermaine Dupri wrote some smash hits for Mariah who was linked to Eminem but is now married to Nick Cannon. Nick Cannon use to date Christina Millian and Christina Millian now is married to The Dream. The Dream use to be married to Nivea. Nivea dated and birthed a son for Weezy. Lil Wayne was also with rapper Trina and Lauren London, who also bore him a son. JD has also written classics for Usher. Usher did the song “Love in the Club” featuring Young Jeezy who was once known to be dating Keyshia Cole. Usher was signed to LaFace early in his singing career. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds called it quits with his wife Traci Edmonds who buried herself in Eddie Murphy’s arms.


Before Usher was ready to sign those papers with Tameka Foster he openly dated TLC member Chilli and had the world shaking their heads at his supposed confessions. Chilli’s band mate is T-Boz who was with Mac 10. Chilli also was bitten by the acting bug in the 90s and did House Party 3 with Bernie Mac. Bernie did the Players Club with Lisa Ray McCoy. Lisa Raye had a lavish wedding to Premier Misick but the romance was shattered boldly by 106 & Parks’ host Rocsi. Rocsi was the new school replacement for the original host Free this leads us back to the flame that ignited this whirlwind discussion. Free was rumored to have had a “thing” with Jay-Z which brings us full circle.


Happy Valentines Day!






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