Absolute Reason: What Do You Want With My Girlfriend??
Your chick she so thirsty.
I’m in that two seat Lambo,
With your girl she tryna jerk me.
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it feel like every rapper wants in, on your relationship? There’s just something about your girlfriend these rappers can’t get enough of. They want to drive your girlfriend around in their Lambo. They want to take your girlfriend on shopping sprees on Madison Ave. They want your girlfriend to engage in sexual relations, with their male parts. All as a show of disrespect to their foes, their haters, and - let’s be honest here - their fans. And there’s a perfectly good explanation for it.
First of all, you could say just about anything on broadcast radio except for metaphorically killing people on your songs. What else is there for an MC to do if he can’t lyrically murder you? He could get at your woman. Your woman is a direct link to your pride. She is the heart and soul of your ego. It is through your woman that your strength is amplified. So ultimately, your foes see your woman as your weakness; get to her, tell the world about it, and you’re credibility takes a huge hit. But where did the increase in lyrically girlfriend thievery begin?
Did it all start with Positive K? Positive K wasn’t trying to take “No” for an answer in his 1992 hit “I Got a Man”. And right before you try to say that I’m reaching, if every young rapper today is claiming to be 25 years old, they were five when this song came out. The song reached #14 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1993, which meant it played enough to plant a seed at a time when Radio was King. Positive K never got the girl. But his outright arrogance and perseverance inspired an entire generation to not taking 20 no’s for an answer.
Or, do we place the onus on Tupac Shakur’s 1996, 6x Platinum diss record, "Hit 'Em Up"? Rap fans and Urban Media were sideswiped and in awe of Tupac’s aggressive tirade against an old friend turned foe, The Notorious BIG. The moment we heard:
You claim to be a player, but I f*cked your wife…
Rap fans went ballistic. ‘Pause’ and ‘Rewind’ buttons were broken on cassette decks and CD players across the nation. We just couldn’t believe it. He did what?! Is it true? It must be true because we heard it on a Rap song (insert sarcastic look here). True or not, it was a cold-blooded line. At the time, you couldn’t say anything more ill-mannered to another man. An East Coast/West Coast feud kicked into high gear (side note: the East Coast still loves you, Snoop Dogg), and we all know the heartbreaking outcome. But did it truly begin with shots being fire at or from Tupac? Don’t answer that.
Five years later, Jay-Z raised the “your girlfriend is hot in bed” bar, with the release of "Super Ugly", the uncharacteristically emotional answer to "Ether".
Me and the boy AI got more in common,
Than just ballin’ and rhymin’, get it, more in Carmen,
I came in your Bentley backseat, skeeted in your jeep,
Left condoms on your baby seat.
In all, Jay-Z name dropped Nas’ ex, threw a few logs on the fire of Iverson’s declining personal life, and distastefully involved Nas’ daughter. Although the diss took disrespect on wax to another level, the results of the song backfired for “God MC Jr.”. For the first time in his career, Jay-Z appeared to be frazzled, vulnerable. And nothing showed how dark "Super Ugly" turned than a call to the station from his mother. In this case, women of all ages paid the price.
Of course, you have 50 Cent vs. Rick Ross. And we saw how far 50 took it. I’d rather not talk about it because children were literally brought into it. Only in Rap music, you’ll find people taking disrespect to a whole new level and being rewarded for it.
Wait! How I could’ve forgotten the one song which epitomizes “I’m a rapper and I want your girlfriend”, Nelly’s 2002 record breaking hit, "Dilemma". Nelly achieved where Positive K failed 10 years prior; he got a piece of the girl (who had a man) and was celebrated for it! Not to mention, he ‘Bone Thugged’ his way through ratchet lyrics such as:
I like your steeze, your style, your whole demeanor,
The way you come through and holler and swoop me in HIS two-seater.
That’s not gangsta-a-AH. Yes, the song was catchy. Billboard ranked it #11 for the past decade of music. A rapper crooning to a bored not-so-single mother. But really? You’re both about to risk life and limb for the thrill of driving around the city, only for Nelly not to adjust the seat back to how your boyfriend remembers it to be. Ladies, we remember those things.
And here is my Absolute Reason:
If we could learn letters and numbers from yellow birds and purple dinosaurs, we could learn deceit and dishonor from an optimistic letter, the son of a Black Panther, Mr. East Trenton Grew Me, Unicron, and a Nelly. Theme music comes in all forms. Music can teach us how to steal or be stolen. Rap music could make what is unacceptable for one generation, the only thing that matters for the next. And, while rappers wanting our girlfriends won’t go anywhere anytime soon, we all can learn a lesson from them: Women are EVERYTHING.
They wouldn’t want your girlfriend if they didn’t feel you cherished her. They wouldn’t test your “Boss” by trying manipulate your girlfriend or ex-girlfriend (which shows you the level of desperation to make their foe look bad) if she wasn’t special to you. They’re willing to ruin their own relationships, to hurt another man’s feelings out here. There are better ways to place our women on pedestals than this. And far better ways to talk smack. You’re a writer, be creative for once.
Editor's Note: Check back for more of Deshair's new "Absolute Reason" column. Beware, industry. He's calling out ratchetness, jankiness, corniness, and other forms of Hip-Hop wackness. And, well...we love it!