In today’s rap music culture, there are a lot of things wrong, and Lil Wayne recently exemplified one of the major things. Things that don’t add up and things that make it really hard for black people to have a realistic view of life. Some of the most influential black men, who have a significant impact on young black Americans’ perception of the world, take their power too lightly. For them, it’s all about hoes, money, sex and cars. And because they are extremely shallow, they not only can’t relate to what everyday black people go through, many of them don’t want to. But their lack of ability and desire to care about the people that line their pockets with coins doesn’t mean they are exempt. To those killing people of color for sport, a negro, is a negro is a negro.
It is because of their lofty status in life that rappers like Lil Wayne are grossly disjointed from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement; from the black experience period. In a recent Nightline interview, when asked about feeling connected to what’s happening to the black community, he told Linsey Davis,
“I don’t feel connected to a damn thing. That ain’t got nothing to do with me. You feeling connected to something that ain’t got nothing to do with you? If it ain’t got nothing to do with me, I ain’t connected to it.”
It’s not his lack of knowledge about BLM that pisses me off. It’s his disrespect and indifference about feeling anything for what black people go through that is extremely problematic.
His mindset represents too many rappers who think that their money and fame excludes them from stereotypes that negatively affect black people. A lot of times, they are the ones who enforce them with their erratic behaviors and wasteful use of resources. Lil Wayne believes that he is protected because of his “accomplishments” and so whatever the rest of us are dealing with, well, that’s our problem. To prove that he really has nothing to do with the atrocities facing people of color in America, he tells Davis,
“I am a young, black rich motherfucker. If that don’t let you know that America understands black lives matter these days, I don’t know what that is.”
His words are infuriating! His ignorance is mind gobbling, and his disregard is saddening. He views his luck of being successful by the world’s standards as proof that America, indeed, believes that black lives matter. But his ability to pop as many bottles of Ciroc as he’d wants at the club is not proof that any of us can have that too if we work hard. It just means that he’s learned to play the game. And it’s a game that involves selling lies to black people, even if that means turning his back on us. If he thinks that being “a young, black rich motherfucker” shows that the system wants us to win, then he sorely mistaken on so many levels. He’s delusional.
Lil Wayne is an idiot and a hypocrite. How can you not care about the people with whom you share ancestry? How can you be so consumed in your own privileged life that you not see what is in front of you? But what can you expect from a person who has no problem calling women hoes and bitches, but would be greatly offended if someone called one of his daughters a hoe or a bitch? What more can a man really stand for when he says, “…If it takes me to be degrading… All those same lyrics made me who I am and I am… very successful?”
I am so sick and tired of black men getting something in life and acting like they are better than others black people; like they don’t have time to empathize with their community because they are too busy making “boss moves.” It’s a poor man’s mentality in actuality. When you grow up with nothing and in an oppressive environment, the rapid amassing of material things makes you cocky. It makes you think that you are untouchable; that you are the rule and everyone else is the exception. It makes you cling for dear life to the things that define you. And it makes you oblivious to the fact that those very things can be wiped out in a moment, leaving you with nothing but what you started out with.
Lil Wayne is not the only rapper who feels this way. From A$AP Rocky, who made similar statements last year, and others, there is a disconnect from reality for a lot of these men. And they are okay with it. They are out of touch with the very people who support them, the very people who look to them as a blueprint. They are selfish and reckless and when they say shit like this, they teach those looking at them as gods to be selfish and reckless too.
To purposefully distance yourself from the hardships of the environment in which you grew up in is shameful. To feel no sympathy and to unapologetically not give a shit at all is entitlement at work. As black people, we can’t continue to support those who blatantly believe that what we face down here on the ground is of no importance to them. Who believe that if given a chance, a racist white person won’t think twice before doing to them what they’d to any other black person they come across. We have to draw the line because what Lil Wayne believes concerning his own people is unacceptable.
Shame on him.