On Monday (Feb. 13), along with the media’s coverage of Whitney Houston’s death, a bubble of discontent rose up online against California veteran MC Too $hort. The rapper had appeared in a video for XXL called “Fatherly Advice From Too $hort” telling viewers, according to The Grio,
“When you get to late middle school, early high school and you start feeling a certain way about the girls … I’m gonna tell you a couple tricks. A lot of the boys are going to be running around trying to get kisses from the girls … We’re going way past that. I’m taking you to the hole.”
Crass? Absolutely. Rape, which $hort’s been accused by numerous groups and angry viewers of encouraging? I doubt it. The Grio continues:
Then, the 45-year-old rapper, whose real name is Todd Anthony Shaw, asks women off camera to “cover their ears” to avoid being offended. Short then describes a scenario in graphic detail. “You push her up against the wall,” he continued. “You take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens.”
While Shaw is giving his graphic “advice,” upbeat, child-themed music plays in the background.
I haven’t seen the XXL video in question, and not because I haven’t tried. The clip’s been removed everywhere I’ve looked, so I’ll have to rely on The Grio‘s reporting for the gist and numerous anti-rape group’s angry petitions for XXL Editor-In-Chief’s firing for context. I will say this, Too $hort has delivered explicit lyrics for the majority of his career, from “Blowjob Betty” to “Freaky Tales.” I am not surprised by the words people are reporting came from his mouth, however the description sounds like a bad joke put into the wrong context thanks to an idiotic editor who didn’t realize that playing childish music in the background while an adult gives sex advice usually reserved for Dr. Drew was inappropriate. I can see from the quote how people could misconstrue $hort’s comment as condoning rape because of the phrase “You push her up against the wall,” still I didn’t find where he said do this against her will, which is the definition of rape.
I’ve interviewed Too $hort a few times and he’s never given me the impression that he condones raping women against their will. And, while you can’t always tell a predator, I’ve met a few in the entertainment industry for sure.
This isn’t a Nelly situation — when the mostly saccharine St. Louis MC released “Tip Drill,” a video filled with strippers including then-popular Atlanta strip star White Chocolate who allowed someone to slid a credit card down her bum on camera, and was lambasted and boycotted by ESSENCE — but it is a call for rap magazine editors, producers and fans to remember that it is our responsibility to control our images released into the public. This Too $hort video was an idiotic idea, and whomever posted this should be reprimanded however crying “rape” from the statement I read above sounds like more of a dip into a deeper problem, women being disrespected through music, a byproduct of our patriarchal societies where people make jokes like “Well, if I get raped no one will care because I’m black, a maid and an immigrant … ” Except that wasn’t a joke, it actually occurred last year, in New York City. Like I always say when men rap about raping women like it’s sport, ie. Odd Future, it wouldn’t be so funny if that same lyric was directed at a dude. Same idea with rape as a crime, if this was a widespread tool of terror used against men, I really do believe it would stamped out but alas …
Ultimately, Too $hort apologized to those who were offended, along with Satten who said in a statement on XXL’s website that she wasn’t aware of the inappropriate video’s content. Still, $hort’s coming off a bit “I’ve always been nasty, why are you surprised now?” on Twitter, which doesn’t appease anyone. Maybe silence from his and XXL‘s side is best, along with a jumpstarted movement rallying against derogatory female imagery and language in contemporary music by the decriers and creating real change?
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