A few days ago, a friend called my attention to a disturbing video that had appeared at XXL.com, the online companion to the popular hip-hop magazine. On it, rapper Too $hort offers what he calls "fatherly advice" to boys on how to interact with girls. The 45(!)-year-old isn't telling the young bredren how to get a date to the school dance or how to ask a cutiepie classmate for her phone number. No, $hort Dogg is explaining in very graphic detail how to digitally stimulate a young girl sexually, or how to "finger" one, if you will.
Though XXL removed the clip, Madame Noire managed to capture most of the "I'm a Player'" rapper's horrifying rant:
“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. This is what you do, man. 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.
There’s a general area down there, a little spot that girls have that feels really good to them. Don’t kiss them down there yet, that’s later in life. But this is what you do. You push her up against the wall or pull her up against you while you lean on the wall and 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. It’s like magic. You gotta find her spot, they all have a different one, but it’s somewhere in there. Just go for it. When you feel like it becomes a little more moist that’s when you know you’re doing it right.”
After raising major eyebrows and drawing the anger of many, Too $hort took to Twitter to do what folks always do when they get caught messing up...pretend they just accidentally landed in a bad place: "I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended w/ the XXL video I recently did. When I got on camera I was in $hort mode & had a lapse of judgement. I would never advise a child or young man to do these things...It’s not how I get down.Although Ive made my career on dirty raps,Ive worked over the yrs to somewhat balance the content of my music w/ giving back to my community. Just coming from a man who wants to see young people get ahead in life, I’m gonna do my best to to help and not hurt."
In another clip for the site, Shaw talks about how he's 45 years old (again...!) and has no children, nor "baby mamas". Rapper 2 Chainz (nee Tity Boy...do we really need to continue this year's Black History Month? I'm just sayin') recently stated in a verse that his "dad wasn't around/Too $hort was (his) father figure." It's peculiar how seriously Shaw seems to take this, and coupled with his mention of not being an actual father to any kids, it seems that this video series is an odd attempt at using what he believes to be fatherly skills that he has going to waste on a shelf. Sir. Have a seat. Have five of them.
'Positive' and 'negative' are dubious terms in hip-hop. We'll call a rapper positive because he doesn't wear gold chains and waves incense as he refers to Black women "hoes" and "tricks". Yet, I think most of us would agree that the messages in Too Short's music have been largely negative. Thus, I'm not surprised to hear Too Short say terrible, sexist things. This is someone who's entire career has been built on songs about pimping and f*cking women without respecting them. And, well, this is the guy known for the famous call and response "What's my favorite word? Biiiiitch!"
This isn't the first time the California rapper has tried to motivate young men. Shaw claims to have attended the Million Man March in 1995, which he referenced on the song "Gettin' It": "(Minister Farrahkhan) said meet me at the White House and I was there/Cause I'm one in a million, Black men rising/They wanna keep me down but I always surprise em..." It's amazing how so many of our brothers feel compelled to nurture and support men and boys, but the well is completely dry as it relates to the sisters. If Too $hort has 99 problems, one could imagine that his issues with women would dominate the list.
Alas, this isn't run of the mill hip-hop sexism; this is instructing young boys to perform a sexual act on young girls. If that weren't bad enough on its own, Shaw never tells his young mentees "Make sure you ask the girl if she's okay with