[EXCLUSIVE] Too $hort: 'This Is a Wake-Up Call for Me' 

[EXCLUSIVE] Too $hort: 'This Is a Wake-Up Call for Me' 

The rapper talks with dream hampton about his now-infamous XXL video and what he has learned from the backlash

dream hampton

by dream hampton, February 24, 2012

[EXCLUSIVE] Too $hort: 'This Is a Wake-Up Call for Me' 

Following the massive outcry that resulted after he participated in an  XXL.com video blog that offered young boys disturbing "advice" on touching young girls (which he followed up with a less-than-satisfactory apology), rapper Too $hort asked to speak with writer dream hampton because she'd publicly joined a group of women, We Are The 44%. Here they talk feminism, accountability, rape culture and traumatizing playground "games."

Too $hort: I just wanted to reach out because I had been truly disturbed by this whole thing as far as me putting this out there like that. I’m not trying to make this go away or trying to make this right or anything. I understand completely. I know there are a bunch of people out there that think that I don’t care about this or I just want to just throw some statement out there but honestly I don’t. I can explain all day about where this came from or how I got into this. Or how I let this happen... I’m not expecting it to be some kind of cover up.  I feel like the kind of person I am, I know that I would never put any kind of message out to kids like that. I understand what the music does, I understand who the music has reached over the years. Some people told me that twenty years ago there were little youngsters listening to Too $hort. Its not legally supposed to be sold to kids. It is adult music. At the same time, my only concern right now is that as a person who put this negative thing out, I have to put something positive out..

You have to be accountable for what you do...I don’t expect you to waste your time and energy trying to hear me out. I just want to get involved in something that does not (simply) say "Hey, forgive me!" I understand that I made a big mistake.

dream: I wish that that would have been the first thing you said (publicly). I joined a group of women who have come together and made a statement about this. Your first statement blamed it on social media, you said: 'Before social media this wouldn't be out there like this.' That was defensive and flawed logic, as if the point was about you being caught. No, the point is that what you did was wrong. And it really isn’t about you, it's bigger than you, which is why we started the Twitter hashtag #ItsBiggerThanTooShort. It’s just more about girls and boys... when it comes to what happened with the tape from XXL, we can all agree that we don’t want our little boys to be out here catching sexual assault cases, and we don’t want our girls sexually abused… and it’s good that you are coming with an action. In terms of an action, they say 1 in 4 girls are assaulted by the time they are eighteen. There is a lot of sh*t that passes for playing (around) amongst us, and…it’s sexual assault. I remember being in the pool and boys pulling my bikini top off. I remember eighth/ ninth graders smooching my booty when I was in the second grade. I remember boys trying to hump me. And I’m not the only one, it’s not like I’m out here traumatized and mad about that stuff. Of course I am traumatized and I am mad. But I don’t know a girl who didn’t have that type of thing happen to them. Where boys just thought that they would practice on us. And that is what we were there for.

I’m not going to lie to you…my eyes are opening

I’m not even saying that kids aren’t sexual. I’m not saying that we, as humans aren’t sexual, but clearly what you said was wrong. You can’t be giving little boys instructions on how to catch a case and how to victimize little girls. I think that a lot of times when it comes to rape, we tell women what not to do to be raped. We don’t tell boys not to be rapists. We are like “don’t walk home by yourself to your car. Don’t get too drunk at the bar. Don’t wear short sh*t.” As a feminist I think you should be able to wear short clothes. But as a girl from Detroit, I know that you shouldn’t. There are chicks in Detroit who get thrown in the back of (car) trunks coming out of the club. Now…not in the 80s, not in the 90s. In terms of an action, there has to be some men talking to other men, and in this case it seems like you should be talking to boys since that’s who you were talking to when you made the first tape.

Too $hort: ...when I taped the XXL video, my goal was that this was some kind of comedy piece. So I am sitting there and the thing that I am saying

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