Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Role Reversal

I mean this in all seriousness........

I posted a blog on XXLmag.com (http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=40391) entitled "Where the ladies at?" some time ago. One comment that caught my attention was something to the effect of "the men in hip hop are so feminine that the women are no longer needed". Upon further investigation, that response made quite a bit of sense.

Take a look at what hip hop is versus what it was. If it's broken down by categories, it's a very telling scenario of the culture we love leaning towards a more unisex idiosyncrasy.

The trend began with hair. At one point, you're favorite rapper had braids that hung mid-back length, presumably longer than your baby momma's. For a very brief time I sported the style, but quickly realized that the maintenance wasn't worth the outcome; frizzy cornrows are as far from gangsta as one can get (no Jim Jones). Though the "trend" fizzled somewhat, it's still evident in the hip hop community that niggas want long, luxurious locks. Be it good or bad, a flowing mane is what's up. To this day, you can catch a high-as-hell Snoop Dogg permed out & G'd up simultaneously. I don't think there's anything wrong with long hair on dudes, but if at some point your dome is making your girl's look bad, something's got to give.

The next phase evolved essentially in unison with the hair growth; jewelry. In the 70's, there were actually such things as "man-rings". Society felt the obligatory need to classify jewelry by gender-based specifications. Now, some 30 years later, metro's & hetero's shop shoulder to shoulder in search for the prettiest piece of shine. Diamonds are everybody's best friend, contrary to popular belief. The more, the better. The first time I bought a bracelet, my father asked me if he'd forgotten my mother's birthday. When I told him it was mine, he looked at my hoop earrings & shook his head in testosterone-filled shame. I ditched the hoops & gave the bracelet to my mom, as he suggested & it was a wrap. Now, a rap dude cops a diamond encrusted medallion, huge shiny earrings (the bigger the better), a Wonder Woman bracelet & as many finger trinkets as his hands can hold, subsequently getting his Elton John on. The watch is a given; watches are MAN jewelry. Anything else is should be slid off to wifey. Shiny distractions keep them quiet.

Which brings us to the day's current craze. Tight pants. Nut-huggers for the lame ducks. Granted, baggy pants are best left to shotgun-concealing gangbangers & the remaining breakdancers of the world, but there's nothing the matter with a little loose fit in your trousers (no homo). The problem is when, as with the long hair, your pants hug your thighs more snugly than your girl's. I know you carry a wallet, but I shouldn't be able to see it. If I can tell the difference between a quarter & a dime through your denim, maybe a size upgrade should be considered. Not to mention the risk of a yeast infection, which I assume would be more embarrassing than buying a box of Nix to self-medicate a case of Crabs. Men's pants shouldn't fit into their Air Force One's like Ugg boots. At some point, we can only assume niggas'll be rocking spandex because the jeans don't hug their curves like they want. How far off are we from wife-beaters (no C. Brown) being replaced by sports bras? If dudes start arching their eyebrows, I'm Audi 5.

& with the bickering, fussing, fighting, feuding, tattle-telling, break-ups-to-make-ups, I don't know if I'm witnessing hip hop or an episode of my life where my wife & baby mom's happen to be at the same family function.

Where the ladies at, indeed.