I don’t know what made me think about it, but there is a lot of picking and choosing when it comes to who is given a pass for committing the same infractions that would have and has gotten others crucified. 50 Cent can rap about selling cocaine and shooting folks in first person and he is considered a thug and dangerous. Jay-Z can do the same thing and rap about selling dope in first person and shooting folks in first person and he is viewed as a cultural icon and role model. Why is one rapper demonized and the other rapper’s transgressions glazed over? The hypocrisy is ridiculous. I’ll delve deeper into the 50 v Jay bullshit, but for now I’ll discuss something that has always made me question how people formulate their opinions and what they give credibility to. I am particularly intrigued by the ways in which we validate certain performances of Black male self-expression.
I feel like we validate only those Black males who we personally find cool. If people come to some sort of unconscious consensus on what is cool and what isn’t we then legitimize those performances and anything not in accordance with this is deemed illegitimate. Take for example, Sisqo and his self-expression through his choice of hair color and Chris Brown and his similar choices. I remember back way before Chris Brown hit the scene and Dru Hill was the shit! Sisqo was the lead singer and his vocals were reminiscent of a young K-Ci of Jodeci fame. Sisqo had all the ladies swooning and his hair color although eccentric, didn’t signify homosexuality. As years passed by and neither Dru Hill nor Sisqo were a thing, Sisqo was plagued with gay rumors. Every time Sisqo’s name was brought up he was somehow made fun of for his choice of hair color. Fast-forward to when Chris Brown decided to experiment with different hair colors and hairstyles the R&B singer was never plagued with gay rumors.
Neither artist has come out as same gender loving so why is one viewed as homosexual and the other is viewed as the poster child for domestic violence at worst, but never gay. Both are Black men, both have at least one child, both sing R&B, both are from the South, both sing and dance, both dyed their hairs unnatural colors, but only one is considered gay or has their sexuality questioned.
How is this fair? Why can’t there be uniformity in our judgments? Why can’t we dislike a perceived infraction such as Black men dying their hair unnatural colors no matter who that Black man is versus picking and choosing who we allow to not be subjected to gay rumors because of it? My point is simply this: if Sisqo is somehow gay because of his choice of dying his hair an unnatural color then so is Chris Brown! We cannot be both biased and hypocritical because the hypocrisy negates the base argument, which completely eradicates the bias to begin with. Add to this homophobia and we have a deadly cocktail (no pun intended) of confusion and bullshit.
Perhaps we don’t allow Sisqo to simply express himself without attaching a gay label to him because we are afraid what it would say about us if we enjoyed his artistry and he was indeed gay? Hmmm….