Rapper T.I. took to Instagram this week to call fellow rapper, Lil’ Wayne out for his ignorant remarks concerning Black Lives Matter and social justice. The New Orleans based rapper was featured on Nightline on November 1 to promote his new book Gone Till November. His interview has left him the talk of the internet all week and the talk has not been good.
T.I. to Lil Wayne:
“@liltunechi This is my son & daughter showing me this for the first time & asking me what you mean? I’m at a complete loss of words here. Wayne I’ve known you over a decade. Our daughters grew up together practically. Reginae’ spent countless times at my house with Niq-Niq when you were in prison & you extended my daughter the same courtesy when I was in the same position. Our relationship outside of music is what makes me sensitive to your disposition. I KNOW you wired a bit different than most other responsible adults, but still nigga U TRIPPING!!!! I don’t know what you goin thru,or what you are attempting to avoid but this shit is absolutely unacceptable!!!! You’re disrespecting yourself,bringing shame on your family name & tarnishing your legacy. You have children (including mines prior to now) that have looked up to you. You have sons & a daughter that depend upon your leadership. Bro if you don’t stand for something out here,all the money,jewelry,cars,mansions bandannas & hit records don’t mean shit!!!! Our people are being oppressed!!! We are being hunted,captured & slaughtered out here daily!!! You have to get outta that bubble that you’ve been living in & get out here & educate yourself on what’s going on around US!!! I’m always here to share whatever knowledge or understanding I may have to assist your growth & development,but u MUST STOP this buffoonery & coonin’ you out here doin. You looking like somebody who has something to gain or lose by pretending like it’s not as bad as BLM making it seem & you’re not aware of an issue that needs to be addressed. That’s what would be considered “Uncle Tom Shit”…. I know U,YOURE BETTER THAN THIS!!!!! I’ve been proud to call myself a fan & a friend of Lil Wayne ,but if that must end in order to stand up for those who can’t do it for themselves…So be it. If you’re not prepared for a question in an interview,say No Comment Bro. But stop embarrassing yourself & everyone out here who’s been supporting you. There is no middle ground. Oppression knows no neutral party,either you’re part of the oppressed,or you with the oppressor. There is no such thing as oppression not affecting you. It’s #USorELSE out here”
In 2003 when I first became aware of the “Rubber Band Man” I had no idea I’d watch him evolve into such a conscious man. Over the years we’ve seen T.I. in his fair share of family and criminal struggles but he has matured in a magnificent way. Understanding that his popularity puts him in position to be a role model to impressionable youth across the world, he now chooses to live in way that he can be looked up to. T.I’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and Antonia “Toya” Wright have been best friends since their youth and have done a series of reality shows together. Toya is the mother of Lil Wayne’s oldest child, his daughter, Reginae. The two were married at one point.
Lil Wayne’s music is known to be filled with misogynistic lyrics and at one point the interviewer, Linsey Davis, asked a question that struck a nerve. She simply asked “Would you have a problem with Reginae being called a b-tch or a ho?” The rapper was visibly agitated.
Davis, near the end of the interview, asked Lil Wayne how he felt about the Black Lives Matters movement. This idiot asks her to explain BLM to him. “What is it? What do you mean? That just sounds weird,” Wayne says. “I don’t know, that you put a name on it… It’s not a name, it’s not, ‘whatever whatever.’ It’s somebody got shot by a policeman for a f****d up reason.” Once Davis finishes explaining, Wayne goes on a tirade that included statements such as “I am a young Black rich motherf–ker,” he goes on to point out the diverse crowds at his shows. “If that doesn’t let you know that America understands Black n—as matter these days, I don’t know what it is. Don’t come at me with that dumb shit, ma’am. My life matters, especially to my b-tches. I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me. If you do, you’re crazy as shit. You. Not the camera, you. Feeling connected to something that ain’t got nothing to do with you? If it ain’t got nothing to do with me, I ain’t connected to it.”
In an effort to show Davis what he IS connected to, the rapper then pulled out a red bandana, a symbol commonly affiliated with the LA based, Blood Gang. “I’m connected to this motherfucking flag right fucking here. I’m connected. I’m a gangbanger, I’m connected.
The self-described “rich Black mutharf#cker” just can’t seem to understand racism and how it can relate to him. In his opinion, he has never even experienced racism. Stunning for a lean drinking tattoo covered, high school dropout, I guess because he is such a rich fu#ker, negativity doesn’t reach hm. This from man with three Black sons and a Black daughter. Yet, on Solange’s new album, A Seat At The Table, Lil Wayne is a collaborator on the track “Mad.” The rapper who claims to have never experienced racism, drops a verse describing being stereotyped by his race and looks when going to the bank.
“Then I walk up in the bank, pants sagging down,” he raps. “And I laugh at frowns, what they mad about? ‘Cause here come this motherfucker with this mass account that didn’t wear cap and gown/Are you mad ’cause the judge ain’t give me more time,” the rapper spits over the beat.”
The controversial artist ended the Nightline interview by ripping the microphone off his chest and storming out with the words “I ain’t no f–king politician.”
Since the Nightline interview aired Lil Wayne has not only apologized for his remarks but reportedly fired his publicist.
“When the reporter began asking me questions about my daughter being labeled a bitch and a hoe, I got agitated,” Lil Wayne said via TMZ. “From there, there was no thought put into her questions and my responses. Apologies to anyone who was offended.”
This is not the first time Lil Wayne has spoken on this topic. Not long ago he appeared on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed for an interview. When asked about Colin Kapernick’s stance on The National Anthem and his outspoken comments on social injustice Lil Wayne said “I have no opinion on it because I’m not into it enough to even give an opinion,” told the hosts that he’d to have the whole situation explained to him and still doesn’t truly understand the energy behind it. “That whole wave went by me too fast.”
“God knows I have been nothing but blessed,” Wayne told hosts. “My whole path these 33 years have been nothing but a blessing. I have never, and never is a strong word, never dealt with racism and I’m glad I didn’t have to. I don’t know if it’s because of my blessings but it is my reality.”
Wayne additionally says that he thought the country had grown out of its racist past, citing the crowd diversity at his shows. He as well says that any protest, anthem or flag, for him, boils down to his children.
Rapper Young Jeezy recently gave an interview and was asked about Wayne’s comments.
“Everybody has they opinion, but at the same time people just might not understand,” Jeezy said. “And I’m not definitely coming to his defense because he is an adult. He understands what he’s doing. But people have to understand he’s been a superstar so long. Since he was a child. I grew up on him.
“So, it’s just like he might not be connected on that level,” he added. “Because it is difficult. Because he’s been rich for a long time. And he’s been living on his own island for a long time. And maybe it’s something he just don’t see. I’m glad that I’m able to see that. Because I still deal with people every day.”
Confronting Lil Wayne for his comments isn’t the first time T.I. has been outspoken about the Black Lives Matters movement and the struggle for social justice in America. In September of this year the rapper released “War Zone” which touches on the issues that we, as Black people face, even in 2016. The songs included the lyrics
“They pull you over, ask you where your license at
Be careful reachin’ for it, you know you can die for that
Pardon me, somebody tell me what happened to Alton
Sterling, killed Philando right in front of the girl
And the world saw
Everybody’s reaction was, “Hell naw”
The song also has a refrain of “Hands Up, Can’t’ Breathe.”
In July of this year T.I.”s son, Domani, released a song entitled “Black Lives Matter”, the song speaks on social injustice racial inequality and Domani’s fear of dying at the hands of police.
Not that we should have expected to hear prolific words come from the mouth of Lil Wayne on social justice, but it would have been nice. As I have said many times before, we can’t think because someone has a certain talent that it qualifies them to be a role model. Lil Wayne is no more a role model than Beyonce, they’re singers and entertainers, not people to be emulated, simply entertained by. There are plenty of people who are firmly planted in the struggle, whether they have talent or money or not is irrelevant. We can’t spend time degrading those who aren’t when we can use that time to educate them and support and join those who are already fighting the good fight.
If there is anything to be taken away from the Nightline interview it’s the fact that Lil Wayne made it clear up front he was ignorant to the movement. It had to be explained to him what Black Lives Matters even referenced, you can’t expect a person to articulate an introspective answer on something they don’t even understand. What T.I. did was what any true friend would do, he reached out with not just disapproval, but an offer of assistance to help Lil Wayne understand the movement better.
Lil Wayne is not the first nor only Black person any of us have encountered that speaks ignorantly of the issues Blacks and minorities face. We must remember that many of us weren’t always the enlightened beings we are now. It is on us to, like T.I. pull up someone close to us and check them.
Watch the whole Lil Wayne Nightline interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6mBZSQdGCE