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Rappers Are People Too

Last week we learned that Brooklyn emcee, John Jackson, better known as Fabolous turned himself in with a lawyer on charges related to domestic violence. I didn’t want to discuss this initially until more information had been made available i.e. video. I am going to say that I am a fan of Fabolous’ music. I was in high school when he was coming up rhyming on DJ Clue tapes and when his debut album dropped during my senior year of high school I certified myself as member of the “Street Family.” Today as an adult Black woman in the U.S. I’m going to have to rethink my commitment to the movement. At the young age of forty years old Fab still could move in a lot of ways that his counterparts couldn’t. Fabolous was one emcee who could move between generations fluidly rapping with the youngsters and the OGs.

The thing we sometimes forget about Rappers and celebrities alike are that they are people too. Rappers, dee jays, emcees, producers, breakers, and graffiti artists are people just like you and I. They have their hang-ups, problems, vices, and quirks the same way we all do. Some are alcoholics, some are drug addicts, some are fame addicts, and some are in abusive relationships as both the victim and the aggressor. There is no way that you can truly know someone through the eyes of fame. You won’t hear it in their music, you won’t see it on their social media, and you won’t understand it through any interviews. People are complex being with complex lives that can’t be broken down through a five minute interaction or a concert lasting for several hours. To think that any man or woman isn’t capable of being abusive towards a loved one is naïve. When we hear things about celebrities we cannot continue to be surprised or shocked.

Being a celebrity does not absolve you from being human! People make mistakes and yes some are more egregious but we aren’t supposed to judge right? Who made that up? Someone who didn’t want to be judged I’m sure. My judgment tells me that Mr. Jackson is not the person he makes himself out to be or the image he projects. Ms. Bustamante’s judgment is clearly not that great as she has been with Fab for over ten years now and to think that this is an isolated incident would be poor judgment on your part. Being a Rapper does not grant you the power to do, say, or behave however you want. In this country you have to have the money and the skin color to get past a publicized incident like this. Domestic violence of any kind is intolerable and we don’t know what this will mean for Fab’s career or life in general as the legal system is shaky when it comes to issues of a domestic nature. There is no “pass” and I hope that Emily realizes her worth after this.

“Get a taste of your own medicine. Funny, you the one who end up sick.”– Fabolous (Want You Back)