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Raps, Rapes, & Rights

I hope you all had a good weekend! I can’t say the same for Cornell “Nelly” Haynes, Jr. On Saturday while on a tour stop in Ridgeland, Washington the St. Louis Rapper was arrested for second degree suspicion of rape. We’re not going to get into those details as we are not here to justify or sway any person’s thoughts or feelings one way or the other. Of course Nelly tweeted out that he was not involved in any type of sexual assault, rape, or sexual harassment with the alleged victim. The Rap industry is very misogynistic and ego driven and some artists embody that while others try to fit their personality around that type of persona and image. “Tip Drill” is a classic and “Shake Ya Tailfeather” was a cinematic smash. Nelly has always had a song for the women in the clubs and Nelly isn’t bad to look at either. I think a lot of people are trying to reserve their opinions to see what will become of Nelly in the court system. People are weird creatures who allow their feelings to cloud their judgment and even negate facts.

Some people find it hard to separate the artist from the person and with the history African Americans have in the U.S. we’ve been taught to trust those who hurt us the most. Most of the reactions I’ve been seeing on social media are from women who don’t believe that Nelly is “the type of guy” who would commit such a serious crime against a woman. What does a rapist look like? You must know Nelly personally to make that type of statement. The world we live in loves to jump to conclusions and the court of public opinion will hang you in the middle of the city and lay flowers at your grave after learning that you were innocent. Nelly is a talented Rapper who has made huge strides for the culture during his music career. Some people reading this may have grown up during Nelly’s reign on the music scene so it’s hard to think that Nelly is even capable of committing any crime at all.

We have to be consistent because sometimes the media is just trying to get our attention away from something else or sensationalize something that isn’t worth only but so much of our energy much like what’s going on with Cam Newton. If charges are brought against Nelly he has the right to a fair trial and the accuser has a right to defend herself without scrutiny. Raps don’t afford anyone the ability to rape anyone or to take away their rights as a human being. I could not imagine the emotional and mental trauma that comes with being a victim of rape and I hope that they get the help they need. However if this woman is in fact falsely accusing Nelly of a sex crime than his persona is already tarnished from the accusation. From this incident this woman could become a “reality star” and pop up on the next season of that VH1 show. Hip Hop is supposed to be beats, rhymes, and life not raps, rapes, and rights.

“So lost in the moments when you’re in ‘em” –Eminem (Love the Way You Lie)