Loud Applause for Jay-Z’s Plans to Banish B*tch After Blue Ivy’s Birth

UPDATE: Since the publishing of this post, MyBrownBaby has learned that Jay-Z most likely did not announce that he would no longer use the word “b*tch” in his lyrics. However, we at MyBrownBaby feel that this story’s relevancy remains the same, particularly since critics of the rapper have used the rumor as an excuse not only to bash Jay-Z, but to state loudly and clearly that people—celebrities in particular—should not be afforded the right to change and grow. In that spirit, we stand by our opinion on the issue. 

By NICK CHILES

I was miffed to witness the wall of condemnation rain down on Jay-Z after he announced that he was no longer going to use the word “bitch” in his music. It was as if the man had no right to attempt to grow, to mature, to acknowledge that the birth of his and Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy could fundamentally change a man in ways that he could never predict or expect.

Yes, the use of words like “bitch” by a generation of rappers has definitely contributed to a baseline disrespect that we often see these days between males and females in our community. And yes, Jay-Z, as one of the most influential rappers of all time, has played a significant role in perpetrating this disrespect among a whole generation of young black men.

But are we not going to allow the man to grow, to change his views over time? Is it not possible that when a powerful figure like Jay-Z comes forward and renounces his previously misogynistic ways, that it may have an even bigger impact than if he had never used the word at all? Because surely we don’t believe that if Jay-Z had never uttered the word in a rap song, it wouldn’t still be flowing freely through hip hop like youknowwhat through a goose. But perhaps this choice he is making now might give pause to some of his peers. Maybe some teen on the verge of rap superstardom may realize he doesn’t need to include this word in his lexicon.

I am a father of two girls. I understand that rappers like Jay-Z have contributed to the difficult and sometimes hateful environment that my girls were born into. I am not pleased about that. Surely they don’t bear all the responsibility, but they have not helped.

The second my first daughter was born, everything changed for me, even more than with the birth of my son seven years earlier. It became much clearer that I was going to be more afraid of the craziness that swirled around us. I realized that to a considerable degree, the culture was going to be my co-parent. Why can’t we give Jay-Z that same room to grow, to make similar discoveries and act upon them? Repentance is a significant foundation of most world religions. It is one of the personal philosophies that allows most of us to get through our complicated, mistake-filled days. And there is a considerable history of this kind of growth and change among some of our most revered African American icons. Malcolm X stopped calling white people “devils” after he had a chance to travel the world and meet white Muslims. Richard Pryor stopped using the word “nigger” in his comedy routines after a similar awakening. It happens all the time. It is the essence of what it means to be human—to be evolving, to be changing and maturing. The essence of what happens when you become a true man, a father, an elder.

Let us applaud the man for banishing the word “bitch” from his keen, insightful music. We will all be the better for it.

RELATED POSTS:
1. Jay-Z’s Song for Blue Ivy
2. Daddy Denied: Jay-Z Says Fatherlessness Made Him Delay Becoming A Dad
3. Beyonce Is Still Pregnant…And Other Things You Need To Know
4. Congratulations Beyonce & Jay-Z: Welcome to the MyBrownBaby Crew!

 

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

11 Comments

  1. I applaud Jay-Z for finally banishing the word from his vocabulary. As a parent, I can totally understand how the birth of your children can completely change your worldview. At the same time, I find it curious that marrying an amazing woman who he loves or even having a mother and sister wouldn’t have inspired him to do the same thing. But then, there’s no accounting for how or when people grow. You just have to be happy that they grow at all.

  2. Beyonce is someone’s daughter too. A relationship with this lovely woman, with any other woman–sister/mother/classmate/friend wasn’t enough to banish THAT word from his vocabulary. I’m just not sure why an experience has to be intensely personal before Jay-Z understands that he can be an incredible musician without relying on degrading labels.
    Glad he’s seen the light. Gladder still that plenty of other people were already dancing in it.

    • But that’s life. Honestly nobody REALLY feels the affects of others until they personally have been affected.

      I mean, if all of us had true compassion for others, the world would be a better place because we would be connected on a deeper level. Unfortunately, (as much as I hate to admit it) most of us can shrug off what others go through because “I have to live my life the best way I know how”, etc.

      It’s not until people like Jay-Z, who wasn’t directly affected by people possibly referring to his mother, wife, cousin, etc as a bitch, are directly affected by people who might possibly refer to his DAUGHTER…his SEED as a b*tch (don’t ask me why, but for men, there is a distinction), is when change happens.

      To be honest, I’m still not gonna let “Big-homie” completely off the hook yet. But, as the father of two little girls, I can respect THIS choice he has made.

  3. Mr. Chiles,

    I appreciate your article and your take on the situation about growth and how the birth of his daughter changed his life and views. But there was life before Blue Ivy and that word has already left its mark. On me, (I’m just a few years younger than Jay-Z) on many women, before, after and since Jay Z’s sudden enlightenment. A man of that age should have recognized well before now that that word is a detriment to women all over the world. And thanks to him and regardless of who little Ms. Blue Ivy’s mom and dad are, she will get her turn too. The damage has already been done and he, as well as many other men and women have contributed to it. With that being said, hooray for growth, no matter how long it takes for it to materialize.

    • Bravo MBB for addressing Mr. Chiles, but I cannot be so polite.

      As a father I have to say why applaud him–unless you are hooked into showbiz types or “rap artists.” Mr. Chiles, you are to smart and learned to buy this crap, just for the sake of sounding artsy or supporting black billionaire rappers. He’s not 19 years old. Indeed, being 19 is NEVER an excuse, just an explanation.

  4. I admit I am a bit shocked, he has had many conversations regarding this topic and coming off the Watch the Throne album where he has a song That’s my B&$^! It does seem odd. But again growth in life takes time and he has such an influence on the youth that this may in some small way make one person change there view on the word. Not a bad thing.

  5. As far as the update goes, how is this still relevant if Jay-Z doesn’t in fact plan to stop using the b word? There is no longer an issue to have an opinion on. And I don’t think the other articles were saying that he wasn’t allowed to grow, rather they were criticizing him for allegedly coming to this realization after he had made money degrading everyone else’s daughters.

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