The top reason that rappers need security is not what you would think. It’s not cause they are embroiled in vicious beefs with their fellow artists or cause they are continually being tested by haters on the block. Both of these reasons are valid, but they aren’t the number one reason rappers need to roll with three hundred pound hulks with highly convincing screw-faces and arms the size of most people’s legs.
The top reason rappers need security is male groupies.
I know what you’re thinking: what about the females? For obvious reasons, rappers like to paint female groupies as super aggressive, star-struck desperados that grasp at coat tails and attempt to perform oral sex without any concern for appropriate time or place.
But that’s all nonsense. After four years in the industry, the only time I have ever seen a female doing anything like that was at an Alkaholiks concert, when this chubby, drunk blonde girl freestyled (badly) to a bouncer in an attempt to get backstage. (As if the bouncer is some sort of cipher judge, or, for that matter, the designated gatekeeper for sexual exploits for the evening. Why he should care about unleashing an extremely drunk female on J-Ro or Tash is beyond me. But I digress.)
The way things usually go down is that the road manager or some hanger-on in the entourage combs the crowd, finds the chicks with the biggest implants, the fattest booties, and the longest acrylic nails, and persuades them to come backstage. It usually doesn’t take much smooth-talking to make it happen. (The only time I’ve ever seen these pseudo-pimps turned down was at an outdoor Black Eyed Peas show in Canada where group after group of girls passed on meeting will.i.am and his posse of MTV bohemians.)
Female groupies will come backstage and act scandalous, it’s true, but they’re not usually banging down the doors and/or creating a scene to do it.
In reality, it’s the male fans that are the problem. In the club, it’s these guys that push past the velvet ropes and harass the artist when he’s trying to get his drink on and/or flirt with the ladies. At the in-store signing it’s these guys that turn up, sweaty and nervous, and dominate the artist’s time. At the show, it’s these guys that hang around at the backstage door and ambush the artist when he tries to break out.
But you’ll never get rappers to admit it. (Aside from a choice “I ain’t trying to be rude dude, but why don’t you disappear?” outburst here and there.) For one, no rapper wants to alienate his fan base, which is—let’s be honest—80% jock-riders. For two, because of the Yes Hetero rule (or as Kris Ex has aptly renamed it, the No Whatever Whatever rule). And for three, because most rappers are generally decent people and they don’t want to shit on someone who is obviously sort of sad and lonely. (Either that or they are trying to avoid having one of these male groupies snap in a Hustle & Flow-type moment and pistol whip them in the men’s room.)
I’ve been wanting to write an article on male groupies for a while. But generally the response I get from rappers on this matter is a vague, “I mean, I don’t really have that problem with my fans.” This is usually said through clenched teeth as Stan himself approaches and hovers expectantly, waiting for the rapper to acknowledge his presence/receive his demo tape/listen to him gush/nod while he relays intensely personal stories about the impact of said rapper’s music. “See,” the rapper will insist, despite being visibly uncomfortable. “Dudes are cool.”
So, yeah, you probably won’t be seeing an article on the subject anytime soon.