If there’s one thing I’ve never understood about hip-hop, it’s the sucker for love mentality. A rapper can sing his mother’s praises all damn day, and get as syrupy and corny as he pleases, and it’s all good. But if he admits that he loves his girl, he’s automatically a sucker for love. I’ve never really been able to wrap my mind around why that phrase holds so much power. Why is it constantly hurled at other dudes in hip-hop? Why does it sting so much? And why would men who have already been deprived of so much want to deprive themselves of love? I don’t get it.

I’ve met a lot of guys with this mentality in the music industry. They have a Sidekick full of hot girls to hook up with. They are constantly in motion, always chasing a fly chick or running from a crazy one. They have total freedom—they’re not accountable to anyone for anything. But I wonder sometimes if this freedom is all that it cracked up to be. I wonder if these guys are going to hit 40 and feel exhausted and lonely. Who is going to be there when the shit hits the fan—which it always does at some point in life? Who will hear them out, rub their back, make them a plate of food, walk through the bullshit with them?

For some reason, I was marinating on the subject this morning. As I see it, 50 Cent is basically the poster child for the sucka-free mindset. (“It's a cold world baby girl, loving me is not enough/Find out when you fucking broke, love won't get you on the bus.”) I could be wrong—it’s not like I know the dude or anything—but it doesn’t look like he lets his guard down all that often. His verse about Vivica Fox in “Get In My Car,” for instance, is pretty damn cold. He seems to revel in the untouchable stance and enjoy throwing the sucka slur around. He tossed it at Nas in “Piggy Bank,” mocking Esco for tattooing Kelis on his arm. But, at the end of the day, who seems happier? Nas has a woman he adores to walk through life with. 50, on the other hand, gets to look cool to adolescent boys.

Maybe this mentality is just another aspect of the generation gap. After all, Jay used to be like: ‘Me give my heart to a woman?/Not for nothing, never happen/I'll be forever mackin.” Now he’s like: “Soon as you finished cutting, you like ‘leave me please’/Not me, I need Angelina Joleezy comfort.”