Who are you calling a bitch?

In another month or so, it’ll be a year that XXL Blogs has been up and running. Over the past year, I’ve received a lot of emails from people that I don’t know. Hip-hop heads, aspiring writers, underground rappers, industry people, other bloggers, the odd journalist. These folks never fail to remark on the comment section. “You must have really thick skin,” they write. “I don’t know how you put up with all the bullshit in the comments.”

It’s true that our comment section can be gully. We rarely delete posts, no matter how nasty, and some c-boys take that freedom and go crazy with it. Obviously it’s not ideal to have random dudes asking for naked pictures of you. But there’s also some interesting discussion going on (that actually relates to hip-hop), and some downright hilarious banter, and I take what I can from it and leave the rest. Occasionally something has stung. And occasionally someone’s criticism has been useful, and I’ve grown as a writer from it. Basically, I don’t have particularly thick skin—but it’s a heck of a lot thicker than when I started here.

Which is why I find it amusing that every now and then, a female commenter will pop up out of nowhere and come at me. Hard. And with pretty vague complaints.

I have no idea what the stats for the site are, but my sense is that—like the rest of hip-hop—the readership is largely male. And, like in other areas in the culture, I get the feeling that some females are determined to slag the handful of other women around. It’s odd to me, but extremely predictable.

I first noticed this dynamic when I was writing for a newspaper in Canada. Every year or so, we would get an outraged letter that would rant and rave and beg my editor to fire me. Often they would be written by young, aspiring female hip-hop journalists. My editor once gave one of these women a shot at writing for us, and I once offered to mentor one. From that, I learned that a lot of the venom in these letters had to do with feeling like there was no opportunities for females in the industry, that if there was only going to be one spot—cot damn, they were going to get it, even if they had to take someone out.

I understand why they would feel that way. We all know that hip-hop is sexist. It’s tough trying to stay true to yourself and your love of hip-hop. But it’s simply not true that there’s only one spot.

I was lucky that the women who came before me were generous with their time and encouragement. They sat down with me, broke the business down, shared contacts, gave feedback, and offered suggestions for game plans. I could see that it wasn’t about taking anyone out; they were too busy helping me up. They’re still helping me up. And I’m more than willing to do the same for anyone else coming up in the game.

So, to the young and hungry female hip-hop heads out there: chill with the fire talk. I don’t care if you love my work or despise it, I’m just happy to see more women in hip-hop. Do you already.

  • EReal

    First Sayers Suck!(No Weezy)

    Yeah I noticed that too. Some of these cats go off n shit. Its not like I even know Tara-Squad, Im just not into talkin down on the queens. I’ve noticed some of those Tara hatin females on here tryin to spit fire and its not even a good comment, hahaha.
    Its just like anything in life tho. Look at NYC for example, everyone should be standin together to help NY stand back up.. but they’re so busy worried about that top spot that they squabble and beef, and in the meantime the top spot goes to Mike Jones or whoever the fuck sucks the most that week.
    This happens all over the world, if it didnt, we wouldnt be in Iraq.
    You have a good outlook on it tho, nothin sexier than a strong female.(No Shitty Lines) IMO

    1 hunned.

  • CHIZAMP

    But see…it’s a womens nature to compete against other women, be it in work, men…etc etc. But it sucks for you Tara, because your cute, and your posts have substance behind them…so “bitches” are going to hate…did i mention your cute?

  • http://whocareswhatpeoplethink thecollinb

    is it like double the hate cause you’re white as well?….cause black women don’t like white women regardless of what they say. apologies if the question oozes cultural ignorance but i really do wanna know.
    on a side note i can’t imagine you get half the hate Bol “most likely to have a baby’s daddy before he has a baby’s mama” Crawford gets…as well as Sunday, niggas are really treatin him like a bangladesh outsourced customer service rep

  • EReal

    “is it like double the hate cause you’re white as well?….cause black women don’t like white women regardless of what they say.”
    Very good point CollinB.
    Damn Kanye!

    LOL @ ” Sunday, niggas are really treatin him like a bangladesh outsourced customer service rep ”
    Also a very good point. hahaha.

    1 hunned.

  • SukedowN

    Like Money Mike (sp) said…

    “You have 18 haters? You should be out to get 20.”

    I always wondered who really lurks in these comments section. Perhaps people in the idustry of some level of status, masquerading as a common man. Who knows?

    Just a thought…

  • thatdukeSuave

    T, You hold down that number 1 spot! Fuck the hella haters, you keep shit movin here at XXL and offer different perspectives and angles on real issues. Unlike other blogs on here written by a hide-in-a-hole, crybaby, Gin Blossoms-loving, Jigga-bashing hater-of-all-races homo that can’t get over being rejected by the ‘MTV Real World’ people ten years in a row because they already had a hide-in-a-hole, crybaby, Gin Blossoms-loving, Jigga-bashing hater-of-all-races homo

  • Fernando

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……famale haters………………………………………..boo hoo….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Sorry Tara, I could really care less. Females always hate on each other, no matter what. Dudes hate too (just ask fat man Bol), but it is usually for a good reason, not because its a dude. I tend to hate on Bol because he is a fat, ugly, sellout, gin-blossoms-listening-to, lives-with-his-mom, sack of sh*t, who has no business writing about hip-hop.

    Anyways. Keep tryin Girl. You always speak the real….just sometimes its boring.

  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’

    MEN HATE, BITHCES HATE. BLOGGERS WRITE.TAKE IT LIKE A MAN! DO YOU!

  • Flip

    You should talk about the lame ass dudes in here that suck you off every time you post. “Oh Tara, you’re the only reason I still check this site.” LMAO

  • chaing

    bitch

  • Belize

    Tara = The Violet Palmer of Blogging

    Do you thang thang mama!

  • NSW

    Seriously T, Fuck what the haters say. Thats just how some women are. I respect your writing it has hella subsatnce, so keep doin what u doin.

  • content

    ….I think they lost their mind

  • jacquez
  • mannyworld33

    NICE POST TARA,

    FUCK THA’ HATERS! LADIES IS PIMPS TOO GO’ON BRUSH YA’ SHOULDERS OFF!

  • NickeNitro

    Belize Says:

    Tara = The Violet Palmer of Blogging
    _________________________________

    That’s cold. Violet Palmer might be the worst ref in the history of organized hoops, and that’s saying a lot. I can see why women would hate her — she provides reinforcement for the idea that women can’t ref. Of course, that’s the league’s fault — they fired the good female ref they ahd and kept Violet on some wtf-ness.

    By the same token, I can see why other women would really hate Tara if she were a really bad writer, because that might reinforce ideas about women not being able to write about hip-hop. But she’s not a bad writer, so maybe it’s because they’re jealous that she gets hit on by a bunch of random internet dudes in her comments section. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s probably not it either.

    You know, they’re probably just blowing off steam by randomly shooting off on the internet at random people they’ll never meet. I’m all about that. Writing angry comments is the new punching the pillow.

  • MESSIAH

    who gives a fuuuuuucckk

  • http://whocareswhatpeoplethink thecollinb

    is it more frustrating to be hated by women sporadically or have dudes pat you on the ass (figuratively) about the blogs you write?
    not that you dont put up pif but sometimes it seems like your blogs get more head way cause you’ve got internet cleavage

  • shady eighties krack baby

    find somethig interestin to write about not borin shit like this

  • derfla the hus’la

    Tara aint no Bitch she’s a sister…there’s a big difference…..
    (c)bitchies and sisters-jay-z life and times vol 2

  • Incilin

    Are there a lot of spots? I wonder. I remember last year I was at this conference and Kim Orsismo (I cant remember her name and I dont feel like Googleing it) talking about how she didn’t want to quit her job because she knew she really couldnt get a job anywhere else like the one she had the Source. I find it hard to believe that there are any spots for hip hop writers at all.

  • Fabo

    GOD DAMN. COULD YOU BE ANY MORE BORING?

  • Bang

    cat-fight! catfiiiight!

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    Your a talented writer so ignore the haters T

  • Hannah Smith

    Er, the hate comes ‘cos your blogs are boring – blogging is a whole different skill to print media, and one that seemingly only Bol on the XXL website understands.

  • http://www.myspace.com/belizeanbway Belize

    Nah..didnt mean it in a bad way, just sayin that she makin her own lane.

  • http://rwdmag.com hattie

    Yes Tara,
    True stories! I try hard to do the same thing when it comes to new writers wanting help getting put on. As it happened for me, there were no other established women women writers in hip hop around to get advice from when I started out, but I got great advice, guidance and help from three (male) editors. I was also lucky enough to start out with chicks like Chantelle ‘Shower’ Fiddy, Elle Jay Smalls, Amina Taylor, Matilda Egere Cooper and Davina Morris and I love the fact we’ve never tried to block each other; we’ve all passed on emails, contacts, ideas and hook-ups. I’ve had more than my fair share of hate ‘male’ and female, but I’ve always looked ahead and never left and right. If I can help people out, because I’m confident in my own spot, I will. The more the merrier and all that.
    People hate in every area of life; we’re not alone there, but I guess sometimes we’re made more aware of it because it’s so out there in the public domain. I don’t mind criticism either, as long as it’s not ‘ginger bitch’, ‘slag’ (yawn) etc.
    People who take time to dissect WHY they don’t like a particular piece I’ve written will always grab my attention, as opposed to mindless ‘you’re shit’, ‘boorrrring’ and all those other insightful, thoughtul pointers.
    So, just keep doing you and hopefully the next gen will be there to hook up the one after,
    Hattie

  • http://rwdmag.com hattie

    ps word to Queen Latifah!

  • NickeNitro

    Hannah Smith Says:

    Er, the hate comes ‘cos your blogs are boring – blogging is a whole different skill to print media, and one that seemingly only Bol on the XXL website understands.
    _____________________________

    Actually, the whole “snarky blogging” thing has more than run its course and is pretty stale now. At least for me — I pretty much only read specialty blogs to learn from experts on obscure soul music or my field of work, not for some random person’s attempt at sharp, condescending wit. Maybe Hannah’s got more of a threshold for one-trick ponies. Regardless, “blogging skill” is not a good reason for anyone rational to hate or get mad at someone. Plus, to me, these aren’t really blogs here as much as an editorial page for an online hip-hop newspaper (hence, the “columnists” link), which is basically print media.

  • CALIMOVEMENT

    Funny how the security of hiding behind the internet brings out the gangsta in some people………..

  • SilverBack Gorilla

    thecollinb Says:

    January 31st, 2007 at 2:42 pm
    is it more frustrating to be hated by women sporadically or have dudes pat you on the ass (figuratively) about the blogs you write?
    not that you dont put up pif but sometimes it seems like your blogs get more head way cause you’ve got internet cleavage

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Couldn’t of said it better myself.

    I think eventually Tara might put up some garbage, something she don’t even agree with, & see how many c-boys still give her a nod cause cats think she cute.

  • hiphopaintdeadyet

    Out of all the blogs written on this site..the only one i actually look forward to the most is Tara’s..she brings a different vibe. She definetly is a role model, and also proves that it really doesn’t matter what you look like or your background,you can love hip-hop and have a passion for it..thanks a lot for the great articles!!

  • crackavelli

    women hate women all day even if they ghey. and thats on some real serious stuff. look at how moms treat there daughters. like there tryin to steal there man. or girl friends who end up fighting or not talkin just because of a one night stand. women hate women and they dont see it.

  • P

    Tara aint no Bitch she’s a sister…there’s a big difference…..
    (c)bitchies and sisters-jay-z life and times vol 2

    ^^^^^^^^^
    ummm….bitches and sisters is from Blueprint 2….but I agree if its all the same

  • blaQ

    Tara, I see you talking all this empowerment of women in hip hop and all yet all last year you didnt even have one blog mentioning why 2006 was a female MC free zone! so much for speaking up for them Tara…

  • Pingback: links for 2007-02-01 at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  • Whiteman

    Ladies aren’t pimps they get pimped!!! I’m pretty sure that this pose was somehow directed at me but you got me wrong I don’t hate you because you are a chick I hate you because your a fuckin race traitor.

  • EReal

    Hey Whiteman,

    Who is Heidi Flice??

    hmmm… ladies arent pimps eh?
    They’re actually the best pimps, cause havin a girl co-sign makes it seem like female empowerment. Just check this “Madam”‘s little black book homie. She was the #1 Pimp in the USA.

    1 hunned.

  • derfla the hus’la

    P Says:

    February 1st, 2007 at 12:22 am
    Tara aint no Bitch she’s a sister…there’s a big difference…..
    (c)bitchies and sisters-jay-z life and times vol 2

    ^^^^^^^^^
    ummm….bitches and sisters is from Blueprint 2….but I agree if its all the same
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    my bad!!!!!!!!!!

  • thoreauly77

    i read every blog on here, as well as passionoftheweiss, humanity critic, dallaspenn and nah right and i think each one has it’s own unique quality that i enjoy. tara, you are one of the only writers out of that group whose sincere love for the music shows itself shamelessly, and for that reason alonei will keep reading what you write. all that other shit is just white noise.

  • http://www.myspace.com/corinnemq Corinne

    …and I’m glad to see a female writer such as yourself. I’m thankful for you that you put your skills and talent to some real good writing out there. And you can write a intelligent blog without using the F-word a million times.

  • alleyeCNtower

    this is well said, Tara.
    shame that women wouldn’t stick together, like a few other “groups” do (such as the Asians in hip hop seem to, and Latinos to a certain extent… not that I want to really separate people like that, but anyways)

    the sexism is so self-destructive, and this added dimension should not be allowed to flourish either, because women’s voices are being silently removed from hip hop altogether, regardless.

    the female writer’s perspective as well. keep speaking. some people still actually listen to truth, no matter who says it.

  • NickeNitro

    Well, speaking of criticizing you, “we all know that hip-hop is sexist” is a pretty airheaded remark at best. I guess you’re trying to rally the ladies or whatever, but you just called everyone and everything associated with the genre sexist, including the female rappers. You get more compliments from hip-hop’s fans on this site than any of the dudes writing here, and you just called all those fans sexist on some oblivious Oprah speak. The industry, specific artists, specific mentalities — they can all be sexist. A genre of music, however, cannot inherently be racist.

    It’s statements like that that make people go out and run misdirected campaigns against hip-hop in general, like here:

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/03/hip.hop.

    Does Nelly represent all of hip-hop? Hardly, but the industry caters airplay and promotion to ignorant ideas like sexism so the media can turn around and blame the music.

    Most rappers and rap songs aren’t sexist, believe it or not. But if the industry is only really giving spins and ads to rappers who meet the ignorance threshold, there’s always going to be an opportunist. And since the vast majority of better MCs aren’t getting spins, probably most of the better MCs aren’t meeting the high standards of ignorance required.

    But it doesn’t matter — the masses are trained to only listen to what’s on the dial and believe the corporate “news” (for example, XXL) without thinking about it.

    Hip-hop doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

  • http://www.bloodyshithole.com CuntRapist

    hey cuntwad, i wannna see some naked pics of your shaved twat!

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    i dont know tara..u get a fair amount of bitches hittin’ u up in da comments section – rey, belize, fernando, dj n faggitable and da usual array of ball-less barely male faggits

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    thoreauly77 too..dat pussy is such a lickspittle

  • http://www.ukhh.com lady c

    its sad how true your words are on women on the hip hop career ladder – some are always ready to kick at others if it means they get a step up!

    but oppressed people have to realise why this happens, educate each other -even the meanest backstabbingest girls you meet – let ourselves be divided and conquered!

  • Miss J.

    This doesn’t just happen in hip hop. It happens in life. Based on my own experiences, it’s not limited to female-on-female hate. I’ve crossed paths with numbers of hateful women AND men whom I can only assume were envious of my hustle.

    Or maybe it was because I’m an asshole…

  • http://bonker14211yahoo.com Irving Peay

    I have a @ year subscription, but I recently moved from 2706 Jenkins st. Nashville, Tennessee 37208 to 78 Schauf ave. Buffalo, New York 14211, I need my XXL subscription sent to my new apartment…. Thank Yall- Iam a very LOVAL customer… IRVING R. PEAY Jr.