The Toronto Star ran an interview with Joss Stone yesterday in which she responded to producer Dallas Austin’s nonsense about both her and Christina Aguilera putting out in exchange for beats. “He's just stupid, whatever,” Stone replied, when asked about the controversy. “It's whatever, whatever. Honestly, I don't know him. I don't even know what he looks like.” Her message to him was simple: "Take a week off. You're in a bad mood. I do hope someone will give him a hug." The producer has, of course, turned around and publicly apologized to both of them. Austin told reporters his outburst was "purely an act of retaliation" and he shouldn't let people push him "to the limit."

What a jackass. All Austin accomplished with his comments was to make himself look like a bitter man. Obviously these women didn’t offer him sexual favors, or solicit production work, because if they had he wouldn’t be feeling the need to lash out so recklessly. My guess is that one or both of them spurned his advances at some point, and his ego got bruised. Maybe he’s that guy in the club that hollers at you and then gets mad and calls you a bitch when you’re not interested. Sour grape syndrome.

I don’t believe for a second that Aguilera or Stone is trading sexual favors for production services. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them had a thing with one of their producers at one point. And so what if they did? If a female artist wants to get down with their producer, who the eff cares? People in the music industry hook up with other people in the industry all the time.

The bigger issue here (you knew this was coming) is the retarded double standard in the music industry in general, and hip-hop in particular. This whole incident just reeks of the hypocrisy. Male artists run wild 24/7, pulling chicks in the club, hooking up with groupies backstage, and even pushing up on random female reporters if they find themselves without companionship for five minutes. They mess with their female agents, publicists, assistants, record label reps, and anyone else who happens to cross their path. But let a woman artist have herself a little fling and she’s automatically scandalous. People want female artists to look crazy sexy, but they don’t want them to have a sex life. The whole Madonna/whore complex is seriously played out. Whatever, whatever.