Is Erykah Badu sending out the wrong message by becoming the town bicycle of hip-hop? Or is it not any of our business how many rappers she decides to have babies with?
There was a bit of an uproar, a couple of weeks ago, amongst the kind of people who give a rat’s ass what Erykah Badu does, when it was announced that she’s pregnant by that guy Jay Electronica, who’s supposedly a genius. Though I’ve yet to hear anything he’s done that strikes me as all that impressive.
It culminated in Badu posting this hilarious screed to the message boards over at okayhater, talking about how mofos need to stay out of her business, and clearly she makes enough from touring to get knocked up by the DOC (not to be confused with Rick Ross’ former employer), if that’s what she feels like doing. Note that I’m paraphrasing.
I remember coming across it the other day and thinking I might have to do a post on it here or somewhere. But then something must have come up. Maybe I drank too much beer and I forgot, or maybe it was because I went out of town. Maybe both.
But I was reminded of this foolishness this weekend, when I finally got a chance to check out the first night of CNN’s silly Black in America. You’ll recall that I missed the first night back when it first aired, last week, because I was out working hard trying to put food on my family. Fortunately, they were rerunning that shit all weekend. I ended up catching it when I got off from work Saturday evening.
One segment of the CNN special had to do with this woman who had five kids, nary a father in the home to speak of, and she was about to get kicked out of her house, probably because the landlord wanted to rent it to someone who doesn’t have five kids.
I noticed they made a point to make it seem as if she had gotten preyed upon by an older man when she was a young girl (wait, that works?), though they didn’t bother to explain how her other four kids came about, or where their fathers might be. Also, I was at a loss for how in the fuck she was managing to raise five kids on one presumably rather meager salary. Lord knows I have a hard time just keeping myself in clean pants, and I work constantly, between this site and my own site and the BGM.
Obviously, the government, i.e. us taxpayers, have been chipping in. It just hadn’t occurred to me that our welfare system in this country is such that one woman raising five kids would actually be feasible. I mean, who would even try such a thing? But now I’m wondering if there isn’t a certain economies of scale effect that kicks in once you have a certain number of welfare babies. It’s a concept I learned about back when I was in college earning my worthless-ass business degree. Though I suppose it’s come in handy in this case!
I know – because I know a guy who was a property manager of several section eight properties – that you can pretty much knock out the rent (or lower it to an amount you can find in the average sofa) just by having one otherwise unwanted child. Which makes me wonder how much more you receive for each additional one you pop out. I wouldn’t be surprised if things are actually a lot more difficult for the slore with just one welfare baby. If any of you fruits remember what your mothers used to receive for you and your siblings, feel free to chime in in the comments section.
Obviously, the financial aspect isn’t as much an issue for Erykah Badu. I can’t imagine her music is selling anywhere near where it used to back in the late ’90s; and we know, because black people tend to lack any financial sense, that a lot of these artists run into issues once the checks stop coming in. But I’d be willing to bet that she makes a pretty decent living touring.
I remember reading, not too long ago, in an interview with ?uestlove, where he was talking about how the Roots sometimes tour with Erykah Badu, and, where as the Roots tend to bring out a lot of young cracka-ass crackas (my bad, white people), Erykah Badu tends to draw a lot of older black folks. And it’s a known fact in the touring industry that, the older the audience, the more money the artist makes.
So most likely, unless Erykah Badu got so crazy that she couldn’t be wheeled out on stage, like Lauryn Hill, her vagine would probably give out before she could have more kids than she could afford. But at what point does this shit start to become a branding issue? (Note: here’s where my marketing expertise comes in handy yet again.)
If you notice, she goes on and on in her screed about how she has the means to take care of her little village of rappers’ babies, as if anyone really thought that was the issue. But I think the thing people were really concerned with is the fact that she’s now gonna have three babies by three different guys (three different rappers, even), and that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the image of herself she puts forth, as being a queen or whatever. At one point, I think she even refers to herself as a queen in her diatribe.
Queens don’t have babies by three different guys, welfare mothers in the ghetto do. I’m not saying she shouldn’t be allowed to carry on like that, if that’s what she wants to do. (I’ll even let her have one of mine, but I will not provide for it.) I’m just saying. I don’t know if she should be viewed in the same light as a woman who’s actually convinced a man to be with her and take care of their kids together. I’m conservative like that. What do you ‘bags think?