ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES AND OTHER LESSONS NELLY SHOULD HAVE LEARNED AS A CHILD
Actions have consequences
If you come to Spelman you play by her rules. Let’s start with the facts as I have come to know them… In 2003 Nelly released “Tip Drill” as a single off of his album Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention. This came shortly after he was set to release a line of energy drinks labeled Pimp Juice. The music video for the track is still notorious for its obscene levels of misogyny, namely a scene where the St. Louis rapper slides a credit card down the crack of a woman’s a**. Now, here is where it gets tricky. The following year Nelly’s 4Sho4Kids Foundation was scheduled to host a bone marrow drive at Spelman College in support of his sister who, at the time, suffered from leukemia. Although his intentions were noble, Spelman is home to our most intelligent, progressive and fearless (black) women. The fact that Nelly and his camp didn’t anticipate and buffer any type of backlash is either embarrassingly naïve or exceedingly arrogant, maybe both.
Two wrongs don’t make a right
In a recent interview with Huffington Post Nelly questioned his protesters as to why they don’t protest the nearby strip club Magic City and other establishments. Here’s the flaw in that argument. Michael “Magic” Barney has never asked anything of Spelman College or her students. Spelman College never targeted Nelly outside of the relationship that he initiated with the school.
Think outside of the box
Health is not measured solely by physical appearance. Nelly states that he was trying to “save lives” while aiming to host a bone marrow drive. Arguably the women of the Spelman Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (indicating that it wasn't "the whole Spelman") were trying to do the same. Nelly and, by association, Marc Lamont Hill reduced the issue of women’s mental health to a “conversation.” I will give Nelly kudos for referencing a bone marrow drive that saved seven lives, but more than seven people listen to and internalize his music. Nelly has gone on record saying that his own daughter has not seen the “Tip Drill” video, maybe because he knows the damage that it could do. Science has already done the leg-work and proven that low self-worth is directly correlated to severe depression, eating disorders, abusive relationships, poor boundaries and substance abuse which have led to the demise of those plagued by it just sometimes on a more drawn out timeline.
Tell the truth
Nelly’s foundation chose to cancel the bone marrow drive due to administration not being able to guarantee that there will be no public protesting from students. A conversation about misogyny in hip-hop was not conditional for his arrival or the success of his drive. Spelman College did not rob his late sister of anything that his pride did not already cancel. It is nothing short of tragic that Nelly’s sister lost her fight with leukemia relatively a year after he planned to collect from Spelman College but they are not at fault. Spelman women, naturally, being called to a higher purpose and service hosted their own bone marrow drive, larger in scale, before the end of the same academic year.