A Man’s Side: Talib Kweli Responds To Slim Thug
I’m the type of person who is always defending artists and what people’s expectations of them are because of the type of artist I am, and the type of stuff that I put out, because people expect certain things from me and sometimes I don’t meet my fans’ expectations and that’s something I’m sensitive to. When I saw how big of a deal that everybody is making over this blog—I know Slim Thug he’s a good guy—my initial comments were a comment to him and Marc Lamont Hill because I read Marc Lamont Hill’s response to him. I think Marc Lamont Hill’s response was very on point but that’s what someone like him is supposed to do, it’s not my job as a rapper to be checking my peers.
As far as what [Slim Thug] actually said, I think it’s a mistake for him to chalk it up to he was just joking because I don’t see the joke. I’m sure he was saying some of it in a funny way but I think that it’s more about the fact that—when something bothers you, you may not know the cause of what’s bothering you but just because you don’t know the cause doesn’t mean you can’t say how you feel. And the point he was making about black women and black men and certain points about relationships, particularly when it comes to money—these are very valid points. But his justification where a white woman would treat their man like a king and this and that, these are statements that you can’t make unless you’re ready to defend them. And with him being someone who doesn’t really blog—his name is Slim Thug, he’s not claiming to be an intellectual, he’s only telling it how it his from the perspective of a young black person growing up in Houston, and the points that he made were underserved and underrepresented because of the generalizations that he made.
The thing that really bothers me is that the people who really took offense to it make generalizations all the time. If someone says men are all dogs, is that OK to make that generalization? Why is it OK to say that and flip it but for him not to express himself in a blog? They’re both generalizations but the only difference is if you say, “Niggas ain’t shit or all men are dogs,” there’s no real explanation. At least with his blog, even if you’re offended by it, it’s way more articulate than saying “Niggas aint shit,” and if you have ever said that, and I’m making a generalization here that most women have said that at some point in they life, you can’t really be mad at what he said. You don’t have to agree, but you can’t be mad.
So because someone makes a generalization you have to spew venom at them and talk about you’re not gonna support their music and you’re gonna unfollow? All that shit is extra. It’s like we can disagree and discourse without being disrespectful to each other. The reason I feel like I can say what I said is because I put in my work when it comes to representing black women in my art. Can’t nobody tell me shit when it comes to the way I put in work for black women! We all have things to learn and I don’t claim to be perfect in my music but I feel like Slim Thug—the things he said are real problems in our community. He really couldn’t articulate on a so-called intellectual level what the reasons are for these pathologies—the racism, the problems in our relationships—so from his perspective, white chicks would treat him better. I know plenty of black dudes that feel the same way. I don’t agree with them but I understand why they say it. I don’t agree that all men are dogs but I understand why women would say that.
I think the people that are really angry are people who are taking the comments out of context and they’re not really reading the whole blog. And when the commenters are reading it, they’re really looking to see what’s wrong with it anyway. Somebody hit me online and said what they got from it is he hates them and I didn’t get that. What I got from the blog is here’s a man who’s confused about relationships and that wants to support the black family and that wants to see black relationships doing good. And at the end of the day when you take out all the generalizations, he’s really saying that black men and black women have to have better communication and respect each other more. He’s calling everyone to task. —As Told To Starrene Rhett