From Bugatti Boyz to Rational Men: Hip Hop's Self-Esteem Makeover
The Boss of Bad Decisions?
The 'Boyz' Ought to Learn a Lesson
With the separate arrests of the self-proclaimed Bugatti Boyz Sean “Diddy” Combs and William Leonard “Rick Ross” Roberts II, it is clear that possessing riches does not prevent even the wealthiest figures from facing serious charges. As assault in both cases and kidnapping in Robert’s situation weigh heavy on the heads of the alleged perpetrators, it ought to be shown that with more money and visibility, the status from mogul to criminal can change within an instant. Another moniker of Combs is “Puffy” a childhood nickname which surfaced in the wake of his temper tantrums where his cheeks puffed up in rage. His rap sheet runs the gamut of heated exchanges with record company executives to this latest incident with his son’s collegiate coach. Roberts apparently struck his groundskeeper over the head with a pistol. So, what does all this say about two wealthy men of color? Are they just hot headed individuals who forgot in a moment of anger their millions and what lead them to generate those fortunes? What are the implications that these incidences will have on their children?
DIddy with a Mic (not used as a weapon)
Combs and Roberts stand as celebrities who break the law without thinking of the consequences. For them to treat their level of influence as infamy is the true shame. Rapper Rick Ross carries the handle of a drug dealer which only compounds his ill repute. For him to engage in this type of crime (one where there is a victim, unlike drug trafficking) In a time where they ought to be enjoying the fruits of their labor, these men are embroiled in chaos. It would be sarcastic to state that these offenses increase visibility and lead to increases in download sales or alcohol and promotion for television viewers. In that case, their notoriety would actually hurt not help them in the long run. For Roberts, his days as a corrections officer cannot make up for his most recent actions. As a reformed drug dealer, he ought to know the costly mistakes which could one day land him in prison. To continue down the path of unrighteousness is an injustice to himself. Combs has built a legacy based on musical entertainment, a clothing line, vodka and a television network to name but a few of his business endeavors. The physical altercation in which he involved himself serves as another example of Combs’ list of entanglements. Such intelligent specimens of masculinity and assertiveness ought to prove themselves more worthy of higher planes of discourse. They ought to have discussed their grievances like gentlemen. By talking it out, both men could have spared themselves the embarrassment of negative media scrutiny and scorn from their supporters. Though there will be those who say that they should be forgiven for their trespasses, if they are, it ought to be on the grounds that such behavior must never be forgotten. To instill order in their lives, Combs and Roberts might want to find some common ground and learn to take their frustration not out on another victim but channel it into their upcoming projects. Two of the most talented rappers to ever spring from the womb of hip hop ought to now face the facts that their reputations only become worse with such actions. Their notoriety might fuel sales for the moment, but for any lasting further presence, they will have to concoct new methods of dealing with associates, acquaintances and natural enemies and adversaries. The token for their newfound commitment to engaging with others as traders and not as aggressors lies in the ability of both men to see straight into the eyes of whoever has wronged them and reach an understanding employing reason. It is only by rational means that men can meet each other in the streets and comprehend one another’s point of view. Otherwise, you have superstars like Combs and Roberts who allegedly strike people on the head with a kettlebell and a pistol grip, respectively. What ought not be overlooked is the hostility that both men showed. For them to put hands on anyone indicates that both of them failed to fully comprehend the situation. The way to go about conversation ought to be in both of these men’s repertoire as public speakers on a grand scale. No irony is lost on people who have been paid to talk cannot find the words to prevent them from encountering legal proceedings.
A Portrait of an Accused Assailant
A New Tomorrow
What this all comes down to is the incomplete egos of hip hop. While there exist rappers who rattle off their licentious sexual conquests, mountains of drugs they sold, mountains of drugs they have used, and their overbearing acts of force by way of gun violence, most have never engaged in wanton sex, sold a gram of narcotics on the avenue or popped, snorted, injected, or smoked forbidden substances. Their self-esteem lacks the self. While they claim to have done these misdeeds, in actuality they seek to be recognized for infractions and actions that they never experienced. And interestingly, this is celebrated within the genre of hip hop. The more extreme and dangerous a rapper sounds on a song, the greater the demand for this type of rhetoric. Hip hop artists feed off of negativity and the perverse notions of “crime pays.” Well, it does; the corporate prison system is rewarded handsomely in their thriving business of incarcerating young men of color. The unselfish nature of rap stars presents a grave reality to confront. Instead of fully considering the achievement of worthy values like life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, rappers praise the thug mentality. Rather than looking up to icons and figures that have displayed honor and integrity, rappers and rap fans alike cling to the ideas of gangsterism. The self never fully actualizes. The statement that hip hop is all ego or full of selfishness is bizarre. The genre exhibits selflessness wholesale and never owns up to or criticizes it properly.
As with Combs and Roberts, the stage has been set for them to be masters of the spoken word. To assail other men because they had a disagreement with them is unacceptable. They ought to be disciplined for their wicked ways and set on the course to rational behavior. What happens for these men to prosper in a new tomorrow is for them to examine their positions of impact. While hip hop lacks a counsel, parameters, and guidelines to make it a true culture, the game can at least be won. After all of the wrongs are righted following these events, these two men might want to focus on what made them into wealthy Black men. Their perseverance, their pride, their smart work ought to lend themselves to their code of ethics. Like their duo nickname of Bugatti Boyz, both men ought to be fast, sleek, and ready to perform on a high level. All of this can be possible if they put these occurrences behind them and fight not any victim but for the betterment of lives.