UPDATE: 11/14/13, 6:01 P.M. ET:
Moya Bailey, one of the Spelman student-activists who spearheaded the pushback against Nelly for the objectification of Black women in his “Tip Drill” video, has responded to his not so subtle insinuations that they cost his sister her life by canceling a bone-marrow drive.
Click here to read.
Almost a decade ago, St Louis Hip-Hop artist Nelly faced off against Spelman College activists due to the release of one of the raunchiest, most hypersexualized videos of all time, “Tip Drill.” In an appearance on HuffPost Live, the St. Lunatic said that if he could go back and handle the incident differently, he would have “kicked somebody’s ass.”
Yes, Nelly really said that he wishes he could go back and kick some Spelman ass.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, in 2004, Nelly’s organization 4Sho4Kidz was scheduled to hold a bone-marrow drive on Spelman College’s campus to raise awareness and to benefit his sister Jacqueline Donahue, who died from leukemia in 2005.
Once Spelman student-activists Moya Bailey and Asha Jennings watched the “Tip Drill” video, they organized a campus-wide protest to push-back against, what they considered to be, exploitative and misogynistic images. Though the goal was to disinvite Nelly, his organization cancelled the drive before they could do so.
At the time, the highly-publicized beef was likened to a feminist response in the vein of C. Delores Tucker‘s epic, long-standing feud with the legendary Tupac Shakur. Young, educated Black women standing up for their sisters and refusing to provide a platform for a misogynist rapper was applauded in many circles, but certainly not all.
Many of the dancers in the video were employed at Magic City — an (in)famous strip-club in Atlanta where I waitressed for a couple of years in college — and the conversation among the dancers was very different. The Spelman women were called “squares,” street-speak for uninitiated in the culture of the Atlanta strip-club scene. They were seen as haters on a soapbox, more focused on proving a point about their brand of feminism than truly combating misogyny or caring for their sisters who weren’t pursuing college degrees. Where Spelman saw exploitation, the dancers at Magic City saw opportunity. And the debates and arguments surrounding issues of class, education, misogyny and sexuality overshadowed the initial cause: the bone marrow drive that was intended to save lives.
In response to host Marc Lamont Hill asking him what he would have done differently, Nelly not only said that he should have “kicked somebody’s ass,” but that the Spelman activists possibly cost his sister her life:
“The Spelman thing, the only thing I feel I would’ve did different is kick somebody’s ass…that’s just how it felt to me, Pimp,” he said to host Marc Lamont Hill. “I don’t have my sister. And I doubt it if half of those girls are still campaigning for what they quote, unquote took advantage for that opportunity for.”
“You [protesters] robbed me of a opportunity. Unfairly, my brother. Because we could’ve still had your conversation after I got my opportunity, but it could’ve been somebody that was coming to that bone marrow drive that day, that was possibly a match for my sister. That didn’t come because of that…”
Let’s be clear: Violence against women is never the answer. In fact, abuse and displays of aggression are very real components of misogyny, so it’s ironic that beating a woman would be Nelly’s preferred response.
But for the sake of debate, does he have a point about the timing? Could a forum about misogyny in Hip-Hop have been held after the bone marrow drive? Or was it necessary to shut it down?
See the HuffPost Live segment here.
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1. The Hotness
People magazine released their "Sexiest Man Alive" list with "The Voice" judge Adam Levine taking the #1 spot for 2013 (really!?). Even though some of our favorites like Idris Elba and Pharrell were sprinkled throughout the list, we can't help but think of all the other sexy Black men in Hollywood. From Columbus Short to Michael B. Jordan and of course Denzel, click on to see the hotness and get ready to swoon!
2. Michael B. Jordan
Number one was a no brainer. I mean, have you SEEN "The Wire" and "Fruitvile Station"? Sheesh! Although Mike snagged number one, number two is close behind..
3. Columbus Short
*Sigh* Columbus Short a.k.a Harrison. Our favorite Gladiator, aside from Olivia, of course. Now the question is, Shonda, when is Harrison going to have a love interest on "Scandal" and how do I audition for the part? Just saying..
4. Jay Ellis
Jay Ellis is a newbie to the Hollywood scene but he's definitely making a staple as one of the hottest black men in Hollywood! That smile? Good Lord.
5. Michael Ealy
Get lost in Michael Ealy's eyes ladies. It's something about those blue eyes! Not to mention, I love a man with a scruffy beard! Not debatable.
6. Trey Songz
7. Idris Elba
Idris Elba!! A man with a British accent? Automatically qualifies as a hottie. No debates here.
8. Isaiah Mustafa
Say heeelloooo to the Old Spice guy (from the Old Spice commercials)! I don't even use the men's product but I'll buy whatever he's selling!
9. Derrick Rose
Not exactly Hollywood, but Derrick Rose deserves a mention on this list. Wouldn't you agree?
Skateboard P gives us sexy sounds, style and seriously, does this man age!? Sheesh!
Tip, you sir, are fine.
12. Charles Michael Davis
The sexy stare that this "Greys Anatomy" star launches into? Man, listen...
13. Colin Kapernick
Those arms! Who can really focus on the game?
Oh, hey Nelly. Who knew you had all those abs in those jeans?!
Nas still looks as great as he did when he was in his 20s!
16. Terrence J
Nothing like a man that's gorgeous AND super successful! Television host, actor and now author? What CAN'T Terrence J do?
17. Lenny Kravitz
Love the whole rocker thing Lenny Kravtiz has going on!
18. Will Smith
The "Fresh Prince" is aging quite nicely if you ask me!
19. Kendrick Lamar
Just because he's killing everybody in the rap game right now. My opinion. No debates lol.
20. Lance Gross
Tall, dark and handsome. Hey Lance Gross!
21. Reggie Bush
Kim Kardashian let a fine one get away! Reggie's muscles are chiseled from the gods!
22. Damon Wayans Jr.
Damon. Wayans. Junior. Who. Knew.
23. Mechad Brooks
Seriously, have you seen this man's Calvin Klein ads?
Miguel is absolutely adorable!
You may or may not like Future's style, but let's just stand back and admire his chiseled face and high cheek bones!
26. A$AP Rocky
Say what you want about A$AP, but he's beautiful! Especially when he decides to cut his braids!
27. Boris Kodjoe
One of the few that can actually pull off the bald look and we've never heard German sound so smooth as it does when this native speaks it!
28. Shemar Moore
Shemar's been looking good for decades!
29. Tyson Beckford
The body? Those lips? Tyson Beckford's hot-factor needs little explanation.
30. President Barack Obama
Yes, that's our President! Not exactly a man in Hollywood but he deserves a mention anyway just for being him - great father, husband and the hottest President EVER!
Usher, you're fine.
32. Jesse Williams
Lawd... I could stare into those blues eyes all day.
33. Laz Alonso
Well, hello there!
34. Pooch Hall
Everyone fell in love with Pooch Hall as Derwin on "The Game" and for good reason too!
You must admit that Drizzy cleans up nicely in a suit and tie!
36. Denzel Washington
Had to throw Denzel in the list for everybody's mom and auntie! LOL
37. Luke James
With songs like "Make Love To Me" this crooner who opened up for Beyonce has some sultry tunes, and he just so happens to be easy on the eyes too!
38. Lamman Rucker
39. Blair Underwood
Wish we saw more of Blair on the big screen!
40. Taye Diggs
Taye made a few women want to get their grove back with that perfect smile!
41. John Legend
Love a man that can sing!
Gotta love an intellectual man!
Whether he's rocking a full 'Fro or a shorter crop Maxewell always brings the sexy.
44. Morris Chestnut
Thanks to this hottie, I can not WAIT to see "The Best Man Holiday!"
Ludacris has stepped it all the way up since he's started his acting career! Well, hello!
46. Mack Wilds (Tristian Wilds)
Might be a little young for some, but quite a cutie nonetheless!
47. J. Cole
Yup, crooked smile and all!
Unfortunately, we haven't heard much from Jeremih lately but we could never forget how gorgeous he is!
49. Brian White
Brian White, yes! NFL player turned actor.. we see you!
50. Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard definitely deserves a mention!
51. Derek Luke
52. Andre 3000
Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Andre 3 Stacks! Just because he's so darn fly!