Mama Don't Take No Mess: A Young Thug Story
Last week I starting writing a blog. A sharply written piece that starting out with things I learned watching Bronx Tale in the scenes where Calogero’s father Lorenzo (Robert DeNiro) tells him that the working man is not a sucker. Lorenzo told a pre-teen Calogero that the working man is the real tough guy, compared to the neighborhood mobster’s like Sonny, whom his son admired. This blog ended up with pure disrespect of Young Thug and his actions against two black women, airline employees that he said looked like Africans; that he deemed ants and peasants. These women did nothing more to him than become offended at his offer of $15,000 to quit their jobs. (sidebar: Offering retail employees large sums of cash to quit their jobs has apparently became a “thing” with the new generation of rappers over the past week.) I was ready, I had this piece of ether written up and then writer's block killed my vibe. I tried for several days to finish this piece and now, I know why I couldn't. I think my writer's block was a sixth sense that told me the situation wasn't over. And it wasn't because yesterday, the man known as Young Thug, posted on Instagram that his mother told him to apologize.
I listen to Young Thug and he has referenced his mother previously in his music. Most notably on Travis Scott's "Pick Up the Phone" where he says his mother told him don't hate law enforcement because everybody has to have a job; wise words from a wise woman. As reports of Young Thug apologizing spread on the internet today and he posted a picture dressed in what looks like his picture day outfit it made me think of my own situations where mom knew best. Mother’s present a wisdom that as we get older adjusts to what the son needs and changes as the little boy becomes a man. Rappers have long talked about their relationships with their mothers in some of hip-hops best songs. From the tear-jerking Ghostface Killah’s “All That I Got Is You” to Goodie Mob’s “Guess Who” to J. Cole’s “Apparently” and Kanye’s “Hey Mama” which all excel in telling the story of black men and their mother’s. But my personal favorite is a Lil’ Wayne lyric that says: “I’ll be damned mama, they know who I am mama, I’m still your little boy but to them I’m the man mama.” The relationship between black men and their mother’s is sometime best told through hip-hop.
As black men, our moms are a constant. They are our first ride or die chick, they are our “A1 since day one.” In the black community, black mothers are the symbol or the beacon of strength. They are supportive, wise, loving and fight you like a dude in the street when you’re out of line. Stereotypes tell us that fathers are often too hard on boys too early, hardening their relationships. I didn't grow up with an active father in the home, my mother and I did not have Huxtable years during my youth but I remember my mother riding for me on several occasions. After New Jack City came out, and during some interesting times in our life, my mother would always say CMB (shout out to Nino & G Money) and I'd always crack a smile and give her a fist bump, no matter how hard the times were. Mothers are usually a young black boy's biggest supporter, our most stable lifeline and true representative of where we come from.
I wasn't surprised that Young Thug's mom called him and probably said: “boy you better go apologize to those women right f*cking now, I’m not playing with you.” She probably followed it up with “what if somebody talked like that to me” and he probably said “I'd bury they ass” and she said what and he said "I'd bury they behind." See a mother can always check us. I think back to my own issues about a month ago, I was so mad that I was ready to go to war and fight my way through a gauntlet of my enemies to prove a point. I posted about this on Facebook and next thing I know my mom calls me from Jacksonville, Florida. And without saying too much or telling me I was wrong she finessed me to the point I knew I needed to remove the post. It took me back to a time in life where kids on the bus stop told me that a girl had spit on my new UNLV Starter coat. A 9 or 10-year-old Dion wasn't not having that, and despite being raised to be polite and treat girls with respect I spit on the girl’s coat. Next thing I know my mom had me buying this girl a dozen roses and a box of chocolates. Mom knows best.
Last week, I was ready to bury Young Thug and not support him in any way, I was done. And while I won't overlook his actions or disrespect, I'll give him another chance because my mom told me nobody's perfect. The world would love to judge Young Thug, like we’re all perfect or pretend that his actions differ from the actions of others we pardon for f*ckboy behavior. Meanwhile, I'm granting young Thug a pass on this one, not based solely on Young Thug, but because I know what it feels like to for a black man to disappoint his mama and never wanting to do it again.
P.S. Oh, and I also give him a pass because it wasn’t my mama.