Quit Kidding Yourself
As I write this, the good Reverend Al Sharpton is hosting a press conference in regards to the alleged love tap Tony Yayo handed to the teenaged son of Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond. As the story goes, Rosemond's son was walking in the neighborhood of the Violator offices, which handles the G-Unit acts. Yayo spotted the kid wearing a t-shirt with the Czar Entertainment logo, which is the company owned by Rosemond. Yayo, clearly upset by the sight of Rosemond's son James and his wardrobe of choice, pushed (or slapped, the story varies) the kid around. Many have called Yayo's actions despicable, pussy, and out of pocket - the nadir of rap beefs.
Having followed this story from the first news reports to the present I have noticed the surging biases in favor of the Rosemond family and against Tony Yayo, which is really unfortunate. No doubt what Yayo did was wrong, but in many regards, Yayo's act represents a necessary evil. It's not to say that Rosemond's son specifically deserved the ass whooping he received, but, the act itself - a kid receiving an ass whooping from someone outside of the family - is something that should not be punished because the bottom line is kids today are out of fucking control and some of them need to be smacked.
I've lived in 'hoods all my life, not to say I'm proud of it, but just follow me here: When I was growing up in the mid-90's, the middle school I went to was out of control, partly because it was named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we all know what it means when anything is named after the good Doctor, but I digress. King was like any other middle school in the inner city, filled with Blacks, Latinos, and troubled Asian kids. And like most middle schools, students would get in fights, the only difference was, nine times out 10, the fights at King usually ended up with someone going to the hospital. We're not talking about grown ass men and women fighting, we're talking about kids, right around "Lil Henchman's" age group, handing out beatings so severe, niggas wasn't going to the nurse's office, they were going to ICU.
Fast forward to today and turn on HBO's hit drama, The Wire, which just got picked up for syndication by every black kid's favorite telvision station, BET. Last season, The Wire revolved around Baltimore's troubled school system, and the most compelling characters are teenaged boys either selling dope or killing folks.
The fact of the matter is, kids are a lot more grown today than they were back in the day. Rosemond's son included. People want to tell the story as though Rosemond's son didn't do anything but walk on by. But, he knew where he was walking, and he knew what he was doing. He may have not been trying to start a situation as severe as the one that took place, but dude was asking for someone to pay attention to him. I know this because I work in the area where he was hemmed up and round here, there is absolutely nothing for a kid Rosemond Jr's age to get into. So you want to wear a shirt that can only fit a grown ass man, walk around like a grown ass man, and then be called a kid when a grown ass man lays hands on you. To me, that dog don't hunt. Ask the kids in Los Angeles. Even they know not to go walking around on another group's turf with the wrong colors.
It's understood, Yayo should've known better. Even his G-Unit homie Young Buck said what Yayo did was out of order, but what's also out of order is not looking at both sides of the story. The white power structure is quick to hand out life sentences to today's young minorities, which is a testament to the severity of the crimes they are committing and the failure of our community to discipline our children. What? You didn't know? Roll the clip!
The Rosemond family aside, we are living in the era of the first generation of kids raised by crack babies, which means a lot of them just don't give a fuck. Black families want to complain about the NBA age-limit, saying the rule was racist in its intent, but when a kid gets dealt with like an adult, we want to scream, "Their only kids!" You can't have it both ways. We either have to let boys be boys or boys be men.
What Yayo did was wrong on the surface, but in theory, he did something anyone in the 'hood would do, because in the 'hood, the kids grow up fast, and the line between adulthood and childhood is virtually non-existent. So the next time you're walking through the mean streets of Anyhood U.S.A. and you come across a group of kids who want to take you for your lunch money, ask yourself this question: What would Yayo do? Kids need to be beat, and if their parents don't do it, someone else will.