By now we’re sure you’ve heard the disappointing remarks Lil Wayne made on Nightline when asked about Black Lives Matter. In case you haven’t, here’s a recap. From his perspective as a New Orleans native who made it out of the notoriously violent neighborhood of Hollygrove to become a rapper worth approximately $100 million who performs in front of diverse crowds which makes him assume racism is a thing of the past, Black Lives Matter is “weird.” Furthermore, he is a “young, black rich mother f-cker” and “If that don’t let you know that America understand black motherf-ckers matter these days, I don’t know what it is.”
But that’s not all. As Weezy told Nightline of the movement, “I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothing to do with me. My life matter, especially to my b-tches.”
As irritated as I want to be with Wayne, I can’t say his comments — aside from the profanity — are much worse than those of other Black entertainers and white people across America who don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothing to do with them. If they did, we wouldn’t still be marching in the streets week after week over the deaths of black men and women; we would have seen justice a long time ago and the continual instances of police brutality would’ve never had a chance to become a pattern.
More people than we’d like to admit, black and otherwise, don’t feel connected to the black lives matter movement. Like any of the other deplorable issues plaguing our society, black lives, rapped lives, brutalized lives, enslaved lives, etcetera only matter to some to the extent that those lives intertwine with and affect theirs. Otherwise, the push to make those issues matter is, to quote Wayne, “weird.”
Now in Weezy’s case, his reaction to Black Lives Matter is especially odd because, were he not a wealthy rapper, he very well could be the next hashtag. As a black male from the inner city who has had run-ins with police he’s not only connected to Black Lives Matter, he could damn near be the face of the movement. But those are the types of things you forget when you’re making money and white people allow you in spaces many others can’t infiltrate and you fail to realize you still, ultimately, have no power at the end of the day. And its because of attitudes like his and those of other people who aren’t black or male or poor that Black Lives Matter has to exist — to remind even the least connected among us that there is an epidemic among us.
And while Wayne may have tried to recoup his public failing by blaming his dismissive comments on Black Lives Matter on issues with the Nightline reporter, I’m not buying it. He told TMZ, “When the reporter began asking me questions about my daughter being labeled a b-tch and a ho, I got agitated. From there, there was no thought put into her questions and my responses.” I’d be inclined to believe that if this was the first offensive remark the rapper made on the topic, but it’s not. Just this past September he told Fox Sports’ Undisputed, “I have never dealt with racism, and I’m glad I didn’t have to. I don’t know if it’s because of my blessings … but it is my reality. I thought it was over; I still believe it’s over. But obviously it isn’t.” Do I think Nightline purposely reached out to Lil Wayne to talk about Black Lives Matter because of those comments about racism being a thing of the past? Yes. Do I still blame him for taking the bait? Absolutely.
“When the reporter began asking me questions about my daughter being labeled a bitch and a ho, I got agitated. From there, there was no thought put into her questions and my responses” — Lil Wayne
Regardless of what the reporter may have said to upset Wayne, his purpose in speaking to Nightline was bigger than being in his feelings, especially regarding something as paramount as Black Lives Matter. He would’ve been better off cutting off the interview or simply refusing to comment, but his decision not to do so shows he is still disconnected from the movement and the seriousness of the matter at hand, and that has nothing to do with the interviewer. As long as there are people like him who don’t concern themselves with the lives of others, we’ll always have to remind the masses black lives do indeed matter — even some of those with black faces.