Mr. Steal Your Girl (Rap’s Obsession With Your Girlfriend)Posted: November 9, 2015
“I wasn’t born last night,
I know these h**s ain’t right,
But you was blowing up her phone last night,
But she ain’t have her ringer or her ring on last night, oh
Ni**a that’s that nerve,
Why give a b*tch your heart
When she rather have a purse?
Why give a b*tch your inch,
When she rather have nine?
You know how the game goes,
She be mine by halftime…”
There was a time in my life when I would sing lyrics like that with pride and vigor. I would feel like these words were my life. And if it wasn’t, I would want it to be.
If you’re unfamiliar with that song, it’s called “Loyal” by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and the
wordsmith that deserves every dollar he’s made in the industry, Tyga. The song basically implies that a man with money can have any woman he wants. Yes, even your woman. When a rich dude wants you, and apparently the man that you have can’t really do anything for you financially…those factors result in the obvious conclusion that, “these girls ain’t loyal.” It sounds simple when they lay it out there.
- Female has a man that is broke.
- Rapper man is rich.
- No females are loyal.
- Rapper man sleeps with or takes female.
Where and when did this all start?
Was it back when Naughty by Nature made “O.P.P” or when Slick Rick declared that we should “Treat ‘Em like a Prostitute?” When did it become so popular to get at a girl that was in a relationship with another dude? I remember Big Daddy Kane saying something about releasing tales from the darkside, and separating men from their women like apartheid. I thought that line was ill. I can recall The Notorious B.I.G rhyming, “don’t leave your girl around me,” and I thought about what could make my girl leave me for Biggie. Could it be money? Would your baby-mama consider dealing with a rapper that’s on TV as an upgrade?
And is it really a step-up for her if he simply has consensual sex with her? It’s not like he’s going to buy her a home, or pay off her student loans. He will most likely just loan her some D.
Back in the days, the rap guys with the sensitive sides would dedicate their music selections to the undeserving male with the queen that was being neglected. Doug E. Fresh had “Cut that Zero,” Ill and Al Scratch dropped, “I’ll Take Her,” Heavy D. was constantly putting out hip-hop serenades and Father MC’s entire catalog was a warning to any dude that was slipping that he was waiting in the wings.
In 1992, Positive K released “I Got a Man,” which became the anthem for approaching the “taken” female and spawned the rebutting phrase, “What your man got to do with me?” Back then they hinted at the fact that the lady was being abused or taken for granted, and that a change of pace would be better for her in the long run. Rappers had a romantic undertone that suggested that if a woman left the man she was with, then she would find herself in a happier space with “rap guy.”
How did we go from LL Cool J professing that he needed love to putting anonymous baby-mothers in so many compromising positions?
Is it the evolution of the world we live in, or have humans just always been susceptible to dishonor? Would any self-respecting young woman sleep with Lil Wayne if she were promised that her mortgage or rent would be paid for one year? Would a married woman and mother of three allow August Alsina to penetrate her simply because she’s a fan? How powerful is fame?
Why did Robert Redford want Woody Harrelson’s woman in Indecent Proposal? He could have had any chick in the casino but he wanted to test their love. And Demi Moore wanted to feel what it was like to be with someone so powerful.
“Somebody’s girl is at this party,
Shaking that ass to this,
Somebody’s girl is at this party,
Drinking that glass of Crist’,
Somebody’s girl is at this party,
Sitting in V.I.P,
Somebody’s girl is at this party,
She’s coming home with me,”
-R. Kelly & Jay-Z
There’s an urban legend that one evening in Baseline studios, a young producer shopping beats brought his girl with him while he hoped to land a placement that would change his life. While he was playing beats in room A, his lady chilled in room B. The incomparable Hova happened to show up and randomly went in room B and met an extra excited fan. Rumor has it that later on Jay went in room A proclaiming he had just been the recipient of fellatio and he wanted to know who the girl belonged to. There was some snickering and a bit of shock but no one claimed her. To make matters worse, that young producer didn’t get his beats selected that day. Who knows what happened to his relationship, if that was his main chick or if Jay exaggerated the tale? But the bottom line is that girl didn’t get her tuition paid, she didn’t leave that studio with a new relationship and she hadn’t ascended her status in life by putting her mouth on the biggest rap star in the game at the time. But she had a story to tell and it was about Hov’s power. He had a presence that overwhelmed her. Whether he asked or she offered, this is why rappers want to become famous.
The ability to use the words they spew to connect with fans with the hopes that these fans are women who will walk away or at least sneak away from the regular Joe that is usually on their arm.
“You could pull up in a sick drop with 24s and rims, I could take her rocking flip-flops, Jordans or Timbs, While you’re in the gym, doing squats and curls, I got you mad that I got your girl…”
– The Old Me
I had a plethora of those lines that were pretty much fictional, mildly clever thoughts sometimes inspired by real life. But what was my fascination with being with someone’s queen? Was it my fear of emotional attachment? Do most rappers shy away from commitment? Is it just cooler to have the persona of an entertainer that would rather have sex with someone that doesn’t belong to you over someone you care about? My verse basically explained to the clueless boyfriend of some desirable woman that no matter how hard he worked out, even if he had a nice car and money in his bank account, it meant nothing because his girl liked my music and she found me attractive.
It’s an insane way of thinking. But there was a point in time when I treated my profession like I was a part of the Good Fellas, and any man that had a regular job and wasn’t living out his dream was lame to me. I subconsciously hated on 9-to-5 dudes for being stable financially while I was struggling and living on a prayer. So I’m guessing these suggestive lyrics were targeting the unsuspecting male that fell in love with a chick that was unfaithful. Now that I’ve written it down, it sounds extremely shallow and a little sad. Not that we as humans ever really belong to anyone, and I do believe that we should act on impulse.
So as much as that may contradict this whole post, I do find it interesting that rap artists repeatedly mention “your girl” as opposed to their own. Rappers exaggerate…but the crazy part of it all is that there is truth to this theory. There is truth that people step out on their mates, there is truth that women can have crushes on celebrities or artistic people and may live out a fantasy if given the opportunity…but why is it something that hip-hop is so fixated on?
It’s because rap music is not synonymous with love. It is not the coolest thing to be monogamous and rap at the same time. It is however more accepted to be aloof when it comes to relationships, it is a great accomplishment to sleep with multiple women and be a sex symbol for the opposite sex. So when a rapper makes a blank claim to copulate with the engaged mother of a child and it is loosely based on reality, that says something about the culture. We are afraid to love. We brag about our sex game, or our prowess, or our dollar count, or our ability to woo women away from the person they’ve chosen.
“The club’s going up on a Tuesday/got your girl in the club and she’s choosy.”
I never looked at the other side of this equation, the females being deemed as disloyal for living the way males in American society have been acting for generations. The other side as the loving man that gives his all to his lady only to be blindsided by someone outside of his relationship for whatever reason. Maybe his income isn’t enough or his car isn’t expensive, or he isn’t well-endowed, or the new guy is just that much of an upgrade, but for some reason his wifey chooses to creep with another. Or are we as artists saying that these girls really aren’t loyal? Is it true that all it takes is a hit record and a sparkling chain to make a girlfriend forget her partner for the evening? Hip-hop has always been about being the best and when battling occurred, it was all about degrading your opponent. There is no deeper laceration than finding out someone you know or know of, is having sex with someone you love.
Jadakiss has some bruising “smashed your girl” lines, Fabolous is infamous for having “your” lady do all types of things to him, and I myself have written dozens of punchlines over the years involving someone’s woman, where I threaten to take them or I state that she wanted me. I had entire songs about this subject. It’s as if I wanted to drive home the point that my occupation came with hardships, minimal praise, and critical bias, but the one absolute consistent perk was not only groupie love, but the affection of women that were spoken for. Even Trey Songs joined the party and ran with the theme in an arena where love used to rule.
“I know that you, you’re taken,
It’ll never change,
‘Cause it’s always been that way,
But you know that you,
Can’t fake it,
He can’t give you what I got here right now,
Girl I know what you want,
No phones, we ain’t even gotta talk,
Next time that he leave you all alone,
I’m gon’ come through, replace him,
I’m gonna watch you,
I’m gonna tell you,
Girl take it,
Next time that he leave you all alone,
I’ll give you all the love he denied,
I’m about to take his spot,”
-Mr. Steal Your Girl
The funny thing about this whole post is that the game hasn’t changed much. Yes hip-hop always had balance while NWA was screaming “One less bitch” and Onyx was warning men about a lady “sucking the next dude’s male member,” there was always a Poor Righteous Teacher or a Black Thought hanging around to counter the ignorance. But nowadays radio and the mainstream allow as much negativity as possible as long as a “clean” version exists. So yes there may be a few more “niggas,” “bitches,” “truffle butters,” and booty eating references but for the most part, I, the listener has changed more than anything. The youthful generations are constantly looking to rebel, and art reflects life so it makes sense that a married man would notice rap’s focus on other people’s property as a flaw, when it used to be somewhat of a way of life.