Relationships Corner: Can We Share Success?

Nicki Minaj

We, humans have deep insecurities. Even the loud, seemingly confident female boss has internal issues she must deal with. There is so much competition amongst us, especially within the black community. Everyone wants to flaunt how much they have. Why? Because we feel like a failure if we don’t have a house with eight bedrooms and a selection of cars to choose from for each day of the week? It’s silly and very high school to brag about what we have, belittling those with less in the process.

Men deal with insecurities just as much as females. There used to be a man code that you didn’t mess with another guy’s lady. Now they’re singing, “If your girl come close to me, she ain’t going home where she post to be.” I can’t lie that Omarion, Chris Brown and Jhené Aiko collab was my jawn this summer, but if you listen to the lyrics of songs like this and countless others flooding the radio, men have become just as backstabbing as women are stereotyped to be.

We are all trying to show that we don’t need each other and that we’re “balling out of control” on our own. But the fact is we do need each other. If it wasn’t so, God would have left Adam on earth alone. But instead, He gave him Eve and instructed him to, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” [Genesis 1:28]. God has given us all of this power but we waste it on obtaining material things rather than developing relationships and using our gifts and talents to strengthen this beautiful universe that God created.

An area of division that really bothers me is within the music world, specifically among black artists. There is room for so many to be successful. There is enough money for all talented musicians to get it. But in attempt to produce “hard” or confident lyrics, we are focused on keeping what we have all to ourselves. Society is stimulated by controversy and hostility (that’s the reason certain ratchet reality shows remain so popular). We grade rap beefs based on who hit harder, who wrote the most hurtful verse in pursuit of another artist’s demise. Ja Rule, one of the most popular rappers in my adolescent years, was the laughing stock when 50 Cent came and seemingly “ended” his career. Why is this celebrated? Why can’t we all join forces to make something beautiful? Why do we have to ruin others for our own upward climb?

We have it hard enough in America without tripping each other to make one fall. Look at the Oscar’s or Grammy’s or even the VMA’s. There are hundreds of talented artists who go unrecognized because they don’t fit the mold that American society has shaped. However, these are the very musicians, actors, producers, etc. that our community admires. If we can’t love and support each other, sadly no one else will. It is up to us to place the spotlight on those who are making a difference or have remarkable talent rather than point out each other’s flaws. There is plenty of room at the top for us all to enjoy if we stop blocking one another and rejoice in everyone’s success.

-Renée Nicole Gibson Twitter: disclosednative IG: ms_disclosednative

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