Thoughts On Melispa Harris-Sperry’s Drake Riding

Yesterday, I sat down with keyboard at the ready, Twitter locked and loaded, and SuperBraids in my sights. For those of you who do not know who SuperBraids is, I am referring to Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC’s eponymously titled weekend show.


SuperBraids discussed a myriad of topics. One of which caused her to refer to Mike Mike Brown’s murder by Ferguson Pig, Darren Wilson, a death as if Mike Mike passed at an old age. Later in the show, she discussed another topic that caused my cheeks to rise uncomfortably into my hands holding cheekbones. Let me allow you to view this discussion that spawned my “what-in-the-entirety-of-phukkks-is-Melispa-talking-about-now” face:



This was my response via Twitter during SuperBraids catching the holy ghost to Drake’s conjuring swoon moves:



For the record, and archiving purposes, here is the video, “Hotline Bling”, and beneath, I am embedding the lyrics to the song:





It is extremely disingenuous to frame a Sex Symbol like Drake as sexy because of his “dorkiness”. Further, Drake is not a “dork” by any stretch of the imagination. Prior to “Hotline Bling” as a video, Drake was considered sexy by enough women for me to feel comfortable typing that. Drake’s stock as a Sex Symbol was never in a position to fall. In fact, if anything, his newfound “dorkiness” is just the excuse needed to bridge the cognitive dissonance experienced by certain Women when balancing his sex appeal and his misogynistic lyrics.


I can compare Drake’s “Hotline Bling” to Wale’s “Drunk Girls”:





I can also compare Drake’s “Hotline Bling” to Lupe’s “Bitch Bad:





Lupe Fiasco was attacked vehemently by writers claiming various feminist ideologies in a few writings throughout the web. I do not want to hold Superbraids to any standards of consistency to any ideology. I do wish she had just said she did not care about Drake’s lyrics. Or that she understood the trajectory of the theme the lyrics presented and furthered while also enjoying Drake’s jig. It is quite acceptable for a Black Woman, or a half-Whyte Mormon Woman to be specific, to find the lyrics of an artist problematic, while still being entertained by the beat or video. But to say that the lyrics make Drake “vulnerable”, and to frame Drake as the first Black Male in Hip Hop to say similar belies her knowledge of the music and culture.


Furthermore, it is demeaning to have a half Canadian Whyte Jew with the privileges therein being held up as a standard for my behavior as a US Black Man. What makes this framing of Drake as the vulnerable Black Man any different than Bill Cosby’s or Barrack Obama’s respectability politics? US Black Men being asked to mimic the postures of Aubrey Drake Graham’s “vulnerability” reeks of “pull your pants up”-isms. I am thoroughly exhausted by people born of Whyte Mothers with media power to shape opinions and attitudes telling me how my US Black Mother’s son ought to behave. Tupac Shakur wrote lyrics about his Black Panther Black Mother with an authentic vulnerability distinctly overlooked by those whose work define US hegemony.


Tupac also wrote a song quite like Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. Tupac’s “Wonder Why They Call U Bitch” is also about a young man watching a young Woman growing up. Tupac’s emotion laden track on his “All Eyes On Me” double cd even detailed how he cried about it. I would ask Superbraids to reconsider her company’s profit motivations and need to use celebrity appeals of authority before embarrassing herself anymore on national television.