In recent interviews published by AllHipHop.com and Ebony, Too $hort appears to be genuinely remorseful following the public outcry prompted by his appearance in an XXLMAG.com video blog earlier this month. In it, the rapper gave “fatherly advice” to young boys on how to “turn girls out.” The video, which has since been taken down, Too $hort encourages young girls to be pushed up against the wall before saying to middle-school-aged boys, “take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens.” The comments amounting to a “how-to” guide for sexual assault led the organization of the “We Are the 44%” coalition of Black and Latina activists who point to the fact that 44 percent of sexual assault survivors are under 18 years of age.
Award-winning filmmaker and activist dream hampton, who is part of We Are the 44%, had an earnest dialogue with Too $hort that was exclusively published today on Ebony.com. “I'm not going to lie to you…my eyes are opening,” the 45 year-old rapper declares in the exchange. The Oakland-based hip-hop veteran has made a name and a career off of his so-called “dirty raps” also indicated that he wants to follow up his words with action. “I just want to get involved in something that does not (simply) say “Hey, forgive me!” I understand that I made a big mistake.” His dialogue with dream hampton was referenced in the interview given to AllHipHop.com:
I'm actually a very knowledgeable brother, but Dream schooled me in the conversation. It really opened up my eyes to something I had not known about. She told me that if we were kids at a pool and I ran by and yanked her top down, it wouldn't be a joke or a prank to her–that would be a traumatic incident, and it is along the lines of sexual assault…I feel like I needed that education because had I not, I could've continued thinking that it is a joke. Even with my music filled with misogyny, I still have morals.
In a press release yesterday by the We Are the 44% coalition, members collectively stated, “Too $hort's sentiments appear to be a genuine willingness to learn about the horrors of sexual violence against girls and women. We are pleased, more importantly, about his willingness to take action on the matter and be a part of eradicating this violence.”
The organization has a number of demands listed along those lines saying that the rapper must participate in education and sensitivity training in matters of sexual assault and rape. They also call on Short Dog to donate money to local and national anti-sexual violence organizations that provide services to Black and Latina girls. The coalition isn't letting XXL off the hook either and has a set of demands for Harris Publications including that Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten be fired immediately.
As Too $hort is set to release album No. 19 next week, he famously rapped “You know I'm the man / I lend my brother a hand cause I know I can” on “Gettin' It” off of his tenth album. In time, will he prove to be a man of his word lending his brother and sister a hand?
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.