Rapper Known For Sexually Explicit Songs Advises Teens On Sexually Explicit Behavior, Offends (UPDATED)
Rapper Too Short has had a moderately successful music career for more than two decades. He has not strayed far from the formula that made him famous: rhyming about sex. Specifically, how to get sex, how to have sex, how much he enjoys having sex, how much sex he has, and so forth. I was going to post up song titles to further reiterate my point, but most of the titles are too graphic, even for Gawker. You can pretty much do a madlibs line involving the words "pimp," "hoe," various body parts, and some familiar and not so familiar euphemisms for sexual acts. You get it. We can move on.
The decision makers at XXL magazine thought it would be a good idea to give Too Short an advice column geared towards teenagers. Everything someone with common sense would expect to happen ensued. From The Grio:
XXL magazine teamed up with rapper Too Short recently to give "fatherly advice" that involved teaching middle-school-aged boys how to "turn girls out." Calling it a process of "mind manipulation," the aging rapper advised boys to digitally stimulate girls to get "whatever [they] want." While the video has been removed from the XXL site, the fact that it was published at all is still drawing outrage.
"When you get to late middle school, early high school and you start feeling a certain way about the girls... I'm gonna tell you a couple tricks," Too Short said in the video. "A lot of the boys are going to be running around trying to get kisses from the girls... We're going way past that. I'm taking you to the hole."
Then, the 45-year-old rapper, whose real name is Todd Anthony Shaw, asks women off camera to "cover their ears" to avoid being offended. Short then describes a scenario in graphic detail. "You push her up against the wall," he continued. "You 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."
Many people were not pleased with Short Dog's combination DSK/Pepe Le Pew advice, and XXL hastily removed the video. Said Charing Ball, a writer for the Root, "Too Short, for the most part, is the epitome of the hyper-masculinity run rampant in hip-hop. [T]he blame lands squarely at the feet of Vanessa Satten, the editor-in-chief of XXL." She then added, "Finding out that a woman manages the magazine that has decided to give a platform to a man known for sexually suggestive imagery for the purpose of advising children that it is okay to sexual molest — or be sexually molested — is very troubling."
How the editorial board of XXL could not have foreseen something like this occurring is beyond me. As Chris Rock once said, "That tiger didn't go crazy, that tiger went tiger."
UPDATE: Vanessa Satten, Editor-In-Chief of XXL, wrote in to apologize for the site's Too Short content: "As both a woman and the Editor-in-Chief of XXL," Satten wrote, "I share your feelings and those of many of our readers that the Too Short video posted on our site was inappropriate and crossed the line. The video was posted without my review and represents poor judgment on behalf of the individual who posted it. I was truly offended when I saw it and had it taken down immediately. I am putting internal procedures in place to make sure content like this does not go on the site." You can read apologies and further comment from both XXL and Too Short here.