I Love Hip Hop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Peter Gunz is the 2013’s representative of men that are highlighted by popular American figures such as Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, and Brad Pitt.
The Hip Hop concept of a “Side-Chick,” is not new to our society, but the world’s reaction to the media’s popularization of the old fashion love triangle would give anyone the impression that producer Stevie J created the phenomenon. In reality, dishonesty and manipulation have been reinvented and promoted through episodes that are supposedly focused on Hip Hop music, but instead the television appearances provide the audience with insight into the personal days and nights of Hip Hop’s movers and shakers. These hours seemed to be filled with deception, animosity, and the extortion of the “playa” stereotype. The consumers bash Hip Hop’s males for acting like assholes, but simultaneously they promote these bad guys all over their social networks. Subliminally, they put money in these adulterers’ pockets, which adds water to an already overflowing tub of modern minstrel shows.
The hatred and disgust the audience has toward the men causes the ratings to rise repeatedly. Networks feed off of the popular belief that women can’t hold their cheating men accountable, and that women don’t cheat. If the creators of the shows decided to show men and women in a good light who would tune in? If the couples weren’t having issues on every episode why would Americans watch? If the show were really about music what would separate it from other popular media outlets?
The network wants you to think that men that create Hip Hop music treat all women like dogs, because it is good for their business. The male cast doesn’t mind enhancing the negative image of black men as long as their empty pockets are being filled, and reality television stardom is creating new opportunities for their, otherwise, dead careers.
For several seasons all we have seen are a collection of womanizers who are recording artists and music producers. These artists don’t really showcase any music; rather they help VH1 increase the value of the side chick drama. The three-way love story is the perfect expression of drama and has created revenue for, both, the exploited characters and the producers of the show in the expense of urban America’s image. People talk bad about these men but fail to accept the fact that humans from all genders, cultures and colors lie and cheat on one another, not just the men that make urban music.
The modern day mistress has become one of the network’s go to archetypes. Every season, every episode, and every act is filled with “baby-mama drama” and/ or sideline hoes, which reflects American culture and all the examples of this same scenario in real life. However, when something takes place in Hip Hop it becomes infamous in mainstream society no matter what it is. These “Side-Chick” shenanigans are so appealing to the general public because art is emulating the nature of humans. Season four of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” brings, yet another, three sided relationship to the forefront of popular culture. The only difference is the people, the location, and a few minor details.
Although it isn’t directly related to music this story of a “Side-Chick” is one of many that inspires the lyrics and rhythmic sounds of our favorite recording artists, and producers. No matter how you feel about VH1’s portrayal of women, African Americans, or urban music the writers and producers try to show the audience the lives behind the creation of the melodies and lyrics. Although they show a limited view of the rappers and their lovers’ lives, it is good to see the private side of the music industry. It helps the audience understand the sadness in a signer’s voice, or the anger evoked by that bass heavy instrumental. The camera lens tries to capture what inspires the music talents’ creative juices by showing their emotional reactions to intense situations. VH1 illustrates that some of the songs we vibe too were inspired by lying, cheating, and implausible moments.
The network captures the lives of the artist it is as it reveals how they interact with the people closest to them. As a result, every Monday America tunes in to watch the falling and rising industry stars’ personal trials and tribulations. Whether you believe the show is more staged than real, or vice versa, the bottom line is that VH1 has found a niche that is definitely entertaining but by no means was created by Hip Hop. Time after time we have seen families, on television and in real life, being ruined over sex that should have never occurred and still Americans are entertained by this unfaithfulness. We have become obsessed with men trying to balance out wives and girlfriends on national television, and we promote it as we tweet about it for hours and hours after the show is over.
As Peter Gunz’ name trends on twitter we must realize his position is shared by millions of individuals, of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, and ages, but the ex-Grammy nominee has become the poster child for infidelity. He has perpetuated old stereotypes that say black men are animalistic and can’t be civilized, but he represents a percentage of men that can’t be described by specific physical characteristics such as the color of their skin.
As you watch VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” please keep in mind, even though every man on music related reality television cheats, not every man in reality does. For every Stevie J there is an Ice Cube. For every Peter Gunz there is a T.I. Before you write a Facebook status comparing these Hip Hop characters on television to the real men in your world be mindful not to overgeneralize, and remember there are plenty of Hip Hop couples, actually making music, who are raising families without side chicks or boyfriend number 2’s in the background.