Wale Sends A Rally Call

Rapper Wale recently responded to a twitter attack thrown his way by label-mate Meek Mill with a rather lengthy Instagram post (see here).   The gist of his response was that he was his own man who marched to his own drum and he rattled off a few examples of his personal interests that are outside of the socially accepted codes of Black manhood.  While I cannot co-sign all of Wale’s word choice, I naturally loved his defense of an atypical brand of manhood.  I’m a guy who enjoys reading comic books and does his best to put in at least thirty minutes of reading before he goes to sleep at night.  I play soccer in order to get in my cardio and I did so long before this recent World Cup made it somewhat cool to do so.  Oh, and I run a little blog where I talk about manhood and sexual violence prevention so I’m all about men choosing a path that strays from the beaten path.

I know that I really must stop reading online comment boards in order to gauge public opinion but I have followed them a fair bit since Wale’s post.  One can easily find proponents of both Wale and Meek Mill and this is a welcome argument as I see it.  I’m actually hoping that it’s a symptom of a broader conflict for the soul of hip hop.  I have a younger friend who is a hip hop artist and I’m constantly telling him that there are a great many of us who have been listening to hip hop for decades and are simply tired of hearing artist after artist push the same content about bling, violence, and ownership of women.  Stepping back even further, I believe that there are a great many men who are sick of the same tired tropes about manhood dominating our mannerisms and behaviors.  There is more to us than might be easily observed and I hope that celebrities such as Wale continue to give voice to individual freedom as a generation of boys is watching us.  I believe that groupthink contributes to many social ills and rising men just might have the assuredness to break so many cycles of violence if we can only teach them a thing or two about the courage to be yourself.  Thanks for reading. I’m going to get back to my Superman comic now.

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