Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Is Lil Wayne Actually Teaching Us How To Love?


2118241158 by yardie4lifever2

For the second time in as many months a video of a song has completely changed my perception of a song.

Enter Lil Wayne’s “How To Love”.

On Wednesday, Lil Wayne premiered his video for the song “How To Love”…a song that I’m not sure I could have hated any more than I did on that Tuesday. However, I sauntered on over to The Smoking Section and saw the video and a short write up that caught my attention. What I saw next blew my mind. Somehow, Lil Wayne managed to turn a terrible song into a video that very accurately (at least we assume) described what happens when a young woman is robbed of choices in life by never being shown how to receive and/or give love by the very people who are supposed to instill that into her: her parents. Or lack thereof.

And yes, this entire post needs a spoiler alert.

We’re treated to the entire lifespan of a child who turns into a girl who turns into a woman searching for love or something and constantly finding some semblance of it in all the wrong places. Which, let’s be real, is the crux of the whole single black woman trance and fascination that has taken over America. Nearly every story that we get from women revolves around some bad choices. Of course, those bad choices were crafted well before the young woman even knew she’d be in a position to make them because she never learned…how to love. In this video, the girl’s entire life was filled with a mother spending her time dealing with no good men because she just…didn’t know how not to.

But in a twist, Lil Wayne’s video (complete with the most unnecessary Birdman cameo ever) ALSO show’s what happens when that same little girl’s mother makes a decision to remove herself from a bad situation and somehow ends up married (okay, it can’t ALL be realistic…we know Black women ain’t getting married…ants have a better chance of beating magnifiying glass sunrays than Black women have of getting married…viva Aleutians) to a man and is then able to teach her young and impressionable daughter…how to love.

How to love.

That’s such an interesting concept to me. The truth is, it’s one of the most vital components to any of our lives. Without a paradigm on how to show affection and express love, its virtually impossible to know what constitutes actual caring. So many women and men spend their lives running after some elusive version of what love and happiness looks like, without even realizing that it actually is. You can blame some of the media for that but at the end of the day, even the richest of the rich struggles with sharing. Just being there for somebody everyday can set a positive trend.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I’d rather be a father than a husband. And while everything I said is true, I do have one regret about my situation with my daughter’s mother and I. In this video, at the 4:08 mark, when the mother and her new husband are getting married, they cut to the little girl watching her mother kiss her new step-daddy. Something about that look, and her seeing what that type of love and affection looked like shook me. I will always regret that decisions I made robbed my daughter of witnessing her mother and father showing each other the kind of love that I hope she is able to find. Granted, her mother and I get along and are respectful and spend time together so that she can see her parents together. But that scene…hurt.

Guilt might be too strong a word, but I’m scared for my daughter and that’s because I’ve seen how many women (even on this site) struggle with love and what it looks like and means. I want her to be able to see real affection. I want her to see somebody love her mother so that she can see it in her household. I’d hate for that to be a foreign concept to her when she’s 22 years old like it seems it is for so many women out there.

But that’s my burden.

What this video illustrates is how choices affect your future. Especially when you have a child. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and children are the living and breathing manifestation of this fact. Just as you get to correct your own mistakes through your children, all of your faults get magnified when they go unaddressed.

Hyperbolic as it may seem, in this video, the choice to leave a bad situation with a bad man resulted in a better life for her daughter. The way these two story arcs are illustrated and how vastly different the end results can be is very…deep. Especially given that according to the director, Chris Robinson, Lil Wayne came up with the entire story line.

The fact that the video touched on promiscuity and HIV (yes, Lil Wayne worked in social issues) is almost as dumbfounding as the original song. But here we go again with another video that’s way better than the song. But in this case I’ll take it. Maybe it just hits close to home. Me no know.

All I do know is that, video or not, learning how to love is actually probably the single most important facet in the life of a child. Knowing that love exists and what it looks like can actually be the difference in the choices a child makes, especially a girl as she grows into a woman (not sure if that sounds sexist or not, but so be it).

Anyway, a Lil Wayne video actually made me think. Go figure. What about you?

Did you see the video and if so, what were your thoughts? And on a larger scale, (I know we touched on this a few weeks back with my post) but just how important is learning how to love to individual growth and success in relationships?

Is it possible that Lil Wayne ACTUALLY provided a significant cultural talking point in Black love?

Somebody call Will and Jada.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

 

Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

    I did not like the video. I also don’t like the song.

    I understand the point is that if one is not taught “how to love” then it can lead to terrible decisions in the future. However, to me it just perpetuates the idea that women who have issues with men have “daddy issues.” The whole idea of the video is that success in life is someone linked to having a successful love life. And WHY does the girl have to get HIV? I mean, it felt like Precious Lite.

    There are people who come from perfectly normal families who end up stripping and making bad life decisions. This does not have to mean that their parents failed them. Maybe I’m just bias because I feel like the song can’t be salvaged. I just think it send the same kind of tragic narrative that we criticize the White media for perpetuating.

    • Hawaii

      Precious Lite.

      Floored me!

      • Mo-VSS

        +1

        I hollered when I read that.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brotherjames ChaoticDiva

      I hate to say it, but while it plays on the tragic narrative, maybe its the only thing that will get those idiots that are perpetuating the stereotype to get their sh*t together. Lil Wayne seems to be well received by our “ignorant counterparts”, so why shoot the messenger when he’s merely trying to reach the segment of society that other people haven’t been able to reach out to.

      But at the same time, he could have also thought about this feeling sorry for the fact he got so many baby mama’s running around….

      Dang, I just killed my point. Eff.

      • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

        When I first saw the video while flipping through channels, I just thought it was a dramatic anti-abortion ad, but then I realized it was a Lil Wayne video.

        • Royale W. Cheese

          This made me lol.

      • http://www.ifiruled2011.wordpress.com Mahogany Princess

        “But at the same time, he could have also thought about this feeling sorry for the fact he got so many baby mama’s running around….

        Dang, I just killed my point. Eff.”

        lmao

      • GypsyCurl

        “Maybe its the only thing that will get those idiots that are perpetuating the stereotype to get their sh*t together”

        Lil Wayne is one of those idiots and “ignorant counterparts”! I say, shoot the messenger because he is the message (“he got so many baby mama’s running around….”).

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          How can we shoot the messenger when (judging by these comments) we can’t even agree on what message is?

          • GypsyCurl

            The message that I speak of is this (my interpretation of the song not the video…I haven’t even watched the video):
            Women don’t know how to be loved because they fall “victim” to men (crooks) who don’t treat them right. They end up as baby mamas, abusive relationships, etc. Also, those women don’t recognize the man that can show them love….
            *Cue Lil Wayne’s entrance* Lil Wayne, with several baby mama’s, saying that he can show a woman how to love. Now, I don’t know if he is using his fertility as an example or what???? But, he definitely has not shown any of his baby mamas about true love, which in my book involves monogamy, long term commitment/marriage (NWNW…LOL), ect.

            And Lil Wayne still says degrading things in the song all the while he is saying “…Blah blah blah How to love.”

    • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

      There are people who come from perfectly normal families who end up stripping and making bad life decisions.

      As true as this may be, let us not let possibility override probability.

      • Todd

        The funny thing is that I know of strippers from decent families that end up on the pole. The problem is not all families that look decent ARE decent, if you get my drift.

        • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

          The video is based on a simplistic story, and life is never that simple, but you can’t expect a man to see the nuances of choice and environment when it comes to women and sex. Can’t expect more from Lil Wayne than I would from VSBs. I love the song. I hate Lil Wayne’s image. I don’t know about his private life, don’t follow celebrities. He has a few clever hits that I bop my head to. But I think the song is beautiful, a classic. The video, slightly less so, but it fits the purpose. Not gonna get on the hate train. Sorry.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

            I have to agree with you.

            First I listened to the song without the video. I didn’t hate it- and I actually really, really dislike lil Wayne, so I thought, WOW a lil wayne song I might actually like, rare!

            And then I watched the video. I like the video more than most videos I see from people like him and I think it enhances the song.

            No hate from this end…. and that’s coming from someone who almost automatically hits skip on Pandora when his voice comes on.

        • Tea

          agree

          • Tea

            I didn’t post this here. Didnt’ read the comment yet. lol! I was agreeing with Malik and Todd.

      • QueenB

        Yes

      • jane

        Agreed. Its far more likely that the fans of Wayne are falling victim to this vicious cycle and his song puts it out there.

        I didn’t like the song so much until the post–and now I kind of do. There are REAL consequences to these loveless relationships…and to be frank HIV is a very proable one.

    • morvam

      I just want to add that I don’t know what I don’t like more the message or the messenger. The message that women can’t be successful in life without some guy saving her is disturbing to me. Granted, being a stripper is not the most ideal “career” in most cases but hey sometimes a girl’s gotta do what she has to to eat.
      Also, Lil Wayne as her “saviour”….ummm..gag. This is a guy that has made a career of demeaning women in his lyrics but now he’s all “conscious” and ish…puh lease. I honestly wondered if making this video is part of his probation or something. As for the HIV thing..un real. This coming from a guy that has how man kids? Is he allergic to condoms??

      Panama what you said:
      Knowing that love exists and what it looks like can actually be the difference in the choices a child makes, especially a girl as she grows into a woman (not sure if that sounds sexist or not.

      Sexist…umm..maybe. It seems that the onus of choices are on women. But what about the “bad men” that these women choose? I would love to see a video, and if there is one please point one out to me, that try to help men find their way out of making bad choices.

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Those standing in the light only see shadow when facing backwards.

        I say that to say if you find fault with a positive thing, it’s because you’re looking for it.

        Everyone, man, woman, other/all, needs love. Nothing grows without it, and nothing heals without it.

        If it were a woman saving the woman would that be sexist, or empowering? Why can’t it be looked at as the woman making a decision to change her life through the catalyst of another person’s love?

        • Kidsister

          good point

        • Yoles

          that’s right Tes!!!!! excellent points

        • Fivegirl

          I agree, and also I think it was the woman saving the woman. At the end of the video she thanked her mom. the father of the video wasn’t even present and it wasnt presented as an issue

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          By getting her baby and walking out of the relationship after having been beaten, she is saving herself. I assumed her marriage was one of many positive experiences she created for herself after saying no more to the abuse and leaving.

      • http://www.ifiruled2011.wordpress.com Mahogany Princess

        I don’t think that was the message the video intended to portray at all. It’s not that women can’t be successful without a man “saving them”, it’s saying that not growing up seeing and being around healthy relationships can lead to you falling victim to those same issues.
        We all know that not every situation is the same but often times we emulate what we see. While there are exceptions to the rule, there are more who do what they see than not.

        • Yoles

          exactly!!!

        • Tea

          Exactly!

        • miss t-lee

          …and there you have it.

    • DQ

      ****to me it just perpetuates the idea that women who have issues with men have “daddy issues.”****

      Only… except… I would argue that many women who have issues with men, in fact, DO have Daddy Issues. Obviously I’m not going to be the champion for Causal Oversimplification (many factors and many family situations can lead to bad decision making by children) – I’m just saying the video has a legitimate point (IMO).

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

        It does. IMO and in my own personal experience.

        But it seems that Lil Wayne is not allowed to have a valid point about women or much of anything else just because of who he is.

        • Yoles

          i agree with yours and DQ’s statements…

          just because someone has made some questionable choices doesn’t mean he’s blind to what else is going on in the world…

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            I’m not judging cause I feel the same about R. Kelly. Ain’t nothing that baby fcker could ever say that I would listen to with an open mind or heart.

            Hell, I shocked myself with my reaction to this Lil Wayne video. Maybe it’s because I didn’t come to it with a strong bias either way. I neither love nor hate him and the only song of his I really love is “A Milli”. If it wasn’t for PJ’s post, I likely never would have even watched it or payed any attention to the song. *yeshrug*

            • Mo-VSS

              LMAO @ “Ain’t nothing that baby fcker could ever say that I would listen to with an open mind or heart.”

              I 100% agree.

            • DQ

              I guess it all depends on how you compartmentalize it. The easiest distinction to be made between Ruah and Lil Wayne is that what we find offensive by Lil Wayne is still legal. Ruah? Well… that’s another subject for another time.

              I suppose any distinction made on the basis of legality is a bit of “whistling past the graveyard” since strictly speaking, that which is legal is not necessarily that which is moral. But then… who gets to define what IS moral?

              Alright I think I just tore a rift into the time space continuum with that logic. I’m done.

              • Kidsister

                “Ruah” made me chuckle.

              • sugahoneyicedtea

                I actually said this out loud..then I laughed smh lol

                • sugahoneyicedtea

                  The “Ruah” I mean lol

                • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

                  LOL, me too. Perfect way to spell it.

                  • DQ

                    For the record, I didn’t come up with that spelling myself…

                    …had some friends use it prior to me. I’m simply continuing the tradition. :)

                    • Kidsister

                      If you and said friends dont mind, I’ll be continuing the tradition as well…i love it, lol.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                I had a thought…

                Maybe it’s the attitudes and actions of the Lil Wayne’s in the world that make way for the R. Kelly’s of the world to thrive.

                • DQ

                  I don’t know TAC, that one seems kinda dubious. You could exchange any artist or entertainer for Lil Wayne and I still think the nexus between people’s behavior vs. art is tenuous (IMO). I’m not saying there is no connection, but which one begets the other (if at all)? The proverbial “does art imitate life, or does life imitate art” question has never been (and likely never will be) decided.

                  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                    I meant attitudes and actions in a broader sense than those specific artists

                    I was offering that the idea that the “Waynes” of the world create the types of girls that the “R. Kellys” of the world prey on.

                    • DQ

                      Hmmm… I guess I can agree (at the least) that they are contributory… I could defend that in academic debate. Let me check with the judges.

                      *Checks with judges*

                      Yes, they’ll allow it.

        • Mo-VSS

          It’s not that he can’t have an opinion. It’s just that because of his own life, his opinion doesn’t matter much. At least, it doesn’t to me. His message isn’t the worst. But, his lifestyle (at least what we know of it) leave some to be desired.

          I don’t need a saint preaching to me about sin. I do need someone on the path to reformation to talk to me about making right choices. He’s not that man (again, from what we know about his lifestyle) so I choose not to care about his opinion on this or anything else.

        • lioness

          –But it seems that Lil Wayne is not allowed to have a valid point about women or much of anything else just because of who he is–

          Are we talking about the same person who said this:

          “If you are talking about rap and beef, I’m the wrong person to talk to. I am from New Orleans. Cut your televisions on. You know where I’m from. I’m from the murder capital, ma.

          Beef is a different thing there. I have four teardrops on my face and I have to look my mom in her eye every day. I can’t lie to her. F*ck what they think and f*ck what the world thinks, we real. My mom is real. The first day I got a teardrop I lied. I called her and asked her can I get a teardrop tattoo, but I had already got it.” She said, “When you get it, come by me so I can see how you look with it, cause I was thinking about getting one my f*ckin’ self.”

          “We don’t play. No, I’m not gonna rap about you man, I will murder you, your family, your child, a newborn, I don’t give a f*ck. I could never go to hell cause I’ma take over, b*tch. Hat Tip to Media Take Out.”

          So yea, duhh,lol, unless he (as of today) decides to make an effort to re-educate himself and change the whole ‘lil wayne-ness’ he will always be a horrible caricature.

          Hitler is a monster because he gassed up 6 million Jews, it doesn’t matter whether he built back Germany’s economy, and provided jobs, and stressed on the importance of work ethic etc etc, no, he was and will forever be a monster in our world’s history, period.– Not that I’m saying Lil’ Wayne is like Hitler, this is just an analogy. So his point of view on certain issues will be deemed valid when he stops acting like a misogynistic pig and saying stuff like this: “Beautiful black women, I bet that bitch look better red.”

          • Brother Mouzone

            co-muf*ckin sign!

          • jane

            yeah…im now inclined to agree, lol. Good analysis!

      • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

        No need for an ‘IMO’. Any cursory glance at pretty much every single study on this would show that on average kids who grew up in broken homes perform at a lower level, get in more trouble, are more likely to be depressed, etc. than people who grew up in a stable home.

        • Yoles

          so true… so very true

        • DQ

          Since you brought it up, let me also say that dudes w/o fathers have “Daddy Issues” too. Because my Mom and Dad have been married for over 40 years I know it can be done. Because I am able to seek advice from my Dad I know it will be hard, something I have to work at, and something I’ll occasionally want to quit.

          A lot of relationships (that were intended to be long term relationships) are greatly aided in their collapse because dudes run into frustration, lack of peace of mind, and chronic unhappiness. They think to themselves, “this must be wrong, it shouldn’t be this hard”. But the truth is, it ISN’T wrong, it IS that hard. But you have to have seen it overcome, or be able to speak to someone that’s done it, to know that.

          We have marginalized the roles that father’s play in the family but the truth is, it is IMMENSE and there is no substitute. That’s not a jab at single mothers, the role they play is irreplaceable as well. But we acknowledge that much. What we don’t acknowledge is that well meaning mothers can not fulfill the role left vacant by an absentee father, nor can she be expected to. We need to be there for a reason. And until we are, our sons and daughters are going to have issues. #EndRant

          • Yoles

            “dudes run into frustration, lack of peace of mind, and chronic unhappiness. They think to themselves, “this must be wrong, it shouldn’t be this hard”. But the truth is, it ISN’T wrong, it IS that hard. But you have to have seen it overcome, or be able to speak to someone that’s done it, to know that.

            We have marginalized the roles that father’s play in the family but the truth is, it is IMMENSE and there is no substitute. That’s not a jab at single mothers, the role they play is irreplaceable as well. But we acknowledge that much. What we don’t acknowledge is that well meaning mothers can not fulfill the role left vacant by an absentee father, nor can she be expected to. We need to be there for a reason. And until we are, our sons and daughters are going to have issues.”

            PREACH

            *one hand up, head down, humming softly, swaying slowly*

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            Very good points.

            (ponders)

            • Venenosa

              This comment makes me wonder what if lil Wayne made the video with a story line of a little boy. That would’ve been pushing social awareness.
              Yeah I know that video would’ve never been made but I’m tired of always being about women and their issues. Can someone explain to me the choices that happen to make a man pay for sex? What things happen to a little boy to make a man who cheats?

              • randomeffery

                i agree with your comment…

                & i hate panama’s assertion that some how a broken home will have a greater negative effect on a woman than a man. so disagree.

                • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                  +1

                • agdm

                  I believe Panama’s perspective is that of a concerned father speaking in reference to his daughter and not a general commentary on all women besides the one in the video.

              • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

                I agree that a storyline about a little boy would have been very powerful… and he would have had greater credibility if he had done it that way, being a boy and all… but it doesn’t make this story line any less powerful to me. But I’d love to see a remix with boy actors!

          • Mo-VSS

            All of this. My parents divorced when I was 20 and if anyone thinks that because I was grown it didn’t affect me, that’s simply not true. I know why my parents divorced, but it doesn’t help me in my journey because, whatever the reasons, they choose not to stick and stay. When I go to look for someone to talk to me about the ups and downs of long lasting relationships, I look to my grandparents. 50 years together and I KNOW it wasn’t easy b/c they said so.

            And you’re right, it’s not supposed to be. Everyday won’t be sunshine and roses, or hell and fire. However most don’t realize that sometimes relationships will embody all of those things and more. Toughing it out is about more than being there when it’s all good and I wish more people knew this (and wish I learned it sooner) and were prepared for the ups and downs of relationships.

          • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            As a child of divorce, I’d like to add a cosign.

            Ever since my parents divorce I find it hard to find peace with being Happy. I fear ending up alone. I have a hard time accepting compliments and deeply internalize critisisms. I often don’t feel good enough, but I also feel too prideful to ever say so. Before then I don’t recall ever feeling that way, but after it was definitely a struggle to even accept those things about me, let alone move towards healing them.

            I’d liken it to having peanut butter no jelly, or pepper shaker with no salt shaker – without the other, one has to pick up the extra weight, but it can’t replace the need left by absent party.

            *gets off soapbox*

          • sugahoneyicedtea

            *places an IOU in the collection plate*

          • Innovative21

            Thank you DQ! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

          • Tea

            Is there a triple *like* button?

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            YES!!

            It’s far too dangerous to downplay a father’s role. Otherwise what are we teaching our sons? That in the futre they will not be important to the family unit as fathers? That they essentially don’t matter in childrearing? That they wont have anything of value to contribute to their future children?

            Fathers teach daughters and sons what types of man is acceptable to befriend, date, marry, parent with or be. Nothing like a father who is in his daughter’s life who picks up on if a dude doesn’t mean anything good for his daughter. Nothing like a father teaching his son how to be a man including that he must respect women.

          • Siobhan

            I surprisingly liked the video, even though I was prepared for some foolishness just based on it being Lil Wayne. I like the 90′s-we-have-a-storyline-again feel of it that others have mentioned. And yeah it’s simplistic, but he does only have about 5 minutes to say something, and better this than swiping booties with credit cards.

            As for the gender element, while negative examples effect both girls and boys, the consequences for sex have always been potentially higher for women. And it’s not fair, but it is true.

            I do kind of take issue with the idea that every child needs a mother and father. I think every child needs a loving home and parents but that a gay couple can provide this just as well as a straight one. Rather than the gender of the parent whose missing, I think what’s most damaging is having, as you say, an absentee parent at all.

            • DQ

              Whether we want to admit it or not, just as people are different, relationships across cultures are different. Not better, not worse, just different. We can agree that the core of any parenting team should be love, but to suggest that (beyond love) the relationship model of one culture is essentially no different than any other, that in fact they are interchangeable seems ridiculous.

              Point blank, a gay couple is not a substitute for modeling a straight relationship anymore than a straight couple is a substitute for modeling a gay relationship. There are differences; it’s inconvenient to our politics but it’s the truth.

              We’re not talking about putting a roof over someone’s head, or feeding them, or ensuring that they get a good quality education… a gay couple, a white couple, or an interracial couple could all do that equally. But we are talking about modeling future relationships. And whether we want to admit it or not, they are not the same thing. Now whether or not modeling is the most crucial aspect for a child’s future relationships is a debate you can have, but I don’t think you can argue that all models are the same. They aren’t.

              It reminds me of when people came to the realization white families adopting black children was NOT the exact same thing as black families adopting black children. Sure you have to have love at the core of adoption too, and race shouldn’t matter, but it wasn’t a simple exchange of white parents for black parents and business going on as usual. Race, as it turned out, DID still matter.
              http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1809722,00.html

              • Siobhan

                I would disagree. We’re not talking about two different cultures when we’re talking about straight and gay people the way you often are when speaking of black and white cultures.

                Positive relationships, regardless of who is in them have the same characteristics: do you respect your partner, do you communicate well and openly, do you make time for each other, do you listen to each other, do you share your burdens, do you make each other laugh, do you have similar outlooks and values, etc. There’s nothing gendered about any of that.

                While I’m a straight woman, I have no problem looking at gay relationships and saying: ‘that’s behavior that works to build a relationship; that’s behavior that doesn’t.’ You can learn from any positive or negative example, whether or not you share the same sexuality, gender or culture.

                Also as far as children goes, it’s not like straight parents only teach their straight children lessons through their behavior. You teach your children how to build relationships through modelling, regardless of who they go on to have relationships with.

                “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
                ~Tolstoy

                • DQ

                  To my mind’s eye, every reason you just gave that a positive relationship is a positive relationship (and shouldn’t make a difference) is every reason why white parents adopting black children should’ve been seemless and no different than black parents adopting black children… but the reality was that it wasn’t seemless and there were differences.

                  And just to be clear, we can agree to disagree if that’s where this is heading (and for the record: That’s where this heading LOL) but I’m comfortable with my position. Observation has taught me that, often in an effort to avoid one end of an extreme (one kind of person or one kind of couple is better than the other) that people go to the other end of the extreme (everybody and everyone is the exact same) and neither prospect has proven true in my experiences.

                  • Siobhan

                    I do think we’re agreeing to disagree but I also think we’re talking about two different things. I don’t really see the adoption issue as relevant.

                    The original point I was making was that children don’t need to have a father/traditional parent household to learn how to create positive romantic relationships. That’s all.

                    That’s not to say they still won’t need or have role models of their own gender, but this doesn’t have to be solely the purview of parents. It really does take a village to raise a child and others have mentioned looking at their grandparents or other family members for inspiration and advice as well.

                    Rather than saying a single mother can’t fill the void left by an absentee father, I would say that a single parent cannot make up for the feelings of rejection that having an absentee parent often create.

                    I’d never say everybody is the same, but I do think most people are less unique than they would like to think.

                    • DQ

                      ****The original point I was making was that children don’t need to have a father/traditional parent household to learn how to create positive romantic relationships. That’s all.****

                      And I feel like this is dismissive of the importance of fathers. It’s hard for me to even imagine someone saying, we don’t really need mothers, just some women role models. I think the push back would be “immediate” and “vigorous” (and rightfully so). It’d be nice to have Aunts, and siblings, and Church mothers stand in the gap… but there is no substitute for a mother. And I would argue that reality says the same about fathers. Heck, if we could get along without fathers, and just have a few role models here and there, I doubt we would even be having this discussion.

                      And again, that’s not a shot at single mothers… but when those kids grow up and become their own men, anything they do and/or accomplish, I see them accomplishing DESPITE the lack of a father. No one (IMO) goes on to great accomplsihments BECAUSE the lack of a father anymore than someone goes on to great accomplishment because they’re blind or because they were born in poverty. Just my thoughts.

                    • Siobhan

                      I’m honestly not dismissive of fathers.

                      1. We’re not talking about all accomplishments/successes in life, just the ability to have a positive romantic relationship.

                      2. I would say the same thing about mothers in the sense that two men can raise daughters who know how to give and receive love as well as two women can or a man and a woman can. And to say that a woman or man who has two loving parents (who happen to be of the same gender) learns how to love despite them, is to me, pretty offensive.

                      3. I’m not even generalizing this; most people are straight. I’m not saying we should all just get along without fathers or mothers. I was pointing out that being an absentee or irresponsible parent is what’s really the issue here in the matter of showing your child what a healthy relationship looks like.

          • Sula

            Coming out of lurkdom to give a fervent hand clap to this. Well said.

            • DQ

              Where you been Sula? I thought about you the other day.

          • Alpha

            You betta PREACH DQ!!!!! Go ‘head on!

      • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        The men she chooses have daddy issues. As long as everybody is focused on her choices, he can rot inside. Nobody needs to worry, until he commits a crime, cause he’s just being a man. Until women train him by denying him access to cookie, he can just rot. Cause he’s just a man.

        • Todd

          +1000. I gotta give you props on this. So many men are rotting inside because they haven’t committed a crime or caused any other harm.

          Oh, and I have MOMMY issues, thanks. My dad actually gave a damn. ;-)

        • Brandy

          “The men she chooses have daddy issues.”

          This.
          If I could use an Obama slow clap gif here, I would.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          i agree with you.

        • DQ

          There is nothing stopping from making a video and song reflecting this. Interesting that you still haven’t seen any. Draw whatever conclusion you feel appropriate.

    • http://thatdamnafrican.wordpress.com/ That Damn African

      “There are people who come from perfectly normal families who end up stripping and making bad life decisions.”

      This is the first thing that I thought when I saw this video.

      • BirdsofaFeather

        Co-sign on all that.

    • Todd

      Well, unfortunately, it’s a 5 minute video. What if we put a dude in there who ended up with 5 different baby mamas because his mama had all sorts of lames running through? Worse yet, what if dude grew up to whip tail because that’s all he saw happen to his mom? Would the vid have the same impact? Also, a lot of boys in that spot are the ones either hooked on dope or moving dope. Would the video still have made sense? Think about it.

    • http://www.shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

      There are people who come from perfectly normal families who end up stripping and making bad life decisions. This does not have to mean that their parents failed them. Maybe I’m just bias because I feel like the song can’t be salvaged. I just think it send the same kind of tragic narrative that we criticize the White media for perpetuating.

      I see your point but the truth is the stripper from the ‘good” family is the exception, not the rule. As a parent the choices your child makes especially in the adolescent through teen years are hugely impacted by decision their parents have made.
      Daddy issues might be overplayed but they are real and cause real issues in the community for men and women,
      and as far as success in life and success in relationships? they go hand in hand. I dont care how much money you have or how great a job, if you dont have friends and are not able to sustain long terms relationships with people other than yourself I dont feel that you can ever be happy. Love is a need not a want. I cant define success with out personal happiness and I cant define personal happiness without solid positive relationships.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      So what if it is Precious Lite? didn’t that movie affect some people’s lives? i’m not saying that video needs to win any awards. but it did make me think. and i’m quick to hate on sh*t.

      and um, a lot of women who have issues with me DO have daddy issues. that’s not something anybody made up. that sh*t is real. absentee fatherism and sucktee fatherism have seemingly run rampant in our community (the larger american community as a whole too) to the point where good fathers get all kinds of extra kudos so it stands to reason that “daddy issues” aren’t some perpetuated non-sense, but an actuality. and yes, anybody can have them.

      “There are people who come from perfectly normal families who end up stripping and making bad life decisions. This does not have to mean that their parents failed them”

      I just patently disagree with this. There are bad decisions. Then there are f*ck the world and everything in it decisions. If your kid is out there making those decisions…then yes, you are a failure as a parent. There are exceptions…we assume. When some of these angsty kids do angsty kid sh*t and merk people we all assume that theyre just good kids gone bad but that’s only because most of these one themselves and we can’t ask about their home lives.

      at the end of the day, from my perspective, without looking at it too specifically, its a video about choices we make and what we tend to deal with. we’ve had post upon post about that very thing here…women putting up with non-sense and creating a self-fulfilling prophesy and downward spiral. you should see some of the questions we get in our inbox. i guess i just don’t see how this video is doing anything wrong short of telling a story that many of us know very well to some degree….some of y’all got homegirls who fall in direct line with everything in this joint.

      • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        Ima ask a question and I have an obvious bias, but ima try to be as objective as possible. Do you think you (the vsb crew) might go a little heavy and simplistically on the choose the right man meme? Maybe because of the inbox questions you get and the frustration that results from trying to help. I think you glaze over things, his motivations, the possibility that he might be trying to do right, what have you. Yall seem to rush to the “everything would be fixed if you didn’t choose the ain’t sh*t ninja who was obviously no good from the minute you saw him”. Excuse me for saying this, but its intellectually lazy.

        Because you will say on one day that although you’ve effed up, you actually try to do right by women, and you have feelings and issues you are working on. Women should forgive and be patient with you. But all them other ninjas…..shoot first and ask questions later. If you don’t, its your own damn fault. Rationale? Because that’s how men are and they will never change if you give them love/trust/forgiveness.

        Now you will say that’s the diff between a good man and a bad one. But on another day you will say that the only thing that makes a good man good is a woman holding the cookie like a carrot or a stick. Cause otherwise they have no incentive. Boys will be boys.

        I read Champ’s advice yesterday and I thought his “tough love” seemed so edged with anger. I was disappointed. he didn’t answer the questions. I get this from black folk. If a man is having a problem with a bad woman, she’s a bad woman. Men can go through crazy dramatic women one after the other and never be told to look at themselves. When a woman complains, men who care whop her on the head with stupid bish, you shoulda known better. I know good men want the pain to stop and the easiest way is to get the woman to leave. I’m just saying, its too simplistic to always blame the victim. It takes two to tango.

        • Mo-VSS

          Yo, sometimes you seem mad bitter, but TODAY…you are all the way on point!

          I just had a convo similar to this yesterday and the points in your second paragraph ring 100% true.

          • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

            I’m not bitter, its just the way I’m drawn. ;-)

            • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              No, that’s supposed to say “I’m not really bitter, I’m just drawn that way”. Had to get it write.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          I can’t speak for Champ (I also haven’t read the Madame Noire thing from yesterday so I have no reference for that), but I’ll try to speak to what I think is your larger point, well two points contradictions and the “find the right man meme”.

          I do think that to some degree, yes, we oversimplify by saying stop dealing with the wrong men. A large part of that is the convo we get though. Even here. Stories that people tell are obviously one-sided and tend to emphasize how bad the other person is or was. But what usually comes out are various and constant red flags that obviously the questioner – so to speak – acknowledges. (Oh and just for the record, I’m not the “hold out on a man to make him work for the love guy”).

          I honestly think that a lot of women, specifically ones I’ve personally encountered, make a lot of bad decisions or attempt to rationalize the bad dating decisions that have been made. I mean that in all seriousness. And that’s because that’s who I’m talking to. I can (and have) told my boys to stop being a douche, and it’s been said to me before too. But most of the questions that come and most of the perspective comes from women. I can tell you, a woman, that men need to be better, but how does that help you out? Your only recourse 9/10 is attempting to make the best decision possible in the men you chose to deal with.

          I can speak to contradictions b/c I’m littered with them. And I don’t run from that. At all. Must be that Gemini nature. I have told many a woman I’ve dealt with that I have issues and to tread lightly. Hell, many women I know read this blog and approach me with caution. I’ve been called damaged by GOOD friends of mine. It might be true. But am I supposed to tell you to not understand while I work on my issues. Y’all wouldn’t listen anyway. Nothing is more appealing to a woman than a man in progress. lol. Sad to say.

          I’m probably not answering your question, but the fact is for men and women…making better decisions all around is a necessity. Again…if we were holding court with both parties involved at all times then sure, it would be ridiculous to let the man off the hook. But we rarely are. And while blaming the victim is is faulty if you do it all the time, (in these non physical violence situations) never blaming the victim is equally careless when the victim has some say-so in what actually happens. The only time it’s never an issue is when the women gets TOTALLY blindsided. I’m talking separate life type sh*t. And that’s more an exception than a rule in my opinion.

          • Nubia

            co-sign.

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            I hear you and agree, Panama. I believe women are responsible for her choices in men NO MATTER WHAT THE OTHER DUDE OR ALL MEN IN THE WORLD DID OR DID NOT DO, NO MATTER WHAT PERCEPTIONS OF THE UNFAIRNESS IN GENDER BELIEFS. And ditto for men. Exceptions are secrets of the blindsiding nature that came out after the partner chosen & relationship entered into. It isn’t a competition on what percentage of responsibility an adult has for herself/himself in choices made in partnerships…although we are fully responsible for our own choices.

        • Sula

          I read Champ’s advice yesterday and I thought his “tough love” seemed so edged with anger.

          Ok, I just read those letters and have not yet read Champ’s response but I AM PI$$ED ALL THE WAY OFF!!! How old are these women?? Seriously? Are we failing our girls that much that they are brain-dead when it comes to relationship? That stuff is not Chinese Arithmetic for Chrissake. Did both of them really need to send in letters for those particular situations? Where are the dilemmas in those stories? Seriously. I am praying they are both under 20 because that’s the only time such naivete on relationships should be allowed.

          So I can understand why someone would reply with anger. Because it is angering!!!

          • miss t-lee

            +1

        • Mena

          “Because you will say on one day that although you’ve effed up, you actually try to do right by women, and you have feelings and issues you are working on. Women should forgive and be patient with you. But all them other ninjas…..shoot first and ask questions later. If you don’t, its your own damn fault. Rationale? Because that’s how men are and they will never change if you give them love/trust/forgiveness.”
          Why did I just turn my head to the side and nod? Glad you brought this point up.

          “Now you will say that’s the diff between a good man and a bad one. But on another day you will say that the only thing that makes a good man good is a woman holding the cookie like a carrot or a stick.” I always wondered if P would give the same advice to his daughter.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            When it comes time for me to give advice to my daughter, and that time will come b/c i have every intention of pre-empting as much ridiculousness from dealing with men as possible, I will talk to my daughter about makign smart choices. Im not going to pretend that she will not have sex. and as depressing as that thought is, i know how life works. i have beaucoup sisters and got to watch all kinds of non-sense front and center.

            i can’t shield my daughter from life, so i’ll do the best i can with whatever situation arises.

            btw, and i didnt bring this up in my response to Wild Cougar, I do’nt actually understand the first part that you’re cosigning. who ever said that men won’t change if you give them trust/love/forgiveness. i think you all suffer from selective interpretations. praise de lawd.

            but the point is…i aint perfect. i know that. and having a daugther and knowing what she’ll have to deal with makes this fact more frightening every day. but i’ve been thru a lot and while i’m nowhere near the worst dude on the planet, i’ve obviously broken some hearts (had mine broken too) so i pray that i give my daughter all of the necessary tools to minimize her pain. Can’t stop it. but hopefully i can make it as benign and temporary as possible. i hope.

            • Mena

              I co-signed this statement “Because you will say on one day that although you’ve effed up, you actually try to do right by women, and you have feelings and issues you are working on. Women should forgive and be patient with you. But all them other ninjas…..shoot first and ask questions later” b/c i have heard men say that a chick needs to be patient with them but then go back and give advice to another chick that she should leave “no good” dude alone. This was never meant as a co-sign on her saying that about your posts. Didn’t mean for it to come off that way.

            • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              What I meant was when a woman stays with a man who has done wrong, its because she’s about giving trust love and forgiveness. She is told, ” stupid bish, that ninja won’t change, you need to leave “

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      Agree with you 100%, Naima.

    • Donshades

      I heard the video when I first heard the song because I can relate. The thing people need to keep in mind too is that even if a womans life isn’t is as extremely tramatic as the young lady’s in the video, it doesn’t mean that the negativity she did experiene is any less effective. I knew lil’Wayne was singing to me and so many others. I commended him when I first heard the song and I most certainly do for the video! Love it.

    • sam

      You seem a lil out of touch on a lot of issues. As if being fatherless does not increase your chances of being F’d up by 75%.

    • coco

      I disagree with you. It’s not just “daddy issues.” It does not have too much to deal with that, but more that she did not receive the support in life(how to love) that others get. The whole point is that this little girl grew up in an environment where she was sexually harassed and molested, going down the wrong road in life as she watched her mother struggle to make ends meet.
      Some people do come from normal families and become strippers, but the majority are people who underwent serious trauma with poverty, family, etc. and have a small door of opportunity opened to them. For example, a rich person decides to get a job in the summer. Her family allows connections to work for a fashion designer. Her opportunity door is wide open. A poor person is forced to seek a job at McDonalds. Her opportunity door is almost closed. Her opportunity to deal drugs and strip to make enough money for her family, when McDonalds doesn’t pay enough is wide open. The rich person will always have an advantage at life. Coming from a family with a lot of hardships does a number on people.
      Also, as she is sexually molested, that is the environment she is raised in and all she knows. A world revolving around sex. That leads to her stripping and prostitution. She gets HIV because it shows the consequences of how a childhood can scar her. Precious Lite? Precious was a deep movie full of the sorrows she faced in life, but still. There is no ‘lite.’ Getting HIV is a serious thing, you say it as if it’s not too bad. I personally loved this music video. It addressed many issues that people don’t realize actually occur.

  • BisforBrittani

    I saw the video and it definitely made the song waaay better because I hated it before. The only thing I didn’t particularly care for is the end because she just gets pregnant and you don’t know if she got married or anything…but its still s good video. Learning how to love or having examples (good and bad) I think are very important in relationships because you’ll know how to give and receive love and what you will and won’t accept.

    • Classy6ft5

      Of course she got married!!! She’s light skinned with long hair! Duh! ;)

      • sugahoneyicedtea

        Of course she got married!!! She’s light skinned with long hair! Duh! ;-)

        This made me laugh..

    • http://theatypicallibrarian.wordpress.com/ AtypicalLibrarian

      I was wondering the same thing. Not that one has to be married to be a good parent, but to me it just seemed like our lovely protagonist was perpetuating the cycle of single parenthood which coupled with the absence of healthy adult relationships turned out to be so destructive in the first scenario. I thought surely that if she were married the audience would’ve seen a glimpse of her in her wedding dress. If not married, maybe she’ll follow in her mother’s footsteps, marry a great guy, and raise a perfect child.

      I’m not a fan of Lil Wanye and I think he looks like an urban muppet but I like the song. Fortunately for me I don’t watch videos, so I won’t likely come across this cliche ridden video again.

    • k-steez

      I read a comment somewhere else that seemed plausible.

      The young lady ends up pregnant at the end without any clear indication on the health of her relationship because she’s now at the fork in the road herself. Like her mother, she’s going to have to choose what type of household to raise her child in and what type of relationships to model for her. So the unsure ending was on purpose.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        The fact that it’s even a possibility for discussion and debate is scary to me. B/c this is a Lil Wayne production . lol

  • http://NA VSB Lurker

    Personally impacted . . .no words

  • Curious Capital

    My “How to Love Story”:

    Clicked on the twitter link and there were talking cockroaches. Hmmm, how is Wayne gonna spin this one. Oh wait, that was just a Raid advertisement. Hospital bed, screaming woman. This might be deep. There’s a baby. Oh no, jail? Damn, sexy school time. Waitt, is this player’s club? Fcuk, the money is on the table. noooooooo, the HIVA. (wait, am I tearing up?). ooooo, it’s going backwards. Yes, a ring, I see a ring. Smiles and books. Oh snaps, it is a Different World.

    End Story.

    Do I know how to love? For real, I don’t even know, but this video really did take me through all those changes.

    • xLadyTx

      *DEAD*

    • Moni No_L

      This just made me reevaluate my life. That is all.

      • sugahoneyicedtea

        +1 for Moni..Me too..

        • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

          This comment is #winning

      • Curious Capital

        My brain really couldn’t process that Wayne had me feeling emotional. I thought my body was about to melt or something.

  • Aleyah the Great

    saw the video. i was very surprised that something with a message came from lil wayne. learning how to love is probably one of the most important things to do, because as the video shows, it affects everyone around you.
    i don’t think he touched on something cultural though. something about it, even though it carries a message, just reads…typical. i don’t know how to explain it.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i can buy the typical argument. i mean, honestly the story isn’t that different. for me, it’s the shots that are included. for instance, the little girl watching her mommy get married and kiss a man. that sh*t was moving to me. b/c i thought of my own kid.

      the view from the child as a baby, even though she didnt know any better it’s still something she was around and affected by. I think that’s what i liked and what had an impact. we often times get the top down view of turmoil but rarely do we watch the kid watching the positivity or negativity and imaginging their processing.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Yes, that’s what impacted me. The baby crying while the father is beating the mother. The girl watching tv while her mother is asleep and her mother’s man coming after her for sex. All of the scenes show that grown up problems don’t affect just the adults, but the kids too. She’s a different child after each scene where she or her mother is disrespected.

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        Co-signage. Those two shots were… say it wif me… poignant.

    • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

      i don’t think he touched on something cultural though. something about it, even though it carries a message, just reads…typical. i don’t know how to explain it.

      And why is this video typical? Because, especially in America, entertainment’s main purpose is to distract people from taking concrete social and political action. The catharsis that you experience at the end of this music video distracts you from the economic conditions that engender the situations portrayed within the video: Even if you grow up in a two-parent household, you will suffer if costs of living obligate both of your parents to work around the clock.

      Although it seems like yesterday, it has been over two millennia since I implemented the panem et circenses strategy in Ancient Rome. It consisted of encouraging politicians to win over citizens with bread and circuses.

      As heartfelt as Wayne’s message may be (and definitely seems), it is no coincidence that he has released this video a few days before he will perform at the VMAs, immediately after which he will release his new album online. I have taught him well.

      Silly people, will you never learn that change starts with you, not a music video?

      • Nubia

        “entertainment’s main purpose is to distract people from taking concrete social and political action. The catharsis that you experience at the end of this music video distracts you from the economic conditions that engender the situations portrayed within the video: Even if you grow up in a two-parent household, you will suffer if costs of living obligate both of your parents to work around the clock.”–incredibly easy to forget…. This video was not meant to incite a political/social movement on any level. However, as blatantly ignorant and nonsensical as his songs and videos typically are, it was refreshing for there to be at least an half-way successful attempt at social commentary…. Besides the people who are actually fighting for change in our communities are probably not sitting at home watching a Lil’ wayne video anyway… I know I’m not.

        • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

          This video was not meant to incite a political/social movement on any level.

          Correct. It was meant to compel people to buy his album when it comes out in a few days. When you are an entertainer, (limited) social commentary makes for good business.

          • Nubia

            “(limited) social commentary makes for good business.”

            Yeah we wouldn’t want to be pigeon holed as a “conscious rapper” or anything lol

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

    I can’t believe you got me to watch a Lil Wayne video. That I didn’t end up hating. I even like the song a bit now and will be going to sleep humming it. Have I finally learned how to love?

    Damn you Panama Jackson. Damn. You.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      Did you see the video and if so, what were your thoughts? And on a larger scale, (I know we touched on this a few weeks back with my post) but just how important is learning how to love to individual growth and success in relationships?

      I think that learning how to love is crucial to individual growth and success in relationships. It’s why I am where I am in my life right now. But am I prepared to break the cycle? No. Will I ever be? Don’t know.

      • DQ

        I am DQ and I approve this message.

        • kid video

          co-sign.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

      “I can’t believe you got me to watch a Lil Wayne video. That I didn’t end up hating.”
      +1

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      It’s my duty…to please that booty.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Not a surprising Weezy song. The video was too melodramatic and eyeroll worthy for me though. I don’t mind the actual song though, and I can understand why it touches some of my peers.

    Parental love is important to observe because it’s the foundation for relationships that you see around you. Unless you live in some sort of group family or commune, they’re the first and pretty much only adult relationship that you’re around on a constant basis until you’re also an adult.

    • Leila

      “Parental love is important to observe because it’s the foundation for relationships that you see around you”

      Couldn’t agree more! When I was younger, I didn’t understand how some of the guys I dated couldn’t express their love or build up walls, but I get it. It came from what they experienced growing up. My parents were very open and were there for each through thick and thin. That taught me not to give up easily and to work through issues.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Maybe the vid was melodramatic because Weezy has very little idea of how the second part (the happy story) actually works (dad left when he was a baby). The first part seemed to be a bit more thought-out. Just sayin’.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        Oh wait, he has a step-dad. Nevamind.

        • sugahoneyicedtea

          He does? I didn’t know that..

          • LSQ

            yep,
            also, maybe some people know this but the boy is quite smart, apparently (gifted and all).

            • Fivegirl

              not surprising. you dont get that rich being stupid

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                …But you can still be ignorant as hell. Just saying.

                • lioness

                  co-sign

    • Yoles

      “Parental love is important to observe because it’s the foundation for relationships that you see around you.”

      this is so true Malik.. i think that people fail to realize just how important it is for parental love to be shown and observed, individualized, physical parental attention. it starts from the birth…the systems in the human brain that allow us to form and maintain emotional relationships develop during infancy and the first years of life. experiences during this early vulnerable period of life are critical to shaping the capacity to form intimate and emotionally healthy relationships. empathy, caring, sharing, inhibition of aggression, capacity to love, and a host of other characteristics of a healthy, happy, and productive person are related to the core attachment capabilities which are formed in infancy and early childhood. during the first three years of life, the human brain develops to 90 percent of adult size and puts in place the majority of systems and structures that will be responsible for all future emotional, behavioral, social, and physiological functioning during the rest of life. there are critical periods during which bonding experiences must be present for the brain systems responsible for attachment to develop normally. this nurturing is necessary for the brain to learn to connect human contact with pleasure. this association is one of the foundations of empathy: we connect first through soothing touch and shared smiles. without having intensive, repeated, loving contact with the same one or two loving people, they simply can’t make the proper connections. some cross-cultural research suggests that cultures which lavish more affection on infants and children are less violent and less prone to crime. there are also studies that show if we did not get love and acceptance, we strive to get substitutues – more money, more degrees, more possessions – fill in vice here – to make up for the loss love. this leads to lack of self love and bad decision making…
      and how can you tell if you lack self-love? the key word which will give you the answer is excessive. anything done in excess or feeling an inappropriate or even an appropriate feeling in excess, reveals a lack of self-love. are you too sensitive? do you over-react to comments and situations? having an extremely critical attitude of others is another way neurosis is revealed. extreme intolerance will also brand you as neurotic as well as having a compulsive need to argue or debate. is your anger fuse short? can you forgive or do you hold grudges forever? do you have problems with jealousy? do you find it difficult to be treated well by others? the list goes on and on.

      sorry i hijacked your post…

      i also enjoyed the message displayed in the video and didn’t mind the song.

      • DQ

        Good post Yoles. Read all of it. Very informative.

        • Yoles

          thx DQ… i think we can all tell when my “sensitive topic” buttons are pressed… hijacking other people’s comments, writing introductions to thesis papers… this is my thing… human interaction and lack thereof and its consequences both good and bad…

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            So do you think ultimately I’m hurting my boys and myself by not putting more time and effort into forming a healthy, long-term romantic relationship?

            #SeriousQuestion
            #NoOffenseWillBeTaken

            • Mo-VSS

              The real question is do you…

              Because I don’t know you personally, I’d dare not give that type of life affecting opinion. What do YOU think though? Have you modeled healthy relationships for them? Have they been a witness to them in other areas, not romantic in nature? All of those things factor into what your decision should or should not ultimately be.

            • Yoles

              no i don’t think you are hurting them by not putting more time and effort into romantic relationships… i don’t know how long you have had them, or the circumstances that lead to this arrangement, but IMO this is the time when you make sure they are exposed to loving and learning how to love, trust and bond… and that responsibility is sitting squarely on your shoulders right now. be sure that they know they are loved/wanted/appreciated/hugged/kissed/spoken to with kind words of affection. those actions go a LONG way!!

              yes in the future, them having a positive view of romantic relationships does assist them in navigating that arena but making sure they are loved and capable of receiving and giving love/affection/empathy/compassion/bonding will give them the tools they need to be completely capable of emotional intimacy.

            • Royale W. Cheese

              It doesn’t have to be *your* romantic relationship. It might help to sort of neutralize your experiences with other ones (friends, family, etc.). My older sis is married and works through the typical healthy struggles. It helps me to not write off marriage/ relationships entirely.

            • LSQ

              I think if you went after a relationship solely to improve your son’s views on love, that may be weird. I think if you pursued love, on the other hand…. you get a whole latta other good things PLUS the boys get to see real love -> in action.

            • http://www.ifiruled2011.wordpress.com Mahogany Princess

              Wow! I won’t venture to answer that for you either but it’s great that you are questioning it.
              I have an 8 year old son and I have to consider the same things. His father and I were together most of his life and have just now started to live separate lives. That transition has been difficult for our son but I’d rather he see us be friends than enemies which is what it was leading too.
              I think the best thing for my son at this point is to see a healthy friendship between his father and I. Eventually hopefully he will see his mother in a health loving relationship/marriage as well. Either way, he is surrounded by love and I think that is most important.

            • http://www.shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

              @TheAnti-Cool

              I would think so, they are going to mimic you and your actions at least starting out and if they don’t know how to develop and build strong relationships or have developed an aversion to them it will adversely impact them at some point. How much of a negative impact it will have I cant say but I do think the most important thing is having a healthy loving relationship with them. Showing them how you feel and showing them that its okay to be open and honest with their own feelings will serve them the BEST

            • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

              No, because I don’t think the relationship has to be romantic. If you had left that qualifier out, I would have said YES. I think there are plenty of single women or lesbian couples raising healthy, happy, well adjusted children without engaging in sexually romantic relationships with men. However, I do think male role models are extremely important… like necessary… in every sense of the word… for your sons.

              As for you, I think it’s a personal choice. But for myself, I would want interaction with men/a man on a regular basis, even if I were gay, but that’s just me- I’d like interaction with people of varying genders, beliefs, etc, period.

            • A Woman’s Eyes

              Not at all. You’d be hurting your boys if you maintained relationships with anyone who disrespected you or them. Or if you used them as your excuse to turn down genuine love if it showed up in your life and respected and loved you and your boys. Or if you got jealous and possessive of your boys dating other girls because for years it was you and your sons.

              You don’t strike me as someone who would want to do any of the above. There is nothing wrong with anyone choosing to not be in a relationship.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

              First, I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses I’ve received. That’s why y’all have become some of my favorite e-people. :)

              Second, after sleeping on it a bit and processing said responses I think I have a better understanding of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it might affect me and my boys.

              Before they came to me four years ago, I was content to be single; alone but not lonely. However, now I question if I should still be content with me, myself, and I when I have boys with no viable father figure in their life.

              I do my best to provide positive male role models outside of the home. I try to keep positive people around us period to balance out my negative tendencies. I also try to treat them the way I would want their woman (or man whatever) to treat them. But can I do that effectively without a partner? I still have a hard time saying I love them but I set out to show them everyday and I wonder if that will be enough.

              Maybe I’m just over-thinking all of this. Another one of my tendencies. *sigh*

              • http://polibohoglam.tumblr.com/ PoliBohoGlam

                **I’m late to the party with not much clout**

                However, I think that what’s most important is what messages you are sending to your boys about loving relationships.
                If you are choosing not to be in a relationship and that works best for you, then that’s good for you. Your happiness helps to sustain their happiness. So, if singleness is keeping you happy right now, stay happy.

                The thing I’d worry about is how your boys start to view committed relationships. Will they think they’re important? How will they view / respect the women they get into relationships with? It’s incredibly important to have a good relationship with your sons. It’s also incredibly important that they leave the nest with positive feelings about love, relationships, respect and honor that do not include you.

                If they can have these things with other women, then I think there’s no damage done. If they become “the only woman I love / care for and about / respect is my mama” types, then that’s gonna a problem for them and the women they encounter.

          • Donshades

            Yoles you funny. Introductions to thesis papers are good! LOL

      • xLadyTx

        Very good post! Especially the point about self-love. Made me wanna go reassess some things.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          I know right.

      • sugahoneyicedtea

        This is the exact same reason why I spend as much time as I can with my son. I always tell him I love him, and I always show him as much affection as possible. As a result, he’s a very friendly baby and he loves kissing lol he even apologises and kisses when he thinks he hurt you..I love my boy :-)

      • LSQ

        very nice!

      • http://thatdamnafrican.wordpress.com/ That Damn African

        Great comment, Yoles.

      • BirdsofaFeather

        I first skipped this post because it was kind of lengthy but then went back and read the entire thing and I couldn’t agree more! But once you realize what your parents did wrong don’t stop there its not the end all be all, don’t use it as an escape goat and say well it is what it is, NO. Start making changes for the better. People have the tendency to become complacent.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        I agree 100% Yoles. We give to relationships what our parents and family unit(s) gave to us.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        that was a very good post yoles. a lot to think about specifically.

  • http://www.twitter.com/brotherjames ChaoticDiva

    I like this video. Why? Not only because of what you said, but also for those girls that may already be seeing these negative things and acting out in these negative ways, that there is hope for them, and they can go down two different paths.

    Many of you may not agree, but that’s the other thing I got out of it.

    Like I always say, when Lil Wayne is sober, the man’s quite talented. It’s those coked out moments that piss me off.

    • Yoles

      i got that out of it too CDiva

    • xLadyTx

      +2

      • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

        Good point – sadly, the Lil Waynes of the world are the role models and the one kids look up to

  • Nappy Mind

    I still hate the song. I found it ironic that the video implies that stripping is a poor choice for a woman while in his real life, Lil Wayne is well known for tipping astronomical amounts of money in strip clubs.

    • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

      I’m pretty sure that just because Lil Wayne leaves a big tip doesn’t mean that stripping is a good choice for women in general. Some drug dealers make huge amounts of money, but I’m not going to drop out of school anytime soon.

    • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

      Also, I don’t think it’s called “stripping” when guys are leaving you money on the table in your apartment. . .

      • Chanelle

        wow……where did that comment come from

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          From the video I’m guessing.

          • DQ

            2:46 mark to be exact

            • Chanelle

              ok thank u…i should’ve paid closer attention

    • Royale W. Cheese

      I know, right? That tip money would be better spent on scholarships.

      • WMR

        Tiny Wayne and Baby have sent a whole bunch of skrippers to college.

        • Sweet Sass

          The “paying my way through college” stripper story is a hustle. 9 times outta 10 you are paying some coke’s way through their nose.

      • sugahoneyicedtea

        Off-topic, but I LOVE your ‘fro Ms Royale..I didn’t have enough patience to grow mine out, but I love being natural, so I’m locking mine up. For me it’s the final hair frontier lol..

        • Royale W. Cheese

          Thanks for the love. I’ve thought about locs, but I’m partial to my fro, at least for now. It’s super low maintenance, light weight, and frames my happy round face :)

          • sugahoneyicedtea

            I was partial to my weaves lol..alas mine was not as beautiful and full as yours. I had a TWA, and it was a pain for me to maintain..plus it didn’t help that I am slightly lazy when it comes to my hair lol. But you are right, it does fit you quite lovely..I have ‘fro envy lol

          • lioness

            awwwwwww :)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      better them than my broke arse tipping infintesimal amounts in the strip club. i don’t even make it drizzle. it’s more like a sunny day with a 10 percent chance of rain when i’m in the club.

  • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/ Naturally Alise

    I guess I can kinda see why you like or got something from the video, but to me it is heavy handed and loses its strength bc of the artist. It is hard for me to separate. However, to the whole learning to love thing I can’t really speak on it. I have learned not to speak on things I know nothing about. Les sighs.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      curious as to why it seemed heavy handed to you. i didn’t get that at all. in fact i didn’t feel it being preachy. it showed two paths and while one is obviously better than the others, nothing seemed overly fabricated to make a point.

      it didnt feel tyler perry-esque to me.

    • Chanel

      While I am a huge Wayne fan I am not bein biased when I say I think its crazy that ppl discredit this video based on the artist. With that said this video really did hit close to home and makes me want to reevalute some of my choices for my kids and I dont even live the typical single parent dima a dosen hood life. Ijs you can never say wat meanin u can find in sumthin. Neva knock a message based on the deliverer.