Comedy //

I Want To Make Something Clear: Hip-Hop Lyrics About “Stealing Your Girl” Are Not About My Girl

Meditations on hip-hop by the best, white man for the job, Clarence French

Clarence French

The world war of Hip-Hop has, of late, seen fighting on a new front. I call it the “steal yo girl” phenomenon. Among the constant competition to present oneself as the wealthiest, the toughest and the most “real”, rappers now tie status to “stealing yo girl”. Successful attempts from the likes of Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Drake demonstrate that “girl stealing” trumps other achievements. After all, what success, superiority, and primacy can one claim to have if one’s girl is stolen? Stealing babes is in vogue – but I want to make something perfectly clear: rap as hard as you like, fellas, you are not stealing my girl.

It’s not hard to imagine Trey Songz wooing a woman at the club with lines like “I know that you, you’re taken / It’ll never change / Cuz it’s always been that way / But you know that you / Can’t fake it / He can’t give you what I got here right now.” She is probably beautiful, she is certainly taken, but it can’t be my beautiful girlfriend.

There’s every possibility that the artists don’t refer to my girl. Maybe it is instead a hypersexual series of machismo-heavy gestures included to ironically undermine the listener. I’m not laughing. All this abstract toing and froing pales in the face of the realisation that also they might be going for my beautiful girlfriend.

Underneath this innovation to the playing of Hip-Hop’s “great game” lies a little known and unsettling revelation. I would love to live in a world wherein “steal yo girl” lines are always referring to the forfeiture of other people’s girls. But such a world is numerically impossible. The acquisition of one girl always represents the loss of another’s girl. The “Say’s law” of girl stealing, therefore, forces each of us to action. Who knows how long it will be before a hip-hop artist sings at my girl? How many rappers might make moves at my beautiful girlfriend?

So let me announce publicly: steal my girl, and there will be consequences. The aftermath of the acquisition of my beautiful girlfriend will be ferocious. I know how my girl feels about acts of violence, but I also know how she feels about hip-hop. And I definitely know how hip-hop probably feels about her.

Board up the doors, and the windows, and turn of all the beats. I fear an imminent wave of girl-getting. But listen hard: my girl will not be got.

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