This week rapper T.I. and his wife, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, were accused of sex trafficking and forcing women to take drugs.

These accusations stemmed from a social media post from Tiny's former friend, Sabrina Paterson. Paterson alleged that T.I. pulled out a gun and put it to her head. Soon after Paterson's claims made their way to the world, multiple stories of T.I. and Tiny drugging and coercing women to engage in sexual acts started to surface.

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Gucci Mane - Truth (Young Jeezy Diss) (Official Music Video)

On November 19, southern rap legends Jeezy and Gucci Mane will battle on the season 2 premiere of Verzuz. Fellow Atlanta emcee T.I. was Jeezy's original opponent, but swapping him for Gucci Mane has piqued rap fan's interest more than the original matchup. Because, unlike a majority of the previous Verzuz's battles, this one has a lot of personal history attached.

Many in Hip-Hop believed Jeezy versus Gucci Mane would never happen. Their relationship deteriorated almost instantly after their first time working together. In 2005, their collaboration on "Icy" became a hit in the southern region. Animosity grew when both men were gearing up to release their debut albums and felt "Icy" should appear on their respective projects.

"Icy" wound up on Gucci's album Trap House. Jeezy stated that he didn't receive royalties. Both men have denied that their differences started over the song's ownership, but the tension between the two would make its way to wax shortly.

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New T.I. Video: Politically Conscious or Disappointingly Sexist?

What's fair game in the battle for a more progressive country? Craig's Restaurant Los Angeles

Photo by Shutterstock

In one of the strangest combinations of people to ever come together in a headline, Melania Trump and rapper T.I. are butting heads.

The First Lady's spokesperson is asking people to boycott rapper T.I. because of his promotional video that shows a dancer resembling Melania Trump stripping. The video features T.I. in the Oval Office, watching out the window as President Trump takes off in the Marine One helicopter. The rapper then sits down behind the president's desk, and the Melania look-a-like walks in, drops her jacket that reads, "I Really Don't Care Do U?" and then, naked, stands on the desk. The unlikely pair later leave the office and spray paint over Trump's portrait.

T.I. released the minute long clip on his twitter, with the caption:

"Dear 45, I ain't Kanye. 😳" In a clear reference to Kanye West's support of President Trump, something T.I. has openly disagreed with.

Dear 45,

I ain't Kanye.

In response to T.I.'s video debut, Stephanie Grisham, Trump's communications director, tweeted Saturday:

How is this acceptable?

#disgusting #boycottT.I. @Tip

Usually, we'd be raving about a politically conscious music video from an icon like T.I., and enjoying any displeasure from the White House, but in this case, we have to *shudder* agree with Grisham.

While it's difficult to argue with the intention of T.I.'s video — an obvious rebuke of the Trump administration — the manner in which T.I. goes about his criticism is questionable. The video moves from naked Melania to a montage of T.I. defacing parts of the White House, a sequence that suggests that T.I.'s implied sexual relationship with Melania is another aspect of the disrespect and property defacement aimed at President Trump.

This is an unfortunate continuation of an age-old trope, a trope that says sleeping with another man's wife is a way to seek revenge on that man, in most cases ignoring the agency of the woman involved altogether. This trope objectifies and minimizes Melania as nothing more than an extension of her husband.

Additionally, the artistic combination of sex and hate is a toxic one. Having been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, it is doubtful that T.I. likes Melania Trump. Yet, he sexualized her in the video, even suggesting a sexual relationship with her. So, in the video, Melania is not only positioned as the property of her husband — an object to damage like the rapper damages the paintings in the later part of the video — but T.I. is also suggesting a connection between sex and a woman's domination. In positioning sex with Melania as a tool with which to seek revenge on the President, T.I. has — perhaps unwittingly — added to a culturally embedded, sexist narrative.

Don't get me wrong, the Melania look-a-like removes her clothes with full volition in the video, but keeping in mind how T.I. feels about the Trump administration, it's impossible not to see the video as an attempt to shame both the First Lady and her husband. This connection between female shame and sex is disturbing and is furthered by this video, regardless of what T.I. intended to say.

You may think this is a bit of an overreaction to an objectively interesting video aimed at damaging the current administration, and you may be right. But the conversation is bigger than a minute-long T.I. video. The conversation is about what is, and isn't, fair game in the fight to restore our country to progressivism. If we want to criticize and condemn Trump for his blatant misogyny and disturbing rhetoric about women, we can't suddenly turn a blind eye to these sexist narratives when they're used against him. A woman does not earn respect and humanization by behaving a certain way or agreeing with certain politics, it is her right.

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn-based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her Twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

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Album Review | T.I. on 10 with "Dime Trap"

Listen to Tip's tenth studio album now!

Press photo

"Just because it's trap music, don't mean it got to be one-dimensional"

- T.I. proves his point with his 10th, and possibly strongest studio album to date.
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Review | 'Testing' Looks for New Sounds in Hip-hop and Beyond

'Testing' is Eager to Find a New Sound in Hip-Hop, but Not New Ideas.

A$AP Rocky's 'Testing'

The Skepta-assisted "Praise the Lord" is pure hip-hop gold, an eargasm that embodies what Rocky does best: boast about himself.

Like Kanye West, A$AP Rocky is another narcissist, but a pretty one. And he's jiggy—don't forget. Testing is Rocky's I'm-a-90's-boy-with-Harlem-swag-and-model-exes psych-rap album that infuses the same sticky, distorted, feverish psychedelia he explored on At.Long.Last.A$AP.

On Testing, the title confirms the same static friction bellowing under the surface of nearly every song, with Rocky mumbling his most emotional and honest bars; meaning Rocky talks about how hot he is and the occasional adversity he faced on his way to the top, or as he proclaims, "I put New York on the map." Before who specifically, Rocky? His bravado is commendable since no other rapper sounds like him—that much can be said.

But his range is starting to show. Rocky can talk about two things well: his model girlfriends and his clothes. He's not an intellectual; his music isn't the type to win a Pulitzer Prize, though it's emblematic of his style and charisma as a young MC. What he lacks in substance, he makes up for in pure swag. He has the voice of a rapper, a cool and collected braggadocio that excuses moments where he seems incapable of going deeper. He remains on the surface, quite literally summarizing his childhood and rise to fame. The connective tissue between Rocky as a young drug dealer to a Dior-wearing fashion icon is disconnected, leaving the limbs of the album frail and malnourished. The look is there. The vibe is there. Now think of a Rocky who actually tells a story, says something more profound than what hair color and sexual orientation he prefers his ever-growing collection of women.

The Skepta-assisted "Praise the Lord" is pure hip-hop gold, an eargasm that embodies what Rocky does best: boast about himself. The production is clean, sexy, jiggy, and sounds like a 90's banger—everything you'd want in a rap song. Skepta's voice is a delight, his accent adding a rush of energy to the chorus. Rocky samples Moby, an unlikely choice for a Harlem rapper, but it speaks to his eclectic tastes; his vision—he's shown in everything from his music, fashion, and acting—isn't black or white.

"Hun43rd" is a dizzying kaleidoscopic vision of what rap could become if artists were willing to deviate from sounds traditionally heard in mainstream music. It's oddly beautiful as a composition: It grates at the ear, right before it drops into a woozy, luminous bubble where Rocky details the rhythm and spirit of his Harlem neighborhood. Those moments feel and sound so good, you forgive Rocky for his botched attempts at enlightened political discourse ("My newest President a asshole / I guess that's why I'm leaving turd stains.") Our political climate is certainly disappointing, but it shouldn't cause incontinence. Go see someone for that, Rocky.

The feature roster on this project is impressive: Frank Ocean, T.I., Diddy, Tyler the Creator, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, and several others lend their voices, creating a performative fabric around the album, a weird collaborative project that lacks heart in the songs that need it most. "Purity," is a strong close and maybe a look into a new Pretty Boy Flacko, one who has something more to say.

Shaun Harrisis a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.

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