Sistas stop riding and dying.

I know Gucci proposing to Keyshia Ka’oir after six years makes you really consider it. She held Gucci down when he went to jail and turned the two million dollars he gave her into six million dollars. This woman is the epitome of a “ride or die” woman for her man.

Keyshaia actually came out winning in her “ride or die” situation, but so many of us are  our here literally taking charges for our men all in the name of being a “ride or die” chick. Sistas who don’t even have a record will get one on the account of showing their loyalty.

Why and when we did start riding and dying Sistas?

In Women of Color in Hip Hop: The Pornographic Gaze by Margent Hunter and Kathleen suggest where this “ride or die” syndrome comes from. They locate in hip hop music how there are times when the music pushes us to be loyal to our male partners.

“Every thug needs a lady
And every thug needs a down a^s b*tch, huh, feel me
Every thug needs a lady
Baby I’m convinced, you my down a^s b*tch
Baby say yeah, (baby say yeah)
If you’d lie for me, like you lovin’ me
Baby say yeah, (baby say yeah)
If you’d die for me, like you cry for me
Baby say yeah, (baby say yeah)
If you’d kill for me, like you comfort me
Baby say yeah, (baby say yeah)
Girl I’m convinced, you’re my down a^s b*tch”

Those lyrics are from the Ja Rule and Charlie B-more song “Down A^s B*tch. I mean seriously who wasn’t listening to Ja Rule at the time this song came out in the early 2000s. I wasn’t even a teenager and I remember the video where Charlie B-more and Ja Rule are robbing a house, and Charlie gets caught but Ja Rule doesn’t. When she is interrogated she doesn’t tell them anything and is seen going to a jail cell, and of course she gets out and a limo is waiting  for her. Ja Rule comes out of a plane and they fly off happily ever after into a ghetto paradise. What’s so crazy is I couldn’t help but to bump my twenty-three year old head to this song as I pulled up the lyrics.

Even Beyoncé was riding any dying for Jay-Z in ’03 Bonnie and Clyde before she was sipping on Lemonade, hell even before he put a ring on it.

I know this Sista who had a crystal clear record who was about to advance at her job, until she took a charge for her man. The police came into the apartment they shared together and saw drugs on the table and asked who the drugs belonged to and without hesitation she said they were hers. This woman had two children when she went to jail, luckily family took care of them but what if her children went into the system and were split up?

Am I saying that Ja Rule and Charlie B-more are to blame? No, I’m not, but when you constantly hear music and see everyday stories of women riding or dying you really feel like hey maybe I can take a charge for my man.

I will proudly tell anyone that I’m not a ride or die and I don’t plan on becoming part of the club. The club of mentally abused women tricked by men to take charges for them, part of the club who have lost their children to the system because no one can raise them since they’re behind bars, part of the club where you trade your sanity in to be loyal. If that’s what it takes to keep a man, then he can go.

Let’s examine our beloved Cookie Lyon on Empire, (I love Empire by the way) who spent seventeen years in jail in order for her children’s father, Luscious, to start the record label. The record label blew up and when Cookie got out, she began to live a life of luxury as she took on a role in the company. Again, Sistas this may be our show but don’t mix it up with reality. Empire may not be a song, but it is based around hip hop culture.

There are more Sistas suffering from “riding and dying” for their men than there are Sistas like Keyshia Ka’oir who get the ring in the end. Some of y’all have been riding and dying for decades now and the only thing you have to show for this “loyalty” is stress, heartbreak, and desire to get back the life you knew before you joined the ride or die club.

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