I was just a little irritated earlier this week after a video of Method Man disparaging black women’s natural hair surfaced. I grew up on ‘90’s rap and the love that the Native Tongues and others of that era showered on sistahs – and not just the ones with light skin and straight hair — was something that was appreciated.
Of course, Meth’s music was never quite that Afrocentric or enlightened, but in my opinion, he leaned more toward black love than misogyny. So, when he was recorded saying, “I don’t like peasy afros. Sorry. I don’t like dreds either. I like a woman to get her hair did,” I was a bit surprised.
It didn’t rock my world or anything, since brothers in the spotlight have made it clear that our natural hair is not their preference.
Forgive me, Lord, for quoting Lil Wayne, but this brown-skinned, dreded brother has no problem declaring, “I like a long hair red bone.”
Let’s be real. Afros don’t hang. Whenever a man says he likes long hair, we know he’s not talking about an afro. If he were, he’d use a word like “full” or “high.” Have you ever heard a guy say, “I like high hair”? I haven’t.
Anyway, I was a bit relieved when Meth cleared up his comments, which he said were jokes toward a friend of his whose hair was in an afro at the time. It’s easier for me to believe he was teasing a homegirl, than to believe this guy – who brushes his hair about as often as he releases a gospel album – has problems with locks.
When confronted about the remarks, Meth said: “Girl, if you want to come outside with your hair in an afro, so be it. Do what you do. If you wanna rock dreds, so be it. Do what you do. If you wanna take it back to Africa or take it back to where ever the hell you want to take it back to, you do that.”
Then, he threw a few compliments our way.
“I love my people. My people is the most beautiful people in the planet, and we got the best women in the MF-ing world… I love my black sisters, with or without afros, with or without dreds.” (Hear it all here.)
Honestly, after hearing his words, it just made me aware of how seldom brothers express sentiment like this. It’s not so much that they’re always dissing brown-skinned women with natural hair; it’s just that there’s rarely ever any love.
For instance, GlobalGrind.com recently listed its Most Desirable Women of Hip Pop. Beyonce and model Chanel Iman were the closest thing to dark skin included in the photo gallery. Of course, not a strand of natural hair was found.
One could argue that there aren’t many women in Hip-Pop who wear their hair natural, but if a model fits the criteria, then certainly an Esperanza Spalding – an actual musician — could have made the list.
However, men are entitled to their preferences, just as women are. I personally don’t find curly hair attractive on a man. Do I expect El DeBarge or Allen Payne to revolt because of it? No. So, that made me question why I cared at all about Meth’s comments. Although my hair is not relaxed, I do wear it straight the majority of the time. I tend to let it go natural in the summer when the humidity challenges me. So, why do comments hatin’ on natural hair hit a raw nerve?
Of course, the answer is because “natural hair” – afros in particular – is distinctly ours. To not have an afro, steps have to be taken. Although few of us rock the style on a regular basis, we know it’s what lies beneath, and it’d be wonderful to have brothers embrace it, learn to appreciate it and tell us it’s beautiful. Afterall, it’s their hair, too.