Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nas' "Bye Baby": Freedom of Expression Or Lame Sales Attempt?

A couple of days ago, I saw on the blogs that Nas had a new song called "Bye Baby." I knew before pressing play the song would be about his ex-wife, Kelis.  The best I could hope for was that he would just be expressing his feelings about where their marriage went wrong and how he could have done some things better (because, I mean, he can't speak for her) to maybe make the marriage work.  But, I was wrong. 

Sure, he starts out saying that his wedding day was so awesome and that they tried counseling but that couldn't force him to stay. Great. But in that same first verse he calls out Kelis' issues, according to him, by saying, "Reason you don't trust men, that's your daddy fault/he in the grave, let it go/he no longer livin/said you caught him cheatin' on mom with other women/ fuck that gotta do with us..."  He continues by saying he should have seen the demons when he saw her screaming "Hate You so Much," which was her first single.  The rest of the song goes on to describe the relationship - things that were publicized and some thing that weren't - with the third verse talking about how her lawyers told her what she'd be getting in the divorce proceedings as well as him defending the same relationship in front of people who spoke ill of them being together.  By the very end he was saying he'd get married again when he meets the "truest type."

I'm sorry, Nasir...what?! I'm trying to understand where it's cool to put your ex-wife and mother of your child on blast like this just because you feel the need to get some things off your chest. Sure, we've all heard a song or read a book where a person is expressing themselves about a past relationship and it's very compelling. But there's a way to do everything and this seems wrong. In an attempt to further his sales when the Life Is Good album comes out, he not only used the woman's wedding dress (he says she left it behind when she left him) to be controversial but he put things out about her that I don't recall knowing.  This is not cool.

Yes, there's the idea that it's freedom of speech and the forum that he has can be used in any way he sees fit.  I'm well aware of that as I'm using this space to voice my displeasure. But when the situation is more involved than her having just been a girlfriend, there's a moment where you would think that common sense takes over and you either approach it at a different, more neutral angle don't say anything at all.  Kelis has yet to say anything negative about him; just two weeks ago she address the 'wedding dress' album cover by saying, "My feelings about it are not really relevant, but you know at the end of the day Nas is an artist...I feel like especially for someone in hip-hop to kind of be genuine and honest, whatever the honesty is about, I think it’s awesome."  Is she perfect? Of course not. Does she share the blame for the demise of marriage? I'm sure she played a part.  But she seems to know that they have a kid together and to say anything obviously or subliminally negative about Nas serves no point.  Stakes are high once you've been married and had kids with a person.

Nas, you are back to looking as fine as you were in '94 but does that mean you have to still act like the kid you were then?  Don't let this rap shit get have you making a fool of yourself.

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