Rich The Kid’s Wikipedia page used to state that his street cred had not been authenticated; the only item on his rap sheet we know of is getting fired from Wendy’s for being high on the job. It’s also been reported that Rich physically and verbally abused his wife Elle, an Atlanta Instagram celebrity famous for being 1/2 of the TwerkTeam, with whom Rich has two children. While the current hip-hop conversations have moved on from matters of real vs. fake (Rick Ross and Slim Jesus both sparked extensive discussion on the topic), it’s still a bad look for anyone to be called out for domestic violence. If these credible sounding accusations are justified, I hope Rich is prosecuted and receives the maximum punishment the law allows for.
Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Rich The Kid’s protege, Chicago rapper Famous Dex, was caught on video beating his girlfriend, subsequently being jailed and dropped by Puma. Like mentor, like pupil. Despite the negative press, Dex saw fit to release a new mixtape of his own today, Different. As HotNewHipHop staff writer Danny Schwartz aptly put it, “Famous Dex isn’t about to let getting caught on camera beating up his girlfriend hold back his career.”
This sickens me, as it should any sensible hip-hop fan. Violence is senseless and cruel, and domestic violence is particularly abhorrent to me because it violates what I consider to be important tenets of love and respect. One’s partner should not be one’s punching bag. Futhermore, it undermines the credibility of artists whose subject matter encompasses risque subjects when other artists actually perpetrate these deeds in real life. Exploring taboo concepts through art can be stimulating and thought-provoking, illuminating the social and cultural mechanisms that underpin our values; Rich The Kid and Famous Dex assaulting women only sets us back.
To the victims of domestic violence: I’m sorry. 23 years ago almost to the day, Tupac Shakur released “Keep Ya Head Up,” a positive song that still comes on the radio often. Perhaps it’s good that ‘Pac didn’t live to see the misogyny and violence still being perpetrated in hip-hop’s name. Songs like “Fight Night” by Migos use violent terms to describe intercourse, and “Sex You Back To Sleep” by Chris Brown contains no mention of consent. Is it just a coincidence that both Brown and Offset have served time for violent offenses?
A study published in the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications found that “continued audience exposure to misogynistic lyrics in popular rap/hip-hop music influences college students’ attitudes toward the issue of domestic violence.” Half of all respondents to a survey conducted by the authors of the study “agree or strongly agree that rap/hip-hop music glorifies domestic violence,” with the overall survey results indicating a “positive correlation between misogynous thinking and rap/hip-hop consumption.” Without speculating on the causal nature of this relationship, I will say that those findings do not surprise me in the slightest.
The new mixtape from Rich is titled Keep Flexin’, and it is the fourth mixtape from him this year. Features come from Young Thug, Desiigner, Quavo, Jeremih, and more. Anyone interested in hearing this new release from alleged wife beater Rich The Kid can download it here.