BDSM, A Bet & Jay Electronica

Much has been made recently regarding video footage of Jay Electronica at some his shows posing a particular question to the audience. Not "How y'all feelin' out there?" nor "How many of y'all remember hip hop?" or any variation thereof. The question Jay posed is "Do ladies like to being choked during sexual intercourse?"

To clarify, the question was posed after he recited the following from a verse he was spitting, "pull her hair, squeeze her neck, bring the crazy out her." Before I forget to mention, the question was being posed to a crowd of his fans in order to settle a $20,000 bet due to be paid on Christmas between himself, Nas and TJ the DJ. To wit, Nas believes that all women--"your mother, your sister, your grandmother, your aunt"--like to be choked. Jay believes that all women like to be choked in varying degrees. TJ the DJ believes that no women at all like to be choked. Evidence can be seen in the video below at 1:44.

Jay has clearly been asking this same question at several of his shows for quite some time now since this video as well as this one and this one are two months or older. Just to be clear, I have no problem with erotic asphyxiation or other behavior that can be categorized under BDSM sexual practices. I do, however, have several issues with Jay in regards to this video.

  • My first issue has to do with respect. The best example I can think of has to do with my inability to swear in front of my parents. Yes, I am a grown woman with a child and, yes, I could easily justify it to them if I ever did, but I choose not to. Why? Because how I chose to speak to others in my personal life should not be applied with how I choose to speak to my parents who raised me, love me and have sacrificed much in order to ensure that I was safe and happy. Similarly, Jay's belief that all women, including those who have cared for and raised him such as his mother and grandmother, may be true, but I would expect more from a man with a daughter of his own being given a public stage funded by those who have paid to see him spit rhymes. Not spit foolishness about $20,000 bets and choking women out during sex, whether they like it or not. To be clear, I don't expect anything from rappers. I do expect respect from men who tout themselves as such and have young women of their own to raise.
  • My second issue has to do with how he chose to address the young woman in the crowd who did take offense to him posing such a question at a concert. I completely understand not wanting to take the focus from your stage show by having to console a member of the crowd who took offense to what you just said (3:20), but leading the crowd in a chant of "We know it's not funny. Relax" especially after a member of the same crowd very audibly stated "shut up, bitch" just isn't cool. It reeks of Jay displacing his own guilt for posing this question/joke onto the woman who took offense. In Psychology, it's called displacement. No matter how you slice it, it's just wack. 
  • My third issue has to do with some comments I've heard regarding "what if" scenarios. For example, "what if the person asking the same question was a woman" or "what if the person asking that question was Chris Rock at a comedy show?" Again, I have to say that it all depends on the audience. If the person asking the question was a woman rapper, say Trina, whose lyrics are raunchy to begin with, then I would take no offense. Audiences at her shows expect as much. If say Lauryn Hill came out on stage asking about choking and bets then that would be very confusing. On the contrary, if Chris Rock came out on stage asking about BDSM practices amongst the crowd, it would be received differently. Since audiences attending Jay's shows are not expecting this from him--because he's been labeled as a "conscious" rapper, maybe, and conscious rappers don't engage in BDSM?--then it's a bit off-putting. Plus, although they both have a unique take on race and politics, Jay doesn't possess the same type of comedic timing that Chris Rock has.
  • My last issue has to do with the following statement made by Jay prior to the question of choking and women being raised at all:

I know there's a lot of underage people out here but I gotta ask it anyway. You gotta pardon me.

     So why pose the question in the first place, Jay? Really? Come on, son.

Will Jay's questions posed about choking during sex as it regards to a $20,000 bet change my attitude towards him? Likely not. I think it's a bit insensitive and misplaced, but I don't really expect my favorite rappers to come with moral compasses. While his actions won't change how I feel about his music, it does change my desire to ever go to one of his shows until he leaves this question backstage where the people who know him are willing to converse on this topic. Until then, I'm cool. No, thank you.

TAGS:  , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Yeah, this was kind of disappointing. Just when you try to give em credit for being above the BS, this.

  2. Jay Elec is just like the rest of these rap niccas. He never was a conscious rapper, just a boring one with mellow beats and nerdy spacy concepts, so he was labeled conscious. Or is it his relationship with Erykah that gave him that label?
    This guy is a perfect example of overhyping that the "underground" movement tend to do to some cats that are explained as geniuses by prominent figures, (here: Questlove, Jay, Diddy, Just Blaze, the list goes on).
    Well at least we now know that Erykah is a fan of BDSM, something that I really didn't needed/wanted to know.
    Let's keep it soulful here yall

  3. I do agree that this bet is a bit.. ridiculous and something I wouldn't have expected from Jay Electronica because of who he is, but then im thinking to myself , what is a quote on quote"conscious rapper", is there a list of rules that they must adhere to? Are they above regular rappers because of some label people give them? Honestly, I didnt catergorize him in the 'conscious" rap group, but he is still human and is allowed to participate in BSDM or even have questions regarding it. I think his question is an honest one, that maybe many men have questioned just how far to go during sex. The fact that he believes all women like to be choked in various degrees is another topic.. but I dont think people should jus cast him to the side, and automatically view him different for a question he posted to his fans.

  4. Just because he was involved with the Queen of Neo Soul he must practice Buddhism, preach nothing but piece and only eat food that doesn't have a face? Jay Electronica never labeled himself a conscious rapper.
    If you really listened to his music this type of talk would not come as a surprise, check out UZI Weighs A Ton.
    Actually scratch that, check out Commons Resurrection album or any Andre 3000 album. They're 2 of the most prominent conscious MC's so everything they've ever said and ever will say must be all sunshine and lollipops.
    The fact that Jay made this bet with Nas of all people does not surprise me. They both come across as rappers who say exactly what they feel, non-conformist is a more suitable label.

  5. Avatar

    I was quite excited upon hearing about JE’s signing with JZ (I am no fan of JZ’s music but when he speaks I do enjoy to hear him and knows he exhibits signs of simple brilliance…the dichotomy…hmmm). I thought the signing could be a push for more intelligiable music, and interplanetary audial lyrics and images being heard in mainstream airwaves. I was born and grew up alongside hip hop and now that I am an adult I am looking back at not only my development through the years but hip hop’s as well… I am curious…
    I have just recently (yesterday) come upon Jay’s comment and have gone through a myriad of emotions and at the very root of it I am confused and concerned at the state of the world especially as it relates to women. My husband and I have been avid appreciators of J.E. and his music, lyrics and overall character (from what we of course are privy to). I too understand we are all human…however, I do find this situation very baffling on many levels but mostly unsetteling metaphysically, karmicly (not sure if it’s a word but I hope my gist is gotten;)) spiritually and even generationaly…I digress
    My husband and I went to a Mos Def concert in ATL and JE opened for him, we were just as excited to see him perform…his energy was off the charts his flow was fluid and his charisma was aces. After his set he did something very different he led the whole audience in a non religious, universal yet sincere and divine word of non specific prayer. I thought the words he chose were poignant but the whole act quite different we both felt (after discussing on the way home that evening) that that prayer really set another tone for that evening and the crowd seemed more united (maybe it was just us). No one heckeled him, told him to shut up…I fact many of us united hands, hearts and spirits. And I am unsure of whether he did it at each and every concert but that is a thought worth pondering. BTW both Mighty mos and JE ROCKED IT that night!!
    I feel that had I gone to his concert in Seattle and he began or ended his set with the question he is NOW posing to audiences worldwide, I would have felt entirely different, not to mention the energy of the crowd. I know I would have left the building until Mos came on and then maybe would haven’t even stayed for his concert only feeling he could be “guilty by association” especially if it was polled at every concert…again I digress a bit…
    After the concert, a friend of our was good friends with Mos and wanted to introduce us which was an added bonus of the evening so we waited outside and while we were waiting we were graced by JE…he wasn’t talking to everyone either, but he came and spoke to us (a group of sisters and my husband) and we inquired about his daughter and her well-being and he beamed a ray of light and broke out his cell phone and shared pictures and a brief story about Mars. Being a mother of two, a wife, daughter and aunt I felt his joy radiate and was touched to be a part of that moment with him…So fast forward to the present when I heard, read and meditated on the poll/bet he is posing I found my disturbance in these points here…
    (Like you I know that consenting adults do what they like when they like and that’s one thing so rough sex, violent sex to each their own) BUT when attending a concert and having the person I am coming to see pose a question of this nature: 1.knowing there are minors present (he make his disclaimer in the video of him in Seattle) 2.knowing women are present and I am assuming this next point (based on the words he prayed at his previous concert) but 3.knowing the seed you are planting by stating a question of this nature in the minds of the public, the universe over and over again really upset me, saddened me and also alarmed me, at the lack of respect and consideration for the women from whence he came from and fathered. It alarmed me also because I had just seen a clip of Kanye’s new video Monster and there are many images just in the 40 second preview of women (mannequins) hanging from ceiling and Kanye kissing dead looking women, while fondeling their genitalia, and knowing the connection between KW, JZ and now JE and praying that this is not the next level of abuse on women. I really am not against nor in support of the conspiracy theories but I am aware of my ancestors and spiritual guides and the knowledge of the power of words and ritual and I do stand firm in stating that this is a dangerous thread to “gamble” with…I know for a fact if his under aged daughter went to a concert and this was a topic of discussion AND GODDESS forbid a choking/sex incident like this occurred to his underaged daughter IT WOULD BE NO LAUGHING MATTER.
    I am aware as adults we are all given choices and it is up to us as individuals to make our choices (right or wrong) and deal with the outcomes (positive or negative). The reasons as to the “whys” of this question are mute to me…was it a pub stunt, is it an intiation, was it “male” humor, is it really just a bet, is it linked to a song or was it simply a joke. However, the repercussions are what concern me.
    I know we all make thoughtless mistakes and because I know of second chances I am prayerful that JE will step up and admit to his irresponsibilty of this poll and right the wrongs that he has set into motion…and if he doesn’t I can no longer support this brother based of the fact that I am a woman, daughter, sister, wife, and come from a divine line of women.
    I am grateful to you for this blog and posting and making a united stand.
    Peace, love and positive motion with the ocean by the light of the moon goddess…
    a daughter of Yemonya