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?"
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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.

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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.

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     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.

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