When rap let women like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown and Missy Elliot shine, and put black women on television so I could see them doing awesome shit and making mad money? That’s when I knew.
When rap, from the get go, started giving no fucks about white society and put the pain and hatred of racism and anti-black oppression in its lyrics, I knew.
When rap (and hip-hop!) allowed for the cultivation of black youths DIY ethic, propelled fashion and language in American society (to be sold by white businessmen to white youths) and made things I said and wore normal and acceptable, even desired (if even for the wrong reasons?), that’s how I knew.
When rap sampled the oldies and the Divas and the Kings and paid respect to its roots and inspired me, in some small way, to know and care about mine? That’s how I knew.
When anti-black riots and deaths and genocide sprung up in America and across the world, and someone took the time to lay it out in a song? I knew.
I know rap loves me back, even with all its problems. Rap stayed loving before any Beastie Boy ever picked up a microphone and it will keep loving now. The thing is, that love isn’t for people like Valenti—you don’t need and you don’t have to have it. Sorry if it’s not there to validate your every fucking breath—that’s not what it’s fucking here for and it never fucking will be, so you can stop trying to come for rap and fuck off somewhere.