See, I tried to let it slide because the unthinkable happened. I’m not so sure how it happened, but it did. I’m a Rihanna fan.
After her debacle with Chris Brown, I let my umbrella down and threw it in the trunk because I didn’t see her the same anymore. I just knew that she was a young girl who was head over hills in love and possibly off her rocker, but also under the watchful eye of a four-star publicity and management team (not denying that I don’t feel this way still). I’ve never actually purchased any of her albums, but somehow I always end up having them. Crazily enough, I started following her on Twitter, and I decided that her tweets were just fun enough, just edgy enough to imagine that she, this 24-year-old island girl could be like a “play sister” or cousin. The one who does and says way too much, but that’s what you like about her. She bears watching, as my mama would say.
Finally succumbing to the pop culture pressure, I listened to Talk That Talk. “Where Have You Been” and “Watch and Learn” sealed the deal. That album is a winner and is in heavy rotation in every place I can possibly listen to music. I played a Rihanna playlist on Spotify and realized that I know more of her songs by heart than I’d care to admit, and while her performances are hit or miss, her fashion sense and free spirit are lovable.
But that still doesn’t excuse this “Thug Life” phase she’s going through.
A few months back, she tweeted a picture of her knuckles with the letters of “Thug Life,” a term coined by Tupac Shakur that started a movement, tatted on each finger. Cue those crickets. I can’t think of anyone who is farther from living the Thug Life than Robyn Fenty, and though I don’t know what she does behind closed doors, I can bet that thuggin’ it on the corner isn’t one of them. But, hey, what do I know? Then, I let it go, but seeing the Good Girl Gone Bad in a candid with “Thug Life” written across her stomach (did she use a Sharpie?) a la Tupac made me cringe. I don’ t think taking exotic trip abroad with lavish shopping sprees is what he had in mind, though his definition is debatable.
If Rihanna is living the “Thug Life,” hell, so am I. I’ve compiled a list of things I do or have done that prove it:
1. Park in the handicap spot to run in the dry cleaners.
Okay, I know it’s illegal, but I’m only running in there for like, five minutes, tops. For those five minutes though, I’m living life on the edge.
2. Purposely not wish everyone happy birthday on Facebook.
I’m really wrong for this. Birthdays are special, and people should be wished well on their day. The problem is when a million people have the same birthday. Geez, somebody’s gonna miss out. Sorry.
3. Order kids meals at fast food chains even though I don’t have kids.
Everyone knows that children receive the proper meal portions for the right price. I will tear a 6-piece nugget meal from Chick-fil-A UP! I can’t tell you how many mini coloring books and cows I have stashed. I could keep a five-year-old entertained for days.
4. Listen to and rap ratchet, ignant rap music at extremely high levels in my car.
You really don’t wanna see when Jeezy’s “Superfreak” or “Cashing Out” by whoever he is or even “No More Pain” by the great Tupac himself comes on. I’ve always done this though. It’s a part of me, atleast until I have children.
4. Don’t always tip the person who brings me my carry-out order.
I read somewhere that this is “ratchet” behavior. So be it. I’m picking my food up, so I’m doing all the work. Most times I do tip, but it’s usually not 18 percent. Nah, who mad?
5. Colored my hair with African Pride’s at-home dye system
This here is what adventure and thug dreams are made of. Only I would buy a home-coloring box set and take it to a stylist for professional use only. My 18-year-old self needed to be slapped. I died to have my hair died, and what better time to do than when I was in college five hours away from home? When my mama visited New Orleans for Thanksgiving, I had hot pink streaked hair. She and I both died. Eventually, it toned down, but for a good month, I looked like Nick Minaj by the head. Smh
6. Unapologetically ate a funnel cake outside when it was windy.
There’s no way to remain cute or look like you have any sense of decorum while doing this. Just know that I looked like I’d gotten into a fight with a bag of powdered sugar by the second bite.
7. Watch Unsung: Minnie Riperton without crying a river.
You wanna see real tattooed tears flow? Watch that episode of Unsung. I dare you! You cannot do it, but I managed to only let two lonely tears fall when I watched it last night. I didn’t even need Kleenex. Now, THAT is “thug life.”