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Sunday, November 06, 2005

R. Kelly's Got "Half On A Baby":

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace")


Social (and Entertainment)
R. Kelly's Got "Half On A Baby": But Is He Sending the Wrong Message?

Last Saturday afternoon, while suffering through a moderate case of writer's block, I decided to busy myself with the most mindless, anti-thought provoking activity I could think of. So - while washing a trillion loads of laundry and listening to the radio a old R. Kelly's song came on "Half on a Baby"
I'm no die hard R. Kelly fan. So, as I began to listen in - I mean really listen - I heard Kelly's astute declarations that he has "….half on a baby and all I need is your body next to me..." But, in the immortal words of Mr. Kelly himself - wait a minute, On to my point. Still, there's a lot more to this concept than his sperm hooking' up with some woman's egg, biologically speaking. I know, 'ain’t anything' wrong with a little bump and grind, but let's think about this for a minute.
As adults, most of us have the ability to hum along with R. Kelly's lyrics, and place no significance on them whatsoever. However - what about our black youth, who are easily influenced by almost anything having to do with, sex, and whose minds aren't as discerning?

This baby-making' stuff sounds cute, and it's a documented fact that most teens tend to get 'caught up' in the fairy tale aspect of having a child -- and lyrics like "Half on a Baby" conveniently assist them in overlooking the magnitude of the real deal. I don't know about ya'll, but the thought of some gum-smacking, starry-eyed, hormonal adolescent buying into this ".I got half on a baby.." jive certainly gives me the chills. First of all, these lyrics glamorize the very subject we're trying to get our black youths to take seriously. In the age of AIDS, other STD's, and teenage pregnancies, the lyrics breeze right past the notion of sexual responsibility. Unless I missed it, I didn't hear R. Kelly singing about going half on some condoms.

Secondly, I'm growing a tad weary of all these 'let's-make-a-baby' songs; they just flat out send the wrong message. "Half on a Baby’s lyrics are cute, and even a little catchy, granted ("…like a hotel room, girl, I'm checking' into you.”), but they also romanticize the notorious 'baby's momma/daddy' phenomenon, which regrettably, seems to have become quite hip. Marriage and parenting are serious issues, people. The challenge of creating and maintaining solid black families is even more serious. In the "Half on a Baby" video, R. Kelly's got a fortress of a home, I'm assuming a good job (the castle is decorated, with creepy-looking oversized furniture, if I may add), and he's definitely got his half on a baby, but, well -- can we get half on some matrimony? Half on some premarital counseling, even? Nope. Not even half on a ring, which sounds pretty cheap, but it would at least be the right idea. Impressionable black teens (and even some of us grown folk - hello) need to understand that having "half on a baby" physically, even financially, is simply not enough. Teenagers have no concept of the time, energy, and responsibilities that go along with having and raising a child. R. Kelly may have "half on a cute little boy or girl" - but do the young ladies realize that he sure 'ain’t got "half" on some very whole, complete labor pains? And we should be asking the young fellas - do you have "half" on the other commitments that go along with raising a child? I mean, over and above the sperm donation? Do you have half on the number of times somebody has got to get up and feed Junior at 3AM? Do you also have half on clothing expenses? Medical insurance? Art lessons and ballet and football? College tuition? Someone has got to remind our teens to look past the moment, and help them focus on the bigger picture when it comes to having sex and having babies. There's more to it than the over-publicized frolic between the sheets. Our teens need to realize that it 'ain’t as easy or as cute as it looks, and in regards to R. Kelly's song - as it sounds. So, I'm all for helping these youngsters gets half on some common sense. My suggestion for them: Get both halves of a college education, first. Save you’re "half" on a baby for much, much later.

Thanks for reading R. Kelly's Got "Half on a Baby" I Hope you were able to find something here to hang on to. If you like to stay in touch Please Email me at
Hotep, Your Brother.

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