Rap star Ja Rule, born Jeff Atkins, has so many “down ass chicks” these days, he doesn’t even need to commit crimes.
Even though Rule concocts figurative scenarios of crime and desperation, the role of women within his Murder Inc. record label, a Def Jam spin-off, is very real and overtly misrepresented.
Females such as Ashanti and Charli Baltimore act as Rule’s “down ass chicks,” a phrase that is supposed to signify empowerment for his female counterparts, but the opposite arises from these situations.
In the video for “Down Ass B-tch,” Baltimore steals millions with Rule, only to be locked up as he parties in an exotic beach locale with another nameless, scantily-clad extra on his arm.
The thing that’s so crazy about this isn’t the misogynism (none is intended), or the act of treating women as objects, but the fact that this role is inferred as positive for women, while all it really does is use them to get crimes accomplished.
It’s commonplace for women in rap to be treated as inferior, or mere eye candy, but most MC’s do not celebrate a certain portrayal of women, while simultaneously defaming and egging on ancient stereotypes.
In another Murder Inc. posse cut, “Ride wit Us,” Jody Mack spits a simile that further supports evidence of conflicting female roles within the Murder Inc. conceived vernacular: “She’s a down ass chick, like Mickey and Mallory.”
His pop culture reference, alluding to the female protagonist of “Natural Born Killers,” which illustrates a “down ass chick” as a psychotic serial killer who was swayed into a life of crime because a charismatic male encouraged her.
That’s what it comes down to. These women, as Murder Inc. speaks of them, are only ‘down’ when they’re willing to take a fall for the male.
Coincidentally, the thug male is always shown in a leadership role.
Ja Rule wants a woman to simply stand by in case a heist goes amiss, to diffuse the blow of federal agents.
When placed in the context of his song, you assume Rule would die for his girl, in the same way he repeatedly insists she does for him, but when it comes down to it, he’s got the getaway car filled with premium, while the cold, metal handcuffs fit snugly around her wrists.
Rule really wants these women to take care of him, to hold him on frost-bitten winter nights, as a superimposed mother figure.
My fantasy Murder Inc. video is comprised of Rule on the floor, using a Tech Nine as a pacifier. Tears fall slowly down his face as Ashanti stands tall over him, brandishing a whip, forcing him to lick the soles of her feet, while making him repeatedly practice his anunciation of “Holla!”