Last week the online hip hop community was buzzing with news that mainstream rapper Slim Thug, in passages from his financial self-help book How to Survive in a Recession, called abortion “necessary” and likened it to birth control.
As a fellow Houstonian, rap fan, and Christian I’m not as up in arms about this as some might think.
In full disclosure, I’ve not had a chance to read the book or the chapter in question. But reports that I’ve seen quote Thug as saying/writing:
“I think abortion is necessary on some occasions. People be against it, but people don’t deal with the real life situations some people deal with. I don’t think it’s right, I don’t think it’s good to have a baby and not be with the father.”
“Even though I got three baby mamas … it’s working out. But it ain’t right. I ain’t saying wait three or four months. If it’s immediate, it’s like birth control to me.”That being said, Slim is correct in stressing the importance and value of fathers being present in the lives of their kids. He’s incorrect in stating that abortion is a valid form of birth control.
But are people really taking this statement seriously? My understanding is that Slim uses a lot of humor and sarcasm in the book. In fact, it’s been indicated that his appearance in a similarly-themed skit on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2009 was the inspiration for this project.
To me, this abortion line comes off a satirical recommendation in the spirit of Jonathan Swift’s famous Modest Proposal that poor Irish citizens ease their financial woes by selling children as food to their rich countrymen.
In my experience, rappers are often a lot more intelligent than their public personas may indicate. And they’re exponentially more media-savvy than they are given credit for. Slim is out to sell books and with this type of statement he’s garnered the attention he wanted for its promotion.
Besides, if financial advice is the main theme of the manuscript, from a simply economic standpoint, isn’t an abortion a more expensive form of birth control than a box of condoms?!?
* Hat tip to Shea Serrano who prompted this blog post with a question posed to me on Twitter that didn’t get used in the Houston Press.