Here is a real man...


Mainstream rappers are not real men. They fear being the object of desire. Yes, D'Angelo is singing to a woman, but desire is not something you can force, manage, control. Once you are open to desire, you are open to all forms and sources of desire. D'Angelo fearlessly enters the zone of sexual ambiguity. We are free to desire him in any way, from any direction. It is this ambiguity, this openness that the mainstream rapper fears most, and attempts to check by positing himself not as the object of desire but as the one who has access to objects of desire. The mainstream rapper wants your envy, not your desire. But envy is cheap, safe, dull. To be real, you must be open, you must be fearless.