I wrote an article last week about Justin Bieber for a youth focused website, something I didn’t think I’d ever do. However, the piece was more about how we support and discuss young mothers in the US and how that is connected to what is going on regarding Justin Bieber and Mariah Yeater, whose attorney had asked Bieber to take a paternity test.
Many media outlets reported that the paternity test was withdrawn and one of the respondents on my last article asked if I would write a follow-up regarding the paternity test results. Here’s my response to this entire situation with Justin Bieber: I hope he takes notes from Raymond "Boots" Riley of The Coupon how to respond to a young woman who claims you were a part of creating a child with her, regardless of the situation.
The Coup are a hip-hop group from Oakland, California and Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress, one of the few women DJs, are the main members. In their album Party Music (2001), the song Nowalaters was included. This song is Boots Riley’s open letter to a young woman who had stated he was the person who impregnated her when he was a teenager. I’ve included the song and lyrics below. I’ve bolded parts of the song lyrics that I think are extremely useful and telling when it comes to discussing teen motherhood and pregnancy and how we treat young mothers in the US.
I hope this quick post will be useful for those of you seeking to use this story in the media in your classrooms or groups with youth to discuss abstinence, pregnancy, consent, and assault. Please note there is some profanity in these lyrics, so listening at work may not be appropriate for all readers.
Well if you thrust, eventually you gonna gush
And I'm implyin' I ain't had no business cryin'
Cause we used the rubber twice
And we knew that shit was dyin' to bust
Well we was only seventeen
But you was older in between
And in my fresh Adidas fits
I used to come more clean than Jeru jerkin' off in a can of chlorine
Sophisticated with the game I was spittin' in
A nymphomaniac was with it, that's just a clip, more experience
V on my chest when I was put to the test
You said "Goddamn nigga, that ain't how ya get it in"
Dashboards for the leverage, tall cans for beverage
The weed can make you courageous, make a Honda Civic seem so
five minutes seem like ages, anyway
You smelled like Care-Free Curl and nowalaters baby
Said you liked high-top fades
And Jesse Johnson’s "Crazy"
Seventeen, all on you like chicken and some gravy
Learned a lot, thank you much today I’m still campaignin'
The lake don't smell so bad now, do it
Don't trip off ya hair baby just re-glue it
The windows is fogged up, can't nobody view it
Put down the O-E and turn up the Howard Hewett
And some more, we had things to discuss
Like how we do it, we got amniotic fluid
And a baby floatin' though it
Hey, imagine if it look like us, it was me up in the vaginary
And I'ma love my kids whether real or imaginary
Quit school, work well depends at the mall next to Fashion Berry
Operation cash and carry
Manual labor from six to noon
Makin' six doubloons, got a baby that's fixin' to bloom
And he need 'fits to groom plus grips the spoon
So let me twist the ploom
And inhale and emit the fumes
I was composed, I didn't even crack a frown
I was supposed to let my pants fall down
And show my ass when I found
That the baby was four months early and around ten pounds
I heard a lot of bad things about teenage mothers
From those who don't really give a fuck about life
They say "It ain't so much that they startin' out younger"
"It's just they supposed to be more like a wife"
Meanin' you ain't shit without a man to guide you
If ya mama tried to feed you that she lied too
Make ya grab any motherfucker that ride through
If jobs are applied to knots can get tied too
Plus I know that you must have been scared
It made it easy when the feelings were shared
Flashback to 20/20
I know you waitin' for the dollars cause you knew I had funny money
Yellin' all loud like I'ma tear the whole hood up
Don't tempt me cause the real daddy stood up
He said I was a mark for believin' in you
Now it's more that I'm seein' is true
There's a few things I'd like to say in this letter
Like I wish I would've seen him grow
And ask my wife I learned to fuck much better
And thank you for lettin' me go
Yeah, thank you for lettin' me go
For real, thank you for lettin' me go