Though both of my parents have a substantial amount of rhythm, I can't dance to save my life. Sure, I can 1-2 step with the best of them, or even nod my head along to the beat of a song without looking too suspect. But as for actual dance moves? Nope. Except for one: The Motorcycle, as made famous by rapper Yung Joc. Don't act like you don't remember "It's Goin Down" or the moves that came along with it. Place two arms in the air, and crank them back and forth as if you were — you guessed it — revving up a motorcycle.
Admittedly, 2006 was the last time I thought about Yung Joc before he made his debut on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta in 2014. When he resurfaced, he definitely got my attention... but not necessarily in a good way. If you look up "baby mama drama" in the dictionary, you'll see a selfie of Joc, along with his four former lovers and eight kids. But surprisingly, do you want to know what really gets people talking about the star? His glamorous blowout.
When he decided to wear it straight last summer, blogs and Twitter went wild for his silky smooth pressed hair. The look inspired a whole bunch of memes — many of which he embraced — that continue to make me laugh out loud to this day. And his hair still gets a fresh wave of attention every Monday when the show airs. The Game even recently posted a photoshopped version of Joc with a "fried-dyed-laid to the side" version of the style, and Nicki Minaj herself trolled him the comments. Joc, who seems to be a good natured guy, joined in on the fun, too.
But should we really be laughing that hard? After he debuted his new look, Joc stood up for himself amid the backlash. "What if I just chose to do something different because I knew your motherfucking ass was gonna talk about it?" he noted in a video. "If I was a White boy, it'd be cool."
And he has a point. Despite some moves forward, many Black men (especially rappers) are still held to a high standard of hyper-masculinity — one that doesn't allow for as much experimentation and self expression as other (especially white) men enjoy. Zayn Malik can go pastel green, for example, and the world swoons. Orlando Bloom goes back to blonde, and all of a sudden, you're pulling out your LOTR DVDs. But it's a different story when rappers like Lil Yachty go red, or when Lil Uzi Vert dyes his dreads blue. Even Future got flack for lifting his long dreadlocks to blonde a few seasons ago at Paris Fashion Week.
Joc's asymmetrical cut and swoop may make you uncomfortable, but he's got a fair point — he has the right to do what he wants with his hair, anytime he wants. Even if he is channeling your favorite auntie.