T.I. (real name Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.) set the internet ablaze with a troubling admission regarding his teenage daughter. On the podcast Ladies Like Us, the Atlanta rapper said that he accompanies his daughter Deyjah to her gynaecologist appointments so that he can make sure that her “hymen is still intact.” T.I., who has seven children (three of whom are daughters), went on to say that “virgins are no fun.” To the surprise of the show’s hosts, he continued, “Who wants a virgin? Like really? All that work.”
Many who heard the rapper’s bizarre statement were rightly baffled by his humiliating decision to share her personal business with the world, as well as his odd obsession with Deyjah’s sex life. Deyjah, who is currently enrolled in her first year of college at a university in Atlanta, has yet to directly respond to the comments that T.I. made, but she seems to agree with public sentiment.
The teenager liked several tweets calling her father possessive and controlling, as well as one cryptic post about “being on my own.” Fans of the VH1 series T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle know that the relationship between the father-daughter duo has always been close but, this time, it looks like T.I. crossed the line.
Social media erupted with comments bashing T.I., ultimately sparking an important conversation about the connection between the toxic masculinity and rape culture. Several celebrities also turned to the internet to speak out on Deyjah’s behalf. Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi called the statement an example of the “double standard of patriarchy.”
Iggy Azalea, an artist formerly signed to T.I.’s label Grand Hustle Records, tweeted (then deleted) a slight admonishment of the Ladies Like Us hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, saying that she wished they would have spoken up in Deyjah’s defence. Mandi and Moham issued a public apology following the backlash and swiftly took the episode down.