COUNTRY GRAMMAR: Former Spelman Alum & Nelly’s No Longer Mum About Both Sides of a Story That Could Have Saved a Life

nellyrapper “I know something you don’t know. And I got something to tell ya.”

cutenelly Tip [Drill]: The back story of this story that came across my desk was one in which the backstory’s key players were revisited by Huff Post Live’s:  Marc Lamont Hill in late November 2013. The interview was regarding a 2004 incident where rap superstar: Nelly was to hold a charity event for a Bone Marrow drive benefiting the Leukemia Society-and in hopes that a good bone marrow match could be found for his [then alive but] dying sister who, if you are a fan of Nelly and know his story, unfortunately had succumbed to the disease in 2005.

Well, that 2004 charity event never did occur because Nelly ended up canceling after hearing word that petitions and phone campaigns had taken place that after words; a plan of action was formed by a group of women from SpelmanCollege along with some members of SpelmanCollege’s FMLA (Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance). They prepared to protest the charity event because of the video he had out around this time called: “Tip Drill” where in it, there were various sexually simulated acts in which one in particular, made the “Hot in Here” rap superstar most notable in the rap game when one of the “acts” alongside money being thrown in between women’s legs, was the credit card being swiped down one woman’s buttocks [in the video].tipdrillvideo

Nelly-tip-drill The “Tip Drill” video earned credit in the high ranks in the then BET after hours video show called “BET Uncut,” where videos like such received major airplay on the cable television network into the wee hours of the midnight hour and morning.

One of the protesters, a woman by the name of Asha Jennings was amongst the group and too, was being interviewed in this November 2013 revisit interview where she was Skyped in to Marc and Nelly.  

Nelly explained in this interview, that it’s not that he didn’t want to meet with the women regarding the video and their issues with it, but he simply felt it was not the time, or place to discuss it when his main concern and fight (quite understandably) was in the interest of finding a possible Bone Marrow match to save his sister’s life at the event. Time was ticking for his sister’s life.

nellycutepic According to Nelly, by his understanding, the drive wasn’t going to take place unless he addressed the video issue.

By contrast, according to Asha Jennings, there wasn’t a solid order of things on which issue would be brought to the table: first, or second.

From Nelly’s point of view, and especially with time ticking on the life of his sister at that very moment in time, how could such an important charity event be overshadowed and distracted by a group of people about a mere video controversy. The seriousness and need of the event should have outweighed their decision to protest and disrupt, as, the Bone Marrow drive not only was for the benefit of his sister; but too, could have benefit thousands of other Leukemia patients around the world who too, could have found possible marrow matches from the drive.

How can you compare that?” questioned Nelly.

One said ‘tomato,’ the other says tomatoe, we all know that whole thing was called off.

Jennings claimed that the protest had come to a halt after Nelly pulled funding. 

Nelly stated the benefit was canceled because of the planned protest.

Although the women claim that Nelly’s cancellation of the benefit was because he didn’t want to face the criticism and backlash he was going to receive, Nelly insisted that their actions and plans to disrupt could have very well turned someone away who may have been a possible match for his sister. As far as he’s concerned, there is nothing differently today (in 2013) that he would have done differently then-in 2004-other than “kick somebody’s ass” [because of his being robbed of the chance to be able to save his sister’s life].

Although Jennings and Nelly didn’t meet in the middle and unfortunately, in the interim, a precious life was lost, Jennings wanted to express to the African American community there shouldn’t have been a choice between the two issues because they were “equally important” and both could have been done.

Wow…

HELL NAW! YOU FOREAL?

With the fatality that took a great toll on him, I’m sure, it served as no comfort to him that the group “fought tooth and nail” to see to it that [although the planned protest was reason for the cancellation/pulled funding]; they made sure they had their own Bone Marrow drive before she (Jennings) was to graduate in May 2004. And well-it’s 2013; Asha Jennings graduated (and according to the @’d name change on the Skype video tape), also got married and life went on for her.

 nellywhensiswasaliveBut unfortunately another life did not, that yes, could quite possibly have been saved. And as Nelly put it [sic]: “over a mere song that these same women most probably were dancing to in the club just last week.”

Ps. I’m a woman as well but to this story I had to say (to Jennings): There is a time to be militant and persistent on an “agenda” to prove a point, and always-a time to be principled-yes. But too, there is a time to simply be diplomatic. Period.

#StayTuned to Other Side of the Fame

{Eye Spy’d: USA TODAY’S Kathleen Willens, AP and Huff Post Live’s Marc Lamont Hill}