We Got Hood Love…But Do We Need It?

When I first heard that Mary J. Bilge had a song named "We Got Hood Love", the first thing that came to my mind was that Mary J. Blige is too damn old to be singing about a "hood love", then I thought that we didn't need another song about "hood love". 95% of what we're hearing on the radio these days is songs about hood love, better yet the absence of the substantive love, but rather love waged on materialism, lust, and dysfunction. Love is such a fragile and beautiful emotion that we have to be careful to with what we attach it to, especially when we append it to something associated with such blight, like the hood. I don't know about you, but I don't want a hood love, I don't want to fuss and fight, I don't need my passion stimulated in barbaric ways.

I listened to the song, watched the video and I get it, Mary is saying that a "hood love" is that undying love, showing that you have your partners back and you two can stick through whatever may come. Sounds good in theory, but in practice "hood love" is something extraordinarily different, it's the kind of love (I use that word loosely) that borders on ridiculous and makes you question the mental stability of those involved. Because far too many times the obstacles that folks stay together through are head scratchers like domestic violence, infidelity, shiftlessness and a lack of commitment to the future of the relationship, so you find yourself in a seven year relationship with three kids and million promises of marriage and change. Yet, you're stuck with the same sh*t!

"Hood love" is being with a man that wakes up and gets fresh daily to kick it in front of your place while you work all day. No, he's not on vacation or between jobs, you're supporting him. "Hood love" is staying with your woman after she burns you…twice, but you just can't seem to let go. It's this type of dysfunction in relationships that gives children a poor model of what healthy relationships actually look like. If your son or daughter never hear you two expressing your love outside of him calling you a bi*ch or you're saying he's a sorry m****f****, what more should they expect for themselves?

It's time to take a step back and really look at the image of love the hood projects. The behaviors we observe form our expectations more than people realize. Do you really want your daughter to grow into relationships thinking it's ok for men to go upside her head, continuously disrespect her, objectify her sex and call those things love? I would hope that you want her to believe in fairy tales and search for Prince Charming instead of the neighborhood jester. Mothers want more for your sons than for them to demean women or to find a woman that won't create the space for him to grow as a man, or even worse allow him to wallow in his self-pity and refuse to grow.

We've surpassed the point of thinking the hood was the center of the universe and we have to realize that every aspect of our lives can exist outside of it, love included. I really don't need my woman to show me she loves me by cussing me out at every opportunity or going through my cell phone calling random numbers because she doesn't trust me. You want me to know that you love me and you have my back, pay the rest of this light bill because I'm a little short this month, cook dinner for me on a Saturday night or simply, just tell me.

"Hood love" is also when the neighbors know your name because your latest disagreement, hell, all of your disagreements end up on the sidewalk broadcast in living color for the entire neighborhood to see (also available in SAP) and the police to officiate. Yet, the next day you're back in love and the next time too much Hennessey and weed is consumed, everyone is treated to another episode of "Hood Love".

Maybe I've joined the bourgeois or lost my damn mind, but "We Got Hood Love" is a song that should've never been made and "hood love" is something we should aspire beyond, because a "hood love" is the kinda love that gets you on Maury Povich DNA testing 13 guys to find out who fathered your child!

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