6lack by Joshua Eferighe February 13, 2019
Yesterday, NY R&B artist Justine Skye revealed Sheck Wes as her abuser.
The revelation comes months after already admitting she’d been a victim of domestic abuse in a ‘previous relationship’; however it wasn’t until yesterday that she decided to unearth his identity.
In a stream of tweets yesterday she said the “Mo Bamba” artist stalked and attacked her group of friends while she was with her current boyfriend, GoldLink. She went on to call out his supporters, calling all that defend him “pathetic.”
Taking a walk with my friends and my man and Sheck Wes (my abuser) and his friends decide to STALK US and attack my friends.. two cars full of niggas while he sat in the car like a bitch. You’re pathetic sheck and you beat women. You hit your girl before me and you’ll do it again
— Justine Skye (@JustineSkye) February 12, 2019
You’re pathetic… and all the people defending you, ya whole bitch ass label.. everyone. You spreading lies about me. Moral of the story is, if you never put your hands on me.. you wouldn’t be in this situation and you just keep making it worse.
— Justine Skye (@JustineSkye) February 12, 2019
As you can guess, Wes denied the allegations, and, as you could further guess, public conscious moved on. Although both Sheck Wes and Justine Skye trended at that moment; it, unfortunately, was only a moment.
There’s been no statement by Sheck Wes’s label (G.O.O.D Music), his collaborators haven’t spoken out (Lil Yatchy/Travis Scott), and he’s, for the most part, still getting shows.
The sad part is that Skye predicted this. Last year, on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, she spoke to Charlamage about her lack of faith in the rap community and their inability to hold artists accountable.
Responding to a question she’d been asked about why she was protecting her then concealed abuser, she explained that she felt it wouldn’t have changed anything.”For me, it’s not about revenge; it’s not about exposing this person; it’s not even about the person,” she said to Charlemagne.
“The biggest reason why is because I do not think people will care. I do not think it will make a difference. In rap culture, people don’t care. It doesn’t matter what the artists did, it’s about how talented they are.”
A Black woman went on national radio and said she does not want to divulge the name of her attacker because she thinks ‘rap culture does not care’, then, upon eventually revealing who he is, was proven correct.
It’s no wonder woman are hesitant to hold their aggressors accountable. It’s no wonder why women are often silent and why many attacks go unreported. It’s no wonder why Justine Skye said she does not think rap culture cares — because it doesn’t.
In the height of the #metoo era where Hollywood, public figures and politicians have seen a record amount of women come forward and call out their aggressors and big names tumble, hip-hop has managed stay under the radar.
As Weinstein tumbled, Xxxtentacion soared; as Louis C.K and Aziz took career hits, Tekashi 69 made history; and as Matt Lauer and Bill O’Reilly resigned, Kodak got on late night TV and won the hearts of millions.
Even in the midst of Bill Cosby’s case and #MuteRKelly, there’s been artists that have not only remained silent but some who’ve defended these men.
And while the likes of Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper have apologized for working with R.Kelly in the modern era, there are many other prominent faces, like Jay-Z, Dame Dash, Timbaland and other’s, who knew of Aaliyah’s age or who was around him after his sex tape scandal that is much too silent.
Last year, Hot 97 radio host Ebro Darden tried to check Kodak Black on his history of domestic violence, the internet turned against Ebro, and not Kodak. It’s like he was the one currently fighting the charge.
Label booked him.
I didn’t force anything.
I was attenpting to make sure a huge issue was not ignored. https://t.co/vnl0JqeLfi
— the Old Man Ebro (@oldmanebro) December 13, 2018
If rap culture is to have an honest moment about the abuse that has been going on it has to start with someone taking responsibility somewhere.
Turning to her first love, Skye penned a song and shot a video on the events of her alleged domestic encounter with Sheck titled “Build” featuring fellow singer Arin Ray.
Starting off with the disclaimer ‘based on a true story’, Justine depicts her story on screen with a character looking intentionally similar Sheck Wes.
In the song, she sings, she’s going to work on herself since she can’t “build a man”, and it appears that she’s been doing just that.
This past month D.C. rapper Goldlink dedicated a freestyle to her called “Justine’s Interlude” addressing her scuffle with Wes as well as not wanting to mess it up the R&B artist. And despite her recent back and forth with Wes online, Skye appears to be in a good space overall.
Charges have not been filed and although there is footage of the Brooklyn rapper jumping her fence and leaked text messages there appears to still be a suspicion over her story.
It feels like Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh all over again. The now Supreme Court Judge faced allegations from a former associate in youth and despite her claims and “passed polygraph test,” he was still approved to sit on the highest court of the land.
Justine Skye, Susan Collins, and any woman who has been violated and taken advantage of in any way should feel safe to come forward with their story and believed in.
When, like Kavanaugh, Sheck roams free, it does not look good. This certainly does not show that there is a concern for the well-being of women.
Skye’s road to recovery is her’s and one could only hope she’s doing well, but rap culture has to do better with checking the artists who are already in positions of power and privilege. These types of allegations no longer have space in any other culture, it’s time for it to stop in rap, too.