What My Students Really Need to Know about Chris Brown and Soulja Boy
Trill or Not Trill?

Soulja Boy and Chris Brown were involved in the first celebrity beef of 2017, my first question was whether or not Soulja Boy still made music. I thought I was in the know and down, but apparently not. (If you were wondering, he dropped a joint project with Bow Wow. Yes THAT Bow Wow). Anyhow, Breezy and Soulja Boy hit Instagram over these past 24 hours going back and forth at one another, throwing all the jabs.  This really means so little in the grand scheme of things. Then I saw my students taking sides and commenting on various social media outlets. As my mom used to say, time for a lesson. If you’re an educator, here are some things you should be talking about with your students in regards to this.

Pettiness and Pride
Most celebrity beefs usually involve one of these two factors. This oddly random issue between Soulja Boy and Chris Brown seem to be dripping in this. You ever soak a piece of bread into some gravy? I know some Haitians who have dipped that piece of bread into their soup joumou on New Year’s Day. This argument was double dipped in both pettiness and pride. I have seen this happen between a president and vice president of a club quibbling over who has power.  Two fraternities are not cool with one another right now over something petty that happened at a party or step show from four years ago.

Pettiness and pride have destroyed friendships and will hinder anyone’s development as a leader. The scariest thing about being petty is how easy it is to get into that space. The simplest action can have you reacting with silly anger or vengeance. Take the high road and live to fight the battle another day. You have many more important things to be concerned about.

Emotional Abuse
So from what I hear (from TMZ, Instagram and of course my students)  this started because Soulja Boy liked and commented on a photo posted by Karreuche Tan, who is Chris Brown’s ex girlfriend. I won’t speculate but both gentlemen have mentioned her in their Instagram tirades. 

Sadly we see this type of behavior way too often. Two young men drag a young woman into an argument and as a byproduct she becomes a punchline. She becomes slandered just to help one or both guys advance their insults. Gender aside, we see this emotional abuse regularly between ex partners.  I won’t speculate on the validity of these claims but I do know that Karreuche responded and has now found herself embroiled in this. Chris went right to back to Instagram  and continued to take shots.

This type of abuse seeks to humiliate others and attacks one’s self esteem. We’ve seen this maybe from friends or colleagues and many times have stood silent.  It is essential to take these comments seriously and be as supportive as possible. This screams of ownership over someone. Comments like “all your friends are your friends because you was Chris Brown’s girl,” is a classic sign of co control. Things like this beef between Soulja Boy and Chris Brown seem like a joke but there are many underlying concerns within it.

Face to face not Facetime
This phenomenon of taking it straight to social media or going to text just never solves all the issues. Apparently Soulja Boy also tried to Facetime Chris Brown or maybe it was Chris Brown who called first. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know how many times, I have had to step in and settle a disupute between two students who have yet to discuss an in issue they’re having in person. I’ll ask what happened and it’ll be, she texted me that, he tried to facetime this, her DM didn’t make sense, they were sneak dissing on Instagram or that emoji was disrespectful. I am all for new forms of communication but don’t rely on these apps to solve the problem alone. There is nothing like sitting in a room and hearing out the entire problem. It often eliminates wrong tones that get lost in text. Particularly with a mediateor in the room, it helps settle down tensions and you get to find some clarity to how the issues started and to how they can be solved.

Chris Brown took to Instagram and said  “Adrien Broner set up the gym, bro”  Broner is a professional boxer, which implies Brown is ready to put some gloves on. Before this gets out of hand, I would love to see them really squash this nonsense immediately with no further repercussions.  Hopefully guns don’t become the mediator in any of this as well. If not, the two getting in a boxing ring, throwing on some headgear is not the worst thing ever. It reminds of an old Family Matters episode, where Steve Urkel was learning to box, but I digress.

As a student I am not recommending you take your all your issues into the ring, but I do suggest that a mediator be present, to help both sides facilitate the conversation.

I really do hate that this is even an issue. These two artists should have never let themselves get this far. Some of your students may never even bring this up, but do know that many young people are online discussing it. Don’t be afraid to provide different perspectives to conversation.

Oh, so did you hear the one about the Ethics Committee…


IMG_4902MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 5 books of poetry, including his latest, Trill Motivation With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at mrjeffdess@gmail.com