BET’s star-filled American Black Film Festival Honors saw the big and silver screen’s most remarkable talents of the past year. And, of course, social media was front row to witness the greatness.
But in the midst of the Black excellence of one photo posted to BET’s Instagram account, New York’s Ja Rule picked a bone with a caption that he took offense to for its use of the Chance The Rapper-inspired hashtag #BlackBoyJoy.
In the flick, the suited men of the network’s three-part The New Edition Story miniseries, Power's Omari Hardwick and seasoned soul crooner Maxwell are all pictured sharing a moment for the camera. With all smiles and good vibes in tow, BET posted the photo while reminding viewers to tune in for the awards show on Wednesday (Feb. 22).
“There was a lot of #BlackBoyJoy at #ABFFHonors!,” the caption for the picture read. “To witness the magic, tune in on Wednesday at 8/7c!”
As the photo must have popped up on Ja Rule’s timeline, the Queens-rapper likened the Black Boy Joy hashtag to a derogatory term from America’s history of slavery.
“Who’s behind this Black Boy Joy hashtag? Not cool, very demeaning,” he wrote in the comment. “You don’t call a Black man a boy, please stop that hashtag. It goes all the way back to slavery and segregation.” Declaring that no man, regardless of race, should be called a boy anyway, he added that the word is especially forbidden to Black men.
“[BET] should know better,” he said.
Tank, however, was also paying attention to the timeline and caught wind of the “Always On Time” rapper’s sentiments. In opposition to his thoughts, the R&B crooner took a moment to school Rule York on how divisive his comments actually were.
“When one Black man tears down another Black man for simply doing things a little different than what he would, that creates the divide,” Tank said in his reply. Continuing to remind Ja Rule that he’s defeating what should be his purpose of reinforcing positivity in the Black community, he expressed that Ja’s negativity was completely unwarranted while praising the men pictured in the photo.
“How in God’s name can you find something wrong with that?” he said. “It’s not like you’ve been the beacon of hope for our community, so I think you should rethink your position. Let these young men live in the success of their hard work! Please!”
Maybe we should get Chance on the phone to clear things up a bit.
See the photo and the two men’s exchange below.
(Photo from left: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated, Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)