I swear this is not a Kardashian story. Well, not really. Allow me to explain.
On Friday afternoon, famous-for-having-a phatty Amber Rose was asked during a radio interview with The Breakfast Club about the alleged relationship between rapper Tyga, 25, and Kylie Jenner, 17. In case it matters: Tyga is the ex-boyfriend and father of child to Rose’s best friend.
“She’s a baby, she needs to go to bed at 7 o’clock and relax,” Rose said of the youngest Jenner. “[Tyga] should be ashamed of himself. For sure.”
Whether Rose said this to defend her friend or not, it was still sound logic. But Jenner’s older sister, Khloe Kardashian, took offense and responded to Rose via Twitter, referencing Rose’s days as an underage stripper. All hell broke loose. I’ll spare you the ugly details, as this is not a Kardashian story.
What this is a story about is Tyga, the actual target of Rose’s angst. And Tyga’s appearance on The Breakfast Club radio show on Tuesday morning to address his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old (and more). What Tyga said during that interview was worse than any of the insults hurled by Rose or Kardashian.
When inevitably asked about Kylie Jenner, Tyga denied they were in a relationship (of course). He blamed TMZ for mischaracterizing his friendship with Jenner, which includes European travel destinations, sneaking out of parties together, and posting snuggly photos on Instagram.
Tyga went on to explain the misunderstanding is due to culture differences, not him and Kylie doing a bunch of stuff usually reserved for people in relationships.
“In black culture it’s different,” he began. “If you hang around somebody, you’re smashing them. White people, white culture, it’s different. They really friends. It’s genuine, it’s different. How we think is a little different with our mentality.”
Oh. So let me get all this Birth of A Nation logic straight. White people know how to form friendships and emotional attachments, but Black people just can’t help but to keep it all the way primitive. And TMZ, who Tyga cites as originally mischaracterizing his friendship, and who also once referred to a respected Black mayor as a “crackhead” in their announcement of his passing, is apparently Black culture now. The more you know.
Now look, I get that Tyga is trying to do everything possible to keep the authorities out of his “friendship,” as in the state of California, Kylie’s primary residence, a sexual relationship between an adult and anyone under 18 is illegal, if only a misdemeanor. I entirely expected Tyga to offer some sort of defense for this “friendship”— which is still sketchy to me and most everyone with good sense because of the vast age gap.
What I didn’t expect was for him to throw Black culture under the bus to justify these R. Kelly-ish shenanigans. I mean, Tyga had all day and all night to come up with an explanation for his friendship with an underage girl 8 years his junior, and this Black-people-can’t-be-friends BS is the best he could do? I mean, it’s not a good defense for several reasons, and the obvious one other than trading in ignorant stereotypes about Black sexuality is, hello? Tyga, you’re Compton-bred Black, a product of Black culture. By his own backwards logic, if Black folks can’t be just friends, then he and Jenner aren’t.
The truth of the matter is no justification he offered was going to go over well. (But did it have to be this bad? Ugh.) There is no justification for a 17-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man being friends.
Amber was right. Tyga should be ashamed, and he should be kept far, far, away from his 17-year old “friend,” who he somehow jets around the world with. Oh, and microphones. He should be kept far, far away from those too.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk.