Drake’s Diss Was Cool, But Let’s Stop Shaming Men Who Make Less Money Than Their Girlfriends or Wives

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
Drake performs at the 2015 OVO Fest in front of a jumbo screen with an altered photo featuring the faces of Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill. 

The sad thing about it is that I know a bunch of women—including myself—who turn up, and I mean turn up, during that specific part of the diss record "Back to Back."

The part when Toronto rapper Drake screams, "Shout to all my boss bitches wifin' [n—gas]/Make sure you hit 'em with the prenup!


He's annihilating Meek Mill, and simultaneously driving home the idea that Meek Mill is playing second fiddle to his girlfriend, Nicki Minaj. There's the idea that Meek Mill's stock rose after he got into a relationship with Minaj—a woman who's headlining a world tour and is, by most standards, a ballsy, alpha female with more money and power than most humans will encounter in a lifetime. 

Meek Mill is an opening act on Minaj's Pinkprint tour and has had to stave off rumors that his most recent album did so well because of his affiliation with Minaj.


Everything is fair game when it comes to hip-hop beefs, so Drake—probably knowing that this was a soft spot for Meek Mill—successfully exploited that idea every chance he got: "Is that a world tour or your girl's tour? […] This ain't what she meant when she told you to open up more.



They're well-delivered punch lines, but I think part of the reason they've resonated with so many people is that they shed light on an insecurity some men have about the role they're supposed to play in relationships. 

There's the idea that men are supposed to lead, while women are supposed to be in the supportive role. Women can certainly earn a living and wield power, but not so much so that their male partners are in their shadows. There's the idea that when those traditional gender roles are reversed, men don't know how to exist in those situations, and so they flee.


The ones who stay are dogged out. It's why many believe that wildly successful women have a hard time getting into and maintaining long-term relationships. 

I would hate to think that Meek Mill's ego might be bruised by this kind of ridicule and that it might affect his relationship with Minaj, who's probably working double-duty to shore up her man. 


It's high time we moved the conversation forward and stopped stereotyping highly successful women as emasculating people who want to be the "men" in their relationships (feminists, I know I'm subscribing to all sorts of gender roles with these terms, but cut me some vocabulary slack for the sake of making this argument). We need to ease up on this idea that men become effeminate, less than or turn into the "Mrs." if they're making a lot less money than their women. Being the Mrs. in a relationship symbolizes something, and unfortunately some men want no part of that. 

We can turn up in the club and give Drake props for these one-liners, but let's be mindful about the ways in which we're reinforcing some of the very stereotypes that are leaving droves of women prejudged and single. 


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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beatsa Web series that features expert advice with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.


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