Justin Bieber, Big Sean, Ariana Grande, and a Homie Betrayal: An ExaminationGetty
It’s another week in the universe, so once again, men are unfairly crushing it, failing up — you know, doing what we do. This is not to be applauded, it’s just an unfortunate universal truth that no one has found a way to stop. So when things happen that make men beef, make men sad, make men question their status as manly men, it should not be taken too seriously. Because — cry me a river.
But something notable happened yesterday. Something much deeper than men, deeper than gender. This is about homies.
We are in a homie betrayal moment right now and it must be discussed. Openly. Candidly. Honestly. Because we all have homies, are all someone’s homie. So this affects all of us.
First off, the word “homie.” A homie is different than a friend. A friend is someone you’re close with; a homie is someone you know well enough. Someone you see in specific circumstances, talk to in specific situations. Homie can be a gateway to friendship, but that’s not always the reality or even the goal. Friends are more all-purpose humans, whereas homies are important because they often exist for very specific reasons, fill very specific voids in your life, and present themselves in whatever degree of moderation you see fit.
The first sign that the idea of homies was under assault came on Saturday night. The Wisconsin Badgers men’s college basketball team beat the then-undefeated University of Kentucky professional college basketball team. At the postgame press conference, Kentucky player Andrew Harrison uttered “fuck that n—-” into the microphone, referring to Wisconsin player Frank Kaminsky.
This became an immediate topic of conversation. It was a doozy of a moment, especially if you have strong opinions on the usage of that word.
My concern, however, was solely on the “fuck that” part. Why would Andrew go there? Why not say, “my n—- Frank played a good game.” Or “congrats to that big n—- Frank.” Are people mad then? Probably not. Maybe? Unclear. But in the moment, it seemed like an emotional moment between two people that probably didn’t know each other very well — that is, until the apology tour began and my fear came true: Harrison and Kaminsky are homies.
Harrison, on Twitter, after his remarks:
First I want to apologize for my poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.
When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect
We had a good conversation and I wished him good luck in the championship game Monday.
All the homie telltale signs are in these tweets. Convivial familiarity (“A player I respect and know”), using an affectionate nickname (“Big Frank”), and actually calling the person and talking to them (“We had a good conversation”).
Kaminsky’s response: “He reached out. We talked about it. Over it. Nothing needs to be made of it.”
Sure, it was publicly handled, but beneath the surface this is a terrible moment in the history of homies. A homie isn’t supposed to publicly beef with his homie. If there’s drama, you handle homie drama behind the other homie’s back, not out in the open for public consumption.
That was this weekend, and even though the book was mostly closed on that spat by Monday, the threat on homies proved contagious. And it’s now clear that no homies are safe. Not even the homies Justin Bieber and Big Sean.
Say it ain’t so.
This is so sad.
Nothing is sacred.
Ariana Grande, girlfriend of Big Sean, performed in Los Angeles last night. During her show, she invited Justin Bieber, homie of Big Sean, to perform her duet with the Weeknd, “Love Me Harder,” as well as his own song “As Long As You Love Me,” a song that features original homie Big Sean, boyfriend of Ariana Grande, who was in the crowd watching his girlfriend and his homie.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.
Homie heavens, this is terrible. One homie shaking the foundation of his relationship with his homie. You hate to see this happen. The homie Big Sean allegedly responded to the homie Bieber about this homie infraction on Twitter (and then allegedly deleted the tweet), but that was proven false. That’s not what’s important, however. What matters is one homie onstage with another homie’s girl while the other homie stands in the crowd, dumbfounded as his homie behaves very un-homielike.
It makes you wonder: If homies aren’t sacred, what is? It’s like what Alfred, Lord Tennyson said about homies: “Is it better to have had a homie and then lost a homie than to never have had a homie at all?”
Makes you think.