Don't look for the women of Spelman College to toast Nelly with Pimp Juice anytime soon. Upset over the way he portrays women in his videos, the historically black women's college in Atlanta has pressured the rapper and his foundation, 4 Sho 4 Kids, to cancel a bone-marrow drive on campus.
When it was announced that Nelly's foundation was sponsoring the drive and that Nelly himself would be showing up on campus Friday, several students raised objections, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Zenobia Hikes.
"Spelman is concerned about the negative images of women in popular culture," Hikes explained, "particularly the misogynistic lyrics and images that constantly portray women in a sexual nature."
Specifically, many students objected to the unrated video for Nelly's song "Tip Drill," which is being distributed on the Internet and broadcast only on local rap video shows. Among the many sexually suggestive scenes in the video is one showing the rapper swiping his credit card down a woman's backside.
Hikes said students demanded an answer to their questions about why videos like these were being made and how they were getting aired. Students from Spelman and neighboring men's college Morehouse were organizing a demonstration on campus Friday. When word got to Nelly's foundation, Hikes said, it canceled the bone-marrow drive.
The need for bone marrow is great within the minority community. Nelly has been trying to raise awareness of the need for marrow and blood-stem-cell donors among minorities since last summer, when his sister, Jackie Donahue, was diagnosed with Leukemia. (see "Nelly Encourages Minorities To Become Bone-Marrow Donors").
Spokespeople for Nelly and his foundation could not be reached for comment.