Real Talk: Lil Reese Video: An Apology Isn’t Enough

Have you heard of Lil Reese? Eh…before Friday? Me neither. One of you tweeted on Friday to ask, “What do you think of the Lil Reese video, D?” and I had to Google to get a clue on who and what she was talking about.

Turns out Lil Reese, 19, is a up-and-coming Chicago rapper signed to Def Jam, and on Friday someone anonymously uploaded a video of him brutally assaulting a woman in her home. I’m one of those people who is largely desensitized to violence; I barely reacted to the video of the bus driver delivering an uppercut, even though it was incredibly harsh. This? My jaw dropped. As of this writing, the video has received upward of 2 million views on the vlog World Star Hip Hop.  

The video begins with the woman being pulled by her arm and demanding that a group of men leave her home. Reese jumps in the woman’s face, physically intimidating her. She demands, “Keep your hands to yourself, though.” After another exchange in which Reese flashes his gun at her, he nicks the woman’s chin and swings on her. She backs away first, then returns with a punch of her own. Reese charges at her, then pummels her like a boxer with an opponent on the ropes. (There are at least two other men in the room, but it’s another woman who jumps between Reese and the victim to attempt to break it up.) Later, the victim is shown on the floor with Reese standing over her, still punching her as someone calls her a “bitch” repeatedly in the background.

You would be proud of most of the public’s reaction to the video. Lil Reese was berated with angry messages on Twitter condemning his actions. Instead of issuing an immediate apology, he tweeted, “The haters tryna see a mf Dwn lol Dey gotta b broke and bored wanna upload sum sh– from years ago damnn we winnin it’s 2 late…#3hunna.”  After receiving an additional backlash for his sorry justification — as if why it was posted and when it happened really matter — he eventually did apologize. “Everybdy makes mistakes,” the tweet read. “I was out of charcter & ive grown sense then Dont judge me for my past i can admit my wrongs and I apologize.” Still, Def Jam is rumored to be considering dropping Reese from the label due to the negative press, according to music news site Hip Hop 365.

The late apology is nice and all, and I’m glad a publicist seems to have taken a hold of Reese and convinced him to eventually say the right things — even if I don’t think he meant them at all. But that’s not enough. He needs to prosecuted from his crime. As of Saturday, the Chicago police were not actively investigating the beating because they said they don’t know who the victim is, when the incident occurred or where. That’s odd, because a young woman, Tiairah Marie, has stepped forward as the victim and responded to the incident via Facebook. Notably, she alleges the attack happened “last year” — not “years ago” as Reese claimed, which means the statue of limitations for prosecuting him isn’t up yet. My hope is that the victim gets a good lawyer and swiftly presses charges. She’s worth seeking justice, and Lil Reese more than deserves to be punished.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk

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