steffanie rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*In show business it’s best to never say ‘never.’ Oprah Winfrey learned the hard way. Long ago she vowed never to interview rappers on her TV show because – if memory serves me correctly – she disapproved of the “n” word, the “b” word and other degradation that served as poor excuses for rap lyrics. Her show, her rules! But somewhere between now and never Oprah looked at her OWN ratings and had a change of heart. First she made amends with Jay-Z, now Fifty Cent. Who’s next, Lil’Wayne?

While every woman has the right to change her mind, Oprah with all her “lil black girl fromMississippi” stories should have realized that connecting with people who have different points of view helps to promote tolerance and appreciation among the masses. Or maybe Oprah realized that in the time it took her to build a 900 million fortune, hip hip has allowed rappers to build wealth in a fraction of that time. And if recent news about behind the scenes “restructuring” at OWN is true, Oprah might be looking to diversify her portfolio. O-Unit Records might be on the horizon complete with her OWN line of clothes and straight to video DVDs.

Even though Fifty went as far as to name his dog after Oprah and then tattooed the name “Gayle” on it, he of all people knows a well played public feud helps to sell products. For all we know the two of them staged the whole ‘she doesn’t like me so I don’t like her, either” rivalry.

And is it just me, or does Gayle have more time on her hands these days? She’s always just off camera watching every interview as if she’s in training. But I digress.

In the end Oprah admitted she was pleasantly surprised to learn that Fifty reads Deepak Chopra, meditates and respects his grandmother’s house rules enough that he doesn’t curse in front of her. See there, Oprah just like Lady Gaga, rappers are people too.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to [email protected].