by Lavern Merriweather
Global embarrassment and decades long punch line Vanilla Ice once had the absolute gall to say in an interview that he was ‘bored’ with hip-hop and rap now. Right, history’s most pathetic has-been whose had to cancel every concert for the past 18 years due to low ticket sales thinks that he has any business commenting on a music genre predominated by black males. Don’t you just love when white folks feel the need to tell us what to do?
And he’s not the only one. Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz also complained that rappers need to step up their game. To that, I say that if you don’t like what black folks are doing, then come up with your OWN shit and stop copying everything we do! Typical that the very same folks who believe that they are so superior to us are always ripping off what we do, as if they invented it themselves.
I was watching a show on VH1 called the “Tanning of America” about how hip-hop and black style in general has become a major influence on popular American culture. When the topic of successful rappers that have changed the game came up, white rapper Eminem was invariably mentioned. Of course, he was spoken of like he was the second coming holy grail of rap music. Apparently, whatever Negroes create cannot get a complete stamp of approval unless a white person comes along. From jazz, blues, gospel, disco and now rap, black people’s music talent isn’t be recognized or acknowledge, until white folks have a hero to shower all the accolades on, especially if they couldn’t stand what black people were doing before. It suddenly turns into something glorious when white people participate.
VH1, being the worst of the lot, is perpetuating that mentality. Those exact same people at that network who are supposedly so holier-than-thou and just hate any form of misogyny or prejudice saw no reason whatsoever to criticize their ultimate golden boy Eminem, despite the fact that he also sees nothing wrong with speaking his mind on his ex-wife or the gay population in the most negative way possible. Maybe they have a different take on respecting women, but I certainly don’t think that anybody who says he will bury his estranged wife’s body where she will never be found is some suave gentleman. Instead, he should be celebrated like he’s a paragon of class and sophistication.
VH1 also weren’t nearly as bent out of shape when Eminem threatened indie rocker Moby with bodily harm at a MTV video awards show as they were when black rapper Kanye interrupted country star Taylor Swift. Seems that being white means that you are automatically a shitload more talented than anybody else, especially Negroes, and that you can say or behave however the hell you want with no repercussions or consequences. Most of the white media elite obviously don’t think that Eminem even deserves any. Nor do they think that they should start their own form of entertainment because them being white alone makes it better by default.
Lest we forget, rock music was called devil’s music before Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and of course Elvis decided to join in. Also, Bo Derek’s braided hair-look for her signature role in the smash hit “10” was named after her by white folks in the celebrity media, even though black women have been wearing braids in our hair for the longest of times. Somehow when we do it, that isn’t significant enough. It has to be done by a white person before anyone should give a crap.
I remember one time when Prince was performing on an awards show and the announcer said he was doing his new hit “Little Red Corvette”, when in reality, that song was playing for 3 months on black music charts. The ‘fist bump’ move was called ‘daps’ before white people started calling it something else. This is how things usually work. Black people start it then white people end it.
And if it’s not mimicking us, then it’s outright acting as if we have made zero contributions to the society we live in. The street light, cotton gin, uses of plasma, among many other things, were all done by black men. Yet, their inventions or discoveries get ignored by most history books and media denizens who use any and all opportunities to gush about Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin. Edmund Perry would have been lost and probably died a horrible death were it not for his black male aide Matthew Henson, whom he often referred to as his ‘little colored boy’. Yeah, well that ‘colored boy’ just saved your sorry ass life, asshole. It wouldn’t surprise me that he was treated like pure crap but did his job anyway to the best of his abilities, like how most black people back in the day did. Do your best with a shuffle and smile, in spite of how you feel about your boss’s overwhelming racism.
Even if a black person is revered for their music efficiency, it’s only because their talent can’t be ignored or overshadowed by a white performer. Kanye’s talent can’t be denied. No matter how reluctantly the media has to agree, they still do it with the most grimaced of faces. It’s like yes, we will say it too but we would rather be fawning over another white person. You just happened to be the only one available.
That’s why when I follow a black singer, rapper or what have you, I pay no attention to the attention or lack thereof they get from the white media. I don’t need a group of people who revel in their own importance, pretending they like someone they ordinarily look their nose down on. My self-esteem does not rest on arrogant, overprivileged assholes to tell me who is or isn’t more valuable as an entertainer. Or as a human being either.
CORRECTION: KingoftheTeddyBears pointed out that it wasn’t Edmund Perry, it was Robert Edwin Peary, Edmund Perry was a 17 year old black teen from Harlem, NY who was brutally murdered by Lee Van Houten, a Caucasian plain-clothes officer in 1985 for allegedly attempting to rob him…