Monthly Archives: June 2009

#38: Michael Jackson

RightOnMJRegardless of overall ghetto ideology, understand this: Ghetto people, hood folks, whatever you want to call them, fox with Michael Jackson, always had, always will.

The thugs, the smokers, workaday people, hoochie mamas, uber snobs, churchy folks, foreigners who own the shops, every single generation alive right now and they kids, any living condition you could possibly think of, fox with MJ.

The hood was on those Beat It and Thriller jackets real tough along with the sequin gloves and weren’t afraid to admit it. So many artists the hood appreciates got some of their early and/or current steez from Michael. Dr. Dre in his World Class Wreckin’ Cru days. Ginuwine. Usher. Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. Cats that were singin’, rappin’, producing, startin’ record labels all likely dreamed of being involved in a Michael Jackson cut. Because the world watched him like Monday Night Football, or more to the point, the World Cup. He may not have been in the hood long beyond blowing up out of Gary, Indiana as a child, but he was the son of every hood, and many in the hood ate due to his existence.

Trust, you saw bootleg t-shirts of the month when his albums and concert tours were churnin’? You gon’ see ‘em this weekend with EXTRA strength!!

Surely many wondered as this author did (including before even the news broke) how large the story of the death of a guy like Michael Jackson would be. An icon probably matched only by Michael Jordan, maybe Madonna…but we’re not gonna go there today.

Could this be the day pop music died, as said on the news? As with the foundation he laid mentioned above, probably not. The show went on when Pac and Biggie returned, the show went on when Elvis died, the show went on when so many others died (or fell off), so the machine will keep churnin’. But again, with the foundation he laid mentioned above, the legacy and doors opened are arguably unmatched.

The term King Of Pop wasn’t just a marketing tagline. It was already understood before it was even coined to promote the Dangerous album, back in ’91. When Jam first came out, this author could have swore that was Chubb Rock on the mic, until I was informed it was Heavy D…but I digress. Back on that generation thing, it was one thing that the Jackson 5 were them boys in the 60s right next to Elvis and the Beatles. It was another that they fit right in in the 70s with all those disco and funk acts. But in those damn 80s though. Certain elements of pop culture were just…larger than life in the frickin’ 80s. Knight Rider & A-Team. Dallas & Dynasty. Lakers & Celtics. Transformers & G.I.Joe. Hulk Hogan. Mike Tyson. Michael Jackson. Elements of culture that rocked those who grew up in the 80s and beyond. Game changers.

MTV got on board because his videos were EVENTS, like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. Punk *ss MTV were the folks who wouldn’t play a single record that wasn’t by a white rock artist. Ray Parker Jr.’s “The Other Woman” was turned down because he had a white woman on his arm and MTV didn’t want to upset the likely racist viewership they were courting in such places as the Bible Belt. MJ’s music had the clout to apply the undeniable pressure necessary for MTV to cut the crap and play not only his material, but Lionel Richie! Jacko arguably made Yo! MTV Raps, Fade To Black, MTV Jams and Black Real World cast members possible.

Oh yeah, that wonderful nickname. Jacko. Short for Wacko Jacko, as the Brits would call him. Yeah, the hood knew that something was off with him. And we ain’t talkin’ the initial nose job: no one really tripped when that happened. Pallin’ around with Emmanuel Lewis, no big deal (back then anyway). Could even look past having a pet chimp. But when all the other stuff rolled in regarding kids that looked noways Black and Jesus Juice and some of the other…eccentricities made headlines every frickin’ week for some 25 odd years, the ghetto didn’t clap to it…

But oh, bet your bottom dollar that albums like Bad, Dangerous, even History and Invincible, were for them trucks. Many a Suburban piloted by the Billy-est of Bad*sses had some Michael subbin’ right in the mix with one of those Lil Young Boy rappers. And you better believe the parties and barbecues with the fam went hard when “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” was thrown on the same way they would to the latest freaky dance cut.

NBA commissioner David Stern said recently, and I paraphrase, that there are two things that unite a people. The house of worship (church, synagogue, the rally, masjid, what have you), and the house of sports worship (you know schools, cities, and countries get up with great pride for its team winning a title). Michael Jackson was, and is to this day, yet a third.

By the way, what a busy news day: death of Michael, death of Farrah Fawcett, the Iran craziness, NBA draft…this author remembers two others like this. Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson passing on the same day in 1990, and Johnny Cash and John Ritter returning the same day in 2003. And that thing about deaths of famous people going in threes is some wild space sh*t…but again, we’re not gonna explore that one.

The b*tch*ssness in America

levelorange
Time to take another ghetto break and talk about something this author finds irksome. That would be b*ch*ssness.

Some of our people have extreme sticks up their *sses sometimes about things that there really is no need to get uber-uppity over.

One high profile example of this was when Sarah Palin and her milquetoast husband attempted to get political brownie points out of jokes David Letterman told the week before this writing. People with a sense of humor do understand that while some of what was said was in poor taste, that public figures over 18 are open game. I honestly don’t think he knew their 14-year-old was at the game.

She couldn’t just simply say “nah, fam…not cool.” She had to turn it into making it look like Letterman was some sort of pedo who can’t be trusted. What? Reach much? The religious, oppressive, judgmental, spooky venom from her and her supporters is OK, but Letterman is a bad guy.

Right (pun intended), gotcha. It’s just wack when people can’t laugh at themselves. Every situation has to be one to turn into something political. Like that guy who thinks all non-whites in movies are stereotypes keeping said non-white down or whatever. I could go further on that than I could about the police thing, but I’m good. Too bored at the time of this writing to think too hard on it…and that’s exactly how high those types rate if you ask me. Right up there with the guys whe sells oranges in the red matrix bag off the freeway.

Another gem of b*tch*ssness you can uncover is if you shoot out a text message or e-mail blast to a gang of your people. The words chosen in the answers you get will be extremely telling. It’s telling how seriously to a fault they take themselves and their little views, it’s telling what they think of you and it’s telling the kind of hypocrites they are.

The douche-made, arrogant, looking-for-a-fight *ss behavior has gotten out of control in this world. Basically this author is here to define b*tch*ssness as making mountains out of molehills, turning a situation into something it never had to be just so you can feel good, get your little nut off. It’s the ugliest form of hating there is.

The second sense of b*tch*ssness is finding any excuse to get destructive, be an *sshole, f*ck things up for everyone else, etc. The Palin example above is one. Getting drunk just to start a fight in the club just so someone can get shot is another. September 11th was yet a third…and more so by extension of folks who had a field day enacting a billion restrictions and wrecking the ability to breathe.

R-607170-1137780794So in turn is having a riot because your college or pro sports team won a championship. Would you want anybody rocking, or torching your frickin’ car just because it’s there? Wrecking or defacing the store you like shopping at, the one you work at, or even own? Do you want rent, taxes, and insurance premiums way up in the stratosphere as a result? Or do you not care because it isn’t where YOU live? Whatever happened to just blowing a horn or two, sippin’ on something in public, and tryna see if a freak wants to come home with you because it’s a special kind of party night and a new holiday?

Yeah, Common, play it again.

You can’t make this stuff up #3

hoodholiday
Heard about something just too trife not to be posted here. It damn near qualified as a number post.

Alright, LAPD runs up on this Studio City club called Platinum (ghetto enough as it is by name alone), tells the security to kick gravel and travel, runs up in there and begins arresting all kinds of gangster cats, pickin’ em off like a hot hand on the video game Centipede. Bunch of parole violators, bunch of bail jumpers, bunch of dudes under the gang injunction order (not supposed to be together AT ALL, period). They figured they can’t rock out in the hood, so they rented out the club some ten miles away. Reports conflict on whether onetime already knew days in advance or if some heroic 2520 dropped the dime like his pocket was overflowing, but up to 100 jack-booted officers were all over it around 2am (so at least they got to have a full party…sweet!)

Heads stood out as it was with their swap meet personalized shirts and tacky bedazzled fake Ed Hardy in such a wine-and-cheese (by comparison) part of town. But really, what the hell were they thinking? All these legal swords ower their head: probation, parole, gang injunction…and on top of that, they were blazin’ inside!!

Oh, that leads to the beauty of what inspired this author to post it: The TV news report of it all. The intrepid journalist in his Indiana Jones leather jacket interviewing the good cop talking about how the place smelled like, and I quote “a Bob Marley concert.” Not to mention they said they could have probably popped more on a violation of something starting with P if their computers weren’t down. (Stop buying your PCs from telemarketers!) And the guy who apparently reported them gives his name on TV!! How very brave of him, as if anyone affiliated with that set won’t read the lower third and call 1-800-USSearch.

To wrap it up, Indiana Kovacik said there’s more of these to come because it’s “hood holiday season” this summer. Plenty of shopping days left, to be sure. And that’s one down *ss club owner to allow all that to go down (yeah, we really believe he didn’t know he was renting it out to a GANG…but he made bank off of having 400 people in the spot, that’s for damn sure).

This author is having a party THERE!

Click here to read the actual report and watch the video

#37: Naming kids after products

bentleyYou can tell who the clubhoppers and carhoppers were by the names their kids have.

Lexus. Alize. Remy (on a girl). Mercedes is a traditional name, but ghetto folks think of the car brand. Same inspiration behind Porscha, derived from when folks would pronounce the car company Porsche like Portia (of Julius Caesar and Ellen’s wifey fame). It’s a surprise no one has seriously named a child Cadillac or Hpnotiq.

Girls tend to be the victims of such names and are doomed to be turned down out of hand for legit gigs and forced onto the stripper pole or into the porno industry, with the only bright side being no need to invent a handle.

The comedian Renee Hicks once clowned the mentality behind it with the example of a then-popular Volkswagen slogan. “Fahrvergnugen…that’s a pretty name. Fahrvergnugen Rashawn Johnson!”

There’s nothing pretty, classy, or exotic about it at all. Chlamydia sounds exotic too but should it be a baby name? Waaaaait a minute!

And A-list celebrities aren’t much better in this regard either. Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin named their daughter Apple. They must have laughs about it in retrospect. Apple Martin? Imagine the Spanish pronunciation of the last name. Musician Frank Zappa named a child Moon Unit…sounds like the shape of a deuce dropped in the toilet.

Far be it from this author to tell parents what to name their children, or to discourage originality with the snobbery of the corporate world in mind, but how much foresight blurring does it take to sign these names onto the birth certificate? It’s like my rule on tattoos: will whatever you get etched into your body at 20 represent you at 60? If not, you the responsible party get the punishment you deserve.

For example, the guy who had his love of watching ESPN in mind when he named his son needs to be drawn and quartered by his head, arms and balls.

#36: Haters

haters
Haters make the ghetto world go round. Ghetto people are obsessed with haters. Katt Williams told the ghetto faithful, if one doesn’t have enough haters, he needs to do what it takes to get his hater army up.

Why? Because hate is big business. The hater effect is realer than the Oprah effect. More extremely large rims are sold in the ghetto for the Chevy crowd to build ghetto monster trucks with, not because they think it actually looks good, but because it gives the haters fits!

Haters give a ghetto person another thing they hold in high (or low) regard: a target. A ghetto person can breathe again, has a new life, something to look forward to every waking morning, knowing that Jesus provided them a new hater to make or break the day of, as they turn their swag on, buy bigger shines, and give the haters another reason to make a bitter beer face. One who has a hater to focus on has new pep in their step.

There was once a player in a now-defunct football league called the XFL who went by the name He Hate Me on the back of his jersey! He had that good football-playing job due to the haters who inspired him to have them hating him more and more.

Teenage Beckys usually kill themselves if hate is coming their way because they aren’t wired to take the pressure like ghetto people are. Ghetto people hear these stories and wonder “what the hell was wrong with them?” They took themselves off the planet over haters instead of milking it for all it’s worth! Haters give one an opening to vent some frustrations, as a hater punching bag is preferred to seeing a therapist.

This means Kobe and the Lakers should feel good about their status in the hate community. Means they’re doing something right.

Haters aren’t a top-3 subject of raps for nothing. The street cred grows bigger with the haters to back it up. And ghetto women don’t feel right if a hater woman doesn’t have interest in taking her man. Haters are the spice of ghetto life.

On a side note, the following shirt is just wrong…well, at least in context:
hibyehater