Category Archives: celebrity

#57: Teddy Pendergrass

This author has an understanding that death is generally sad, but that many deaths can actually make you smile. In these cases, after you say “aw, damn, s/he died?!?” you smile because you think back to someone’s heyday and the legacy they left. You can smile if someone has lived a life that was fairly full and healthy. Like that guy that came up with Gumby. You hear that he passed and you begin to think “man, I used to love Gumby!” Ghetto people might think of Eddie Murphy doing Gumby on SNL or a Gumby fade back in the new jack swing era…but I digress.

The deaths that don’t bring smiles, that are sad as hell, are those where one was robbed of promise and potential upon death or somewhere down the line prior to death. Like young actors and athletes. Say, Len Bias or MC Trouble or River Phoenix. Someone where the next big thing they were up to was just around the corner (see John Ritter, for example).

Or in Teddy Pendergrass’s case, he didn’t get to continue or finish his career on his terms. The man gets paralyzed in a car accident in 1982 and that was that. Similar to how you think about what might have been had Jay Williams of Duke and the Chicago Bulls not hopped his tail on a motorcycle and crashed it or had Christopher Reeve not had that horse-riding accident or had the D.O.C. not crushed his voice box or Lauryn Hill not decided to start poppin’ out babies by a Marley kid…or if John Belushi and Chris Farley didn’t have drug issues…or if Eazy-E had wrapped it up…no telling what they might have had left in the tank, what ideas they had swimming in their heads. Death or no death, it’s always sad when the end comes way too soon, and the whole deal is cheapened into being a moment in time.

Ain’t like this author can’t live with that, one doesn’t need it to be 1979 or ’86 or 2001 or whatever, f*ck all that, one should embrace the future, the show gotta go on. Still though, all rambling aside, back to the point–what was the point? Ah, doesn’t really matter. The ghetto knows one thing though. Teddy cuts sure came in handy for getting some draws off. Those of you about 28-35, just ask ya mama. Her ready *ss probably threw hers on stage when he rocked the Total Experience back in the day. Couldn’t have him, so she settled for your daddy!

Don’t shoot the messenger.

#50: Worshiping criminals

the last gangster supper!BET had a documentary on a year or so back called American Gangster. Under normal circumstances, one would say it’s simply telling a story about people the general populace might not be aware of, just giving information. After all those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, right? Sadly, however, one has to keep in mind BET’s recent history and what kind of demographic it seems to want to court. You guessed it: ghetto people!

This isn’t a rant on BET itself, that’s another post (surely one the audience has been looking for right here or on a more specifically Black-oriented blog, where the channel is frequently ripped, so let this author not lose focus here with this long set-up). And let me state now that it was among BET’s offerings that featured fairly solid production values (just like First In: Compton, a show you should follow while it’s here). The ugly part is the context one can’t miss, because if you’ve known enough ghetto people, especially males, you’d know they’re downright fascinated by criminals. And BET, having evolved into a station ghetto people turn to, apparently couldn’t resist catering to ghetto interests by airing this series, showing history a lot of ghetto people want to repeat!

Why is the ghetto world so interested in criminals? Ghetto people especially like to keep special edition Blu-Rays (the bootleg DVD just won’t cut it in these cases) of movies like Scarface, Goodfellas, Public Enemies, and American Gangster (no relation to the above) that romanticized the dubious protagonists of these flicks as the best at their respective professions. So when the real deal exists, just like high profile athletes and rappers, everyone wants to be (or be with) that guy. Wantin’ autographs and locks of their hair and sh*t. Dare I say he’s the ghetto person’s picture perfect idea of manhood. “F*ck Warren Buffett and Barack Obama, I wanna be Nicky Barnes or Freeway Ricky Ross!”

He lives that playboy lifestyle, successfully picks up all the freaks, comes and goes as he pleases, drives flashy expensive whips with equally pricey rims on them, holds down really nasty guns (another favorite ghetto toy), regularly orders bottle service at the swankiest clubs in town…he’s the epitome of hood rich. Yet while wrapping their lips around his d*ck, people don’t wrap their heads around what kinda heinous things he might have done to get to that level. And if and when they find out, they’re quick to excuse it! If duke goes to jail, he could have raped 12 kids and smoked their mothers and these idolaters of criminals are urging him to “keep his head up”…as if he’s somehow the victim. As if he’s a political prisoner, targeted for persecution by the powers that be for living and doing righteously. No matter what, the ghetto person has the criminal’s back.

The amounts of futures such criminals have probably destroyed (whether by physically killing people or some law changes due to them) don’t rate to ghetto people. They also don’t allow in their brains that said criminal whose picture is ironed on to their T-shirt would probably just as soon have them whacked if he felt one was in the way of what he wanted. But this congregation is too busy wishing they were as tough and rebellious, too busy living vicariously through the stories of these guys (as well as hating the idea of the criminal’s other enemy, law enforcement) to even consider there’s more than one side to every story. And that all heroes have elements of their lives that would make that proverbial little boy from the Black Sox scandal cry “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

Author’s note: Yeah, so many topics could have been #50 on the ghetto bucket list, but the hot hand (immediately inspired by the f*ckery one reads over on AllHipHop) wrote this one!

Michelle Obama


There’s just something about her like there’s something about New Balance 574s on your feet. You can’t place a finger on it, but it feels right.

Adele Givens tells it best. She’s just such a f*ckin’ lady!

She ain’t no video vixen and she ain’t tryna be no hot mama or anything else out of pocket. She’s just straight up woman. Fits Barack to a T. Those factors alone make her bad as hell. And she got badder as she got older! How many women can you say that about?

A woman like her could say “let’s get it on right here right now!” and a ghetto dude wouldn’t even accept because he’s just floored by her general steez…just wanna lay on her bosom and listen to her tell stories or something. And as he lays there, two milk 20-something freaks could come by ready for a three-screw, and he’d turn them down out of hand like “nah, I’m good” with a Kool-Aid smile on his face for a month.

Michelle Obama is the wife every man ghetto or otherwise wants next to him on every date and vacation, let alone bearing his children. And a lot of dudes don’t even know or won’t admit it! Queenly without tryna be some overbearing diva. Comfortable in her own skin just like the President. She knows where she fits in this world, doesn’t have a pretentious bone in her body. Whether wearing shorts in public or getting physically close to Queen Elizabeth, she pulls off being her.

Yo, kcuf the dumb….this author fox with Michelle Obama. Period.

You can’t make this stuff up #4

In the immortal words of Black Sheep’s Mista Lawnge, “Vaaaaaan Damme!”

Of course we knew Jacko’s name would be used to make mad people money (and ratings–say hi, BET!)…and of course people go mad in the process:
MJfriedchix
Because yeah, Michael Jackson not only makes people hungry on the evening dinner hunt, but in the obvious way he was out to shape his image, he really wanted his name associated with fried chicken.
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Hoodie Award winning fried chicken at that. And as insult to injury, they had the nerve to not even offer white meat.

The hood shows in very laughable and shameless ways that it sometimes just doesn’t get it. Vaaaaaan Damme…

#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

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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.

#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.

Speaking of chicken…part deux (the Oprah edition)

OprahwantsyoudeadSGPL is not gonna slam a big write up on it here…we’ll just let this and myriad related articles break it down:

http://gothamist.com/2009/05/06/kfcs_denial_of_grilled_chicken_give.php

But honestly, after debacles like this one, what was corporate thinking, let alone Oprah and her people? Surely the franchise managers were calling in their horror stories. This author thinks the individual stores learned their lesson on that fateful Monday, that lesson being that these fiendish chickenheads can’t control themselves when “free” and “chicken” form Voltron. And then to put Oprah’s stamp of approval on another run on the chain a week and change later?

Not to mention chaos was bound to ensue when folks could print up as many as they liked, with a new number for each.

Sometimes I wonder…maybe Dave Chappelle’s jokes involving chicken weren’t far off the mark.

On a related note, a cat told me that his girl got a text saying “Oprah gave the white people money and cars, she gives us chicken and it ain’t even fried!”

#23: Nicknames

fright
We all know one or more of the following:  A Ray Ray.  A Pooky.  A Peanut.  Peaches.  Little Man.  Man Man.  Boobie.  Sleepy.  Kisses.  Smoke (who most likely got them trees on deck). Tiny for some big dude. If you’re Mexican, a Joker or Thumper…and so on and so forth.

A trip to any hood yields a roll call that reads like a Dick Tracy strip.  We could go on forever, but the point is pretty much made.  

Ghetto people.  Have a thing.  For childish.  Douchey.  Nicknames.

They originate from everywhere.  One doubled-up syllable from the real name.  Cartoon characters.  What they eat or drink.  What they got caught doing when they were a kid (ya know, that story you wish they wouldn’t tell in mixed company).  Where there’s a will to manifest a new ghetto nickname, there’s a way.  And once that nickname comes out, one is stuck with it in the ghetto for-EVER.  Will never live it down, no matter what.

Sometimes, the ghetto person isn’t mad at it, but embraces it, makes it their badge of honor.  They may tag the streets with it.  Sometimes they bang or slang with it.  Sometimes it becomes their rap name.  Or that’s what they want the girls to call ‘em.  This would explain the obsession with NBA players wanting to be known as other than their real names, because they are usually ghetto their got-damn selves, and they can’t wait for that name to grace their new shoe line that the hood will queue up for.  Ghetto nickname translated into brand loyalty!
lilkeke1

There will be females all of 30+ years old seriously wanting someone to call them Lil Mama or Chocolate, dressing exactly like what their name sounds like they should be doing:  stripping or some other sex-based profession (even though their body is burnt out after 5 children before 23).

And oh yeah, Little and Lil (somehow the apostrophe disappeared) is but one of many oft-used prefixes and suffixes used for such nicks, along with Big, Boy/Boi, Young/Yung, Girl/Gurl, Ms., One, Loc, and Dog.   Because ya gotta make it that much more fabulous!

#22: NFL and NBA players

cassel01
Guys wanna be them, girls wanna be with them…for the money and fame anyway.

The NFL or NBA player is the man in the ghetto.

Why not, they live the life!  They play great sports, they wear wild hair (unless they’re balding, then it’s HeadBlade time), they flaunt all the attitude they want, they get instant attention, they make it rain at strip clubs, they get shoes and clothes and video games named after them every year, they make up celebration dances after scoring, they can afford bricks of weed and custom stash spots in their house(s) and car(s) to put it in, they get DUI and assault and gun raps and can afford the lawyer(s) to get off easy with, they knock up multiple women from all walks of life while managing to stay happily married, and more!  And it’s all covered by Sportscenter, TMZ, and the papers for the world to know that they keep it real.  Commit any and all ghetto shenanigans this side of homicide and still have your job in most cases (because they need you, so you take advantage of it while you can).  What’s not to like?

And their boys get a piece of the action too (ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none).  There are whole hoods that have a vested interest in one player, and that particular player begins loving every minute of it the minute he goes on AAU tours and starts being lavished, pampered, and spoiled with perks and praise from people ready to cash in on draft day years down the line (as early as upon graduating high school–or not–in the basketball player’s case, up until Andrew Bynum).  Is it any wonder why so many of these athletes actually end up broke, necessitating the big contracts they go after (or Dancing With The Stars when they retire)?  Maybe if they went to college just one year longer, or at all…

Even though you can wear gold chains and have a longer career where you get paid potentially waaaay more with less risk of destroying your body in baseball (if you don’t roid up!), it makes no sense for a ghetto person to aspire to something another ghetto person won’t see (except on throwback jerseys), because street cred is of the utmost importance.  Never mind the platform given to them by Jim Brown, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and others to do even bigger things. Never mind even tragic stories like Maurice Clarett, Leon Smith, and Len Bias.  Money, hoes, and clothes, all a ghetto person knows.