Category Archives: money and economics

#42: Daytime television

whoindeedOnce upon a time, the American afternoon was the home of Mike Douglas, soaps like Another World, game shows, reruns of prime-time hour dramas, and the greatest cartoons one could possibly wanna come home from school to. Maybe even a random movie…and this was on a Big 3 affiliate! As time passed and cable penetrated more homes than Ron Jeremy has college dropouts, habits began to change. Two people worked instead of one (the cable had to get paid for somehow!) and there was increasingly a different demographic at home. That’s when the car insurance companies, personal injury lawyers, for-profit vocational schools and such began advertising to replace the dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. And the soaps, reruns, and especially the cartoons started getting s-canned in favor of judge shows and very. Trashy. Talk shows.

Let’s examine the messages presented here, shall we?
-vocational school:
“Yo’ *ss need to be in SCHOOL, you non-workin’ muhf*cka, so you can go get a job to feed all them bad *ss kids with!”
-car insurance:
“You can’t drive that bucket parked outside to go find a job with (since no one will hire folks who ride the bus) until you insure that b*tch! But it’s a bucket, so you can forget about full coverage.”
-weight loss surgery:
“We’re here to help the nation of fat bastards like you get a job and a date. And since you’re mentally and physically bankrupt enough not to mix in a walk or two and quit eatin’ bullsh*t, we’ll be more than happy to take your money and make you financially bankrupt as well!”
-bail bonds:
“Come to us, we’ll get your baby daddy outta jail so he can help raise them kids and pay them bills for you…or not.”
-tax and credit services:
“Fix your financial issues so you can move out your mom’s rest! So she can invite a man over and do naughty thangs without having to look at yo’ triflin’ *ss on her couch.”
-talk shows and judge shows:
“Do you really wanna look like these pathetic, uneducated, ugly, ghetto/fat/queer (probably all three) pieces of sh*t?”
“See the makeover these ex-nerds and miserable shrews got? They couldn’t buy sex at one point, yet look at them now! This can be you!”
“What kinda superhoe has no idea who fathered her kids? This bet’ not be you!”
“Raise your damn kids right lest you want some random dude in prison shouting at them. While longing to finger them inside their underwear.”
“We need guests dumb enough to air their dirty laundry and show their lack of decorum and intelligence on television. You need money. Give us a call.”
“Then again, don’t. All you’ll do is play yourself and millions will laugh at you just like you laugh at these bozos on the screen now.”
“Your mama didn’t raise you right and your daddy probably doesn’t even exist…let me be the parent you never had as I give you a crash course in the real world with this ruling.”
“Don’t you dare raise your kids on shows like these! We cancelled away the cartoons in order to make you buy cable for them to watch Nick and Disney on so they can talk about it with their little friends on the schoolyard. But what good parent plops them in front of the TV so that they think like these twerps? Send their Flamin’ Hot Cheeto eatin’, red-fingered *sses outside to play so they don’t end up an obese roly-poly like you!”
“If you’re lowbrow enough to watch this, you deserve this bad writing and bad acting we phoned in for you. And you actually tape this sh*t? Well…actually you have to tape it because people like you can’t afford a DVR.”
-all of the above:
“You have too much time on your hands. After a few days of this, if not mere hours, maybe it will sink in. Se habla espanol (even if you don’t, which keeps you from getting hired in CA, FL, and TX)”

The time slot between 10am and 4pm on the Fox, CW, MyNetworkTV, and independent stations (+ Big 3 affiliates in those podunk markets) is now home to television aimed at making you feel like a loser for being at home to watch it (instead of at work like every other red-blooded American is!)…or at least slightly better than the losers cast on it (who are ghetto to deeth for a reason). Social engineering at work free to air.

This has been a public service message from the SGPL Get A Life Association.

#25: Selling you their rap CD

On avenues from Melrose to Myrtle, you’ve likely participated in the following exchange:

“Do you like Hip-Hop?”
“For you? No.”

Sad and mean, but after so much of the the exact same approach from these rappers wanting you to take a flier on them all at random, you develop a heart that pumps used motor oil.

Trust, Stuff Ghetto People Like does not believe in knocking hustles, just pointing out what goes down when it comes to some hustles, and how wild the game really is. Ghetto people try the hard sell on you con frecuencia, taking the darndest folks by surprise. It can sound like they’re practicing on you for the day they’re actually serious about getting a sale or two.

Oftentimes the spiel is fired at probably the most inappropriate moment of all: on company time. Surely you thought it was weird to be hit up about buying a rap album by a security guard, or the guy changing your oil at Jiffy Lube, or a bank teller (e-mail that I’m lyin’!), or dude that is taking your order at McDonalds. Get a $5 drink coaster with your Big Mac Value Pack!

It’s not totally a bad thing. Some of the best acts in the Hip-Hop era got their careers off the ground by flipping their music on the streets (see Too Short, Showbiz & AG, Nas, countless cats down South). The thing is way too many guys do it these days, from the Woods of Ingle to the Woods of Holly, and they’re annoying anymore. Cats don’t even stand out, looking exactly like the dude next to ’em selling incense. (They probably came together! Take blunt breaks with one another and the whole deal.)

It’s as if no one tries to get signed, they’re selling the demo right to the consumer, unmixed, unmastered. And often it isn’t even packaged in an appealing way that would fit in next to the Gang Starr and Lil Wayne on your rack. Quite likely it’s a sweaty envelope with folded corners from sitting in the pocket of homeboy’s North Face for days.

Listen up, MCs, if you got a product you reeeeally believe in, if you’re a real artist, and you aren’t just someone hitting a lick like so many other rap hucksters (many of whom actually get radio spins on Power/Hot/The Beat in your town right now), get your marketing bars up, find better and more respectful ways to demonstrate that the product is dope. Take it to college radio. Book some shows opening for someone established. Do your cuts at open mics with your albums handy. Put some in the hands of a few bar and club DJs. Hell, sell it on Myspace. Failing all that, at least have it bumping out the car trunk or in a boom box. Anything but trying to push it on someone unheard, because you may as well be panhandling. Those who know this author know I’m not a big fan of panhandlers. And don’t you dare pass me those sweaty, lice- and ear wax- ridden headphones, because I’m likely to slap them to the ground.

Yep, even in front of my evening date.

#24: Doing hair

Meet your average ghetto female, and there’s a 70% chance she has one of two occupations.  Doing hair, and singing.  Since these girls never really sing unless their song happens to come on 106 and Park while they’re in the shower, we’ll focus on the doing hair part.

How can a ghetto female from 17-70 not get her thalers up on any given Saturday?  Chicks always want their coiff did up, to get ready for the club, chu’uch, court, that hot date with the next sugar daddy, er, baby daddy, er potential deadbeat dad, whatever.  (Can’t forget the dudes that want the braids, rows, or “dreads” hooked up, but let’s not lose focus here.)  Rent or the car note is due, or the kids gotta eat, or old girl wants to stack to get a new pair of heels?  Do a couple of heads and be good to go.  Hey, why let the semester in cosmetology up under nosy loudmouth chickenheads and gay guys go to waste?

In some cases, all that skilled living room stylist has to do is show up with her hands ready to make magic, as it’s often the client’s responsibility to hit the Koreans up for all the supplies. Otherwise, she might already have that blackened pressing comb that doesn’t even require a dedicated stove, as she only needs to throw it on the range.  And she can take her time, as girls are always prepared to be around all damn day to get it done (and some styles still require that lucky girl to come back the next day).  The stylist can watch her shows, talk about the latest neighborhood highlights, smoke a tree or two, cuss her boyfriend out on the phone, smack the kids up for spilling the quarter waters on the originally white carpet and all that.  Might even dance a little.  The client is fully entertained for the trouble, and the stylist will still get paid, lest the client wants water thrown on her dome (you know the ghetto girls hate to get their hair wet) or the fake hair yanked clean out.

Some of these ladies who do hair for the hustle are able to parlay it into renting a booth at virtually any beauty shop in the hood, secure that the buzzer-activated iron door will keep the clients in and the ex-boyfriends out.  (Some even ban children!  Great quick vacation.)  And there’s plenty of these shops to choose from, as some streets have them lined up two to four in a row on the same block.  Veterans of visiting Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles know what this author speaks.

It’s a seller’s market.

#22: NFL and NBA players

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.

#20: Bootlegs (and other illegitimate goods)

  2823896-fake_handbags_street_sellers-venice You hear it by every liquor store, every check cashing place, every chicken-and-chinese stand.

“Got them CDs, got them DVDs.”

The bootleg man got you when no one else does.  Need that new Makaveli? It’s on deck.  A fresh replacement copy of Soul Plane?  It’s on deck.  If it’s directed by Tyler Perry, starring Cube, or featuring T.I. or Cassie on the soundtrack, it’s on deck with the bootleg man.

Or there’s that other guy with the Econoline doors propped open….

“I got that Ed Hardy, that True Religion, that Prada…”

Don’t forget that crackhead who is a better salesman of furniture than anyone who ever worked for Levitz or Wickes.  He also got those registration tags for your whip.

It’s a bazaar every single day in the hood.  Whatever you want, for a limited time only, it’s yours if you think the price is right.

The guys that have all this fraudulent crap wouldn’t put in the work if it wasn’t so lucrative.  Wouldn’t take the time to get that illicit editor’s copy, or sneak the video camera into the advanced screening, or buy in bulk from that warehouse…or ransack your neighbor’s property!  Because somebody in the hood will take a flier on it.  (And contribute to hood squalor in the process…but we know that don’t matter!)


Suckers and others line up to make sure they got the latest flick they ain’t tryna see in the theatre (more often than not a Black one) supporting piracy, and taking dollars away from the entertainers they obviously love enough to buy something featuring them in it, missing material and crappy sound and/or picture be damned.  And we all know it’s the pits not being dipped, so ghetto corner-cutters would rather cut to the corner to have what they need to floss like a boss at the club on Friday (and drink real drinks, go figure) instead of recycling Black dollars a better way by supporting the store down the block that really needs the customers.  

Keep this in mind when the “For Lease” sign goes up a week after the one that reads “Going Out Of Business.”  Or your favorite entertainer is no longer a bankable star.  Could have gone the extra mile and waited just a little bit longer for that legit product.  But ghetto people don’t often worry about legit.  No. They care about being up on the latest for as low a price as possible.  Remember this when you see a fairly crispy pair of late-model Jordans on someone’s feet in colors you don’t remember Nike making, or the Lex on D’s you know damn well Pooky can’t afford.  When they say they got the hookup, look for the fingers crossed behind their back!  Or look for the smoker they got that deal on the Rolex from (then you’ll know who to blame for the receiving stolen property charges).

Angry Letter from Joshua Borden

From: Joshua Borden <

Date: Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 11:00 AM
subject: Layaway
To whom it may concern,
My name is Josh and I read your article on layaway today.  It sounds like the only people that are “ghetto” are the people involved with your website.  You probably have to be the most uneducated and prejidice [sic] person to ever try and write an article on a subject that can actually help the economy.

I like the part that the only people that use layaway have credit scores so bad that they cannot get credit cards to pay for purchases.  DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMON SENSE?  The average credit card interest rate is 18%, and for about 60% of Americans they only make the minimum payment or just a little over.  An $800 television on a credit card would end up costing $2,000 and would take 6.5 years to pay off.
It sounds like you just want to be “ghetto rich” by charging up credit cards and looking like you have more money than you really do.  By the way, I happen to be an ivy league graduate, have a credit score of 817, and I use layaway.  I just put a $2,400 Samsung television on layaway and kept my money in the bank earning a 5.75 interest on the money.  After paying off my tv in three months I MADE an extra $60 by keeping my money in the bank. Who is ghetto?  Instead of Americans putting themselves in debt and not being able to make purchases, which is why one of the reasons our market is down, layaway is a viable option so Americans can keep the economy moving.
I fought for our country overseas in the army as an airborne ranger.  I truly believe in our right for freedom of speech. I can’t stand people that think they can use that right to degrade their fellow Americans.
You probably don’t even vote, but you think you still have the right to an opinion.
I want you to remember this, before you judge anyone, take a look in the mirror.

(Cry me a river. Blah blah blah)

#8: Shacking up and Getting Knocked up


Ghetto people love shacking up and getting knocked up. Why bother to get married when it’s much easier to hook up with Da’Quaylin or Jamarcus and produce Lil’ Ray-Ray? Marriage is a concept that is not very familiar to younger generations of ghetto people. Older folks respect the value of marriage and recognize that having a solid union contributes to uplifting communities, stabilizing of families, and better economic conditions in most cases.


Younger generations of ghetto folks have chosen to shack up and produce children out of wedlock out of ignorance and immaturity. This is called the baby momma/daddy syndrome.  Unfortunately there are a large percentage of single parent households within the Black community where oftentimes the woman is left to raise the child(ren) while the father is nowhere to be found. If the father is involved, in most cases he is not married to the mother. Sadly, there are cases where there are women with multiple children with different baby daddies. Shacking up is no longer a social taboo because many people are opting out of marriage. Everyday we see couples in the media and individuals of higher socio-economic levels shacking up with their mates. However they do not suffer the same economic consequences as ghetto people do.


Regardless of what the rest of society is doing, ghetto people fail to realize that there are social benefits to being married. Marriage is a union recognized by the law and affords those couples many rights and privileges not available to the rest of the population. In the event that one of the spouses passes away, the other person is entitled to a various benefits such as Social Security, Pension, etc. If there is a death and no will, the property and other assets automatically go to the spouse. In the event that a marriage is dissolved, the law takes several factors into consideration to determine if one of the spouses must continue to support the other, i.e. alimony, child support, medical expenses, and the division of property.


Let’s compare the situation with 50 cent baby momma and Heather Mills , the ex wife of the Beatle Paul McCartney. 50 cent baby momma was getting 25k per month in child support which is more than enough to sustain a luxurious lifestyle for herself and provide for the child. 50 cent was never married to this woman so he has no legal obligation except for the care of his child. When 50 cent received approximately 400 million dollars when Vitamin Water was brought out by Coca Cola, his baby momma showed her ugly gold digger ways and wanted an upwards of 50k per month in child support. 50 cent took his baby momma to court and the child support payments were reduced to 6k per month. Talk about irony. The latest news is that now 50 cent baby momma is being evicted from the home that was purchased by 50 cent. There is more to the dynamics of this story but stay with me.


Now let’s talk about Heather Mills for a moment. She was with the ex-Beatles legend Paul McCartney who has a net worth of approximately 1.2-1.6 billion dollars. Paul McCartney earned all of this wealth prior to marrying Heather Mills which logically means she would not be entitled to any of that money. However Paul was in love and he married the one-legged wonder without a prenuptial agreement. Fast forward three years later and Heather Mills receive a divorce settlement of 50 million dollars, property, and child support.


If Heather Mills was a baby momma would she have received such a large settlement for getting knocked up? Would the courts haven taken into consideration the lifestyle she had grown accustomed to by being married to Paul McCartney? Unfortunately for 50 cent baby momma, once her son turns 18 years old, the child support payments will stop. No court will take into consideration her wants or needs for a particular lifestyle like Heather Mills. Many a ghetto woman like 50 cent baby momma are only seen as breeders, females who got knocked up with no real commitment and procreating without a purpose.


While many Educated Black People legitimize their long term relationships with marriage, ghetto people continue to shack up and get knocked up with little regard to the socio-economic consequences for their decisions. While 50 cent baby momma is trying to figure out her next steps, Heather Mills has the luxury of deciding how she wants to spend her wine budget.