Oct 26, 2009

Tyler Perry, Drug Dealer

Tyler Perry is a drug dealer. That's right, I said it! Dude's been slangin' dope every since he got started. How you think he built that studio? Drug profits, plain and simple. Meet me in the trap, it's goin' down!

Now, let me be clear, before TP and his unruly fans get their hackles up. I'm not saying Tyler is selling narcotics, at least not those of the chemical variety. What I am saying is that the movies he makes are the cultural equivalent of dope, and I don't mean 'dope' in the hip hop sense either. I mean mind numbing, mood altering, life destroying, dope. Bad dope, at that. Shake, swag, stress. Dude's pushin' some straight bullshit. Ain't no blue magic where Tyler is concerned. TP's dope has been cut so many times, that it might not even be fair to call it dope anymore. Maybe we should just call it cut?

There are chemical drugs that alter the mind and and then there are drugs like those ignorant-ass, handkerchief head movies and television programs that TP releases under his banner. Movies and television shows that paint black people as a bunch of overly religious, jive-talkin' clowns, in bad clothes.

Yet, in spite of the demeaning stereotypes and utter disregard for black humanity, TP's dope has some people reluctant to criticize him. Many point to TP's money and success and in turn use this to justify their support of his nefarious enterprise. No one is crazy enough to actually try and defend the garbage that he puts out, so praising his business success allows them to shift the focus away from the amateurish flicks that he makes.

Yes, TP has made a lot of money, and so have a lot of real dope dealers too. Yet when these real dope dealers started making money and rapping about their lives, attempts to silence their voices were non-stop. Cries about gangsta rappers and their lyrics destroying the community have been going on for 20 years now. TP makes an empire by reviving some of the same stereotypes that were once used to justify the subjugation of black people and his fans act like he invented the wheel.

The bottom line is, some people like seeing themselves represented as a bunch of buffoons. They like seeing black men wear dresses and be emasculated before the whole world. They like seeing black women portrayed as sassy, cantankerous Sapphires, who sleep with their fists balled up and who can't wait to 'cuss' somebody out.

Oh that's right, Precious, the film Perry and Oprah have now latched themselves onto, was written by someone named Sapphire. Well, the Sapphire I'm talking about is the one from Amos and Andy; though anything written by someone named Sapphire is something I KNOW I don't need to see. Not to go off on a tangent here, but Lee Daniels, the director of Precious, was the producer of that Klansman's wet dream disguised as a movie called Monster's Ball. TP and Daniels are a match made in pork chop heaven.

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand. TP embraces the fact that he has worked the chitlin' circuit for his riches, like many of the legendary black performers of the past. The difference is that those old school black performers had no choice. It's not like Broadway was beating down their door. The old school performers were forced to exist in segregated conditions. TP chooses to create culture in a fashion reminiscent of the chitlin' circuit. He purposely foregrounds images of black people from times gone by, not to critique these images, but to embrace their lack of dignity.

Tyler Perry is a drug dealer. His work alters people's sense of reality, it distorts their perception, it eats away at their mind. This is your brain on Tyler Perry, or should I say, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

I don't care how much money he makes. Dude is exploiting his own people. Not only is he subjecting his workers to exploitative conditions, but he is also exploiting his church-lovin' audience, and in turn he is exploiting black culture. I thought there was supposed to be a war on drugs? Well, you missed one!

TP, let me pull your coat. Wipe the grease paint off your face, stop buggin' your eyes, take off the dress, stop scratching when you don't itch, put away the jazz hands, and get your mind right. Oh yeah, save your money too, Dog. That gravy train of yours is running out of gas. I know some of you are saying that he's made too much money to ever be broke again, that he's too big to fail. That's what Antonie Walker thought too. Look at him now.

One day soon people will rise up and say no more, TP. No more jeffin', no more coonin', no more bojanglin'. No mas, baby!

Where is the Drop Squad when you need 'em?

Oct 12, 2009


Like everyone else, when I first heard the announcement that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize I too was surprised. I immediately began to wonder what thinking went into awarding such a distinction so early in his presidency? But as I began hearing and reading more and more about the history of the panel's various selections for the award over time, Barack Obama's name started to make more sense. If nothing else, and this is no small thing, he is perceived on the world stage as the anti-Bush. Considering all the dirt that Four-Trey and his boy Dark Side did while in office, awarding the person who signaled regime change, that being Obama, was both symbolic and substantive.

Those who award the Nobel Prize use the prize as a way of making a political statement; their own political statement. The award reflects the views of those on the selection committee and the historical time period during which they make their selection. The prize is awarded based on their own subjective criteria. There are no hard and fast rules really; no objective set of clearly defined standards. The selections are at the whim of those sitting on the committee at the time and their choices reflect their thoughts. Thus, if the Nobel committee decides to give out their award to the person they select then all else is really just conjecture. In other words, this is not Olympic figure skating.

If the Nobel committee feels as though Barack Obama is reflective of their value system, in spite of his relatively short tenure as President at this time, then so be it. It's their award and they can do what they want to. Once again, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but his vast legion of haters are acting like he blocked the phone lines, cut off the internet, rigged the votes, and stole the top spot on American Idol.

My point in all of this is ultimately that it's not about "earning" anything. But this is where everything gets twisted. Obama's critics have always felt that he has been given everything and earned nothing. The current criticism of the Nobel award is but an extension of an argument that goes back to the days of the 2008 campaign as far as Obama is concerned, and further back than that when you get down to what is really going on here.

It was the Hilary Clinton campaign where these charges originated. Clinton ran on a platform of experience and inevitability. She campaigned as though the Democratic Presidential nomination process was her coronation, but when it turned out that more voters favored Obama, Clinton and her camp began suggesting that Obama was somehow receiving votes that he didn't really deserve. In Clinton's mind it was clear, she was the one with all the experience and political gravitas, so why was Obama getting what were supposed to be her votes? Therein lies the rub.

By the time Obama had dominated the much more experienced and entitled Clinton, he found himself facing John McCain. McCain's campaign team had watched Obama defeat the heavily favored Clinton and they were well aware of his popular appeal by this point, so they attempted to turn Obama's positive popularity into a negative. Yes, of course, Obama is popular, but so is Paris Hilton. Let us not confuse popularity with ability here, so the line of argumentation went. Obama is famous for being famous, while McCain was a POW who befriended Joe the Plumber. Case closed, suitcase filled with clothes!

Why even have an election, let's just give the presidency to McCain and be done with it. Yeah, the majority of the voters want Obama, but they don't know what's good for them. They're just caught up in his celebrity. He doesn't deserve all this love. What has he done to earn it? And then the next thing you know, Obama's rockin' Grant Park with his victory speech, while McCain is left hoping that Sarah Palin doesn't pull a Kanye and grab the mic during his own concession speech.

In the minds of his critics Obama has never earned a damn thing, other than their derision and disdain. This is the affirmative action argument at work once again. For years the haters have argued that affirmative action rewarded undeserving minorities at the expense of more deserving white men. We heard this again as recently as this summer during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings. But Alan Bakke put the phrase "reverse discrimination" on the map all the way back in 1977. Over time, this perverted way of thinking came to equate any potential minority gain with a subsequent white loss. As Mos Def once said, "if you start doin' it well it's success/if I start doin' it well it's suspect." With this racist logic having now become unquestioned gospel, it would be impossible for any minority to achieve anything going forward without the taint of preferential treatment clouding their success.

The criticism of Obama's Nobel Prize comes straight out of this same play book. If Obama doesn't realize it by now, he should. He is continually subjected to a different set of rules, which can be changed at any given time, on a whim. The goalposts will be moved at the referee's discretion. The patriotic triumph that should have accompanied the Nobel announcement is for Barack Obama an albatross around his neck.

In other words, a black man will never be said to truly "earn" anything. All one need do is consider that in spite of the fact that the slaves did all the work, their white masters, who were ones sitting on their asses, still managed to stereotype black people as lazy and shiftless.

Some say that Obama is in a no-win situation. His critics would rather run through hell in gasoline draws than give him his due. They're still pissed that he won the election. But the other thing is this, no matter how much the haters try to shit on Obama's Nobel Prize, not one of them had a vote. It's not their committee and it's not their award to give out or take away.

They can hate all they want to, but no amount of hatin' can change the fact that Barack Obama is not only the President of the Unites States, but now he's a Nobel Prize recipient as well. Obama's reach is global, while his critics remain small town local.

Get over it already, haters. In a few weeks it will have been a year since you've lost. Tuck your tail, drop your head, bite your tongue, now go sit down somewhere. Jeezy told you a year ago that the president was black, so this simple truth deserves repeating, Obama's the man and you ain't! Deal with it, while he prepares his Nobel acceptance speech.