The new positivity plan

02 Mar

The new positivity plan

Lightweight articles on pop culture trends are annoying in general. But nothing is more annoying or consistently as ill-informed as the stupid article on trends in hip-hop “positivity” that’s been written and re-written every six months since Arrested Development appeared on the scene in the early 90s.

But in a long line of such bad articles touting what America wants so badly to hear – that thug rap is dead, that anti-bling is the new thing – this one is about the worst I’ve seen.

I mean, can we really call Kanye West a beacon of relentless positivity in a hip-hop waste land?

This ain’t to hate on Kanye. Because I know that “Jesus Walks” earned him a Grammy. But was it songs like “The New Workout Plan” that actually got him signed?

Like the above article, this one seems to think “Workout” is about “the challenges of being health-conscious in a bling-bling-driven society.” But it’s the exact opposite. Witness:

“I just want to say thanks to Kanye’s workout plan, I was able to pull a NBA player
and like now I shop every day on Rodeo drive.”

The. Exact. Opposite.

And what part of the workout instruction “give head” is unclear? Has this guy only heard the clean version? Is it so hard to Google a lyric before writing an article for a major publication?

And by the way: it ain’t just a black thing, or a hip-hop thing. I resent the underlying implication in these kinds of articles that once we get hip-hop artists to stop acting like so-called niggers, America can be America again. Dress the niggers in Ralph Lauren and all will be right in the land.

Please.

Crap culture is everywhere.

For every conservative Fox News pundit decrying Pepsi for using Ludacris as a spokesperson, there’s a hypocritical Fox TV network that’s getting fined by the FCC for airing soft-porn in the family hour. All under the auspices of hypocrite-in-chief Rupert Murdoch and his so-called conservative values pimpin’ News Corp.

(Which is not to mention the not-so-soft-porn phone calls that holier-than-thou married pundit is making to an unwilling assistant young enough to be his daughter. And Ludacris has the last laugh.)

So yes, the same Fox clowns wincing at the sight of materialistic new-money Negroes on “Cribs” are bringing us “The Swan” every week. The same pro-marriage (read: anti-gay) network that is making money off of “The Swan” is destroying marriages in the process.

Crap culture is everywhere.

I guess I’m sensitive about this cuz I come from the Richard Pryor School of Raw and Real. Whatever the medium for your art, if you’re going to be raw and real, do it for a reason. Have something to say. Self-examination above all: yourself, your society. Have something to say.

I’m reminded of Pryor’s short-lived TV series. Every fight he and co-genius Paul Mooney had with NBC over content was for a sketch that had something to actually say. Not just booby talk, like Howard Stern, whose only socially redeeming value seems to be his fight for the right to talk about boobies. Not just the mean shock humor of making fun of people more famous than us, which is all that Saturday Night Live seems to offer these days. Even South Park, which is much smarter than its critics will admit, seems to be more about counting the number of times they can get away with saying “shit” on-air in a 30-minute episode. Complete with counter.

Again, this ain’t to hate on Kanye. It’s just an observation that people are either overlooking the X-rated tracks on his record, or X-rated just ain’t considered X-rated anymore.

Either way, America eats it up. Like salad.

Have something to say.