“Cause many people think it/I just had the (‘fortitude’) to say it. And risk losing everything/I stand for the weak/Plus, I live for my freedom of speech.” ~ from Ludacris’ “MVP”
cc: Tyler Perry, Ludacris
I have ridiculous aspirations. But everyone should, right? I want to win an Academy Award for Best Original or Adapted Screenplay.
Big, huh? But it’s not my ultimate goal. That would be making it to your couch … twice. You know what it does for a person when you co-sign, right? Black men win presidencies. Oprah, you know your power. It is limitless.
That said, I hope that you won’t ban me from your couch for what follows, and I hope you can understand my arguments. You need to invite Chris “Ludacris” Bridges back to your show for at least a segment or two — preferably on a live Friday so we know there are no cuts.
I know, he has a few horrible songs like “(Vajayjay) Poppin.” And I understand why you don’t want to promote that image on your show. But who of us hasn’t done ignorant mess during our 20s? No one over 19 can raise his/her hands. Bridges has evolved from that vile 20-something character you and Bill O’Reilly have come to dislike.
You can hear growth in Luda’s sound, it’s present in his character and visible in his other works. He’s been apart of two major award-winning films and has voiced a documentary. It’s clear that he’s using his voice for good and promote change. Ludacris deserves to sit where Tom Cruise jumped up and down like a 5-year-old on his parents’ bed.
Besides, it’s not like you don’t promote entertainment that sends a sometimes negative message to people to hopefully get them to see/hear the underlying positives. Tyler Perry is one of your best friends, and that’s how he’s built his brilliant empire. His plays and movies have some good themes. But they are riddled with violence and turmoil. Madea is the ultimate contradiction — a gun-toting, loony grandma who mixes in good advice with humor and and her Mammy image.
I’m not first to tell you or Tyler that I’m not Madea’s biggest fan. The only movie Madea is in that I’ve seen is “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” — a good film. That was enough Madea to last me a lifetime, though. I’ve seen and supported most of Tyler’s other movies. But Madea perpetuates and regurgitates too many unwelcomed stereotypes of black people to the masses, just like bad rap (not hip hop) music, BET and VH1 do.
Maybe, that’s why Tyler seems as though he’s about to retire his female costume attire — just like Ludacris has moved beyond most of the ignorance he has put on wax. Don’t get me wrong. Ludacris deserved to be denounced for his song in support of President Obama concerning Hillary Clinton, John McCain and W. Again, we all make mistakes. But he’s still brilliant at what he does.
I recently queried my friends to see if they could potentially find a more analogous song than Stevie Wonder’s “As.” You know that one. You love Stevie. I got one response back from my friend Ash: “It might be a stretch, but Ludacris.”
I thought she was joking. Then I listened to his latest album — “Theater of The Mind” — again. It’s full of wit, astounding analogies and messages of hope. It features some of your favorite people: Jamie Foxx, Spike Lee and Chris Rock. They all understand Bridges reach and appeal.
I’ll take it a step further: Ludacris is the hope for what commercial hip hop should be. Not Lil Wayne (although his stupefying wordplay cannot be denied). A person with Chris’ voice and experiences deserves a one-on-one with you. Not a ban.
If you gave audience members a copy of his latest album, it would help disprove the myth that all hip hop music is bad. Seriously, the United States has a black president because of your co-sign. And you could ask Ludacris on national television what he wasn’t thinking when he made “(Vajayjay) Poppin,” and other foolishness he has put on wax. I know you’re wondering. I am, too.