XIV. Sellouts

“You. say. I. think. I’m. Never. Wrong. … You. know. what? Maybe. you’re. right. Aight?” But not today. ~ Kanye West’s “I Wonder”

Dear Sellouts,

You can take what follows at face value, to heart or deflect it like you do other sleights.

To be frank, I don’t care. You are ignorant as hell grown, and you will do what you want to do. You’ve proven the previous sentence’s final eight words to be accurate during your feeble existence.

But I’m going to attempt to get through to you while supporting what Monica wrote yesterday. So here goes: The love of money is the root of all evil.

shirley-bojangles400

Bojangles & Shirley: a perfect microcosm of what's happening in our society today.

Those aren’t my words. Google that phrase if you don’t know where it derived. It’s the truth. It’s not opinion. It’s not fact. It’s not slanted. It’s my the truth. I’m going to expound upon it in a brief manner that you should understand.

If your primary goal in life is to “get money” or you believe “cash rules everything around” you, you’re on the far wrong left track. Money is a major source of unhappiness. You won’t find it anywhere near my the definition of happiness.

Pay attention to wealthy and famous people. You’ll find that the more money they get, the more problems — not peace — they find. If you need a reference point to better understand this, Google “The Notorious B.I.G’s Mo Money, Mo Problems.” Remember how his story ended? Not well.

Better yet, Google “lottery winners and unhappiness.” It’s not a joke.

This is why I have a sincere problem when someone says, “You can’t hate him. He’s gettin money.” (Forget) him, his couch and anything else he sits on. I refuse to debate that ridiculous excuse because “people from a distance can’t tell who’s who.”

“He’s gettin money” isn’t a sound defense for the foolishness peddled today as entertainment. Here are a few people who fit this profile: 50 Cent, Mark Cronin’s reality stars, Soulja Boy Tell’em and Maury Povich. They are a few of a burgeoning plethora willing to coon for cash.

Let me guess? You get money and hate. But do you get humility, happiness, life and most importantly God? Oh, you're still patiently waiting on those things, huh?

Let me guess? You get money and hate. But do you get humility, happiness, life and most importantly God? Oh, you're still patiently waiting on those things, huh?

But when you choose to make a living bojangling for bucks, you are selling out in the second worst way. The first? Leading the life of a whore. But bojangling, cooning and shucking & jiving isn’t far behind. Actually, they’re quite similar to whoring.

Now, these things might not be a problem if they weren’t a detriment to our society or people’s personal lives. But they are. Whoring doesn’t need to be explained, right?

Now, swaggerfic coontastic bojangling? You can call it “mindless entertainment.” Cronin does. But when more teens Americans and their children choose to spend more of their free time watching the coonery of VH1 than reading books and the news of the day, there’s something wrong. In case this needs to be said: Knowing what Paris Hilton threw up for lunch doesn’t qualify as news.

The bigger picture: We’re devolving as a society. Not evolving. Not revolving. But devolving.

I began “This May Concern You” as a whimsical joke. But my moral code forced me to do something more than just write some self-deprecating stuff to make people laugh at or with me. I soon realized that I could write some funny but real open letters that might impact people, their moral codes and their thought processes. That’s why I wrote letters to Pedestal Patty, The People Who Think I’m Gay, The Iraqi Who Threw His Shoes at W., Michael Jackson, DJ Jazzy Jeff and about Michael Vick.

That’s why Monica called out Freddie Facebooker and Soulja Boy Tell’em Why You’re A Coon.

Sure, there’s some humor laced through the words on this blog, but there is a sincere purpose. I’ll tell you this much: That purpose ain’t bojangling for Benjamins in front of America.

I’m sorry, Puffy had it wrong. That’s not what this life is about. Again, my soul’s not for sale. And yours shouldn’t be, either. So find a sincere purpose for what you choose to do. It will bring you joy. Trust me. I know.

If you disagree, Moni would tell you to kick rocks and I won’t discourage you from jumping in front of a double-decker bus that’s cool, too.

Peace & Love,

Dame

P.S. My swag (God) turns me on every morning. I don’t turn it on.
P.P.S. A quick quiz: What does your money tell you to do? (There’s a hint in the P.S.)

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95 responses to “XIV. Sellouts

  1. Quiz Answer: Trust in God.

    On point as usual…. I agree that (American) society is devolving. We are getting fatter, lazier, and more dependent on hand-outs. While our technological capabilities are increasing at an astounding rate our moral compasses are getting completely out of wack. Visit any school and have a discussion with a group of kids and you will have a better idea of how we are going downhill.

    If the children are our future (c. Whitney Houston), then I shudder to think what type of future that will be if we don’t do something to divert them from the path they are currently on.

    • “moral compasses are getting completely out of wack…”

      This is what this blog/project is about. Showcasing the lack of morals we have collectively as a people and exposing some of the silly things we do.

      Sellouts are incapable of having morals. And famous sellouts are the worst possible kind. The perpetuate and peddle the ignorance we seek to dissolve. But it’s multiplying much too fast.

  2. i could not have put these words down any better (well maybe lol).. it breaks my heart to see people sell their values out.. it really hurts to see people defend this kind of foolishness.. we cannot allow this to destroy our culture.. or give excuses when people are chasing money at the expense of our culture and sure one person isn’t to blame but we need to start somewhere or it will continue to get worse and by that time it will be to late to turn around and yank ourselves by our own figurative collars.. if you really want a scare hang around “our” future and see what they like and their dreams.. our kids won’t have to sellout cause they won’t have dreams or a culture to sell.. and that’s damn frightening

  3. D,
    The Love of Money is not always the root of all evil. I wouldn’t say that entertainers like 50 Cent & Soulja boy are totally selling out. Has I would put it, “They are not Selling Out, they are Selling Out the Product. Money doesn’t lead to happiness but it sure does lead to security which will make part of your life content in the future. If someone approached you with money to sponsor your talented blog, you would take it and keep pumping out the product. In saying that 50 Cent, Soulja Boy Tell Em’, Maury, and others started out hungry and wanted to find a niche to expose there talent to the word to affect people in whatever way they take it in. My niche was to go college, play sports, get a meaningful, degree, and get out of school and land a successful job….look how that turned out, I’m layed off. My life is happy and the Lord will take care of me, but before the lay-off if I knew exactly what that employer wanted from me…I would still be there Selling Out the Product and doing whatever I had to, to keep my position. That is the same for a Record Label exec:Artist, TV Network: Producer, etc. Our goal in life is not to point the figure at how someone else is getting money if it doesn’t affect our lives like we want; get your money and see if you can affect someone’s life by helping that person who called the Help Desk at your job, Spit some meaningful lyrics @ a local show, or giving a homeless person a dollar to get a beer for the night..

    • @LG: I could only read the first sentence of your comment before I had to go find this:

      http://bible.cc/1_timothy/6-10.htm

      IDK, I tend to follow that Book as a guide for my life. And it spells it out fairly clearly. I’m gonna read the rest of the comment now, bro.

      • For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.

        I love and believe the reference to the good book. Do you know what the biggest problem that has plagued are community in regards to money? That is hate, envy, and jealous. We tend to always want to past judgement on our peers when they get successful. Yeah, the greatest rapper alive did say it right, Mo’ Money, Mo Problems…..he saw death around the corner because of the all snakes and haters that wanted his position and threatened his life. Did he sell out because he had a Big Ass Chain around his neck, he wrote Me & My Bitch, he wrote F$cking You tonight…don’t think so. He got money using his niche and we don’t hate Biggie for that.

        • @LG:

          The Good Book gives it to you straight there.

          It tells you that the love of money is the root of the things you listed — hate, envy and jealousy. Cain & Abel, right? The parables are there.

          It’s what you’re explaining.

          To your point about Biggie: Yeah, he had his moments … like Jay has had, Ye, Nas, Pac … they all had them … go right down the line.

          The difference is this: The MCs listed and BIG brought something to the table that showed your through their ART that they got what was really going on …

          They were/are about so much more than money. Hell, listen to 50 Cent’s “Patiently Waiting.” Even he got it at some point.

          Art imitates life. And if your craft produces manure, that’s most likely what your life is full of as well.

    • “If someone approached you with money to sponsor your talented blog, you would take it and keep pumping out the product.”

      There’s a major difference in the products we’re talking about. This blog is like Neosporin. Soulja Boy music and 50 more recent tunes are more akin to crack cocaine.

      The rest of the comment is interesting, too. But I’ll say this, and I’ve said it before, if you don’t love what you do and do what you love you need to get out.

      Everyone is so wrapped around this idea of making money that most people are miserable with they’re lives because they’re chained to a job they don’t enjoy.

      I understand that that’s part of The Circle of Human Life. And that is the way America is set up, unfortunately.

      You do need the things money buys — food, water, lights, toilet paper, bedding, a roof and clothes — to sustain life.

      But doing what you’re passionate about will make you happy. NOT MONEY. Trust me. I know people who make damn $200,000-plus a year, but are miserable because they aren’t doing what they want to do with their lives.

      • Also, this explains why I couldn’t bring myself to comment on Monica’s letter (brilliant as it is): the more “he’s just getting his money” co-signs of sorts I read, the more my eyes glazed over…I just finished getting through the rest of said comments, including your announcement for this letter.

        Now if you all will excuse me, I have to pick my brain up off the floor…I’m a woman of few words who is STILL trying to figure out what she’s passionate about (it ain’t money, that’s for sure…)

        • @rainebeaux:

          You’re better than me for reading all of those comments. I’m too old at this point to play the back-and-forth game for too long. I woulda kept arguing if I kept reading them.

          Which could have led to a massive headache instead of my just getting pissed for an hour or so. Either way … #massivefail.

      • “Everyone is so wrapped around this idea of making money that most people are miserable with they’re lives because they’re chained to a job they don’t enjoy. ”

        Slow clap.

        I can’t stand this — it makes me crazy. People are so unhappy, so miserable, so BLAH with their lives just because they want to make money. Who gives a shit (<<<— emphasis) if you're making money if you're not happy, and not doing something that you believe in? Man I can't stand that…

  4. This letter just made me think of a line by Dilated Peoples: we don’t love money but we don’t hate money.

    Yeah…that “get/make/chop that paper” malarkey doesn’t wash. When youngsters look toward becoming reality tv stars, big rappers and/or video vixens — there’s no mere glitch in the matrix, but a VIRUS.

    I’ve considered mentoring a child (even while raising a preschooler) for a while now. Don’t see why not…

  5. This was succinct and to the point of what selling out entails. I do believe that sometimes you have to look at the circumstances around the situation to fully grasp the culprit of it all. Many people claim that Bojangles and Sammy Davis Junior were sell outs but they lived in a time when blacks did not have the chances and opportunities that we have now. They kind of ‘laid the pathway’ for future blacks to NOT have to behave that way. But, unfortunately the almighty dollar is the driving force nowadays and that will make ANYONE sell out at some point in their lives. It’s easy to become a victim of it but for the day to day people on the grind ask yourselves this: ‘Is what I’m doing each day adding or subtracting from my society and is it blatantly decaying the future of our youth?’

    Yeah, we all work for companies that all are a part of a bigger puzzle and we get a paycheck for doing so every two weeks but most of us are also not in the public eye and thus no one really cares what we do. I think the bottom line that Damon is trying to enforce is that public figures will always affect society, he’s merely pointing out the ones that are doing so in a negative manner, whether or not it be a slow burn.

  6. via a lurking friend who wants you to see what it’s like to get money. I give you a perspective of what it looks like to GET MONEY WITHOUT A PURPOSE:

    • Sha-Pow. Dude, this has to be the most ignorant video ever. Why is he cursing so much? Why is he bustin’ off of his money?

      He must have a lil penti.

    • I want to throw up. The hell is this shit?

      What’s a “scrip”?

      Say Sha-Pow one more time, sir… SAY IT ONE MORE TIME…

      There you go, ok now you need to die. YOU NEED TO DIE.

      All because someone suggested he didn’t have hundreds?

      Aight dude, AIGHT… you got THOUSANDS my dude? You ain’t got thousands, I can’t listen to you. You ain’t got thousands you ain’t on shit, ain’t bout shit.(<<<— just tryna make it so he can understand)

  7. Loved the post Dame, very well written and I’m glad you stayed calm for the time being. Lol.

    Anyway, I definitely agree with your points and have something to add. The truth is that the issue goes deeper than money. Money is a very larger issue, but it definitely isn’t THE issue. Too many people who are sellouts, in the entertainment world, or otherwise, what money falsely gives them is something they longed for–an IDENTITY. People forget that having a true identity enables you to be successful, not the other way around.

    Nowadays, money is the easiest/trendiest way to (falsely) define yourself via accomplishment, success, hearsay, controversy… whatever. The truth is, no one REALLY wants money….they (we) want to feel loved, needed and accepted.

    People are selling out to fill voids in their lives–whether they came from a poor family, missed the love of a father, or had a rough set of teenage years, etc. Everyone has issues. And as you stated, money isn’t the answer (in my opinion, God is…). I feel more sorry for sellouts than any other emotion….

    • @tameka:

      Money — what one has — is at the root of the problem, though.

      Think about Cain & Abel. One had, the other had not. Thus, he hated and took from. … It’s the same premise in American culture today, not the just stereotypical black culture.

      Non-blacks just aspire to other things aside from stuff that depreciates. But they’re trying to reach a status that shows people, “look at me, I’m doing better than or as well you.”

      That’s why there are plenty of people making $200K a year still living paycheck to paycheck … because they still spend what they don’t have. smh.

    • Ooohhh…

      @tameka: You are ON it. We want money because we like what we think it brings us. Security, love, respect, power… and it does but it’s all fleeting.

      I don’t want any of those things to be based on something as fleeting and “here today, gone tomorrow” as money. I want to be secure, be loved, have respect and power because I earned it, it’s given to me from a genuine place or because I deserve it; not because I have money.

      A paradigm shift is needed here.

  8. Omitted from the sellouts, the voice actors for the two ‘nigra-bots’ in Transformers 2. C’mon, do robots really have ethnic flava? They’re ROBOTS!

  9. Great follow-up, Damon. There’s another relevant quote that says “To whom much is given, much is required”.

    This is why Soulja Boy Tell Em Why You’re a Coon is getting flambayed and fricaseed on this site: because he sold his integrity for a two piece and a biscuit. The millions of dollars these buffoons earn is not worth the damage they are causing the next generation of black youth (low standards, increasing materialism, a willingness to “get Arab money” by any means necessary, etc.). And they are given a GLOBAL PLATFORM to do it!

    The world would be better off if Soulja Boy and others like him had never opened their coontastic, buffoonish mouths.

  10. Here is my (probably very unpopular) opinion… Sellouts., coons,… are all offensive terms and dont necessarily mean anything.. It’s like saying “yo momma”. Good for a few laughs, hi fives and co signs but how is that any better than what the person you are insulting is doing? I totally agree that the pursuit of money ABOVE ALL ELSE, is the root of all evil, not so sure that the pursuit of money itself is evil.
    I also agree that “getting money” is not a defense of immoral or reprehensible behavior however; your letter has given me no sound reasons why I should consider these “sellouts” as immoral or reprehensive. I am not even really sure why they are considered sell outs. Offensive? Yeah, I can see that but immoral, the cause of the devolvement of society? Uhmmmm, I need to see that fleshed out a lil more. Correlation doesn’t equal causation……
    So if we find out that 50 and soulja are doing it for the love and they are genuinely proud of their product (which for all intents and purposes they seem to be) are they no longer coons and sellouts? Is this only because you perceive that they are prostituting a cartoon image of themselves for money? What if that’s genuinely their personality? I genuinely think 50 is a pseudo thug, and soulja a silly ass kid who may or may not have had questionable adult and parental guidance. You say Puffy got it wrong but I cant really see why in your letter. Getting money is not a defense of immoral behavior but getting money is also not a plausible argument for labeling immoral behavior either. This brings me to my last issue. I am a little worried about the whole “holier than thou” and the moral and religious judgments most often at the root of this type of name calling… I don’t know ….being a heathen and all, I m not sure but I think there are some words in the bible about that as well…
    Please don’t get me wrong I am not saying that any criticism or critique of these artist and their product is name calling or that they don’t deserve criticism but I am saying if your criticism IS the name calling its no better…

    • I really did have some paragraph seperation in that joint …. but ah well….its late

    • @shay_d_lady: I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I can only speak on my opinion of the topic. For me a coon is someone that exploits the negative stereotypes of their ethnic group for their own personal gain and at the possible detriment to said group. A sell-out is someone that starts out with one belief system or on a certain path and then switches up with the only reason being to make money.

      I don’t think that Soulja Boy or 50 Cent are sellouts but I do think under my personal definition they could be considered coons. LOL. When it comes to sellouts I’m more concerned with the corporate sellouts that run companies into the ground walking away with millions but leaving their workers jobless and with no pensions. Or the black people that make it to middle/upper class but have no time to give back to the communities they came from. Those are the true sellouts.

      We have become a “do you” society. I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child and by instilling in ourselves and our kids that you should only be concerned about yourself and getting money for you is what has led to all of the greed and corruption we see everyday.

      • “We have become a “do you” society. I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child and by instilling in ourselves and our kids that you should only be concerned about yourself and getting money for you is what has led to all of the greed and corruption we see everyday”

        Very true!

      • We have become a “do you” society. I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child and by instilling in ourselves and our kids that you should only be concerned about yourself and getting money for you is what has led to all of the greed and corruption we see everyday

        So true! I totally agree that we seem to have forgotten that its all apart of the big picture and what you do does affect me and mine. I Understand that you feel soulja boy and 50 use the stereotypes for their material gain and if thats said, I agree I just dont agree wih the name calling. Its like the difference between telling someone I dont like you for because you are to opinionated and because you dont value the opinions of others or I can say your a bitch…..I would prefer to say and teach my child to do the former……

    • @shay:

      Because we had this convo last night on Twitter, I’ll just say this: I disagree.

  11. I also want to say that my denouncement of “judgment” is not in the sense of having an opinion. I am human and I am judged by my actions and I am all about others being judged for theirs. I am referring more to the use of judgement to condemn so I probably should have used condemnation instead….

  12. ““He’s gettin money” ” has to be the biggest excuse that people use for ignorance. But this society is all about the money. You see everywhere, get it- no matter what the cost, just keep it legal (or don’t get caught). It’s all about stuntin’ like your daddy, or Lil’ Wayne, or whoever the hottest artist is out now.

    I think another excuse people use for coontasticness or selling out is, “he’s doing him.” Thing is, people don’t realize, as a community we have an allegiance to eachother. When Pookie robs a bank or has 27 kids by 21 women, I am effected. I think, in fact, you are your brothers keeper.

  13. Humble Fonzarelli

    Good topic Damon,

    I don’t really know where to start with this. I think the dudes that are cooning in music are doing them. I don’t condone it. But we have created a culture where hip-hop is seemed by some as a check and not an art-form. Cats in the hood look at entertainment like music, sports, or acting the same way I look at being a doctor or engineer. Being that they don’t respect the art you get this bastardization of the music. I saw this start back in 1997. Right now I think we are seeing the culmination of 3 groups that failed. The baby boomers, their kids born in the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s, and the grandchildren of those baby boomers. This happens when education is looked at as something of last resort or a back-up plan. e.g. If I can’t amuse and entertain people then I will use my brain.

  14. I want y’all to see this snippet from an interview between Michael Tillery, a well-respect sports journalist and basketball aficionado who reads TMCY and Dr. Todd Boyd. It goes hand-in-hand with the discussion over the last two days:

    Tillery: On the other hand, do you think we see White America as the monolith?

    Todd Boyd: I think some Black people do. Again, if you don’t interact with people, then how are you gonna know about them? I’m someone that’s quick to say there are broad degrees of differences in White culture. You see that representative in the media. I always say if the only representation of White people we have is the Three Stooges, then we would think of White people very differently. Come up with a more contemporary example…say a Jack Black, Will Ferrell or Chris Farley. If they were the only images we had of White people, coonin’ and tommin’ and jeffin’ then we would have a different view. That’s not the case. We have a broad view at any given time so you don’t take one image for more than it’s worth. You see it in a context. I think that’s the problem you don’t have a myriad of Black images contradict the few images that seem to define us.

    • Humble Fonzarelli

      I agree. People laugh at me when I say that all White people are not white. To me Angelina Jolie, Michael Moore, and Dennis Kucinich are not white. Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, and Pat Buchanan would be considered white.

      • @humble:

        I see what you’re saying. But they’re white, just not the same type of people as Limbaugh, Nugent and Buchanan …

        Just like we’re black … but there are so many different versions of us. But the only ones people see and the stereotype that is constantly perpetuated are the Bojanglers for Benjamins.

    • Damon

      This is precisely what I was speaking on yesterday. We honestly don’t have the same luxuries that yt america has when it comes to how we are perceived. Like you said, if all we saw was Tom Green and Rush Limbaugh all the time we would think they were all clownish and angry people. But we don’t just see that with them, we see a wide range of people. But, with our culture it’s just not the same. WE AS A PEOPLE know that we are all different and all come from different walks of life with different goals and aspirations but we are not represented fairly in the media or in mainstream music. Honestly, that’s why we get frustrated and call people like Soulja Boy a coon because he is one of the most accessible images to other groups of people. In no way am I saying that other groups of people don’t have the intelligence to know that there is more to our race but if the mainstream media, tv, and music constantly shove these images down people’s throats then it becomes natural to stereotype and generalize and that’s where the negative and offensive attitudes come in towards us. It’s one of those things that is really hard to overcome, especially if we are still a minority.

      • natural nubian

        these repetitive images of what “black” is is exactly where i see the conspiracy. it’s to the point where some have argued defending this behavior, easing the burden of personal responsibility on SB’s part because “he’s a kid.” i’m sorry, but i’m pretty sure SB and the like are exactly aware of the lyrics they sing/rap. and the crazy part is the majority of the large CEO visual media companies are controlled by white men!
        i don’t think i’m far-reaching when i conclude that the fact that the only negative, disrespectul, offensive and devolving images we consistently see is the new way of keeping black people one-track minded. and on the other side of that coin is society actually rationalizing how it’s not up to the artists, but a village……this same village who has no problem buying their music! i mean choose which master you’ll serve. stop half-steppin’ folks.

    • “I think that’s the problem you don’t have a myriad of Black images contradict the few images that seem to define us.”

      This is a good point… I can think of some good images- Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Beyonce, but they aren’t in a great number.

      • @sunny: The best image they’re getting now is Barack & Michelle … still, some non-blacks wish to see them through the lenses of negative stereotypes.

        *shrugs*

    • You see it in a context. I think that’s the problem you don’t have a myriad of Black images contradict the few images that seem to define us.

      I totally agree, If we had more mainstream positive influence then I think there wouldnt be so much of a problem with these entertainers.
      well except PLies… he bothers me deep down in my spirit……

      • I even more strongly feel that these rappers would have way less of an impact if we had more positive role models in the home and everyday life.
        Soulja, 50 etc are by products, outputs, symptoms of societal ills not the cause. So instead of spending our time being mad at them for valuing the things we as society have made important and singing about it. Think about how many mofo’s out here with 40,000 jobs and 60,000 luxury cars? how many folks buying name brand shyt not takin care of home with bad credit, living above their means getting repo’ed and foreclosed on etc
        living check to check does more to crave material stability at any cost than a million soulja boy, 50 cent, plies videos….
        we love to say it takes a village, but if the village is in trouble then what? we move the hell out look back and point fingers……

        • I made a comment similar to this yesterday. Soulja Boy wouldn’t have seen the light of day if people weren’t buying his infantile music, so society at large is culpable. It’s simple supply and demand. The fact that a large number of people support it means we’ll have more Soulja Boys down the line.

        • @shay:

          I’m sorry, but trying to defend Plies is like telling him it’s OK to yell fire in a crowded theater …

          Free speech is not priceless. It came with a high, high cost paid by many of your predecessors and ancestors.

          • I’m sorry, but trying to defend Plies is like telling him it’s OK to yell fire in a crowded theater …

            we are in agreement.. I am in no way defending plies…like I say above….he rubs my spirit the wrong way…..smh……..

            • But you’re saying it’s OK for them to do what they’re doing, right? And not to point fingers and call people what they are? …

              We wouldn’t be where we are if our ancestors didn’t continually call out their oppressors for years upon years upon years.

              Again, “free speech is not priceless. It came with a high, high cost paid by many of your predecessors and ancestors.”

              • But you’re saying it’s OK for them to do what they’re doing, right? And not to point fingers and call people what they are? …

                NO I am not saying its okay to do what they are doing.. i am saying that since when does 2 wrongs make a right? situational ethics is a major part of whats wrong with society.
                So because they are offenseive and degrading its okay to be just as offensive and degrading to them?
                Since when has the golden rule be do unto others as you think they deserve?
                because you disagree with them its okay to use what has been acknowledged on this site as one of the worst insults given? and then in the same breath we wanna use the “God” excuse?
                hmmmm….

        • Well said Shady_D_Lady!

      • And the crazy thing about Plies is I think he is VERY aware of his f’d up image. When he speaks he sounds so intelligent and cultured, outside of that *closes eyes and winces*

        • And the crazy thing about Plies is I think he is VERY aware of his f’d up image. When he speaks he sounds so intelligent and cultured, outside of that *closes eyes and winces*

          EXACTLY….thats where I see the difference…soulja boy is being himself, 50 I think is overexaggerating his story but is being him.. Plies is being someone totally different than himself for profit……..I have more of a problem with that right there than anything else…..

  15. Humble Fonzarelli

    I also think Black folks are naive about how we are seen. No matter the setting I’ve always had white folks try to play me on some i’m cool, laid-back, soul brother ish. Talk to me the same way you talk to everyone else.

    • I dont really care how they view us. I know how I carry myself, I know of others that negate the stereotypes, and I know some that promote the stereotype. I know there are “good” and “bad” and “coons” in every race. A mature adult would know that you cant judge a whole race of people by what you see on TV or whatever. Some people get understand that, good…some dont, and I hope one day they do, but until then, screw em. I dont expect the media to go out of their way to show positive examples of Black people. Chances are many of them dont want anything to do with you whether you are coonin it up or leading by positivity.

      • Humble Fonzarelli

        I agree. At the same time I can’t carry that way of thinking everywhere. I can’t afford to give white folks the benefit of the doubt. I would like to think they see us as unique individuals but they all don’t. I can carry myself not caring about how I may be seen in different settings. At the same time I have to accept what comes along with not caring about how they see me.

      • @nomore: The problem is that they run our society. They run the entertainment industry, and they want to peddle our coon shows to make money.

        They’re not that interested in sincerely exploring black culture to promote its diversity, and to show these kids that they can be more than just rappers, actors, drug dealers and basketball players.

        The funny thing is, plenty of white kids now want to be/do what they think all black people do. Again, the devolution of our society. smh.

        • Youre right, and its been that way for how long now? Why do you expect them to promote diversity, or teach our children? Most people in the business have the same objective and problem you talked about: getting money. That responsibility lies with us.

          I dont know if Soulja Boy is a coon or sellout, because honestly the only thoughts of him that I have is that his music is terrible. Thats as far as it goes. He is a stranger to me. Someone upstairs allowed him to be a success in a field where 90% of its applicants fail to even get in the door. Congrats to him. What he does with his opportunity is his choice. He’s still young, maybe he’ll change, maybe not. Maybe he just needs time to grow and a few people to tell’em better. But in no way does SB make me feel any less about myself or my race.

          Just like the random white cat who preys on children online/left their baby in the car in 1000 degree weather with the windows up/meth addict/corporate embezzlement/get drunk and fell off a building cuz the Penguins won, or whatever it is those crazy (2520s) do, effect how I feel about white people.

        • @damon: I agree that they run our society. This of course extends beyond the entertainment industry. It’s in everything.

          People can sell themselves out in any profession…an associate while trying to make partner at a law firm or a corporation’s Office of General Counsel, a journalist trying to be promoted at a newspaper/magazine (online or print), a doctor trying to advance in his/her specialty, a cop/soldier trying to move through the ranks.

          It happens all the time and isn’t right.

          Some people dumb themselves down so as not to seem too threatening to their superiors so they can advance faster. At office parties/get togethers/happy hours some people make themselves the butt of jokes to fit in and be likable by the powers that be so they’ll have an “in” with them when promotion/raise time comes. It’s sad & sickening but I see it all the time.

      • natural nubian

        oh my word! no more, you really don’t care how they view us!?! with brothers, fathers, uncles, sons getting gunned down and incomprehensibly incarcerated with unfair sentencing every day!?!?! tell me you can’t be serious?

        i care how they view us because i don’t want to have to still teach my future sons how to behave when ever stopped or confronted by police. i shouldn’t have to teach my daughters how to watch their tone when working in corporate america because even still a century later, they’re still only seen as hypersexualized objects for men or mammie house servants. it’s deeper than “i know how i act”….we ALL know how WE are, but it’s gaining that mutual respect and DEMANDING MORE from each other!

        (darnit damon, it’s not even lunch!!)

        • Do you think that all the people that these unfortunate things happen to weren’t on their best behavior? I’d hate to say but I believe these things may still be going on a century later. Some people, no matter what you say, will not get it. I never said you couldnt demand more. Im just saying I wouldnt be surprised if those demands werent met by all.

    • PRECISELY!!!

  16. I felt lead to make another point, I think it’s fair to say that sometimes these artists and/or people don’t realize that they are ‘selling out’ until it’s already happened. A good example is MC Hammer. Everybody was clowning him back in the day for ‘selling out’. But, the truth of the matter is that he got caught up in trying to help and save too many people and too many ‘friends’ from his neighborhood in his attempts to share his wealth and success with the vultures around him. After watching his story on the Vh1 movie I actually realized that his mentality was most definitely focused on money but it wasn’t solely for the self serving reasons. He was merely confused about who his real friends were and when he tasted the success he ran with it and his image became buffoonish after a while. It’s fair to say that many other artists experience the same quagmire. Soulja Boy is of course a kid and so his judgment should not be scrutinized to compare with an adult’s. But he likely saw an avenue for dollar signs and saw an opportunity to get his family out of the gutter. He ran with that opportunity and before you know it, his image is clownish and embarassing. But, he just made millions and millions of dollars. What does one do? The focus should maybe to discuss ways to not get caught up in seeing dollar signs and watch what path you are taking to get to that pot of gold.

    • “I think it’s fair to say that sometimes these artists and/or people don’t realize that they are ’selling out’ until it’s already happened. ”

      @jlbd: This is a good point. I think people do things that they may later struggle with accepting as true or regret. I think that sometimes decisions are made in the heat of the moment (where serious thought cannot be gievn because it is time sensitive or too much pressure) and once done and signed off on there is no going back (well, not without legal recourse, the possibility of being fired, or staining one’s reputation/word).

      • Exactly! That’s why money is the root of all evil because it clouds judgment and causes you to lose sight of what path you are on due to the pressures and time sensitivity and heat of the moment that OTHERS place in front of you. I think that Proverbs verse below literally speaks the Bible truth behind it all.

        • The love of money is definitely the root of all evil. I think people fall short and get themselves caught up for more than money (though for some it is JUST for money)…the prestige, the clout, the fame, the status, the exclusivity, etc. Some people aren’t happy until they’ve made it to the top and the top can mean many things but usually does include/involve money.

  17. Hey, y’all.

    I had a very busy day yesterday &missed SO much. I did read Monica’s post last night & ALL (yes, all) of the comments. Both yesterday’s post & today’s post are very good discussion starters. I have so much to say but have no idea where to begin since I’m a day behind.

    I guess I’ll start by saying that I could definitely see the arguments made both for and against SBTE & others. I’ll come back in awhile with the rest of my comments.

  18. Damon: “Art imitates life. And if your craft produces manure, that’s most likely what your life full of as well.”

    Quote of the day. I’m stealing this.

    Jlbd: “Many people claim that Bojangles and Sammy Davis Junior were sell outs but they lived in a time when blacks did not have the chances and opportunities that we have now.”

    You Homey The Clown, bowtie, apple pie, Bojangles,
    But we love Bojangles, we know what he came through.
    But what’s your excuse, duke? You talk Black,
    but your album sound like you give your nuts for a plaque!

  19. Dude above me, probably hit the nail on the head and that’s why I had a problem w/ ppl suggesting that Soulja Boy was a sell out/coon or even Fitty Cent (reminder: I don’t think of either one as particularly talented but I also don’t see them as the problem facing Black America)

    Why are we, black people, so self-conscious of what a 19 year old dude is doing? He’s not cursing, or sexing girls. He’s not bojangling for whitey or hamboning for Ms. Daisy. He’s making up a dance, kissing a girl through the phone and turning on his swag (self-confidence). Yes, every last one of those songs suck but so did the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff. The electric slide is a ridiculously retarded dance! But what he’s doing is going out and making a HARMLESS product for a broad constituency and getting paid for it. Coca-cola, in too much doses can be bad for you, they have tons of black people in their commercials, perhaps we should picket them too?!? Who cares if the music sucks, its not hurting anybody. There are many who we consider real music that say significantly more harmful things than “Kiss me thru the phone” or “Jocking on your b-a” or “smmwejwioi…yeaaahhhh..aweowowf…getting money!!!” or whatever the hell he mumbles in Turn my swag on.

    Now on the term sell-out. This term is probably the most misused word this side of “conversate” (not a word) or “hurted” (cant passive a past tense word) or “mine’s” (can’t possess a possessive word). I’m shocked at the cats mentioned under sell-outs: 2 white people who for obvious reasons can’t be sell-outs and 2 rappers who haven’t changed their style up one iota (outside of 50’s attempts to sing on his hooks). The definition of the sell-out as said above was someone who changes their core style/belief system to make an extra buck. Well there are many more rappers, athletes and people we respect who do that: Nelly, Michael Jordon, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson, and of course, the sell-outs sellout Clarence Thomas…those are true sell-outs (I love MJ23 to death but he is what he is). The problem w/ most people’s analysis is that they declare people they don’t subscribe to their belief system as uncouth, desperate for the guidance of the “enlightened” and savage (sound familiar? Think: justification for colonizing Africa).

    P.S. – getting money is a poor excuse and I don’t subscribe to that theory but Soulja Boy isn’t doing anything more harmless than what a normal person does on a day-to-day basis.

    • “He’s not cursing, or sexing girls.”

      @oates: Soulja Boy wrote a song that had coded lyrics for sticking a bed sheet to a girls ‘soiled’ back … and had half of America singing it … is that harmless? is that not sex?

      And Clarence Thomas isn’t a sellout. Shorten his last name and you’ll learn every thing you ever needed to know about him, nephew. lol.

      • I still think its a chicken & the egg argument over the whole “Superman dat woman of ill-repute” argument. Not sure whether the song or the terminology came first.

        • I wondered this as well when someone told me what he was talking about in the song. I was told this about 1 year and a half after the song came out…lol. So maybe there can be a chicken & egg argument applied here…

    • “There are many who we consider real music that say significantly more harmful things than “Kiss me thru the phone””

      @Oates: I definitely agree with this statement. I love Biggie & Jay-Z but a lot of their lyrics do nothing to uplift/advance the black race as a whole. I accept these questionable lyrics by not taking them too seriously or at face value but more as “fun”. Don’t get me wrong, Jay definitely has conscience thought in some songs but other songs are (hopefully) not meant to be taken as seriously.

    • Did you really just compare SBTE to Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince? You need to go back and relisten to Jeff and the Prince albums right now. Jeff was (and still is) one the all-time greatest DJs, and say what you want about Will, the dude could spit. They made some radio-friendly hits, no question, but nothing that was as detrimental or embarassing as SBTE and his ilk.

  20. Okay…still playing catch up here but I commented on yesterday’s post if anyone cares to go back.

  21. Another amazing post Damon! I never want to hear anyone say “I’m/He’s/She’s/ They’re gettin money” again!

  22. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone. For they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”-prov. 23:4-5

  23. Based on the comments, Soulja Boy falls into at least one of these three categories.

    If he’s doing it for money, he’s a sellout.
    If he’s not aware of the content of his songs, he’s ignorant.
    If he just likes to write songs like “Yah Trick”, he’s a coon.

    Which one/s is he?

  24. @hugh:maybe he knows and does not care. That can make him trifling.

  25. Got ya!

  26. On a new and interesting note, the new Transformers movie is making headlines due to its blatant racial undertones depicted with the autobots. Particularly two of them sporting gold teeth and displaying poor grammar and the inability to read. These autobots also possess primate-like features and are ‘from da ‘hood’.

    This is the misrepresentation that progressive blacks are fighting so hard to get past. In no way am I pointing the finger or blaming individuals for this type of stuff but it doesn’t help to continue on glorifying the things (shucking and jiving and tap dancing for the man – translates in modern times rocking grills, buying rims while living in the pjs, overall thug mentality) that have held us back for so long….*sigh*

  27. @jlbd:That’s a shame. It’s just like Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars.” Wuz a we gonna do!?”

  28. good post dame, i have a question can i go the my local bank with this and ask for a no intrest loan:
    Exodus 22:25
    “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.”

    lol, i am just joking but i agree with your points we should try to live our life closer to the good book, but until we open up and see ourselves for who we are it will be alot more soulja boys and 50cents out there… keep up the good work very impressed with the site…

  29. good post dame, i have a question can i go the my local bank with this and ask for a no intrest loan:
    Exodus 22:25
    “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.”

    lol, i am just joking but i agree with your points we should try to live our life closer to the good book, but until we open up and see ourselves for who we are it will be alot more soulja boys and 50cents out there… keep up the good work very impressed with the site……

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