Straight Outta Stereotypes

stereotypesSo I may have my black card suspended on this one, but I have no desire to see Straight Outta Compton. I’ve had fun with everyone else reading and creating the Straight Outta memes, but if I were to be honest I had no plans whatsoever to spend my hard earned money to support this movie.

The idea that some would suspend my black card, or at least want to punch a hole in it as a sign of my temporary suspension from blackness, is the very reason I don’t want to see this movie. I’m not against anyone who went to see it, who wants to see, or who enjoyed it, but in reality Compton represents a very small profile of African American life, although so many believe that everyone black or brown grew up in bullet riddled and crack ruled streets. This notion is way beyond ridiculous.

Now I was coming of age at the time that this music was popular. Eazy E, Ice Cube and Dr Dre are only a few years older than me, and I can recite every word of Nothin But G a Thang like everyone else. But I was also one of those in my late teens and early 20’s who kinda hated the turn in the music of that error. This is not me being Pollyanna, but I missed the fun of the club and the school dance when music became this gloomy slow grind into all things dark.  I very specifically remember the Hip Hop of my high school years going from Kid N Play and Heavy D’s dance in the club funness, to gritty gangster slayings by the time I was 19. Music executes were instructed to only sign “dark artists” during this time, (thanks social media for exposing that one), and suddenly all we heard in popular music was death, sex, grit and mayhem. Me and my old soul self would spend hours searching album crates to find what I deemed as real music when popular music took such a drastic turn.

I do get that everyone’s story needs to be told, I think there’s merit there. Before the birth of gangsta rap and the recording of the Rodney King beating, much of the country had no idea what was taking place in inner cities at the hands of corrupt and brutal police forces. And the “most people” I speak of are audiences both black and white. With all that is going on currently in our country concerning this topic, and my still nursing heart wounds over what happened to Sandra Bland just weeks ago, I would not dare make small of the importance of exposing police brutality and issues

African Appreciation 90's Fashion
African Appreciation 90’s Fashion

concerning poverty. The problem that I have is how gangster rap dominated black perception when it was no where near all that we are. When we are represented in the media we usually get only one voice if we get one at all.  That one voice takes center stage and becomes the one and only platform for all things black. What was lost in this case was that “gangster” became all things black, not just in the eyes of white people, but in how we viewed ourselves. What was lost was remembering that in the 90’s maternity ward of black culture as gangster rap was being birthed, just in the adjacent room was the birth of  a new 90’s found appreciation of positive black culture and life as teenagers rocked African emblems around their necks and wore dashikis in their senior pictures. The tragedy here was the gangster story became everyone’s story, this false presumption and this mass assimilation was tragic to the culture.

This movie has done extremely well in the box office over it’s opening weekend, and there are tons of people that I like and respect that speak highly of it’s story line. So I’m sure that this movie is entertaining. As for me though I got more than a little fed up with fighting people’s stereotypes as I lived in the suburbs of Long Beach for 8 years. Those with a lack of melanin had to be reminded on a regular bases that I was not a thug, I didn’t know any thugs, I didn’t want to be associated with any thugs, basically that not all black people are thugs. Forget about convincing them that the overwhelming majority of black folks are not thugs, nor have any level of thug in them. I became exhausted over this reality very alive in LA, but this perception is not just alive in there, it’s a global view point. So many of these wrongful perceptions have to do with gangsta rap. As Chris Rock said, “I’ve gotten tired of defending it.”  (See my boy’s video below.) So you’ll have to excuse me while I sit this one out. I might catch Straight Outta Compton when it comes out on Redbox, maybe, but I’m in no hurry.

On a different note, there’s not even enough room here to go into the conversation that is only at a slow simmer in social media. Dr Dre is Straight Outta Beating Some Girl Up. It’s no secret that Dr Dre has a history of domestic violence, so ah yeah, I really can’t. I wouldn’t put that here if it were just an unsubstantiated rumor, but Ms doo be do do, Mi’Chelle, has both a child by Dre and many emotional and physical wounds by him that he has in no way ever denied. So, sorry I can’t. But I will be holding on to my black card, thank you very much, it’s fully operational.

Chris Rock Cant Defend Rap Music… I cant either. ((Yes ALOT of language))

Mi’Chelle No More Lies, featuring Dr Dre

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