Featured, Music, Race & Politics

Bless Her Heart: Chrisette Michele’s “No Political Genius” Is The Best/Worst Thing I’ve Ever Heard

I’ve spent the better part of the last week wondering why in the hell Chrisette Michele was singing at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Not because I don’t think she’ll engage in nonsense for a check – the girl was just touring for Love Jones: The Musical after all – but I simply can’t figure out where in the Venn Diagram of the United States of America there manages to be an overlap between possessors of MAGA hats and folks who are just REALLY into the hook to Aston Martin Music. The only person I can conceive of is Marjorie Harvey,* and she decided not to waste her couture thotwear on that poorly attended excuse for a day party that was the inauguration. Which brings me right back to square one, with Chrisette allegedly selling her dignity for 250K under the pretense of “building a bridge”  — a justification that no one saw it for.

Listen, if you’re gonna sell out for a check, you’ve gotta commit to it. You don’t just get to say “I was selling my soul to the devil but it was out of love” and not get dragged. Just admit that you signed up for the club for the free pizza because funds were low! But not only did Chrisette refuse to own up to the situation and take the jabs in stride, she took it upon herself to address all of the haters in what I can only describe as a diss track disguised as a spoken word poemand the lyrics honestly leave me with more questions than answers.

(This is probably the part where I should let you know that I think most spoken word is goddawful. The last performance I went to was on a date, and a woman talked about her menstrual cycle for four minutes. I made a resolution right then to never engage anyone trying to fulfill their dream of a Love Jones era romance. But sometimes you have to suffer for your art, and therefore here I am, enduring two minutes of Chrisette’s nonsense in iambic pentameter to dissect for the masses.)

“I am the black song Spike Lee won’t sing / I am the black voice inauguration bells ring/I am the black sheep disguising the scared wolf/no I am the black elephant in the room red scared shook/White house invite see you call me their coon/I am the butterfly growing from history’s cocoon/ I can carry the mantle with God as my goon”

What the hell are these metaphors? How the hell is she a butterfly, a sheep, and an elephant at the same time? And who exactly is the scared wolf? Paul Ryan? Questlove? Her wig stylist??? Spike Lee’s vocal chords?? God???? Does God look out for animals too??

“Church folks may not clap but i’ll sing their song/Hip hop for Jay Z now you say you lost one/R&B for def jam, rich hipster for brooklyn/But Spike won’t pay me, a crook from Crooklyn/I’m still Black girl, Magic/I’m still American, tragic/I’m still born again, miracle/And we’re still on the borderline, pinnacle”

The first line is exactly Chrisette’s problem: insisting she’s doing something for people that no one asked her to do! No one asked you to lift every voice and sing, girl! It’s not giving a voice to the voiceless when the silence is intentional. Also, Spike hasn’t done anything besides decline to use your music after you showed your ass, but I still haven’t forgiven him for Chiraq so that’s about the closest thing to a defense he will get from me.

“The brink of love or destruction, this is the junction/where we divide in consumption of social media productions/or will we finally unite, win the 200 year fight/70s fists up that’s right/did MLK die for my rights or just spite/And I’m No Political Genius.

She is definitely not a political genius if she thinks the fight for equality is only 200 years old.

“For John Lewis and Ben Carson/Questlove, Spike Lee, and before them/I won’t divide now/That’s not smart now/God before me, I won’t back down/This is my damn America now.”

I just want to know what Ben Carson is doing in this list of names. I thought we had evicted him in the last racial draft after he lied about being held up at a Popeyes. Lying on a chicken sanctuary is a top five offense for which Carson has been condemned to a lifetime of dry-ass Popeyes biscuits without water.

“Came on a boat, now I’ll rock it/give me the mic, now I’ll rock it/gave me the vote, didn’t profit/and I’m no political genius/but these aint politics as usual/I’m no mad dog, but I rebel/may I revel in the freedom of speech/in the art of standing for peace/Basquiat-style paint streets/on the front lines let’s meet/we can sing one song, victory/and one anthem, land of the free/as one army you and me/some political genius though, ill never be.”

Invoking Basquiat — a Black man who used his art for political commentary against racism, capitalism and basically everything a man such as Donald Trump stands for — as some sort of longwinded rationalization of getting paid to sing at the inauguration has to be one of the grandest moments of cognitive dissonance I’ve seen since the time I went straight to Popeyes after hitting the gym. And the only anthem I care to sing is the Dipset Anthem.

I apologize to all 72 of Chrisette’s fans. I haven’t paid much attention to her music since she appeared on that sham of a series finale for Girlfriends and it’s possible her music is truly capable of turning 63 million racists into decent human beings one note at time, the same way it’s possible that I could give up Popeyes for the rest of my life. But in this reality, Chrisette needs to take her L in peace, take $5 out of that quarter mil check, and console herself with a Popeyes chicken box.

Most importantly, spoken word makes everything worse.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • Brother Mouzone

    Basically,Stacey Dash with “singing” ability…

    • NomadaNare

      Minus the once stunning looks

    • Brother Mouzone

      I WAS FIRST? Ok…..First!

  • 250k? I heard is was 750. Souls are cheap these days.

    • I heard it was 750k too. But a quarter mill. I guess money is money and you gotta get it how you live. I agree she should just take this L and fade to black.

      • Princess Nelson

        I agree, read my post

    • Sweet Ga Brown

      I’m mad 250k is what her manager was able to negotiate for. Like what was the starting point on drumpfs end?

      • …and how much is his cut

        • Sweet Ga Brown

          Because he aint facing no backlash. Easy payday for him.

        • jtreynol

          That’s the problem with agents…she’s going to have to live with this for the rest of her performing days…I wonder who else is represented by this agent?

          • KC

            He’s her fiance….I wonder if he represents ANYONE else…

            • TD

              The same fiance that she sued years ago….

    • Ghettoprincess

      I think it went from 750 to 250 when she got demoted from singing at the actual inauguration to an inauguration ball. She got Trumped and better pray to her goon God that the check clears.

    • B-Dot Willz

      I’m sure he agreed to pay her 750k but you know he probably stiffed her on the rest. He is known to not pay people.

  • B. Tracks

    I didn’t even know she was a real thing. And after numerous of people directed me towards her hooks and features and none of her actual music. I believe that she in fact isn’t a real thing.

    ***Real as in: “Man, I can’t wait till her album drops.”

    -Nobody

  • MyKayEl

    I too am anti-spoken word so thank you for esifting through her foolishness and taking 1 for the team.
    As for Chrisette & her fiance,I wish they would hush and leave us the he|| alone ( it ain’t gonna happen though) ??

  • Val

    Chrisette’s motto; ‘If it ain’t broke, brake it.’

    She’s ruined her career in record time. Stacey Dash is even impressed.

    • Stacey’s show on Fox just got tanked. I giggled so loudly.

      • Jennifer

        Stacey is lucky she lasted this long. MSNBC got rid of most of its commentators of color before the Obamas had even left the WH.

        jmb

      • Negro Libre

        Did she ever have a show?

        • Val

          She was a cast member on a show.

        • I dunno if it came to fruition, but she was supposed to have her own.

        • Mary Burrell

          Single Ladies she was a cast member and something happened on there where she left or got fired.

        • i thought she was r&b divas too.

      • Mochasister

        All that step and fetching gone to waste.

  • Major Mayo

    i totally would have respected her if she was just like “im not turning down 250k yall, sorry”. but dont insult my intelligence as if you’re some martyr sacrificing yourself to our sticks and stones for the sake of progress.

    • Junegirl627

      Yes!!!

      I wouldn’t even be mad at her if she said “They giving me 250K if black america don’t want me want me to sing then in the name of Orange Cheeto’s other black friend Kan-yeezee ‘do better’ ” Because she has more of a right to tell everybody to shut up. shiiiii I’ll go as far as to say that she has more of a right to do what she did than Steve Harvey.

      BTW.. She did NOT start her poem with “I am the black song spike lee wont sing” Bwwwwwwwaaaaaaaahhh

      • ThisSomeBull

        Exactly. Times like these I wish more celebs would be like Beyonce and just not respond to everything. She already offered up an explanation. Those of us who think she’s a c00n will continue to do, and people who weren’t bothered will continue not being bothered. Drop it already.

        • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

          I wasn’t bothered until all the responses. Just lay low and come back later like nothing happened. The responses are a terrible look.

    • SororSalsa

      If she’d just copped to doing it for the check, this would be over by now. We know she needs the money. But headazz Chrisette doubled down and is now complaining that she went through all this and Darth Cheeto didn’t even shake her hand. Girl, bye.

    • Mochasister

      Times are hard out here. I would have had some difficulty turning down that money. And I can’t stand that orange fruit loop.

    • Lydia Harp

      I concur!

    • Who wants me? I’m here
      • Blueberry01

        I did the same.

    • Val

      Lol @ calling disqus a trick

      • A dirty one with ugly socks.

    • Cleojonz

      I don’t even know what you said to get in Disqus jail lol.

      Cackling at Teeth Harvey. I’m stealing that one.
      And a special shout out for you shouting out Bob Ross.

      • Mary Burrell

        Teeth Harvey ????

      • CozyVon

        AND “Tangerine Tyrant.” That one was good, too. **kee-kee**

      • Bob Ross was my childhood savior from anxiety and I aineemknoit.

    • SororSalsa

      I am SO tired of Lil No caping for Chrisette every day. She wasn’t on this morning…I wonder if the station suspended her for that ish. Dang…take the L, have a seat and hope someone will buy your music after this.

  • LMNOP

    This reminds me of when a 3 year old draws a picture and you ask them what it’s a picture of so you can write their words.

    “That’s a big dinosaur, it’s so pretty. My mom is so pretty, I love my mom. The dinosaur is angry, her duck is in the bathroom. And then the dinosaur jumped on a pizza at the park. And that dinosaur is a snowman. I’m thirsty.” It’s cuter when a kid does it though.

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      Insert 6 year old and you just described my son.

  • Courtney Wheeler

    “Most importantly, spoken word makes everything worse.”

    https://images.rapgenius.com/e2f3d6fa8d2ff033a43437a0cf3fc303.486x356x14.gif

  • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

    Serious question; does what Chrisette Michelle did really qualify as “selling out”?

    Ijs, don’t we have to expect things from people in order to be betrayed by them?

    • HouseOfBonnets

      In this case yes because of the way she’s framing it (bad spin attempt). Personally I had to take celebs off of the pedestal a long time ago. No comment and silence is free and saves your career.

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