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

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

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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

  • DCFem

    Did she actually get the money? Cheetoh is famous for using people then not paying them. If she didn’t get the money upfront she’s even dumber than I thought.

  • Diego Duarte

    Is it my lack of cultural background in hip hop / rap, or do the lyrics make absolutely no sense?

    I’m asking out of curiosity. Don’t mean to criticize anybody. Because it really, REALLY doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • PhlyyPhree

      It makes sense to no one. Nothing she’s done in the past 6 months make sense

    • Furious Styles

      It’s hot garbage. Don’t overthink it. Thanks for asking with respeck.

      • Val

        Lol It really was hot garbage.

    • MsCee

      It’s not you Diego.

    • Asiyah

      The lyrics make no sense, but she rhymed, so yay?

      • Cleojonz

        LOL! I was thinking the same thing. Most spoken word doesn’t even come close to rhyming.

        • Asiyah

          And people say we’re negative! We saw the only bright side to this LOL

    • Question
    • NonyaB?

      That’s the thrust of the post; nothing in that entire fxcksh*t called a “poem” and Chrisette Michele’s justification around the issue makes any sense.

    • Mary Burrell

      No it was trash

  • PinkRose

    If she were smart, she could have totally flipped this situation in her favor. There’s a way to get the check without selling your soul in the process, she should have consulted her elders for how to handle this.

  • This is everything

  • HouseOfBonnets
    • HouseOfBonnets
    • Sweet Ga Brown

      Is this real?? She thought she was going to meet Drumpf? She needs a stupid slap.

    • NonyaB?

      How can there be so much DUMB in one person? “We sent in an offer for how much we charge and they said, ‘Well we don’t have that'”- So, she even got underpaid. As if they’d have dared say that to any A-lister. Did it occur to her that they didn’t have inadequate funds, they just undervalued her?

      • HouseOfBonnets

        I thought I was the only one who caught that…. Makes all of this even worse tbh

    • cedriclathan

      “taking on the mission of speaking to congressmen and women, elected officials all around the country and then speaking to people just like me who don’t understand what they’re talking about, bring them our questions and get some answers on how we can move forward.” Does she really think she has that audience?

  • Me

    Without listening to he performance, I think I understand what she’s saying…. which is, when she was shucking and jiving for black churches (whether she agreed with them or not), or for Jay-Z’s paychecks (a man who made his way through drugs and other nefarious means), everyone was down because it served their own agenda/identity. But apparently civil rights (the MLK reference) only applies to black folks who fit the mold of what it means “to be black.” I haven’t really been invested in this whole Chrisette saga so I have very few details to go on, but I understand where these particular lyrics are coming from. Spike has every right to turn her down, but Chrisette is just trying to live. Maybe the rest of us MIGHT HAVE turned it down, but no one knows her struggle or her politics. It’s just business to some of us.

    • NonyaB?

      Here’s the thing:She keeps trying to cast her cøøning for a check as something else. Performing at Drumf’s ball is NOT a civil rights statement of any kind, merely shucking for a different sh*tlord whose repugnance supercedes that of many others. If you take the stance that’s it’s ok, then own it, instead of trying to recast it differently because you know inside that it’s the wrong side of the fence. She ain’t sh*t and knows it.

  • OSHH

    Super annoying, her and her “Kendu”.
    I thought I was the only one who thought Marjore Harvey can’t dress for ish, gaudy/tacky and over done most of the time.

    • MsCee

      I’m here for the MJB shade.

      • OSHH

        Happy she got hip though….

    • Marjorie.
      One animal print away from a safari

      • God Shammgod

        I wanna drag her but if I’m being honest…if I had Marjorie Harvey money I’d probably be dressing just like her. All designer catsuit everythang.

        • Zebra on it Sham?

        • OSHH

          If I had that kind of dough I would still keep it fly, simple and chic.

        • mssporadic

          I would drown in a sea of designer handbags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • La Bandita

            Doing that….now.

    • MsCee

      Did you see the stuff about her being married to two Memphis king pins and having kids by both before marrying Teef Harvey?

      • OSHH

        Yes and the dudes were brothers or something like that!!

        • MsCee

          First cousins -_- at least now we have a better understanding of why she chooses to dress like real life Cookie Lyons.

      • Hiding My ?hide yours 2

        Steve been chased since he was broke it wasn’t until he got money that she gave him a second glimpse. I don’t blame her. She is all about that hu$tle.

        • MsCee

          Clearly, the world is an oyster for a pretty woman.

          • Hiding My ?hide yours 2

            It is.

      • Mary Burrell

        She ain’t messing with no broke, broke…..????

    • I love the ridiculousness of Marjorie most of the time. It’s like she has too much money and needs something to do with it. I envy that a little lol

      • OSHH

        I’d take Cookie from Empire wardrobe over Marjorie.

      • Mochasister

        But she’s so tacky with it. I almost feel sorry for Steve. Almost.

    • Ari

      She’s just stuck somewhere between 1987 and 1994.

    • miss t-lee

      Too much money, not enough style.

      • NonyaB?

        Exactemente.

      • Cleojonz

        You know the saying, can’t buy class.

        • miss t-lee

          You surely cannot.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      But those poses take me out.

    • Hiding My ?hide yours 2

      Uh uh, Majorie CAN dress. That one I disagree.

    • NonyaB?

      So, I just looked her up and good lord. Her style is so hit or (mostly) miss, amazing in it’s tackiness. Urrf!

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        I can’t believe she has 7 kids.

        • NonyaB?

          That too.

  • MsCee

    God as my goon, tho. Bihhhhhhhh that took me tf out.

    • I’m still stuck on that part.
      She better hope her heart don’t stop while she’s on twitter.

      • MsCee

        Now I can’t stop picturing thugged out Jesus, singing Bad and Boogie, drinking 40s and raising pit bull puppies.

    • God Shammgod

      I cut out a LOT of it because I didn’t have the temerity to annotate two minutes worth of nonsense. But I’m getting a t-shirt that says “I carry the mantle with God as my goon” trust and believe.

      • MsCee

        Order an additional XL please ma’am.

      • Somebody legit asked for one of those shirts yesterday and I died

      • Lol

      • HouseOfBonnets

        Can you add this to the tees in the trap suggestion box? (with your cut of course)

      • jtreynol

        No matter how we feel about this woman…I think she just added something valuable to the culture with that line.

    • Asiyah

      For real. I was like WHAAAAAAAA?

  • Furious Styles

    Chrisette, stop defending your antics. Michael does not approve…https://youtu.be/QnQbL_wEthE

  • cakes_and_pies

    “I made a resolution right then to never engage anyone trying to fulfill their dream of a Love Jones era romance.”
    I hated that movie and all the ilk it brought with. Gawd, nothing but poetry slams at FAMU

    • I thought it was just me. Folks are like “but it’s the black cinema canon!” and I’m like “but it’s trash.”

      • Mochasister

        I don’t like that movie either. But folks act like they want to take away your Black card if you don’t like it.

    • NomadaNare

      So no blues in your left thigh trying to become the funk in your right though

      • cakes_and_pies

        Sounds like a staph infection, so no

        • NomadaNare

          A deep guttural laugh just escaped me

        • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

          Chuckle

    • Ari

      They still do poetry slams at FAMU.

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