I See What Dave Chappelle Saw » VSB

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I See What Dave Chappelle Saw

As you all are aware, a few weeks back, Damon and I had the opportunity to sit down and do some VSB-style interviewing of Key & Peele (see here and here). This is not something that we sought out, but rather the reverse; we were asked specifically to come out to Los Angeles, meet the fellas, and we were given the opportunity to “interview” them, but in a creative and original fashion to use as promotion on our own site.

Anybody who is in this here writing game will tell you that when certain opportunities presents themselves you take them. This was one of those opportunities that we were more than happy to be apart of, even if it did require us to fly into LA on a Tuesday (we did not have the club going up that day) and fly back out on a Wednesday. That turn around coupled with the time difference, how would Rakim say, ain’t no joke.

One of the most interesting parts of our trip was that we were given the opportunity to be on set as they filmed one of their sketches for the current season (though airing later on in the season). We saw how much work truly goes into even one minute and 45 second sketch. It was hilarious each time. And by each time, I mean all at least 10 times they reshot the scene. During that time we got to sit back with the folks who were tied to the guys in various form and talked to some assistants, some folks from Comedy Central, etc. We spent a few minutes talking to Keegan-Michael Key about just how much of a fuck up Jameis Winston really is, or how much money he’s trying to lose with his antics. This happened right as the news of him standing on a table in a cafeteria and making his lewd comments broke.

Funny stuff, bruh. Funny stuff.

Anyway, they wrapped up the first sketch then went to prepare for their second shoot of the day which was a sketch that included Mekhi Phifer (yeah, we also saw and dapped up Mekhi Phifer) and scenes from a police station. The language was colorful and definitely racialized.

Funny stuff, bruh. Funny stuff.

Everybody was laughing as they rehearsed this sketch and made some on the fly changes.

Then it hit me. Again, this is super racialized material, but there were maybe – aside from us there in a promo capacity clearly to reach out to Black people – maybe 2 Black people involved. There were at least 20 non-Black (read: white people) standing around laughing at, not with, these three Black men making sketches of a racial nature. These were the people producing and gaffing and doing things that folks with jobs in LA do when they’re standing around watching the talent act out the sketches they’re acting out.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something just felt…odd. I definitely felt some kind of way about seeing all of these people tied into a product that in truth, they couldn’t truly fathom or understand. Hell, they likely couldn’t care less about understanding it; they just want it to be funny. And it was. They laughed. As I listened to that laughter I had one of those, “what are they really laughing at?” moments that Dave Chappelle spoke of when he addressed giving up that $50 million dollar pay day.

Clearly it was a palpable feeling because Damon had the exact same epiphany that I had at the exact same time. Now, if memory serves correct, we both agreed that it might not be $50 million dollars uncomfortable, but neither of us is rich either and we did have to acknowledge that we felt it. It was real.

I’ve never been on the set of a television show before and I’m assuming that in Hollywood, this is probably the makeup of most sets and crews. You have a ton of white people doing various jobs to make sure the show reaches its completion. And I’m also sure its been like this for as long as the industry has existed. In fact, that’s part of the argument about Blaxploitation movies – and why they’re called that to begin with – you had a bunch of white people creating these movies about Black people as some of the most ridiculous archetypes possible. They also became iconic so I have no idea if we won or lost there. I do know that The Mack is one of my favorite movies of all time. So there’s that.

Also, I presume things were like this for In Living Color as well, a sketch show that specialized in some very uncomfortable, racialized humor at times. But (and assuming its true) perhaps for the Wayans brothers, and Keenan in particular, the bigger goal was more important than who was laughing behind the scenes and why. Maybe the bigger picture is what’s most important. If I was in the position that those before me resided, I’m sure I’d have to ask those same questions and I’m also sure I’d deal with those issues similarly.

And the fact is, if you want to rumble with the bee, then you gon’ have to work with the hive. I’m not sure if that analogy worked that well but whatevs. For Dave Chappelle, he decided that it didn’t work for him and sent a lot of people, including his best friend, a white guy named Neal Brennan, packing. It got to him. And in those few brief moments where I had the opportunity to witness the behind the scenes action, I understood.

Not sure if I’d forfeit that money. As T.I. explains, if it ain’t about the money, don’t be hittin’ me up I ain’t finna do….well you get the point.

But I saw it. I see it. I get it.

Now, about that $50 mill.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • nillalatte

    Just read about Chappelle and I’m a bit confused. He said he felt manipulated by Comedy Central. Is that the way you and Damon felt? If so, was it only because a bunch of white folks laughing at the skits or other interactions that got you guys feeling that? What do you think the folks at CC could have done to make you feel more comfortable?

    As for the flying, welcome to my previous life and somewhat present. I did a cross country trip every week for ~4 months. Out on Monday mornings (hated it) and back on Thursday night or Friday morning. I once did a hop from Vegas to Nashville to Denver to Seattle back to Vegas. That was a bish. Now when I get on a plane, almost as soon as my butt hits the seat I’m out like a light.

    • panamajackson

      Pretty sure I said no such thing as feeling manipulated by Comedy Central. I appreciate the opportunity. I feel no way about Comedy Central at all nor did I say any type of thing.

      I’m talking about his statement at one point where he spoke of wondering if all the people were laughing at him or with him. Did they really get it or were they basically laughing at all these things that in some way meant something to him. Contextually, I get it.

      That’s what I said. Don’t be putting words in my mouth, boo.

      • nillalatte

        Nah, not trying to speak for you, dear. I was confused (emphasis on confused) because of what I read Chappelle stated in an interview and what you were trying to convey. Maybe the connection was lost due to sleep deprivation (been on the road again & up late writing (you guys made me do what I’m doing- writing that is)).

        Anyway, I get it. I think most people get this feeling and about all different types of situations. The most prominent example I can think that everyone may relate to is when you are the only English speaking person in a group of people speaking another language.

        I’ve heard folks say that they believe other people are talking about them badly when they are speaking in a different language. In reality, the folks speaking the other language are just… talking. Personally, I think it is a form of paranoia that I try not to let get to me. I tend to be an observer of human behavior, even my own. I find myself, at times, wondering about others motives, but I tend to brush it off and keep stepping.

        Love yo’ mouf doe. LOL :)

        • LadyIbaka

          What dat mouf do doe?

          Ummm, in another news, is your writing accessible (would love to read) or are you jotting down thoughts in a diary calling it writing, yes that was shade because I can.

          • nillalatte

            LOL… you know what dat mouf do, who you finna try? lmao

            I am so not consistent enough in my life (in just about anything) to keep a diary! I’ve been struggling with this story for a long time and how to approach it. Suddenly, the title hit me and shyt just started pouring out of me like water flowing in a river (so I guess the epiphany of the title broke the mental dam…lol).

            Girl, you know I got nothing to offer, but experiences. I told my daughter I was writing about all the shyt we’ve endured and that it was going to turn our lives upside down. She said, “As long as you gettin’ dat cash doe.” LMAO… she right. I’ll let you know later when I am ready to publish. :)

            • LadyIbaka

              That should be an interesting read….you’ve given us a sneak preview already, so!! All the best hun.

              Can I pour my heart to you doe since I ain’t got no diary…you see how ma boo out hurr acting like he ain’t want to be my winter scarf?! Times are hard. I ain’t feena buy one, when he is available. #heartbroken #yesI’mtalkinboutyou #noIwon’tstopcan’tstop

              Should I write too a book? Title suggestion? May be…
              He Wanna But He Ain’t Gonnna?

              Shoo, that would be a certified best seller with the hood rats.

              • nillalatte

                Thanks Mami. I’ve been conservative here, believe it or not.

                There is no other story out there like this, I can guarantee you that. It has all sorts of crazy, arssbackwards elements, especially if I were to vilify Arabs/Muslms, which I won’t. There is already enough of that in the world, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t going to come away with their own warped judgments no matter how I tell the story.

                Write yo’ story girl. I could write a hoodrat drama better than my own drama of the past. Wait, that might just be my past. #ITakesDaFIF!

                • LadyIbaka

                  girrrl, you know I’m just talking shid. Oh, absolutely I believe ya about being conservative….

        • Epsilonicus

          “I’ve heard folks say that they believe other people are talking about them badly when they are speaking in a different language.”

          I do think it is rude if we all in convo and you two decide to just in the middle of it speak a different language, especially all of us are fluent in English.

          • nillalatte

            lish enta? Don’t you know ayanni moi? <<< that's all kind of different languages… LOL… I substituted some words for others. I've never considered it rude, but I make them repeat what they just said in their native language to English. :D I'm rude like that. lol

    • Asiyah

      I think most of what Chappelle said was in line with realizing the producers were laughing *at* him, not with him. He’s been pretty vocal about that.

      • LadyIbaka

        Heyyyyy bae!!!!!! :)))))))))))!!!!!!

        • Asiyah

          Hiiiii AM! <3

      • nillalatte

        Hi Asiyah! :) ’bout time you flew back through.

        Girl, I don’t keep up with all these entertainers like a lot of folks do. When folks start talking about the specifics about other folks lives, I get lost. That’s why I started reading articles about the Chappelle $50 Million dollar Comedy Central thing, and subsequently was confused as h3ll. I was like, whut? Can’t say I have much of a fascination with other peoples lives. I guess I’m self-centered that way. *shrugs

        • Asiyah

          Heyyyy dear!

  • Val

    Yeah, but, for the most part those White people who were laughing at and not with aren’t ever going to get it because they don’t care to. Those types of White people only see us through a distorted lens. So, to worry about how they see us is futile.

    With that said, I understand your discomfort. It’s a discomfort as old as our existence in this country. It’s the same discomfort that makes us wonder if a White doctor will treat us the same as she or he would a White patient. It’s the same discomfort that makes us uncomfortable when a police officer approaches or when we get bad service from a White waitress, etc.

    It’s the discomfort of being Black in America. It’s knowing that much of the time we aren’t being seen as the three dimensional complicated human beings that we are. Sigh. So, what’s the solution? Maybe Dave had it right. Maybe sometimes you have to just walk away. If not physically then mentally and emotionally.

    • Val said everything I wanted to say. Some white folks just don’t get it and never will.

    • Meridian

      “Sigh. So, what’s the solution? Maybe Dave had it right. Maybe sometimes you have to just walk away. If not physically then mentally and emotionally.”

      Dave Chappelle represents the spirit of being tired but refusing to be broken. He made his money from his comedy and when he felt asked to be a slave to it, he said no. To a certain extent I think we all go along with some things just as a necessity of livelihood. Things at our jobs, things we experience in our daily lives, excusing the micro-aggressions because you have a child you have to provide for. There’s a certain level of not rocking the boat and experiencing uncomfortable things because of it. When someone tries to impose on you and break you, Chappelle is what happens when you say no. We might not experience it on the 50mil level or the television Primetime level like Damon and Panama, but there’s a common thread here. It’s okay to rock the boat. It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to put yourself and your integrity first. Dave Chappelle is worth $34 million. He isn’t starving in a ditch somewhere because he turned down something he thought was a slight against his blackness. If anything, it opened him up to more possibilities. I think, and this is a theory off the top of my head, that white people do sh*t like that because it’s greener for us on the other side. I think accepting some things and going along with them holds us back from truly prospering. I think we have to live up to what we inherently want and walk away from what we’re told is appropriate for us.

      • Damon Young

        “It’s okay to put yourself and your integrity first. ”

        i feel like he could have kept his integrity intact and kept the 50 mil. but, (obviously) i’m not dave chappelle

        • Meridian

          It was his decision to make. I think integrity is different for everyone because our lines and boundaries are different. I do believe you can get those paychecks and stay true to that inner voice, absolutely.

    • Spent all that time writing a comment and I could’ve just cosigned this one

    • Sigma_Since 93

      This post reminds me of my favorite line from the original Tuskegee Airmen movie when Courtney Vance is portraying Lt. Glenn and he says to the white leadership panel “I love America but does America love me?”

      • That’s a good quote. I wish I could merge the visuals from Red Tails with the script from Tuskegee Airman.

        “I love America but does America love me?”

        in reference to the post I’ll add a conversation between Common’s character and another guy on Hell on Wheels. Common was like “I’m a freed man.” The other guy says “You ain’t that free!” and Common asked “Why do you get to decide that?”

        It comes down to not letting anyone arbitrate your freedom for you. That’s important in every aspect of a black man’s life.

        • Shel

          “It comes down to not letting anyone arbitrate your freedom for you. That’s important in every aspect of a black man’s life.”

          Black PERSON’S life. We women are just as affected, if not, more. Great point, otherwise.

    • panamajackson

      I actually agree with you. Which is what I think Damon and I pretty much realized immediately and alluded to in the fact that its always like that.

      I cant imagine feeling a need to stop what I’m doing for that reason. If anything, its more fuel to my fire. But I’m a different kind of dude sometimes. I come from that 50 Cent school of beef where all takers are welcome and no beef is too small to address.

      What does beef have to do with what i’m talking about? No clue. But i said it b/c i’m black. lol

  • Jay

    I think Chappelle Show, Key & Peeele, and almost any other media manifestation that we put out will always be problematic in this way. I just watched “Badasssss” spelling?? enough esses? too many? It shows how Mario Van Peebles’s dad, Melvin, played by MVP, almost LITERALLY worked himself to death to make the first blaxploitation movie, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song ” and why it was so important, in his view, to do so. He says that he loved movies but that he had never, at that time, seen an accurate depiction of a black person in a movie. The funny thing about that is that his “accurate” depictions were actually street n*ggas, pimps, prostitutes and the other characters that are usually seen in blaxploitation flicks. Although that’s exactly what we’re trying to move away from now in our quest for accurate representation, it was definitely more accurate than Steppin Fetchits, Aunt Jemimas, and Yessuh Mastas that he saw growing up. #progress **shrug**??? Definitely check that out if you’ve never seen it. They also claim in the movie that Melvin Van Peebles inadvertently started the whole independent movie movement that’s all the rage nowadays.

    I think it goes back to the saying that “History is written by the victors”… in this age of the all powerful media it would seem that they also get to write the present. Any opposing view from those seen as “others” will be met with derision.

    • kid video

      Badassss was a good film(a film made by a son, about his dad making a movie that set him up financially for life), and created a new genre…and introduced the world to Earth, Wind, and Fire.

      All around dopeness.

      • I will say though…the background info to that film (the STDs, the child pr0nography) temper my evaluation a bit.

        • Rachmo

          Wait whaaaaat? Could you explain please I’m totally ignorant.

          • Melvin Van Peebles claims to have contracted an STD during the filming of the movie; the adult chex scenes were real.

            The opening scene was a simulation, but Mario Van Peebles was actually a minor filming a graphic chex scene. That part is excised in some countries.

            • Rachmo

              Whooooakay. I did not know all that. That’s pretty gross.

        • kidvideo

          Yeah…an underage Mario on top of a grown woman was kinda ;/ but it was the 70s,
          they were kinda like hippies, excuse, excuse,excuse…15 years later Mario
          became “Sonny Spoon”.

    • I wouldn’t call it a Blaxploitation film at all.

      • Rachmo

        It wasn’t meant to be a Blaxploitation film but it did create the genre bc White directors hopped on the bandwagon.

        • Jay

          This exchange between you and Malik explains it all. It wasn’t a blaxploitation flick but that’s how “they” saw it and all of a sudden blaxploitation became a thing. Only, once again, they weren’t laughing with us or trying to make a point, or pulling the lid off and exposing injustices as we were. Its like early hip hop compared to some of what passes as hip hop today. To the untrained eye N.W.A. and Migos are the same but we who understand the nuances of blackness know full well that it’s not.

          Its a hard point to get across though because even transcendent art is often made for profit and even if that wasn’t the initial goal, few artists turn down the rewards… And that’s when the waters get muddy.

          • Rachmo

            Totally agreed. And it was a GREAT movie.

    • panamajackson

      I’ve seen Badasssssss and loved it as well.

  • Jay

    Speaking of Chappelle, did anyone else see the Spike Lee produced HBO special of comedian Jerrod Carmichael. They ran a marathon of it all Saturday night. His material is reminiscent of Chappelle, which annoyed me at first but he grew on me.

    • CamCamtheGreat

      I caught it. I thought he was funny, but more “shock comedian” than Chappelle, if that makes sense. I haven’t fully made up my mind on him yet. I did notice how they showed Hannibal Buress in attendance during the opening credits and that the lead-in movie was Ride Along. They know their audience.

      • Jay

        Makes perfect sense. Knowing their audience… They played like 5 Kevin Hart flix back to back that night.

      • Jay

        Have you seen Neal Brennen’s special. The material is very Chappelle but all of the jokes lack the panache and delivery that came from Dave Chappelles specific brand of black brilliance… So they fall flat.

        • CamCamtheGreat

          I haven’t seen it, but I can imagine. Writing is only half the battle. Delivery is, arguably, more important.

        • LadyIbaka

          Hey booooskie!! It’s sooo cold but seeing your avi gives me
          warmth. You are like an invisible winter scarf. Oh mi gosh. #whotoldyoutobefoooine?

    • Damon Young

      meant to catch it but i missed it

  • Meridian

    It sounds like you guys have a lot of things to consider as you grow the site up and begin to branch off into major projects. I think for anyone aspiring to comedic writing/television to be asked to connect with such giants is a big deal. To be able to see what goes into it is a very unique experience, and I’m sure an impression was made considering the style of interview you guys chose vs. the typical questions they’d get. As a viewer, it came off as more of a professional icebreaker than an interview. You know? You guys could’ve been the tenth interview they did that day, but the vibe of it seemed more like introducing you to what you’ll be experiencing soon, and you chose to do an icebreaker with your new peers. It felt peery-y and not fanatic interview-y. Sigh. I’m trying to say something. I think it’s important to leave an impression with people in the industry that you need as allies as you’re coming up. That’s how I perceived those videos. Icebreakers not interviews. I think if they had nine other press things to do than the chemistry they had with the blackest name guys will stand out more. So, good job? Good choice. What made you guys do that instead of asking them the typical press-y questions?

    As far as the meat of this goes, I think it’s pretty great that white people are slaves to black success. They’re our labor force and nannies now because the tides are turning. I’m joking, but I’m not but I am pretty serious. White people are going to work for you as you’re getting put on to new levels of success. That’s why it’s so important to be in control of your content and what you’re putting out. You wanna make sure it’s representative of the black experience as told by black people, and white people working to make that happen is the icing on the cake as black entertainers. Dave Chappelle is just as empowering as Keenan Ivory Wayans was churning out Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx, etc. while he maintained control of his show, content, and message. I think the Wayans speak volumes to what is possible when you stick to what you truly desire as a black person.

    We all have that pause when the others laugh because the humor wasn’t meant for them. It was meant to appeal to a black audience who would get the experience we’re referencing. We laugh because we know. We laugh because it’s relieving to have someone acknowledge an experience inherent to blackness. We laugh because there’s a bond there that we immediately gel into. White people definitely do not get that and in their minds they’re laughing at something done at our expense. It’s funny because it’s a stereotype and a caricature to them. They laugh at the surface entertainment value and we pause because we aren’t entertained by that. We’re offended by it, and a lot of times, our communities are damaged by inaccurate stories that are spun by the caricatures and stereotypes white people embrace. They laugh without good intentions. They make light of very real things for us and their laughter is meant to dismiss or neutralize any indignation we might have about the realities we face. You aren’t paranoid or anything. You and Damon ARE the bosses though and if there’s one thing that’s true about this site, it’s that you guys are honest. You don’t shy away from the nuanced topics and from the visceral experiences we have as people of color. That is a very powerful voice to have and maintain in this industry. It’s a lane yet to paved so who knows. You pioneer a path like this and you just may actually have millions to consider in your decision making.

    lol. This comment was a lot deeper than I meant it to be but this reflection/introspection didn’t seem like a joking matter to me.

    • panamajackson

      We were asked to bring our own brand of VSB-ness to the interview. Coupled with the fact that I’m not sure we were even completely sure what we were supposed to be doing, we just made it do what it do.

      In terms of the discomfort, it was fleeting. I saw what Chappelle saw, but it didn’t have the same impact on me at all. It was very much, “it is what it is” and more “hmm, its interesting. I get it.”

      Nowhere did I ever think to myself, there’s no way I could do this. At all. I was more surprised that Damon and I had the same epiphany at the same time.

      • Meridian

        It was more of an observation you made but you never felt like it was enough of a thing to hold you back from getting into television (?). That’s lowkey kinda dope the two of you were on the same page about something like that.

        • panamajackson

          Pretty much. At no point did that observation make me think I couldn’t handle it. I’m just aware. Period.

        • Damon Young

          “It was more of an observation you made but you never felt like it was enough of a thing to hold you back from getting into television (?). That’s lowkey kinda dope the two of you were on the same page about something like that.”

          that was kinda of eerie how that happened. i think it was largely due to the circumstance. it was a very “Black” skit they were filming, and watching them do that — and watching the 20 or so mostly White workers around them cracking up between takes — just felt a little…something

    • Funny that you mentioned In Living Color. Last week, David Allan Grier was on the Dan Patrick Show and naturally the show and the Wayans came up during the conversation. Patrick asked Grier if the cast knew how epic what they were doing was and he said Carey would always mention that what they were doing was awesome and how some of the others would eventually come to see it.

      • Val

        David Allen Grier is hilarious. I’ve always hoped he would get a late night talk show.

        • He was always one of my favorite people on the show because he can go from smart funny to dumb funny to over the top funny with ease.

      • Meridian

        That show was so stacked. Every person from the cast went on to do great things. Marlon has said in his interviews that even the behind the scenes people went on to make names for themselves. It’s just amazing how a team effort like that put everybody on and it was creatively controlled by a black man.

  • Neptunes presents The Clones

    Going mainstream has it’s pitfalls. Dave saw that he would lose control of the ability to tell it the way he saw it and walked away. My only advice would be always with somethings you have to act and think like Bill Gates and Microsoft,he never really let go of the brand he created.

    • panamajackson

      Own your sh*t. lol. basically sums it up.

  • Tosin Otitoju

    Nigeria. Or the Gambia. Or sum’in.
    That’s the answer.

  • Fifty million dollars is a lot of millions. A lot. I mean unless you’re working for Tyler Perry or Oprah’s production company you’re going to be surrounded by white faces. That’s the current situation. Fifty million though. Regardless of whatever endeavor you choose to explore and discuss Black identity, cultural, etc., there are going to be legions of white people there to distort it. that’s from Toni Morrison to Dave Chappelle (side bar does he have a Muslim name yet?). However, someone twisting and contouring your work to laugh AT is an extremely visceral and jarring feeling. Not sure how much 50 million can cover that though. Guess that really depends on how deeply connected you feel to your work.

    • You can walk away or make the game work for you. Chappelle at his peak couldve turned Comedy Central on his ear but decided to just walk away and head held high. Then there’s someone like LeBron who went back and about to take what’s his.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Folks may have clowned him in the beginning but LeBron has a strong team around him that’s been able to protect his brand, amass influence / control, and stockpile cash.

        • Freebird

          aren’t more than a few of them friends from back home?

          • Epsilonicus

            Yup. Almost all of them are. And they are fiercely protective of Lebron

          • truthbesold

            I couldn’t stomach this Key and Peele show. It’s like they got Uncle Ruckus to write that show. The way Dave Chappelle did it was just different. As if he wasn’t excluding himself from his own jokes. We generally feel comfortable around family members talking about each other and it’s all love but let some one else walk in and start talking about your family, and they can say the exact same things and it’s a problem, Key and Peele don’t feel like family. To me it’s just black face for someone’s racist agenda. It’s a real life Spike Lee movie – Bamboozled!!!!

        • I think that’s why some don’t like James. That “doing it my way” thing bothers people. He didn’t even seem to be comfortable with it in the beginning but a lot of that comes with age.

          • His sports business legacy is going to be far greater and more influential than Jordan.

            • Jordan made his bread but he’s still a product of Nike, what LeBron has set in motion can be so much greater and he doesn’t need to resell his shoes 20 times

        • Epsilonicus

          Lebron is laying out the blueprint for all of sports figures. His team his strong.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Magic is laying the foundation; from player to business man, to owner.

            • Epsilonicus

              I think for me I mean about the proper way to put your homeboys on. So many times dudes try and fail at it.

    • panamajackson

      Sometimes I wonder if Dave has some other demons. It seems like as a comedian you want folks to understand your perspective. But you want people to laugh and enjoy it. Ultimately, it seems like an exercise in futility to attempt to determine who is and who isn’t “getting” you the right way.

      Even some Black folks don’t “get it”. To me, it wouldn’t thwart my progress. I listen to sh*t like “Fight Night”. On purpose.

      • Maybe he’s just sensitive. I can relate to how maddening it can feel to try to explain something you’re deeply connected to and yet people aren’t putting in the effort to understand.

  • Personally I’m not a K&P fan, I just dont find them funny. As for Chapellism; I think it was Shamira who wrote about black people always being so protective of our image that we can’t quite enjoy anything. Eventually the fight to make them see us as anything more than what they already do become futile so to quote Charlo Greene “Fuggit, I quit”. Chappelle walked away from millions and a national brand and all they did was find someone else to fill that “make it okay to laugh at black ppl” void. If not K&P, it’ll be another, all I can do is enjoy what I enjoy, avoid what I don’t and not fret over looking bad in front of Mister Whitefolks.

    • panamajackson

      yeah…i’m sure Damon and I would, being that position would hi-fived our new 50 milli contract and hi-stepped it onto Roscoe’s.

      • Money isn’t everything, but white people laughing TOO hard at my jokes….I think I can take that L

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          37 million pounds though……

        • panamajackson

          Right. lol. Also, they gon’ laugh at it whether I’m the one selling it or not. Might as well be the one to take that money.

          I realize this is the argument drug dealers use. I’ll just say, but its not the same thing. lol

      • Rachmo


    • nillalatte

      I gave you an up vote for this… “all I can do is enjoy what I enjoy, avoid what I don’t and not fret over looking bad in front of Mister Whitefolks.”

      I like K&P. Why? Because while I see the humor in their skits, they do a decent job of subtle (and not so subtle) calling out behaviors of others (most often based on color). For those people with their own derogatory mentality, it won’t hit them like it would someone who is socially conscious.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    It’s the classic battle or money vs. control. People will often make the statement that everyone has a price. We have seen cases where that isn’t the case (Jim Brown, Dave Chapelle, Robert Smith) Individuals looked at each individual and asked if they were crazy for leaving all of the money on the table. For each of these gentlemen, the notion of being in control of their imaging and / or health was more important in the end.

    Richard Pryor tried to go down this path late in life. He created his production company and they created the movie Jo Jo Dancer Your Life is calling but found it difficult to create the a situation where we dominated in front of and behind the scenes.

    Prince is probably the best individual in present day that controls his product and his image. I hope and pray that the next generation looks at the successes and failures of those we hold in high esteem as case studies in how to create a balance between control and money.

    • Ray Charles owned his music at least. Considering when his hay day was that was impressive.

      • Epsilonicus

        Ray set the blueprint for Prince.

        And Michael Jackson was smart to get a hold of some white people music.

        • Told Paul McCartney I’m buying yo sh t to his face….thug life.

          • Epsilonicus

            Paul is still salty about that

            • Sigma_Since 93

              *In the Girl is Mine voice*

              MJ: Paul don’t waste your time…………those Beatles Master’s are mine

    • panamajackson

      Prince is also insane. And he went through a significant battle to be in control of his name, brand, and image.

      In the case of K&P, they are the writers and exec producers as well, so they’re not exactly NOT controlling their imagery. perhaps they are doing things on their own terms. folks are laughing at them…while they head to the bank. lol. my comedy has integrity. it also has bills to pay.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Dave’s partner, many folks forget about him in all of this, was totally blindsided by the move. I know some SERIOUS shade would be thrown if either you or Champ were to walk away from 50 million without some type of discussion prior.

        • panamajackson

          Yeah, I’ve listened to some of his comedy routines where he carefully broaches the topic. That was a d*ck move tho. I’d not pull anything like that.

      • Shel

        Prince? He’s not insane. He’s just a Gemini. There’s just an ever so slight difference.

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