Macklemore’s Real Problem With Black People


Imagine a world where…

1. Justin Bieber and Beyonce performed together at a major event


2. During the show, Beyonce “accidentally” made an obscene gesture that kinda, sorta seemed planned by her and Bieber


3. When questioned about the gesture, Bieber threw Beyonce under the bus, allowing Beyonce to receive all the negative press by herself


4. Within the next several years, as Beyonce continued to suffer from the public relations hit, the Black community would begin to embrace Bieber while collectively forgetting about her.

Seems completely far-fetched, right? I’d even say that it was impossible. Like, not f*cking possible in a million Pharrell years. But that would make me a liar. Because this exact thing happened 10 years ago. 

Janet Jackson may not have been as big then as Beyonce is now, but she was close. And Justin Bieber today might not be as big now as Justin Timberlake was then, but he’s close. But those are minor details. The major detail remains the same: Black America collectively “forgave” a 20-something White male for his role in effectively ending the career of a Black music icon.

There are myriad theories for why this was able to happen. You could argue that Janet was already on the downside of her career, and this was just a nail to a coffin that had already started to close. You could argue that the entire controversy was just another example of the double standard for male and female and Black and White performers. You could even say that Janet was blacklisted because she was the one who actually had a body part exposed.

While each theory has some truth to it, none really explain why Black people have been so quick to embrace Timberlake. I mean, he’s on every Black awards show, he works with the best Black artists, and he’s the White celebrity crush for like 17% of Black women.

The answer is simple: Timberlake has talent.

That’s it. Talent is the great neuralyzer; powerful enough to make us forget and forgive anything. It makes us liars and hypocrites. Excusers and enablers. Things we say that really, really, really, really, really matter to us like integrity and loyalty and even racial solidarity stop mattering once someone is talented and cute and makes us laugh with his dick in a box.

He’s cool with us because he’s cool.

Timberlake isn’t the only example of this happening. I’m sure many of us can think of suspect stuff we’ve let slide because of how much we liked a person’s music or movies or pizza. It happens to me, too. Quentin Tarantino has a long history of saying and/or doing racially problematic things, but I look the other way because I love his movies.

All of this helps me understand what’s happening with Macklemore right now.

Macklemore is literally everywhere right now. And by “Macklemore is literally everywhere right now” I mean “Think pieces tying Macklemore to White privilege and disingenuousness and cultural appropriation are literally everywhere right now.” Seriously, on my way to the bathroom earlier, I tripped and fell over a 1,100 word long piece comparing Macklemore to John Boehner and Joseph Caiaphas. It was sleep on the floor. I gave it a granola bar.

He has become both pop culture’s and Black America’s punching bag of the week. I even joined in the fray during the Grammys, tweeting that he was the only Grammy winner where the “get off the stage” music is better than his. 

While the heat he’s receiving now will eventually die down, one thing is certain: He will never, ever, ever, ever receive the same type of embrace from us that Timberlake or even Eminem does. Never, ever, ever, ever. He’s not quite the male Miley Cyrus. But, as far as him symbolizing “everything that’s wrong with the music industry” and ”White people stealing shit again”, he might as well be.

Which proves (again) that we’re all hypocrites.

The only thing really separating Justin Timberlake and Eminem and Robin Thicke — all White artists who’ve been embraced by Blacks despite doing and/or saying some racially problematic things — from Macklemore is that we think Macklemore sucks. We don’t diss him because of appropriation or undeserved Grammy wins or Instagrammed messages to Kendrick Lamar. I mean, we say that we do, and we do a very good job of seeming upset about that stuff. But, when you consider that some of the White artists we embrace have done much worse, the Macklemore hate comes down to the fact that we think his music is simple, saccharin, and stupid. If he was a little more talented, a little less awkward, and maybe a little more handsome, we could be convinced to look the other way. But he’s not, so we don’t.

Perhaps you don’t agree. Maybe you believe it’s not just about talent. That Macklemore comes off as fake and Timberlake seems authentic so that’s why we embrace him. And, you know what? I believe you.

Actually, let me rephrase that. I will believe you if you can do one thing for me: Name the last Janet Jackson LP.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

18 Questions For Dat Azz On A Friday

Hey, young world. It’s Friday in the land before time and your wife is cheatin’ on us. Thanks to Richard “Dimples” Fields, there is a song called “Your Wife Is Cheatin’ On Us”. And the actual song sounds as ridiculous as the title.To be fair though, it sounds like the kind of song a ninja named “Dimples” would make. Down to the singing.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, after all of that wortwhile and whimsy discussion over the past few days, I figured I’d drop a few things on you all that have been on my mind for a lil while. Janet Jackson suggested that we wait a while, but then she also said anytime, anyplace.

I was going somewhere with that, but forget it. I give up. Let’s get right into some things that have been on my mind for a while. 18 questions, if you will.

And in general, these are all things that keep me up at night and would stand to create at least 2 or 3 hours of solid, actual debate and discussion amongst me and my friends. Welcome to my world. Whose house? P’s house.

1. Just when in the hell did bacon become so popular? Seriously, bacon has had like the best two years ever. It’s always been good, but when did it get a PR team and become the hottest thing since The Beatles?

And then there's that.

And then there’s that.

2. Am I wrong or was DeVoe the least talented member of New Edition? I got into an argument with my boy about this the other day. He steadfastly defends that Biv was the least talented as he claims DeVoe was the best dancer in the group. I think this is wrong since Bobby was clearly the best dancer. Here’s my hierarchy of New Edition, talentwise: Ralph, Bobby, Johnny, Ricky, Biv, DeVoe.

3. When was the last “neighborhood” ass whippin that didn’t result in somebody’s parents calling the police? Back in the day you could get beat by all your neighbors before you got home for doing something stupid. Now? Your own parents are afraid to beat you. When did this happen?

4. Here’s a good questions that is probably not really a good question at all: when you start dating somebody, are you responsible for their self-esteem? Like should you make it a point to do your best to ensure that they have the highest sense of self? Or should you just make sure you’re not doing anything to destroy their esteem. Seems like a stupid question, but think about it.

5. If you put 2 bloggers in a room, and take away their blogs….are they still bloggers?

6. Let’s settle this once and for all, Michelle Obama…hot or hot because she gives Obama street cred?

7. Why are elected officials whose sole job is to come up with new and innovative ways to fix problems ONLY able to come up with solutions that either haven’t worked in the past or are too stupid to possibly work in the future? How can a nation full of innovators manage to assume that if you put daddy in the house all problems will be fixed? I was raised by my daddy and it’s amazing I’m not doing federal prison time right now. Real spit.

8. Which was a more significant non-reality Black death, Ricky or Stringer? And if either of those names constitutes a spoiler alert for you, then I feel sorry for your mother.

9. Hell, what was the most significant Black death in a movie? I’ve got some theories, but I’m curious.

10. I once heard that profanity is the last resort of a person with limited vocabulary. I’ve always disagreed with this since I’ve definitely dropped perpetuity and lascivious in a convo earlier today. This made me think something, I find that the ability to curse well is an attractive quality in a woman. Not that I need a woman who curses up a storm, but I can appreciate it. I just realized that sounds like I hang with people named Mendeecees.

Speaking of…

11. I said this on Twitter earlier, but I don’t feel like there’s enough conversation around the fact that 1) a man named Mendeecees and a woman named Yandy managed to find each other AND find love; and 2) two people with those names doesn’t even move the needle in 2013.

12. Neither of those last two items were questions? Also, does adding a question mark make something a question? I don’t think so. But you can make an argument.

13. If you answer a rhetorical question, is it truly rhetorical? Philosophy my brother, use it or lose it.

14. Best Janet Jackson album? I’m torn between Rhythm Nation and Janet. I’d take both of those albums out to dinner and pay. I think Janet gets the nod from me. But “Alright” is still my favorite song, like totes ever, by Janet Jackson.

15. Are there natural hair wigs out there? I can’t seem to find any in my Asian owned Black hair care store.

16. Would you love me in the morning without giving you half my dough, and even worse if I was broke would you want me?

17. Does Complex Magazine not have some of THE worst lists ever about music known to mankind? I think so.

18. Won’t you be my neighbor?

I think that’s it for me right now. These are questions that were on my mind. Have thee any burning questions on your mind? It’s freestyle Friday. Drop bombs on them. Ask away and start whatever discussion you want.

And…should you have answers to any of my questions…please share with a brotha.

Posse. Out.


Back In The Day When Famous N*pples Were Fun

I wasn't before, but NOW I can really be your motivation.

So Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland are the latest victims of the power of the smartphone. One of Nicki’s nips peeked out on Good Morning America much to the dismay of soccer moms everywhere. Not because they saw a nipple, they’re soccer moms – they look at eachother’s nipples daily while breastfeeding at Starbucks. Nope, they were confused because they just can’t understand why such a nice young lady would call herself a “motherf*cking MOOOOONSTER”.

Kelly Rowland on the other hand had the double-fecta. She had a double nipslip when the obviously too small leather-esque top she had on rose to the occasion and refused to fall down like Donnie McClurkin at a PRIDE festival. I find her slip funny because it isn’t like she’s a dancer or anything. And even if she does some dance moves, she’s not exactly pulling out the Beyonce dance moves. Basically, if Kelly ever falls down in concert its because she’s clumsy, not because she’s putting in work. Kind of like Michelle’s clumsy behind. So yeah, to me the only explanation for Kelly’s slip is that her top was too small to hotbox with God. Which is a shame since, well, she’s not that big in the first place. Who the hell did she get that joint from? Jada Pinkett?

Now, I enjoyed both of those slips. A lot. Kelly’s specifically. See, Kelly has this whole good girl faking like a bad girl thing going. “Motivation” could have been a Ciara or Keri Hilson (what the hell happened to her?) song with ease. Kelly’s so sweet and nice that seeing her nipples is like the win of all wins. Because you’re just not supposed to. Unlike somebody like Nicki Minaj’s whose you kind of expect to see at some point anyway. Still great but the enjoyment is much shorter.

Which brings me to my point…nude pics of celebs just aren’t as fun as they used to be. It used to be a treat to catch a naked pic of a celeb. It was like Christmas. I remember when Toni Braxton bore her boobs for whichever publication it was. Good times. The Stacey Dash spread…that sh*t was better than Watch The Throne and an MJ comeback.

Sidenote: Lots of things seem to be better than Watch The Throne. Watching a caterpillar double dutch perhaps. At least you’ve never seen that before. This album sounds like it should be dope and yet I’m kind of over it already. Perhaps after repeated listens I’ll learn to love it but there’s something missing. Oh yeah, dopeness.

Now, you almost have to attempt to avoid nude celebs. Even the damn Disney and Nick kids are getting into the act. And frankly, I’m tired of it. Not because of the erosion of society. I’m upset because now I’m desensitized to seeing naked people all up and thru the websites. Sure I see lots of naked pr0n stars, but thats what they do. Be naked. I miss the days when a Janet Jackson nipple actually meant that an angel was getting its wings. Not anymore though. Just yesterday I was outside and Michelle Obama flashed the nation. Okay, that didn’t happen but you get my point. Give me that old time religion where seeing a nudey pic of Kelly Rowland would actually incite a fervor everywhere. It used to mean something.

It’s not lost on me how ridiculous this is. Truly it isn’t. But you have to at least understand where I’m coming from. It’s like everybody finding the greatest place on earth…it ceases to be the greatest place. Just ask Eminem and his craptastic albums as of late.

I want to feel like people felt when Vanessa Williams exposed all to Playboy. Like right now, there’s virtually no celeb that anybody wants to see naked of the boobed persuasion that we haven’t seen. It’s not even doing anything for their careers anymore its just another day at the office. And I’m tired of it!

Ladies, I realize that most of you either don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about all of the nudey nipslips and naked pics floating around of celebs. Hell you all felt like you got thrown a bone (PUN) when Idris Elba got to swangin’ in that scene in Takers. And I’m guessing all the wang shots of athletes and rappers don’t quite move you anyway. Or do they?

So, to make it more global, are we all just too desensitized to sex nowadays? Do you even notice or care when this stuff happens?

Interesting sidenote: I grew up in Europe (for those that didn’t know). Women used to sunbathe topless all the time. After a while boobs lost their effectiveness but I never got tired of seeing them as a youngster. I wonder what’s happened? Maybe I’m just desensitized to the sex I don’t get to be apart of. Seeing it in person is always a great experience. Send me pics. Thank you – The Management