Once upon a time, a leather catsuit-clad Chilli affirmed that a scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly. In other news, he might also be known as busta. But since Chilli is preoccupied with exhuming her career from the grave, I’ll take it upon myself to behold the pale stable of horses that have desecrated our precious conventions, disavowed our spice racks, and dishonored our traditions. Ladies and gentlemen, the “niggas” you love to hate: culture vultures.
But in order to properly fumigate these melanin groupies, it’s important to identify the behaviors and attributes of our mortal enemy. So without further ado, I present… The Anatomy of a Culture Vulture.
Why yes. Those are feet on your furniture.
It’s safe to assume that anyone who gets too comfortable too soon doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Which is always the case with these cultural grand larcenists. In the absence of proper decorum, as soon as you invite them over for a plate of neck bones, their feet will magically appear on your end tables. Because exploitive. Because entitled. Because parasitic.
Unfortunately, this voracious appetite for entitlement extends far beyond couches and ottomans. As one of their favorite methods of flexing their bootlegged insta-Blackness is cozying up to the word “nigga”.
A perfect example of this is when ambiguously employed, habitual line-stepper Yes Julz got her soul snatched out her chest by chicken-fried scribe Monique Judge of The Root. Because if Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with, you really want no parts of a Black woman. In a brief synopsis that can only be preceded by “what had happened was”, The Corpse Formerly Known as Yes Julz asked her legion of Twitter disciples if it was cool for her to rock a “Niggas lie a lot” t-shirt. To which Monique tapped into the essence of our ancestors before supplying her with at least 47 different ways to get the entire fuck.
Nice to meet you. I’m your friendly neighborhood liaison.
As if the 35-year-old friends who bully you into listening to their mixtapes aren’t bad enough, culture vultures take tremendous pride in serving as a gateway between alternative universes. Which, to the dismay of many, almost always includes an exorbitant fee. These Robin Hood ass looters literally steal from our cultural riches in order to peddle our wares to the seasoning-starved poor. Because appropriating marginalized communities is convenient and delicious, but not quite what you paid for. Kinda like diet soda.
Thankfully, PluggedNYC Creative Director Tizita Balemlay posted the receipts and pulled the pin out of Kylie’s grenade, but what about more sophisticated grievances that are a little more nebulous? Like gentrifying predominantly Black neighborhoods, then exploiting their newfound neighbors for dashiki money? A scenario Damon previously explored in-depth.
But the bottom line is that if history has taught us anything, it’s that exploitation is America’s #1 natural resource. So the behavior of these culture vultures circling overhead, who we inexplicably keep inviting to the cookout, should come as no surprise. After all, it is the American way.
And then commitment issues come into play.
Culture vultures take fuck and flee to another level. Ain’t no cuddling, ain’t no pillow talk to be had, and ROFLMAO @ them spending the night. But guess who’s left to sleep in the wet spot?
Culture vultures are world-renowned for their aversion to reciprocity. When Diddy told us “take that, take that” he wasn’t talking about Black Rob’s publishing. It was a forewarning that culture vultures would transform into both a rallying cry and instruction manual. You think all these trends created themselves? And in what reality are “boxer braids” the precursor to cornrows?
But in true cat burglar form, they pop the safe, snatch what’s inside, and bone the fuck out. And with no investment or attachment to the harvest, or the community who nurtured it, what incentive do they have to protect the farm? Which is why, as grateful as we were for her exodus, nobody was surprised when Hannah Montana abandoned her chart-topping, cultural tour guides and resumed her default setting. It’s also exactly why we’re side-eyeing Katy Perry. Whose playful flirtations with our culture eventually hit puberty and turned into shoving her unwanted hands down our pants.
So About That Security Breach
Let’s keep it a buck. These tourists don’t plunge into the Negro Safari themselves. Nobody hops a fence, crashes the cookout, or climbs into our culture from a back window. They ring the door bell and grab a plate like everybody else. So if we’re gonna condemn offending parties to the firing squad, let’s make sure we have plenty of bullets left to neutralize their chaperones.
Though the argument could be made that Snoop ushered in this turnstile of melanin marauders, the fact remains that there’s no Bill Mahers without kick-stepping Christopher “Kid” Reids, no Mileys without Mike Will Made Its, and no Kardashian Clan without a neighboring Black penis spitting a hot-sixteen.
So instead of passing out cookout invites and keys to the culture like Netflix passwords, we need to pump the brakes and be wary of who we chose to embrace. I mean, shit. Eminem can’t be the only honor roll student, right? Because try as they may to camouflage themselves in our fashion and slang, they can only get as far as we allow them to.
So Bieber, your ass on notice too.