Welcome to March, everyone. Is spring coming anytime soon? Outside, it's 32 degrees, and the wind is howling. My skin has had enough. It's hard to get any play when you look and feel like Ashy Larry from the defunct (perhaps not?)Chappelle Show. Thank God for shea butter!
Before I start my rant, I need to give a shout-out to one of my best friends in the whole world, my Boriqua sistah Eileen Kennedy. Yes, she insists she's Puerto Rican, and I can vouch for her; I knew her Moms well. There will be stories about Coco in other posts. But Eileen hit that certain milestone age in her life today, the one I'll be staring in the face this December. I ain't skeered. What's the alternative, right? The Dirt Nap? No, thanks! So, Ei, smooches on your big day.
Chris Rock in Never Scared said that, even at his age, he loves rap. I share that sentiment. I love rap/hip-hop -- whatever it's being called this minute. Rappers -- the good one's anyway -- are social scientists, documenting aspects of our culture. I'm not down with the whole bitches-and-hoes aspect of it, but when a skilled rapper is spitting some lyrically conscious words over a tight beat, it's magic, and I'm there. But rap was always out on the fringes... until fairly recently. I knew when 18-34-year-old white boys started listening, it was all over in terms of keeping the stuff for ourselves. Now, two things have happened to herald a new day in my opinion.
One: It's hard Out Here for a Pimp was nominated for an Oscar in Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song). I can't wait to see if it wins tomorrow night. Can you see Jon Stewart and moldy old Hollywood throwing up gang signs and busting a move? Scary!!!
And two: The Smithsonian announced that they've begun collecting memorabilia for a hip-hop exhibit at the museum. Ice-T, MC Lyte, Kool Herc, and anyone who's anyone in hip-hop have started getting their stuff out of storage to donate. One of the reporters at the news conference in New York asked exactly what I was thinking -- how gangsta can you be if you're in the Smithsonian, for heaven's sake?! But I'm not going to hate. I hope that this leads not to exploitation, but to a deeper appreciation of what folks have been doing with a turntable, dope rhymes, and a dream for over 30 years now.
I will continue to keep hope alive...