Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Get Rich Or White Tryin'?!?

Some of the feedback I've gotten on my recent post about Rappers vs Oprah Winfrey seems in indicate that quite a few people feel just like the rappers do: Oprah caters to white middle class America, and that's the real reason she is the world's only black female billionaire. Naturally, there's some truth to this, but I guess it just underscores what I've long suspected: it's impossible to become rich in America, heck, in the world for that matter without White Co-Signers.

It's entirely true that Winfrey's ability to appeal to the masses (read: the folks who don't read AvBro) is what's separated her from say, Iyanla Vanzant, who more or less is of the same ilk, and who show bit the dust after just a year. But isn't that really the case for everyone who's black and rich in America?

Think about it: by most accounts, an overwhelming majority (70% - 75%?, depending on whose figures you believe) of rap music is purchased by suburban white teens. These guys aren't purchasing 50 Cent because they want to support black bidness, they're buying 50 Cent because they want to vicserally live an exaggerated caricature of blackness. Many rappers aren't who they present themselves to be. Ludacris is college educated, although you never hear him drop this in a rhyme. Lil' Jon is the son of an Engineer and a National Guard reservist. Old Dirty Bastard, contrary to what he presented, was raised in a stable two parent working class household. We all know the story about 90's female one hit wonder, BOSS, who was classically trained pianist that coopted a gangsta chick persona loosely mimicing Ice Cube and NWA. Clearly, all of these people, and the 100's of other MySpace rappers living in their mothers basements, are catering to a lowest common denominator to sell records, mostly to people who don't look like them.

Except for easy targets like Hammer, and Young MC, I have yet to hear a rapper labeled as a sellout. Why?

Is it even possible to get rich without appealing, blatantly or not so blatantly, to people other than your own? AvBro had to do a little research.

The World's Most Accurate Encyclopedia has an entry called Black Billionaires. As of today, there are only two of them in America. Winfrey, and BET Founder, Bob Johnson. It goes without saying, that by trafficing the very images that rappers create, Johnson caters to white America.

Not-quite millionaires dominate the sports and entertainment industry. Earvin "Magic" Johnson made a name for himself playing in front of mostly white crowds for a team mostly funded by white owned corporations. Michael Jordan did the same. Tiger Woods is half (or quarter, or what the hell ever) white, and I don't need to tell you who he plays for, to, and with. Mike Tyson entertained whites, in and out of the ring, until they grew weary with his act. Michael Jackson probably wasn't been black for 20 years now, so there's no point in really mentioning him.

Indeed, among the very few extremely wealthy blacks who didn't overtly cater to whites to make their fortunes are (self-proclaimed) billionaire attorney Donald Watkins , and the late Reginald Lewis of Beatrice Foods.

My point being: why even use the "caters to white women" excuse if you're trying to down Winfrey? To me, it seems like you can't really get rich in America, without doing so on some level.

Black Billionaires [Wikipedia]

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