Sunday, August 26, 2007

Note To Rappers: Leave Oprah The **** Alone. Or Else.

Ah, another week, another ignorant rapper lashing out at Oprah Winfrey in a tired and poorly worded manner. What's new?

Oprah's list of hip-hop adversaries is lengthy. In addition to David Banner, who not coincidentally has a new album on the way, others like Ice Cube, 50 Cent, Killer Mike, and Snoop Dogg have all taken shots at her. The whole brouhaha allegedly began a couple a years back when Ludacris, on the show to promote his role in the movie Crash, felt he got blindsided by an unexpected question about his lyrics, and some creative editing.

The rapper-turned-actor was miffed when he went on her show to promote "Crash" and got severely edited because Winfrey has a rule of not promoting rap or rappers. "She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in," Ludacris told GQ. "Of course, it's her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor.

The rapper reveals Winfrey insisted on further lecturing him on his lyrics once the show was over. He adds, "After the taping, she pulled me into a room and we had a five-minute conversation. What I got was that by having rappers on her show, she feels like she's empowering in them. "It was like being at someone's house who doesn't really want you there."

"I don't see why people like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who I am huge fans of, it's OK for them to go on 'Oprah.' They speak the same language as I do, but they do it through comedy, so I guess that's acceptable."
Uh, yes, Luda. Because Chris Rock and Chappelle are comedians. They don't make songs called "Move Bitch". But I digress.

Among the many criticisms lobbied at Oprah are the relative lack of rappers that have been featured on her show, and the feeling that the show caters primarily to middle-class white women. The always eloquent 50 Cent even opined that Oprah "started out with black women's views but has been catering to middle-aged white American women for so long that she's become one herself."

Note to Hip-Hop: Oprah doesn't owe you shit!

The rappers above fail to realize a few key things. First, and foremost, Oprah is 53 years old. There's a great chance that her day to day activities don't include watching 106th and Park and crankin' that Soulja Boy. If she doesn't want to bring on artists whose lyrics she finds offensive it's her own business, she isn't obligated to have anyone on her show. She is not of the hip-hop generation, so to expect her to be Dee Barnes isn't just unrealistic, it's delusional.

Does Oprah's show "cater" to middle-aged white women? Not in my opinion. I think it just caters to women, period, regardless of age or race. If you want something more gender, and age appropriate, Maury's always on. Perhaps that's more your speed, you know, with the paternity results shows and whatnot. And if a majority of her viewers just happen to be white, so what? It's well known that a majority of those who buy rap albums are white, and probably a good number of those consumers are female. Whoop-de-damn-do! Pot, meet kettle.

I also get a bit tired of hearing people say Oprah doesn't do anything for the black community. Bullsh*t. When you're a billionaire, giving away money is a full time job just to keep the IRS off your ass. Oprah's given away millions over the years, to HBCU's (she's a Tennesse State alum), community centers, scholarship programs, etc. Let's not forget the recent opening of South Africa’s Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

What exactly have rappers done to help advance our communities? BET UnCut? Celebrity weekends that don't actually end up producing any money for charity? Vile and self-congratulatory "benefit concerts"? P.I.M.P scholarships? Negroes, please.

Finally, let's not overlook one very, very important fact: At a net worth of $1.5 Billion, Oprah is the richest self-made woman in America. Translation: if she gets tired of getting bashed by no-hit-wonders like David Banner, she could probably just make a couple of phone calls and have his sh*t cut slam the f*ck off. Remember how Hammer was talkin' smack for a minute about being a better dancer than Michael Jackson? Mike got off one of those tweens long enough to give one of his connects a ring, and faster than you can say "Chapter 11", Hammer's ass was doing self-parodying commercials and dancing for chicken. I'm just sayin', it can happen.

There's some obvious woman hating going on here, but I suspect some of this criticism is just bad rappers wanting to get the same shine and acclaim as their better known peers. Oprah has featured LL Cool J, Kanye West, Common, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and of course Will Smith over the years, so it's not like she doesn't have rappers on. But to expect her show to become Sucker Free Sundays is just stignorant.

Oprah's obviously not without fault. Her shows sometimes shy away from significant discussions on black issues, and she tends to over sensationalize to a dangerous degree on occasion. Then again, it's TV. It's not supposed to be all things to all people. If you want a serious examination of race, or heck, any topic for that matter, stop expecting to be spoon fed and go read a book.

Whatever you do, David Banner and Co. better learn one lesson: Don't mess with the Queen of All Media!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.