Thursday, August 9, 2007

P.I.M.P.s Don't Go To College, Nelly

Nelly, seemingly still in recovery mode from his skirmish with the ladies at Spelman a few years back, is still pandering for some good P.R.

St. Louis-based rapper Nelly is inserting a bit of flavor in to his third annual P.I.M.P. "Upgrade Your Life" scholarship contest, as he launches a new addition to his Pimp Juice beverage brand. The debut of Pimp Juice - The Purple Label is being held in conjunction with the P.I.M.P. "Upgrade Your Life" scholarship contest.

This year’s contest will focus on a photo and essay competition in which students detail how they will "upgrade his/ her life" through education, hard work, creativity, heart, and philanthropy.

For Nelly, the contest's theme carries a personal connection as he recalls his personal journey towards success. "Luck can only get you so far in this life," the rapper said. "I was able to upgrade my life with hard work and sacrifice. I hope these scholarships will enable the less fortunate to reach their goals."

Contestants are required to submit an essay and photo with a Pimp Juice can that personifies their future plans. Essays should be no longer than 1,000 words.

Four scholarships (two for domestic students and two for international students) will be awarded to the winners, the scholarships are each valued up to $5,000.
While I'm all for helping folks go to college, the whole concept of a P.I.M.P. scholarship just doesn't rub me the right way. Aside from the flagrantly awful product placement (which just happens to be tied to a new release of new and improved Pimp Juice: now in Ghetto Grape), and self-serving intentions that come with that angle, I just don't see how branding yourself as a pimp is a positive thing, especially as relates to continuing education.

I can only imagine the scene, the first day of freshman orientation at Obscure State University.

Freshman #1: "What's up, man? Where you from?"

Freshman #2: "Memphis."

Freshman #1: "Word? I had to take out a shitload of loans just to pay for books. How are you affording all this? Pell Grants?"

Freshman #2: "Naw, I'm a P.I.M.P. Scholar, Derty."

Okay, so that was weak, but I just can't shake this. Something about tying educational achievement to such a reviled, disgusting person as a pimp just seems so wrong on so many levels. And before you flame me, yes, I know P.I.M.P. stands for Positive Intellectual Motivated Person. I get it already.

Making a poorly worded acronym of a disgusting word doesn't make it honorable though. What's next?

H.O. Scholarship = Helping Others
B.I.T.C.H. Scholarship = Being In Total Control of Herself
J.O.H.N. Scholarship = Just Out to Heal my Niggas
T.R.I.C.K. Scholarship = [insert your own acronym here, I'm fresh out]

If Nelly was truly about helping nobly educate others, he'd just call this something mundane like "The Nelly Scholarship", or better yet, name it after his sister who died in need of a bone marrow transplant. Doing so could continue to raise awareness of a health issue of minimal exposure in the black community, while maybe helping educate a doctor who could find the cure.

By choosing to instead call this the P.I.M.P. scholarship, I can only conclude that this is little more than a promotional stunt to convince more people to cop a can of his nasty (or so I've heard, I only mess with Red Bull) so-called energy drink from their corner bodega. That's rank capitalism, which is fine and and of itself, but don't get it confused. This isn't about scholarships.

Besides, if this was really about giving away money for college, wouldn't they offering more than the vaguely worded "up to $5,000"? I'd be willing to bet the eventual winners don't see a penny over $500 in exchange for being exploited in the inevitable press releases, PR, and additional thinly veiled product placement that comes along with this.

Nelly: truly P.I.M.P.'ing us all.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Nelly Debuts New Pimp Juice Flavor; Scholarship [AllHipHop]

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