Saturday, December 5, 2009

Before I self destruct and Tiger Woods

Hey Hey...gotcha! This blog is about ideas, comic books, pop culture and my superhero...Lucius Hammer. This particular edition is going to be a little bit different, this time around I am going to play the part of culture critic. I am going to spit on some subjects that have just captured my imagination and that of the media's this past week. The first thing that I want to get off my chest is that Fifty Cent, the garrulous, lisping gangsta rap heir apparent from NYC, has returned to fighting form and has released a cd worthy of your money. Before I Self Destruct is not only a great title for his latest studio effort, but it comes packed to gills with satisfactory, hard core gangster beats and nimble lyrics that will cause any self respecting b-boy's blood pressure to rise. Simply put, if you don't like Fiddy's latest don't have an appreciation for hip hop's most precious and basic element...the art of bragging and boasting. Now don't get me wrong, Fifty carries on endlessly about his inexhaustible sexual prowess, his skill with a firearm and his tendency to not get along with most of the people in his so-called...G-unit, but if we take it for what it album filled with clever wordplay and tantalizing satisfied that hankering I had for a solid dose of gangster rap. Nowadays when you cut on the radio all you hear is Lil Wayne, Jay Z or Kanye. Not hating on any of those dudes...but none of them are as convincing to me in that gangster role as Fifty. I can only imagine why he entitled the album Before I Self Destruct. My thoughts are that as a self made millionaire and black man, Fifty knows that his breakdown...his dramatic fall from grace (ala Ja Rule) is right around the corner. Hopefully he is smarter than that...but I believe when Henry Kissinger once said, "Power is the greatest aphrodisiac." he wasn't playing. Now Tiger Woods would appear to be the opposite side of Fifty Cent's coin (that was a little clever wordplay on my part!), he doesn't curse...he doesn't claim to shoot people...and he certainly doesn't sell drugs. Tiger is the model black man. Oh yes, I know technically he's mixed but if he had retaliated last week when he was supposedly attacked by his bikini model wife he would have been called all types of niggas! I found this ironic that Fifty released this album coinciding with Tiger's impromptu media circus because either way you look at it...this is Tiger Woods self destructing. Fame and power has given Tiger the carte blanche to go out and get him some strange. I believe that he probably resisted this call to arms many different times in his ascent to global stardom but the power is intoxicating. Once you realize that you can swing a metal club, hit a white ball, and get paid goo gobs of money you start to "smell yourself" as we like to say in the black community. In other words you begin to think your ca ca doesn't stink, and of course we know that is not the case. But some folks have become so vain that they let their abilities and social status confuse them. I believe Tiger suffered from Michael Jackson Syndrome. His parents said "take these clubs and practice till the cows come home" don't need to party, you don't need to play any other sports, quit looking at them little girls cause all they want is one thing, etc etc. Tiger then went to college with this killer mind set that he was going to conquer the world and be the greatest bi-racial golf pro of all time. He was a nerd. And then he conquered the world. And now all of a sudden...he's the man. This is not an excuse...this is just the truth. If somebody tells you "you're the man" on constant loop you start to believe it. On Fifty's new album he waxes poetic about a girl he used to know who didn't appreciate him until he was paid...the name of the track is "I got Swag". Swagger obviously is a word to describe a man's confident gait, and it is a ghetto buzzword. Pretty soon you will hear Jay Leno talking about he's got swag...but it just struck me this week that the things I see black men go through in the spotlight is what my comic book Lucius Hammer is about. Lucius is an icon in my story and he has a long history that affords his admirers and critics alike a wealth of material to draw from when making a case for or against him. He has done many good things in his life; but he has also made irresponsible comments, had improper relations with women and been involved with odd social movements that have made folks question his intentions as an American. I hope to give Lucius a realistic feel in this regard as a near impossible to kill black man with an attitude and superpowers in a country that's scared half to death of him. Hopefully when all is said and done I can formulate a cogent statement about the precarious position of the African American Male and have it make some sense to myself and others. The question is do black men have a self destruct mechanism or is it the society we live in. Probably a combination of both but that's a much deeper conversation for another time.



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