Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Don't Believe The Hype!

Inspiration - "Don't Believe The Hype" Public Enemy "Their pens and pads I'll snatch'Cause I've had it/I'm not an addict fiendin' for static/I'll see their tape recorder and I grab it/No, you can't have it back silly rabbit/I'm going' to my media assassin/Harry Allen, I gotta ask him/Yo Harry, you're a writer, are we that type?/Don't believe the hype"

What I'm Listening To - "Muddy Waters" - Redman

Question(s) I Asked Myself Today - "Should I write this post knowing that most people are going to disagree with me?" Of course I should. I ain't never been afraid to say what's on my mind.

So I know I'm gonna catch hell for this one. But I have to say it. "Flavor of Love" is the stupidest shit I've ever seen. Let me rephrase that. I've never seen a whole episode, mainly because I just want pull out a .9 and shoot my TV whenever it comes on. Let me tell you why I feel this way.

Public Enemy was one of my favorite rap groups of the 80's and early 90's. They were all about Black conciousness. Even when Flavor Flav came out for some comic relief, it still had a message to it. Remember "911 is a Joke?" Yeah, it was funny, but it still had an undercurrent of a social message. These dudes were the epitome of anti establishment hip hop. Flav was that cat that told us "motherfuck him and John Wayne." Fast forward to 2004, and this cat is on "The Surreal Life" cooning around with Ivan Drago's wife. I couldn't understand how one of the guys responsible for "Fear of A Black Planet" could go out like that.

But who am I to judge? If Flav wants to play himself for a 6 foot white women, thats his choice. Then I saw his next show, "Strange Love." He took the silliness to minstrel show levels. The whole show was based on the fact that he and Bridgett Nielson were different. She had him ballroom dancing and he had her in the hood getting fronts. Everybody was talking about it, but I just thought that he was soft shoeing like a muhfucka. All he needed was some exaggerated big lips and a slice of watermelon. Maybe I think too much, but all I saw was everything that Public Enemy stood for was being desecrated.

2006 came and Flavor Flav got a new show, "Flavor of Love." This show featured 2o attention whores vying for Flav's romantic attention. Let's not even talk about why these women wanted Flav. It was obviously a publicity thing for most if not all of them. Flav ain't exactly (insert your favorite male celebrity here.) But to look at the idiotic behavior that he displayed while courting these women, I was just embarrassed. I know it aint my place to tell a grown man how to act, but this is how I feel. Flav is playing himself on VH-1, the same channel that would not play a Public Enemy video if the fate of the world depended on it. When they were pointing out the injustices Black people go through, they didn't want him. But now that he is willing to show his ass on TV, they can't get enough of him. I caught a bit of the finale episode the other night and it was like watching a train wreck. You don't wanna see it happen, but you can't look away. The sistas, (at least he had sistas), were hoeing themselves out to be on TV. The things they said and the way they acted were obviously (to me) contrived. And when he gave the "winner" some gold fronts, I had to turn the channel. I couldn't take anymore. I know lots of people like this shit, but I just can't stand it.

I wish I could meet Flav so I could remind him that he was once part of an important movement. I don't know what happened to him but he has gone from a cultural icon to modern day Sambo. Flav once said that before he would sell out he'd get the hell out. But that's exactly what he has done. I want to remind him of the lyrics to one of his own songs. Flav, don't believe the hype, because after the fame dies down you will be just another Black man who had his time and lost his self respect. So everybody if you got something to say, go ahead and hit me up in the comments. I realize that this is not the popular view and I am ready for the criticism.

It was written...


Blogger nikki said...

the thing that really gets me is that the same folk who got something to say about the minstrelization of hip-hop are the same cats who can't seem to get enough of watching that flava of love. they pull the "i can't help it cuz it's just so stupid" bit.

meanwhile, vh-1 can't discern who's watching it cuz it's stupid and who's watching it cuz they love it. all they see are dollar signs and nielsen ratings and they're getting both as a result of folk watching this show, regardless of why. this is gonna set a trend. television is gonna start seeking out more brothas willing to make asses out of themselves for a dollar cuz that shit is profitable. if folk had just boycotted the show when it first came on, vh-1 would know black folk ain't having that shit. that didn't happen, though.

Tue Mar 14, 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Unsaid said...

yeah i got something to say. you typed.."Flavonce said" and I read that like Beyonce with a flav in front and thought you made a cute nickname but couldn't figure out how beyonce tied in.

I was sickened by Flav's show! And mad!!! When he gave her the grill I was about to throw something at the TV. SAMBO in full effect. Only one person was real on that show and that was one of the black mother who came and told her daughter she would not marry that buffoon.

i refused to watch the show but caught the finale this weekend too.

Who do you think is going to disagree with you!!!?

Tue Mar 14, 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Paula D. said...

Argh! my stomach is still turning from this show.

Tue Mar 14, 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that boy can act!!!"...(bb)

Tue Mar 14, 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I can't beleive how far Flav has fallen either. I wonder what Chuck and Griff think. I'm still hoping Flav will do a press conference and say "Ya'll know ya boy Flav was just joking!" and then in a way it still would not make up for all hsi antics. At least he choose the pretty girl at the end.

Tue Mar 14, 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger T. Cas said...

Wow, judging from the blogs I read yesterday I thought that most people liked this show. I guess I'm not alone in this. But b.b., that's all you got to say? You tried to get me to watch this show several times.

@ nikki - i'm glad I don't have a nielson box, b/c I don't want them thinking I was watching this show for entertainment, it was strictly research.

@ unsaid- thanks for pointing out my typo, I fixed it. You know I don't proof read.

@ Paula and Robin- Thanks for stopping by, I'll be checking out your blogs later today.

Tue Mar 14, 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger NegroPino™ said...

Am I the only one that likes (blushes) it?

Tue Mar 14, 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger NegroPino™ said...

and U know I commented to the 10 commandments thread.......i got #11.....

Tue Mar 14, 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger chele said...

I hear what you're saying. Whenever I saw the show I felt like I needed a shower. It was just gross. I thought Chuck D totally disassociated himself from Flav after the 'Strange Love' nonsense. Flav was and has always been comic relief, I never took him seriously as part of PE.

Tue Mar 14, 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger P said...


The most important thing about owning your own blog is being able to talk about the elephant in the room; the issue that most people do not discuss.

Reality TV has ascended to another level; one that often is out of our realm of understanding. And with that, you have secondhand stars vying for a piece of the rock.

Reality TV is one of the most inexpensive shows to produce; yet generates high ratings. With that said Flavor Flav is probably not the most economically secure person (or at least he was not prior to all of this stuff that went on)

He seized an opportunity and went with it. Whether the opportunity was out of financial desparation or a need to be back in the limelight we will never know, but I am supposing that it was the former.

With that said

At what price to you sell yourself, if in fact there IS a price?

Tue Mar 14, 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you all hating on flav think about it this man came up he got major ass, got to live in a phat ass house, pimped out ride, mad trips, a butler, gita still in love with him (international ass), ate good, drank good, and started mad cat fights. that is the life and he ended up with a fine ass cutie that can play ball!! Come on now Stop you HATING!!! Obviously you are jealous!!!! Quit Being B.A.H.(i know you get the acronym)

Tue Mar 14, 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Unsaid said...

anonymous...did you just hear yourself...ass..trips..drankin good lol... i'm not jealous at all. he's making a fool out of black people. he's 46 years old...he was alive during segregation and this is what he does with his "freedom". come on now...

Tue Mar 14, 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger T. Cas said...

@ missy: you ain't the only one who likes it, but you are the only one speaking up.

@ chele: I ain't even think about it like that. He wasn't really the consciousness of P.E.

@ P: thanks for the words of wisdom

@ anonymous: Very funny, you!!! I ain't gonna call your name out, but I know who you are. This ain't exactly what I meant when I told you to tell me what you thought about the post. LOL

@ unsaid: I hate to tell you but anonymous is just playing around trying to stir up some blog beef. Don't worry about it. Damn good points though.

Wed Mar 15, 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger ScarlettRae said...

I know I'm a day late, but I just had to comment on your post.

I agree with some your statements in this entry, but we all need to be real with ourselves.
This is REALITY TV, which means that it can't be any farther from actual reality. Everything that is filmed is edited, scripted and directed. With that said, I can't believe that everybody is disappointed that Flav wasn't behaving like the pro-black leader we perceive him to be. This is business, he's broke and frankly, drama sells. He knew that and Vh1 knew that.
I think that it's interesting that everyone wants to judge him and call him Sambo, but the fact of the matter is there are black people out there who act like him and live like him. He wasn't a Sambo until white people got to see it. If he had been on BET he'd still be one of us. I'm not defending the show, I personally thought it was insane, but I think this discussion should address all points of view. People need to stop taking this as reality and take it for what it's mean to be: entertainment.

No one calls the token negro on the real world Sambo, and no one calls The Boondocks offensive, and no one calls Dave Chapelle a Coon when he openly uses the word Nigga with white crowds to film his show. If we are going to judge black people and hold them accountable, then this should go across the board for all black people involved with the media.

...And being involved with a white woman does not make him a Sambo either. We (as a community) need to come up off that mentality as well. It's getting old. How many black women did flav have children with??

Whew, okay. Sorry for the mouthfull. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I still love your blog, T.


Wed Mar 15, 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger nikki said...


i don't think there is a lack of accountability across the board. folk have called dave chapelle a coon for his stand up, some find the boondocks offensive, and some token negros get the sambo moniker. i don't see why flava flav should get a pass just cuz he's supposedly "keeping it real." you say flava was staying real, but we're supposed to see it as the 'entertainment' it is. i don't think any of it was real. i think all of it was orchestrated, from his behavior to the behavior of the women involved. you think they didn't know what they had to do to make the show interesting? why is it we're supposed to find women who cat fight and fight over a man entertaining? this ain't just about flava flav for me, it's also about the women involved. they pimped themselves, too.

and sure, flava flav was broke and had to do what he had to do. doesn't mean it was a good move, though. his willingness to pimp himself for a buck is what's at issue for me here, cuz when it's so easy to get cats to do shit like he's doing, then it's that much harder for black folk to demand more positive images of us appear on television. if there was a balance (which there isn't), i'd be like 'let flava do what he do'.

the fact that he and those females was more concerned with making a buck than anything else...that's what at issue for me. how come it's totally cool for black folk to do shit 'cuz we got bills to pay'? eventually we gotta start making decisions based on spiritual and emotional growth and less on wallet growth.

Wed Mar 15, 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger T. Cas said...

@ Scarlett. You make some good points not all that I agree with. But I appreciate your intelligent argument. I was hoping to get some differing opinions when I posted it, which is why I used some strong language. Thanks for sharing.

@ Nikki I guess the reason I felt so strongly about this issue was because Flav was part of P.E. Now I understand that they were by no means perfect, but this was a total 180 from what I assumed he stood for. Thanks for indulging my need to (over) analyze things.

Wed Mar 15, 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Unsaid said...

whew nikki! say that! she said all i have to say on the subject lol

Wed Mar 15, 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger ScarlettRae said...

Nikki and T-
I love these discussions :) Let me clairify a few things about my arguement:
1. I never said that Flav was keeping it real. What I said was that we need to be real with ourselves about what the focus of reality TV is-- and it's not exposing real life, as it happens, for us to survey and process. Reality TV totally entertainment television. I never said any of it was real and I'm not championing Flav's cause. I just wanted to present an alternate point of view.
2. I don't agree that there is accountability across the board. If that were the case half of the programming that we witness would not be on the air today. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it :)
3.I agree with both of you that he ultimately "pimped himself at the end of the day for a buck." But drama raises ratings and who is Vh1 to deviate from the formula?

I think we can all sit around and write until our fingers are numb about what should be on tv and what would be appropriate for our consciousness and our image, but at the end of the day, that's not what happens. We need to be cognizant of this and either do something about it or deal with it. Flav chose to deal with it.


p.s. I love playing devil's advocate

Wed Mar 15, 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

you're right. who is Vh1 to deviate? that's why i say we gotta hold ourselves accountable for what we're putting out there like that. it's really up to us to demand equal representation of the black experience. frankly, i think all of it's appropriate (good and bad) if there's balance. i don't want black folk to come off as martyrs. i want us to come off as just regular folks with a wide spectrum of experience and intelligence.

Thu Mar 16, 08:59:00 AM  
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