I JUST saw this video on Vh1 Soul and I think I am in love with it. It is a new video by Fonzworth Bentley, called “Everybody,” with Kanye West and Andre 3000. I like how playful it is with the choreography and the cute stylized winking and smiling, how hot they all look in their suits, and I think producers (the fellas in the band in the video) Sa-Ra Creative Partners are the next big thing in Black music. This new image of Black masculinity gives me hope that we won’t all perish under the hegemony of hip-hop. I know I’m being dramatic–this song is just as misogynist as most music these days, but I am happy to see the cultural swing away from artists selling Black death.
Despite holding a more successful track record, skeptics are questioning whether 50 Cent’s Curtis will outsell Kanye West’s Graduation come September 11. Ask 50 and he’ll tell you there’s no way he’ll come in second. In fact, he’s ready to wager his career on it.
“They would like to see Kanye West give me a problem because I’ve worked myself into a space where I’ve become the favorite,” Fif told SOHH exclusively. “Everybody roots for the underdog when he goes against the favorite.
“Put it like this,” 50 told SOHH. “Let’s raise the stakes. If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11, I’ll no longer write music. I’ll write music and work with my other artists, but I won’t put out any more solo albums.
“And I bet this, when Kanye West’s sales come in, he’s gonna have a 70% decrease [the second week] ’cause Def Jam is gonna buy records to keep him closer to 50 Cent,” the Queens rapper added. “So watch the first week and then watch the second week. Watch his @#* drop off the planet. We keep our angles covered before we make a decent bet.”
This weekend I was hanging out with my special friend and one of his friends said “50 Cent sells Black death.”
Damn. It was so powerful a statement, we had to ask her a second time. And she said it again. 50 Cent sells Black death. His whole reason for success is about how many times he been shot, how much he’ll shoot you, and big his guns are. 50 Cent sells Black death.
I agree. Now Kanye doesn’t sell Black death but he sometimes irks me with his “look at me, I’m so ironic” bullshit. It is one thing to recognize one’s own contradictions—saying hip-hop is homophobic and needs to stop with the “f****t” word, but then you’re using it in your next single. Then talking about how women get treated in hip-hop, but then referring to multi-racial women (who are mostly part Black, mind you) as “mutts.” Wearing bling but making a song about Sierra Leone conflict diamonds.
But if I gotta take the lesser of two evils, I guess I choose Kanye. 50—you gotta go. If 50 Cent wants to retire, well, I say let’s help him get out of the game!
BUY KANYE’S GRADUATION ON 9-11!!!
(Don’t want to support either of these jokers? Here are some other folks with music comin out on the same day—in THIS particular order.)
Me’shell Ndegeocello, Pete Rock, Bernie Worrell, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, will.i.am, Sounds of Backness, Zap Mama, David Bowie, Eve, Siouxsie, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Crowded House, McCoy Tyner Quartet.
Also this fall! Angie Stone, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and CHAKA KHAN!!!