Seriously, BET? It’s 2009, it’s Black Music Month, we have an African American in the White House, we have an African American running NASA, and this is how you decide to display “quality entertainment”? I’m referring to the shameful performance from one Aubrey Drake Graham featuring Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. better known as Drake and Lil’ Wayne.
Sunday night during the BET AWARDS ’09, Drake along with Lil Wayne and the Young Money crew performed their “hit” single “Every Girl”. This song is an ode to convey their earnest desires of biblically “knowing” every girl on the entire planet. The catchy hook/chorus resonates their tainted dreams with, “’cause we like her, and we like her too, and we like her, and she likes us too, I wish I could [explicit] every girl in the world, I wish I could [explicit] every girl in the world.” During the “performance” 90% of the “lyrics” were (at times unsuccessfully) bleeped out, leaving Weezy’s routine resembling more of an early 1920’s silent movie rendition than a live show.
This performance followed an earlier set by a seemingly irritated Jay-Z reminded us how stupid it is to continue to proclaim how you “be in the project hallway, talking ‘bout how [you] be in the project all day.” D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune) is ingenious reminder to artists to “get back to rap” and stop watering down the art with lack of originality and substance-less rhetoric. Now Jay-Z would in no way be the poster child for purity and moral fortitude in the hip-hop world, but at least on this night, dedicated to honoring Michael Jackson’s contribution to music, he carried himself in a respectable manner.
But the most repulsive part of Drake’s “performance” was when what appeared to be underage girls came out on stage and danced around Drake while Jae Millz informed us that his role model was Wilt Chamberlin and that both married women and/or MILF’s could “get the business.” Now I don’t have copies of these young ladies’ birth certificates to verify their ages, but from their demeanor, dress, mannerism, etc., these girls looked every bit of 11 to 14 years old as they danced to Gudda Gudda reminding us that “these hoes is God’s gift like Christmas.”
I’m all for freedom of speech. I believe everyone has the right to say anything they want to. I am just disappointed in what a few people want to say. This art we love so dear is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. It’s disappointing that some, with so much influence and opportunity, use, or should I say abuse those gifts and paint a one-sided picture of what hip-hop is.
BET states on their corporate site that their network “inspires its audiences to make a difference in their lives and communities with a broad and impactful pro-social agenda.”1 Where was the inspiration last night? Is this the difference that you are referring to? Please define “pro-social”? This image was disgusting. A bunch of men frolicking around a stage chanting how they want to [explicit] every girl in the world with (what appeared to be) 12 year old girls dancing to the “music”.
I don’t look for Drake, who is being called the new Fresh Prince, to be a role model. Lil Wayne isn’t who I look to for that beacon of light in a dark age. Neither is BET required to be the moral compass of all entertainment entities. But I am just embarrassed. I am embarrassed as an artist that this spectacle will be shown over and over again, and burned in the minds of viewers as – hip-hop. I am embarrassed as a Black man, that after all these years of struggles and accomplishments we still lack the mental capacity
to not present ourselves in a stereotypical manner that degrades us as a people on national television. I am embarrassed as an American that these major corporate conglomerates fail to use their powers, not for the promotion of Judeo-Christian world views, but just plain ol’ decency. And I am embarrassed as a father, that this is the world that my generation has created to raise my son and daughters in.
I am embarrassed, not shocked. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul clearly explains the direction the world is going to be following; people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, disrespectful, without self-control, savages, lovers of pleasure, etc. At the end of that description Paul says don’t get too excited or caught up with these individuals because they are on a path to nowhere while making fools of themselves along the way (read verse 9).
We, on the other hand, are to be wise. And this wisdom is only found in the Word of God (verse 15). So, don’t get captivated with this foolishness that has infiltrated our beloved art form. Let’s get our minds right and promote a wiser generation founded on truth.
Written by: Oz’el Varese