Will The Real Model of Black Maleness Please Stand Up? Is It Barack or Curtis (50 Cent)?

I got this from the African American Portal, and frankly, it’s a question that I occasionally ask in my mind and address to my other FB denizens and even relatives.  And there is no answer that completely satisfies me.  At least, not yet.  It is food for thought, nonetheless.

Apparently this little film is only a minute shy of 10 minutes.  Perhaps some of you have already seen it three years before.  Now’s your chance to see it (again) and see it within the context of Barack Obama running for his second term as president.    The president has been perceived as weak when the going has gotten rough with the Republicans and the Baggers.   Even the First Lady was considered by his West Wing advisors as having too much access and sway over President Obama, according to  The Obamas, the controversial book by journalist Jodi Kantor.  They thought that she was going to pwn her husband, and assumed the presidential trousers.  Several of them got brought up short for that suggestion, namely guys like human firecracker Rahm Emmanuel, who could not even get along with Hillary Clinton back in the day.

Lately, President Obama has been returning to form and has gone on the attack.   I don’t think that it is just the campaign season.  Perhaps he’s finally decided that repeating the Republican talking points, and trying to get along with people who just don’t want negotiate it with him in good faith is bad politics, whether he is a centrist Dem or not.   He’s made Republicans back down in Congress, and in his trips to the heartland and elsewhere he looks and sounds confident, with or without The Swagga.   And as we know, he sings.   

And Obama’s bailout of the auto industry increasingly looks like good, rational sense and policy triumphing over the instant reflex (Mitt Romney, I mean you) to jettison everything and everyone except for the people in the first class seats backed up by banks.   The auto workers may be making less (and that cannot last), but at least they have jobs and a $7,000 bonus that has raised their hopes and their possibilities after such a dark night of the soul.  I can only hope that this good news spreads.

Barack Obama’s idea of black maleness—and he structured his from various sources including his white grandfather, his Indonesian stepfather, and even the reviled Reverend Jeremiah Wright—is thoroughly different as well as it should be.  While he grew up without his father, the senior Obama was still  a model of what one should or should not be.

Compare the President with the now 36-year-old Curtis ” 50 Cent” Jackson.  The son of a drug dealer, Sabrina Jackson, who birthed him when she was 15, 50 Cent began dealing himself after his mother was murdered.   The young man also took up boxing and later began rapping at a friend’s home.  

At 21, another friend introduced him to the late Jam Master Jay of Run DMC fame.  After the success of his controversial, but comical underground hit, “How to Rob” which showed his propensity for starting beefs, or deadly feuds, with other rap artists,  50 Cent was shot nine times at close range. 

 The shooting, however, wasn’t what kept 50 Cent out of action for almost two years, because his remarkable recovery only took six months.  It was 50 Cent being industry blacklisted for a song that he wrote, “Ghetto Qu’ran,” which is said to have revealed Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff‘s former life as a drug dealer.  Yeah, he went too damn far this time.   For this, 50 Cent was labeled a snitch by McGriff’s associates at Murder Inc., including Ja Rule and Irv Gotti.  Because  Jam Master Jay defiantly ignored the blacklist and continued to support his protegé, it is thought that Jay was rubbed out for his presumption.  

50 Cent took off for Canada, and in the interim, recorded a mixtape that raised his fortunes and his popularity.  Then, Eminem “discovered” him, and the rest is history.  The higher 50 Cent has moved within the rap industry, the more it appears that he is trying to become more mainstream, and money has something to do with it, too.   In 2007, he was the second richest rapper in the business.   He even visits The View, and despite his tats, muscles, and his healed wounds, he appears rather cuddly and harmless. 

But he isn’t.  As late as 2011, 50 Cent was still having rows with other rappers:  allegedly cutting his eyes at Rick Ross at a BET event, dissing The Game on Twitter, secretly recording and then exposing Young Buck for not paying a debt.  It’s not over yet for him, and it seems all rather like high school by this time.

Never has the definition of what constitutes black maleness been at such polar opposites—and divides—as it has at this point in time.  While Obama fights back with his mind and his intellect and his charm, 50 Cent has run his mouth, engaged in fights and feuds, and has nearly died while having a lot of money and a lot of women (but only one child, a boy). 

And what seems to stimulate and impress the youngsters coming up is not the example of their low-key president, who in many ways would look stupid acting, as Samuel L. Jackson put it a few weeks back, like a n-word.  A black man who is a daddy raising his daughters well while his hair goes gray in the service of his country doesn’t impress them.  No, it’s guys like 50 Cent.

I don’t get it.  Discuss amongst yourselves.

~ by blksista on February 28, 2012.

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