Monday, June 26, 2006


Tonight, we honor MTV. We honor MTV for proving, once again, that they have as little to do with hip hop as Nova and PBS. Now, some might think I'm just taking up an easy target here. Some might think I'm completely out of line. Please, let me explain. Growing up, MTV was my window to the outside world. Through "MTV's Yo! MTV Raps," I first heard Gangstarr, Rakim, Tribe Called Quest, De La, Public Enemy, EPMD, blah blah blah.

After a seven year run on MTV, "Yo!" was pulled in 1995. Actually, more accurately, it was pushed. Artists like Green Day, Alanis, Weezer, Presidents of the United States and (ugh) Dave Matthews took over MTV and left very little room for quality hip hop. Of course, someone else might say that hip hop pulled itself from MTV. The top hip hop video the year that "Yo!" was yanked was Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise." Coincidence?

It's like Dre and Ed were the parentals and as soon as they were out, it was a free-for-all. Any sort of garbage could make it on MTV. Herein began the jiggy movement and, even more atrocious, the dark Bizkit days. Hip hop returned back in full to BET and, since has made returns on the various spin-off networks, but has never reclaimed the presence it once had on MTV.

Instead they substituted with a slew of hip hop/R&B collabs (Ashanti and J-Lo, I'm talking about you here), a fresh crop of hip pop artists like Master P, Nelly, Ja Rule, Will Smith, Puffy, Lil Jon and so on. And, just last year, they with were almost single-handedly responsible for the boom of "reggaeton" which is a putrid hybrid of cultures, none of which is really hip hop. And to say it was "force-fed" would be putting it lightly.

On the real (and that's the only way I'll give it to ya), MTV has become a bedpan for the discharge from hip hop's heyday ever since Yo! got pulled. It's like a freakin' wasteland. It has become centered on hip hop parody rather than promotion. And when they're not directly pimping the artists, they're pimping the entire culture through despicable programs such as "Yo Momma" and "Wild-N-Out."

First, you have "Yo Momma" which stars uber-hip hop icon (sarcasm, folks) Wilmer from, eh, does it matter?

The girls love me because I'm hip hop.

Here's one of those kids from Hollywood who thinks he can jump right into the culture complete with rap hands, that ultra-cool street slang ("Aw dawg, you killed it!" "You gotsta bring it, yo." "Yo, yo, yo, what's your rebuttal, my man?") and that stupid looking beanie he's always wearing. And to add to it, the show is horrible. Kids trying to snap, telling mama jokes, acting like everything is so freakin funny--I've yet to laugh out loud at anything said on this show because it's simply not funny. Yesterday, I dropped in just in time to see some white girl in a skirt poppin' mama jokes and then bustin a b-girl pose with pouting lips and I'm thinking, "Is this girl smokin' crack?!" The prelims are held on a some street corner, dark alleyway or public park to give it that completely improvisational feel--like this is what hip hop is about, just going off the head. Like we don't need no stage! Thems is fo suckas! And then the finals are held at a studio that's fashioned to look like a really rough part of town with (ooh!) chainlink fencing and (real rough!) graffiti on the wall. This whole show is a freakin' pose, but this is the level that MTV has fallen to. I mean, where in your town do people get together to tell mama jokes?! Nowhere. That's right. This is MTV's derranged and blurred adaptation of the hip hop culture. Here's an idea, why don't you substitute the 30 minutes (or 5-hour marathon on Saturdays) with actual artist profiles on dudes no one has ever heard of. Why don't you put heads onto some old ish like Jeru, Pete Rock, Pharcyde, Black Sheep, Nice and Smooth? That'd be a serious improvement on top of letting amateur comedians use your network as an open mic to exhibit their idiotic and juvenile jokery. Geez, talk about losing touch with the music.

And, if that's not bad enough, you have "Wild-N-Out" hosted by hip hop vet, Nick Cannon. Maybe you forgot his "hip hop" hit "Gigolo" with After showing off his incredible acting talents in Drumline, Garfield: The Movie, Love Don't Cost a Thing, alongside Richard Gere in Shall We Dance and (my personal favorite) Roll Bounce, he takes his dynamic personality and laugh-til-it-hurts sense of humor to cable television. "Wild-N-Out" is a show that puts two teams of rejected humorists and Nick Cannon against each other in a, uh, comedic obstacle course of sorts. The "DJ" calls out a competition and then the two teams battle it out doing impersonations, "freestyle rapping" or simply cracking jokes. What's worse is they sometimes drag bonofied hip hop artists into this crap as a guest spot so that Nick Can't can build some sort of cred with the audience like who else can pull guests like this?! It's horrible. It's like "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" except it takes five times as many people on stage to make it only a quarter as funny. And, sorry, folks "Whose Line Is It" isn't even funny. I can hear Nick Can't pitching to the execs right now: "Think of it as an urban Drew Carrey." Nick, your show is as intriguing watching a television in the "off" position. Stop playin' cute and forfeit your slot for "Yo!" re-runs--30 minutes at a time.

Nothin' funny 'bout this watch, ese. Peace.

Puffy's getting a dance group, oops, I mean hip hop group together. His first band, aptly titled "Da Band" just threw punches for a whole season. Yeah, I watched it. Can't hate on a little violence. Rev Run's in his bathtub getting philosophical. Xzibit's turning some kid's Pinto into a Pinto with nice rims. Jamie Kennedy (not funny) is starring in his own reality (not really) show about a has-been actor making a last ditch run at a rapper. Yet another kid from the burbs wants to be made into a rapper...or a breakdancer...or a DJ. Never thought that VH1 would top MTV as the network dedicating more airtime to hip hop programming, but they officially have. I mean, VH1 used to be all Michael Bolton and Dave Matthews videos. And we didn't need a VH2 to get that airtime.

I'm not suggesting to anyone to not watch MTV. In fact, in 30 minutes, I'll be settling down for a little Real World/Road Rules Challenge. B'lee dat.

Next time, though, MTV tries to sell you more of their processed and packaged "urban" programming, turn it off, walk away, put on Black Moon's Enta Da Stage and blast it like you got it yesterday (maybe some of you did) and leave it on repeat until your woofers fall out of the cabinet.

MTV, you gets the gas face.

Man, first song I hear this morning is Geto Boys "My Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me" on's "Old School" channel. It's gonna be a good day.

This year, Halloween fell on a weekend. Me and Geto Boys is trick or treatin'.

I'm out of coffee this morning. Must go to the store to get more bean when they open. Eyes very heavy. Why can't I sleep? Why?


TX said...

Well put, bro. It's hard to find anything but 'hip hop' lite on the M now. Yo! re-runs would be amamzing. How about a Yo! marathon?

TX said...

Today on Nick Cannon's Wild N Out, there was a brutal murder. In a tie breaking 'bonus round,' rap legend Rev Run ended the battle by putting Nick in his place (which by most accounts is much higher than he deserves) by bringing embarassing attention to Cannon's footwear, "Hey Nick! You and me supposed to be leaders! So, why you rockin' MY ADIDAS!"

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