When Rappers Whine

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I am not a frequent viewer of the Oprah Winfrey show. I am not my mother. I am not a Caucasian mother of three in sunny Sugar Land, Texas or Northern Virginia. But, for a second, I want to stand alongside them and go on and defend Oprah “I Own 5% of the World and I’m Working on Securing an Additional 10” Winfrey.

Ice Cube has joined Ludacris and 50 Cent in lashing out at the talk show host/world domination seeker for excluding him from her show.

“I’ve been involved in three projects pitched to her, but I’ve never been asked to participate,” the rapper-actor tells FHM magazine in its July issue, on newsstands June 6.

“For ‘Barbershop,’ she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn’t invited,” says the 36-year-old rapper, referring to his 2002 movie. “Maybe she’s got a problem with hip-hop.”

Cube goes on to add:

“She’s had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I’m not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?”

Last time I checked, Eve gained fame as a rapper. And I’m quite certain Oprah wasn’t glorifying the rapists and child molesters on her show. It’s not as if she allowed them to promote their criminal antics on national television the same way he would want to promote his album, so I don’t think the comparison is valid. As for the lying author, she didn’t know he was lying I imagine, and I remember watching her on CNN punish the dude for being deceitful. Haha.

Cube, we can do better.

I remember reading 50 Cent’s rant about Oprah appealing to older white women a few weeks back. Well, you appeal to their children, so start humming “We Have Something In Common” and let that rant die down.

And then there’s Ludacris. Poor woo is me, Oprah pulled me the side and called me out on my shit, Ludacris.

“What I got was that by having rappers on her show, she feels like she is empowering in them. It was like being at someone’s house who doesn’t really want you there,” Ludacris told GQ. “I don’t see why Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who I am huge fans of, it’s OK for them to go on Oprah. They speak the same language as I do, but they do it through comedy, so I guess that’s acceptable to her.”

I don’t think this is a fair comparison, because like Bo mentioned in one of his blog entries, I don’t think Chappelle and Rock use the same language with the same connotations. But even if you thought so, they, like other comics, often employ humor to do sociopolitical commentary. It’s not always just a joke. Chappelle poked fun at racial stereotypes. Chris on race and class. Some of it may be crass, but more times than not, they’re willing to debate and in cases like Chappelle, apologize for some of the humor they use. By contrast, Ludacris doesn’t apologize nor even effectively defend his lyrics. Neither do 50 or Ice Cube. Those comics will own up to their act; these emcees doen’t want to be held accountable for anything. I find it interesting Ludacris can choose to comment on her yet he wouldn’t go after Bill O’Reilly’s hypocritical rants from a few years ago. He could have easily blasted O’Reilly for leading a campaign to have him removed from a Pepsi ad campaign for his lyrical content but ignored the rock group that literally urinated in the bottle of a Pepsi product while on stage. But instead decides to hold off and target someone like Oprah who actually has a point.

The ugly truth is that Oprah is right in her criticisms. This is her show. She can do as she pleases. Do you really expect Oprah, who just aired the heavily promoted Legends Ball honoring black women for their achievements to welcome men who excessively shout nigga, bitch, nigga, bitch with open arms on her television show. Same applies to 50 and his constant channeling of Bigger Thomas for profit.

I like Ludacris and Ice Cube, but I am so sick of them and so many other rappers acting as if they’re entitled to everything, then ducking people who question their lyrical content and the imagery they offer the public. It’s very akin to a politician who can’t give a straight answer. For two people forever shouting about bitches, it’s about time they stop acting as such.

I hope she invites each of them to her show next season. After an hour of talking to her on national television about her views on hip hop and its effect on culture, I’m sure they’ll end up regretting it.

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