The Revolution Will Not Be Animated

When I initially heard about Freaknik: The Musical, my level of excitement rivaled my appetite for a toe nail and tuna sandwich.

So many questions lingered in my head. Why would anyone give T-Pain a cartoon? Why would you theme a cartoon on Freaknik? At 24 how would T-Pain remember Freaknik anyway?

I don’t know why I went against my better judgment and watched this. It literally took only two minutes of viewing to ask the most important question of them all: Why hasn’t anyone handed Jay-Z a glock so he could really kill auto-tune?

I never chimed in on the T-Pain hatred before, but I’m starting to understand the sentiment.

It’s like they took every stereotype and cliche and meshed it with Nickelodeon style animation to make the most offensive cartoon they could create.

Actually, that was exactly what they did and as T-Pain explained to the New York Times, it’s what they were going for:

“There was so much negativity around the idea of Freaknik that we felt like we should push the envelope and make it even more negative.”

Mission accomplished.

There’s the usual band of suspects: Bitches, hoes, niggas, corny white people, references to one mystical all-controlling white man, along with the bougie black brigade who won’t let anyone have any non-uplifting fun.

I imagine this show would like to guise itself as some sort of satirical piece of work, but such an opinion holds about as much weight as an anorexic’s dinner plate.

In perpetuating a bunch of stereotypes T-Pain canceled out the one about all fat people being funny in the process. Even if this show was foolish and marred in stereotypes it still could’ve made you laugh even if it were uncomfortable. T-Pain just doesn’t make me laugh, though.

But wait, I have a compliment: I’m impressed T-Pain was able to put together an animated musical with such a wide array of rappers, singers, and comedians.

Now to make that compliment backhanded: Rounding up a bunch of people to do some stupid shit isn’t all that surprising — especially if it involves a rapper.

Speaking of stupid shit and rappers, I hope God has a sense of humor because if not Lil’ Wayne’s asshole will feel the wrath of an Old Testament-like rod in jail for his portrayal of “Trap Jesus.”

Now that it’s understood that I’m giving this video one finger up, I’d like to discuss this talk of people using this cartoon as proof that Freaknik needs to return to Atlanta.

As Atlanta native, La, explained to me, there are some folks who argue that T-Pain’s creation is proof that the legacy of Freaknik must live in. That the event is good for the local economy, important for city and HBCU morale and is a celebration that deserves its return.

The nice guy in me wants to nod my head and like this and smile.

Unfortunately, the realist in me has outweighed my good heart, and thus I have to ask what kind of degenerate, herpes-infested fool actually believes any of that? Well, the idea of it boosting the local economy sounds about right. The idea of it boosting HBCU morale not so much.

Granted, being only a year older than T-Pain I can’t pretend that I’ve experienced Freaknik. But, like him I’ve seen videos and heard plenty of stories. You know as cool as some of those stories sound (that is, if you’re into the smell of tuna, BBQ, and used condoms), I have an even better story to share:

Nearly one in every two African American women ages 14 to 49 has genital herpes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. Overall, two out of every five blacks in that age group carry the virus, and one out of every six Americans, the agency announced at an STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta.  The proportions have not changed since the agency’s last estimate for the period 1999 to 2004. About 80% of those who carry the virus do not know they are infected. Women appear to be particularly susceptible to infection, with 21% of women infected, compared with 11.5% of men.

Nothing screams good times like a permanent bump.

So for all of you trying to make this ratchet cartoon into some sort of movement for the return of Freaknik to Atlanta, think long and hard about that bedtime story I just shared with you. Then look down and scratch.

In the meantime, while you start Googling symptoms you all can check out the cartoon and share your thoughts:

Not all fuckery is created equal, though I liked the Mariah reference.

Now c’mon nah, I know ya’ll have something to say.


  1. justMillicent says:

    I don’t know what pissed me off more: this damn cartoon or you believing that T-Pain is really 24. But I digress.

    I expected nothing more from anything that had T-Pain in a starring role. He is THE definition of fuckery. Why can’t he even talk without autotune? Ridiculous! And, as soon as Lil Wayne’s character came onto my screen, I knew his ass was going to jail the very next day. Even more ridiculous!

    Like you, I was trying to find the satire but quickly realized that there was not an ounce there. I laugh at everything, normally, and I am a fan of offensive animation like Family Guy and South Park. But this didn’t even bring a chuckle. I’m going to stop, because I believe that I can go on forever about how retarded it is to try to empower something as negative as Freaknik. T-Pain can go to hell!

  2. Cassie says:

    I’m offended that T-Pain would insult my intellegence and my eyes by saying that he’s anywhere near 24. Lying about your age must be apart of the contract to be apart of Akon’s label.

    While watching the show I just sat there with my face on permanent WTF mode. I couldn’t believe that many people signed up to be apart of that tomfoolery.

    Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, I think T-Pain just earned himself an Emmy nod out of this one.

  3. Third Eye says:

    The truely painful part is that this event actually took place. It really happened, for years.

    I thought the writers did a good job. The point was to exaggerate stereotypes(that exist in reality) and provide a satirical take on some ignorant shit that happened. I don’t see how anyone could miss that. But I also realize that peoples daggars are always drawn and ready to pounce.

    I don’t know if it’s T-Pain’s affiliation that’s the problem. I understand and was nervous going in too lol. But I found it to be in that same class as “Boondocks” and “Chappelle Show”. I know some have a distaste for that kind of humor. And that’s why the former has so much controversy only 2 seasons in 5 years and the latter cancelled. It’s a slippery slope.

  4. Third EYE says:

    sorry, wasn’t done.

    How did you get from that cartoon that there was any movement wanting the return of “Freaknik”? lol If anything it showed why it was a fucked up event that never should have happened in the first place. What idiot is even arguing that point? You should instantly smack anyone who does. How can anyone not get that it was satire? that it was mocking? I mean if your going to bash something, cool? but I think you should atleast “get ” what your bashing.

    Why can’t we ever just laugh at our bullshit and stereotypes though? I know satire isn’t big with us, but just laugh. Giggle. Everything does not have to be a representation of black life in America.

  5. Ashy Larry says:

    As a regular lurker on this blog, and probably one of the few old enough to have attended Freaknik (too-old-for-the-club meets too-old-for-the-blog?), I’m forced to take issue with the last comment.

    Freaknik started out with good (or at least neutral) intentions- Black college students wanted their own Spring Break event, with their own music, objects of attention, and brown liquors. That it quickly got overrun by a more…ummmm…common element is just another example of the ghetto-fication of Black festivals. See: Kappa Beach Week, Philly Greek Picnic, Howard’s Homecoming, NBA All-Star Weekend, and (Black Jeebus help us) the recent Inauguration.

    To say that Freaknik “was a fucked up event that never should have happened in the first place” is more than a bit harsh, especially considering I’ve never heard the same said about Chad and Becky’s Spring Break debauchery in Ft. Lauderdale, Cancun, etc.

    Now, I admit maybe we shouldn’t have called it Freaknik, but a (big-bootied) rose by any other name…

  6. Michael says:

    Ashy, point taken and respected. I should’ve noted that I meant I’m not convinced the culture now would allow such an event to take place as it did originally.

    Third Eye, up until late last year the main image of blog was a picture of Huey Freeman. I’m well aware of satire, and even if a Boondocks producer wrote this that in of itself doesn’t make it satire. In fact, as big a fan as I am of the show, it’s not exactly the same level of satire as the comic strip. As for Chappelle, if you recall he went on to regret some of what he did on the show. After meeting his writing partner, I understand why.

    Why didn’t I just laugh? It wasn’t funny. I make fun of stereotypes all the time on the site. Point mooted.

    And I explained why some people are saying this inspires them to try and bring Freaknik back. It’s anecdotal, but it’s there in the post.

    But back to leaving the comments section to readers. Thanks for reading.

  7. Third Eye says:

    @Ashy. I’m an “older” HBCU alum. I know it started with positive intentions (as most things do) and went askew (to put it mildly) once the elements mixed in. I’m sorry if I offended.

    @ Michael. Aaron’s strip was amazing when it was in the Post and the Hilltop. His show isn’t that good or funny to me, but I appreciate his voice. “Chapelle Show” was tricky and abrasive in many ways, but I also appreciate that Dave did it. I think Dave’s regrets stemmed from not feeling the audience “got it”. He felt folks were just laughing at “coonery” and didn’t see what he was trying to do. I think he just got exhausted. I also don’t think people (blk and wht)ever really understood him. I really miss Dave, he was a great voice.

    Charlie Murphy really didn’t make you smirk? A little giggle? “The perminator”? Come on, you giggled, I know you did! Lol “Trap Jesus”?, c’mon son lol

    I still don’t understand the people who watched it and thought, “yeah let’s do this again, it was dope”. They completely missed the entire boat lol but I’ll leave that alone. They probably think Frankie is hilarious too.

  8. Third Eye says:

    And satire is over exaggerating streotypes and using humor to make a larger point. I felt they did that. I felt he did a better job with this than with “Boondocks”. It makes me excited about the new season.

    Let me stop clogging up your comments section though lol sorry.

  9. TheBlackTinaFey says:

    I’m appalled. @Cassie, Tomfoolery x 10 and the continued DENIGRATION OF THE BLACK RACE. When do we lift up our voices and say ENOUGH? When do we make it unacceptable to call our beautiful black women out of their names? When do we lift up a standard that says we esteem our culture more highly than this? This is a new level of coonery that sickens me to no end.

  10. sickwitit says:

    i wish i coulda been around for freaknik….niggas ruin everything

  11. Dr Kiti says:

    *whispers* I kinda liked it.

    I can see both sides of how this could be funny to some and incredibly offensive and sophomoric to others. We open ourselves up o ridicule from ‘others’ but at the same time, dammit, I need to laugh at some stupid shit sometimes. I wish there was a happy medium. This could have been something pretty great but instead it’s more ammo for those who buy in to stereotypes. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up and go to Freaknik. Fortunately if got shot down before I got old enough to think my parents would be okay with my declaration that I’m off to Freaknik. I’d still be picking up teeth to this day.

    I loved the crazy road trip element. I love a good trip across the US so that brought up funny memories, right down to ‘stumbling’ into every hood imaginable. (my father refuses to follow my directions from the map). My brother would be smoking the map and I’d be ‘light-skin’ with my nose in a book.

    In my defense I laugh at err-thang. Even when my car got stolen.

  12. Dr Kiti says:

    Oh, and the Boule? That just about killt me! I’m sorry, I still found it funny/disrespectful/fuckery-filled/unapologetic. We do need to lift up our voices as a people and say ‘no more’ but we can still chuckle in the mean time. I get it that we’ve paved the way for the Imuses and the Howard Sterns of the world to talk slick without fear of retribution due to our real-life coonery but this sh!t was soooo over the top and foolish that it was an apparent joke.

    And I’m still giggling ;)

  13. KSTONE says:

    As much as I agree with everyone’s opinion about the negativity that was portrayed in this cartoon…it was funny in certain moments. Especially with the constant reminder of the light skin almost white skin negreaux feeling the need to reference a book about why the white man is plotting the downfall of the black man.

    But I simply wanted to make a point that I think any pro-black or anti-defamation of the black nation member would agree with. Cartoons like this are important reminders of why we should spend more time spreading knowledge and not opinion. At the end of the day, I myself am a almost fully college educated person who enjoys crude humor and the occasional swag surfing workout in a dark places that smell like Henny and Beyonce’s box after her wedding night. And with such things in mind we need to make a conscious effort to remind our neighbors, you know the ones who still think multi-faceted hairstyles and the latest flea market knock off are the molasses on the pancakes we call life, that there is more to life than the stuff that goes on withing a 4 block radius of you.

    But most importantly, we need to (especially us folks with degrees or seeking them) be conscious of the fact that more than any other ethnic we berate ourselves but don’t help ourselves. It has become a constant to tell your brother what he ain’t doing instead of what he should be doing. And also understand that people like T-Pain are but mere entertainers, and no matter how many coonish activities they partake in, they aren’t always the real perpetrators of the problems we have.

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  15. Sorry @ThirdEye nothing called “Freaknik” starts out with good positive intentions … maybe Black Family Reunion – but not Freaknik.