Monday, October 02, 2006

When Are You Too Old To Be A B-Boy?

I got the biggest kick out of watching everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure ‘The Flavor of Love” this weekend.

I won’t lie I am of that small minority of people who thinks that Ms. New York a/k/a
Tiffany Patterson is a cute girl. For real she is. At least last season she was. Granted her attitude makes her unattractive.

Now me, personally, I don’t like anybody to over talk me in conversation. And as far as talkin’ about people’s moms and shit -- that ain't cool.

But you know, other than that, ya boy would slide her the bozack real quick. She would get it and so would Deelishis, Beautiful and Bootz, oh, please believe that ya man would be on some Lex Steele type shit.

The thing that I found interesting was the relationship between Flav-zell and New York’s Moms who is a total MIWWF (Mom I Wouldn’t Wanna Fuck). If they do end up hookin’ up, somebody should keep a camera crew on hand for weekends and holidays. Dust will fly, clocks will get smashed and weaves/wigs will get burnt up.

To tell the truth, I felt for both Flav and New York’s Moms. I felt for Flav because I’ve kind of been in his shoes before.

When you get to be over 30 years of age people look at hip-hoppers real funny. Questions are asked like: “When are you going to stop wearing baggy pants?” “Why are you still saying “Yo” at your age?” “When are you going to stop wearing your hat like that?” “Why do you still walk that way?” In other words folks are looking for you to act and look more like a ‘grown up’.

Nothing disturbs me more than those types of questions. Never mind the fact that I have been on my own since I was 19. Never mind the fact that I have never done drugs or have seen the inside of a jail cell. Never mind the fact that for all of my adult life I have always held down a job.

What happens when you get to be an over- 30 hip-hopper is you get locked into a little box, a stereotype: Only listens to rap music, only drinks malt liquor or Hennessey and has no education or skills beyond hip-hop.

Tell you what, I ain’t called Mark ‘Skillz’ for nuttin’. And as far as my musical tastes go they run a wide range from rock (the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Living Color, Hendrix, the Police) to soft rock (Elton John, Andy Gibb, Billy Joel) to jazz (Coltrane, Donald Byrd and the Crusaders) to reggae, afro beat and a whole lot of other stuff. And just for the record: Henny and any type of Malt Liquor repulse me, give me a glass of red wine and I’m straight. Besides hard liquor will make you look 10 years older than you really are.

The responses you get once people get to really know you is something like, “Oh, you’re different”, to “no way”. Like a hip hop cat couldn't possibly know anything beyond hip-hop and the hood.

Gimme a break.

A while back I was watching “Waiting to Exhale”, I sat there looking at the characters that the actors were portraying and said to myself, ‘Damn, how come I can’t be like them?”

Don’t get it twisted I like who I am, but I sat there wondering to myself about how the life decisions I made a very long time ago affected my life today. I’ve never been comfortable wearing a suit and tie everyday.

A long time ago my dad taught me that a Black man has to know how to walk both sides of Black culture: the street and work. You talk one way at work and another on the street. I’m glad he taught me that because it’s been key to my survival for the last 20 years. I’ve never had the ambition to be in corporate management, that shit is not in my DNA. And more importantly, I have never been comfortable in corporate settings. That's just not who I am.

Which brings to me what New York’s moms was talking about: “When is he going to start acting like a man? Who wants to be seen in public with a man wearing a big clock?” Show me the man…”

In her defense, I can say that I would be a little concerned about my 26 year-old daughter dating a 47 year- old man like Flavor. But I don’t have any daughters (thank God), I have nuttin’ but sons. Come to think about it, Flav is probably her mother’s age.

By 47 years of age there are certain things that are expected of you: mastery of professional type talk, success and a more mature presentation. Of which Flavor only has one of the criteria met. But don’t get it twisted, home chick and her daughter are on some gold-diggin’ shit for real.

“Tiffany”, her moms said to her with concern, ‘You want a man that’s wealthy and successful and who loves Jesus and knows how to treat a woman.”

Let’s start with this: As a parent I can feel where she’s coming from because you want the best for your children. But on the real, once your kids are grown there ain’t but so much you can really do but protest. But why is her moms so repulsed by the very sight of Flavor?

Believe it or not, it ain't so much about the way he looks.

I can tell you for my own personal experience that Flavor Flav is one of the coolest cats, and he is more mature than he lets on. What you see on screen is him, but what gets lost or not seen at all is the sensitive, thoughtful, insightful guy that William Drayton really is. Yes, he is a class clown, no doubt or argument about that from me. But to have such a reaction to him (for those that don’t know Flav and NY’s Moms almost came to blows) isn’t called for.

I suspect that Moms has been with quite a few Flav-esqe type characters in her life. And judging by the way she treats her man, Alex (I dunno about you but furniture would’ve been moving if she would’ve come at me like she did him) she’s been in quite a few physically abusive relationships. I say that because usually, women of that age get to a point where they want to be the controlling/manipulative one in a relationship and they know that they can’t do it with an Ike Turner type, so they get a dude who’s basically glad to be fuckin’.

But back to Flavor, I think he spoke for all of us old school hip-hop cats when he said to NY’s moms: “If you give me a chance, I’ll show you something else [other than the clock-wearin’, ‘Yeaaaah boyeeeee’ yellin’ immature thug that you perceive me to be].

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