Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Waka Flocka Obama video

When I first heard of this video I eye rolled and went on to the next one. Tonight though I was bored so I watched it. And to be frank it is a piece of classic parody with a lot of hidden commentary which may or may not be intended by Waka Flocka. Let me explain.

First off, we, as in "middle class" and "non hood" black folk sometimes need to come up off our class pedestals and allow other black folk to do them. Obama has, for better or worse, inspired a lot of black folk and parody or not, I believe Wacka to be proud of Obama like any other of the 90+% of black folk who still support him nearly 2 years after they voted for him. So I'm not going to get into Wacka on his decision to do his Obama parody regardless of who sees it. If we simply take it as "hood video" we can easily be insulted, but if we look at it as political-social commentary, then it reveals quite a bit.

Check the headliner:

I'm the mah-fuckin' head of state niggah!

A boast for sure. But how many black folk feel that Obama is disrespected because he's black and feel a need at some point to assert that he deserves respect as head of state? How many of us thought that the disrespect shown to Obama when he gave his speech to congress was out of order? How many of us read the GQ interview with the General (I don't feel like looking up his name) who disrespected the Obama administration? Yes, Flocka is stating a feeling that many of us have felt about the rampant disrespect Obama has endured being "tha mah-fuckin' head of state niggah". It's not clean. It's not pretty but it is exactly the sentiments I am positive has run through this South Side Chicago politician turned president's mind.

So at once this anthem, which if I was Obama I'd have on my iPod for "hype" before a campaign speech, is one of accomplishment ie: I'm black. I'm head of state. Respect that! and one one of warning "I'm head of state and I'll deal with you." I can't get mad at that.

The next item on the list is Flocka's commentary on the gangster state of the executive. Rapping:

'I run the military if you want that beef"

Isn't that what the president is currently doing with Iran? Korea? Hezbollah? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Didn't Bush do this? Didn't Kennedy do this? Flocka reveals the gangsterism inherent in the imperial presidency that we have today. He's not the first to discuss this. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, discusses such things in great detail. So again, I can't get mad for Flocka for highlighting this issue.

Thirdly we see Flocka discuss the "spoils of power"

I got a man chick, and a mistress

I'm not saying Obama is getting some on the side, but we do know that men in power including recent presidents and a NYS governor do in fact have or have had such "arrangements". Also he raps:

"I put a nice suit on and got some marijuana"

This clearly highlights the fact that men and women in "nice suits" are able to get away with illegal behavior which ordinary "hood niggas" would get jailed for. Again, I'm not saying that Flocka actually meant to point this out, but the clear statement is right there for us to see.

One of the other reasons why I can't get mad at Waka is because I have to see it as a modern day production of the Richard Pryor skit of what he thought the hypothetical black president would act. Are we going to give Pryor a pass because he didn't say nigga"? Of course he couldn't. He was on broadcast television. We all know Richard Pryor would have had no problem (until his meeting with Maya Angelou) using that term.

What about the "educated" and 'classy" negroes who on twitter and elsewhere post commentary on Obama's various speeches and media appearances with #shortobama and #obamaslapelpin hashtags which are usually followed by common African-American vernacular not to different from the presentation under discussion. Why are those tweets funny and acceptable but Flocka Obama isn't? Dare I say that negative reactions to this video are based more on some "white folk will see this and think we're ignorant" type of thinking?

So I close by saying, we, "non-hood niggas" need to be careful about the judgment we pass on other black folks modes of expression 'cause sometimes they come up with political commentary in ways that we would never conceive of. Even if it may be accidentally.