Say Goodbye to the Hard Life

I’d like to thank the Academy for making it easier out here for a pimp!


Rap trio Three 6 Mafia, brought home an Oscar for Best Original Song. The song made its debut in the Motion Picture Hustle and Flow, the tale of a pimp-gone-rapper played by Terrence Howard.


Many people were excited. Did you see the 6 black people including John Singleton and Jamie Foxx in the audience who jumped to their feet when Three 6 Mafia won? Did you hear the fluctuation in Queen Latifah’s voice when she read their names? People are excited. Three 6 Mafia received an award that many artists never will.


For some, this was a great achievement for the Black community. Some say receiving an Oscar is great news no matter how you get it or whether you’ve actually earned it. Others claim that the song fits the mood of the movie and therefore it’s fitting for an Oscar. Some even believe that the song was ingenious.


Lets be honest, was this song Oscar worthy?


With lyrics like “In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets Gotta couple hoes workin on the changes for me,” and “I’m tryin to get rich ‘fore I leave up out this *itch I’m tryin to have thangs but it’s hard fo’ a pimp” who can honestly give this song and their writers credit for being anything near the “Best?”


The lyrics remind me of slave-mentality movies. The broken English, or should I say Ebonics, and ignorant façades resemble movies like Roots, Imitation of Life and Gone with the Wind, when African Americans used poor English on screen because they had to do so. Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar in 1939 for her role as mammy, a character who because she was black, was incapable of expressing her thoughts in an articulate and concise way.


Its 2006 though, and your work reflects the Black community fellas. Whether you realize it or not, the Academy will use this instance for years to come to affirm negative stereotypes and labels that they already have of our community.


There are numerous Oscar worthy artists within the Black community such as Common and Jill Scott, for example have been pioneers in music.


I give Three 6 Mafia credit since they did set the bar fairly high in one regard. Finding a rapper whose songs weren’t samples or remixes may have presented a problem for the Academy.


On to the performance-


There was a legitimately choreographed routine, true. However, we must come to grips with reality, the Academy isn’t familiar with pimp lifestyles and desensitizing the issue isn’t beneficial either. There are women being exploited and degraded by selfish men who see their actions as a legitimate means to prosperity.  You don’t have to conform to win an Oscar but, present your self and your culture with dignity and prestige put on a tuxedo for once in your life!


The acceptance speech-


One word-wow! The speech is a memorable one here’s a snippet, “Hey, we want to thank Keith Young our choreographer. And the wholeSony Records, Lisa Ellis, our moms, our whole families.” But wait that’s not it. “And for giving us a chance, the Academy. We love the Academy. You know what I’m saying? Gil Cates. Everybody. I got plenty of time. Ain’t nobody else. I want to thank everybody. Yeah.”      


My intentions aren’t to discredit their craft or the hard work and time they sacrifice to entertain us. I’ve listened to many of their songs and watched some of their older videos. I am just disturbed by the way the Academy overlooks the pioneers and the innovators within our communities. Halle Berry and Denzel Washington both received Oscars, but not for any of the positive roles they’ve played. Halle Berry received an Oscar for having sex with Billy Bob Thornton in Monster’s Ball, and Denzel received an Oscar for being a ghetto crooked cop in Training Day.


They are all very talented but their best works weren’t awarded. I can’t get excited about awards that are used to affirm stereotypes; awards should be given for dispelling them.


After all is said and done-


John Stewart, the host of the 2006 Academy Awards was so anxious to get the microphone after Three 6 Mafia left. His satirical comments like, well I think it’s easier out here for a pimp weren’t falling on deaf ears.


Now, that thought has been floating throughout the community. Life is supposed to be hard for a pimp; their actions are immoral and derogatory!