A friend of mine was doing some free lance work filming a book signing at Margret Mitchell’s house, that’s the lady who wrote Gone With The Wind.
The author for that night was a gentleman who wrote a book called Sell Out, my homeboy, who I guess, became engrossed in the conversation going on about the book that he called me to talk about his view of what a “sell out” is.
Now I know he called me because 9 out of 10 times I would be seeing things different from him and he was looking for a debate so I gave him one. We started off arguing about what people thought were examples of sellouts, Hammer, Barack Obama, T.I., Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, BET, I said no, no, maybe, no hell yeah, and no doubt, respectively.
We went on and on before realizing we were having a debate about what the definition of a sellout was causing us to look at things differently.
When I was a kid a sellout was anyone who white people liked or surrounded themselves with white people.
That was pretty much your standard definition back then.
Now at the time the poster boy for a kid like me of selling out was MC Hammer the rapper who made millions rapping and dancing to what at the time I thought was strictly white people.
Now that I am older and wiser I see things differently.
Was Hammer, whose first album was loved by blacks, who laid down a blue print of how a rapper should get paid with endorsements and record deal, who hired black kids from his community and surrounded himself with black employees, married black, and never promoted a poisonous ideals to the listeners at his peak, really a sellout?
Just because whites brought his music?
Dancing was very much a part of Hip-Hop back than as it is today, there were only a handful of really good MCs at the time, and what black person did not want to make money?
So the only reason Hammer was disliked was because whites liked him.
Think about that when you look at one his rivals and “respected” members of his Hip-Hop class who called him out for being a sellout, 3rd Base.
Now here you have two white dudes with black hair cuts, black medallions, performing what was pretty much an exclusively black art form, chasing black women, loved by blacks, calling a black man a sellout for being liked by whites.
That sounds stupid as hell now that I am older. If anyone was a sellout it was 3rd Base.
What about Barak Obama?
He is intelligent, articulate, well heeled, light skinned and safe looking.
The old school red flags of a sellout.
And to be honest whites love this guy like cooked food.
Hell even the Republicans are having trouble finding buttons to push especially with the alternative being Clinton.
But he is no sellout, he would have to turn on his beliefs for the Oval office and his beliefs are what he is selling, that whole “Change” thing.
He has stood up for his decision making and has not flipped flop for the sake of getting more white or black votes at the expense of the other despite some blacks wanting him to hold up a black fist before they will vote for him and some whites who want him to act like he is completely devoid of all color to go along with his color blindness .
If you look at his domestic policy beliefs, (at least what he is saying now), concerning education, drug laws, and health care he has managed to address black issues while not addressing “black” issues, just plain old issues.
Pretty stand up to me.
T.I.? I consider him half and half.
I don’t think his drug use or getting busted with guns, that would probably be used to kill another black person as selling out, criminal, but not selling out.
We knew he was a thug when he dropped his first 16 bars on a record.
So how is he a sellout?
He is doing exactly what he says he would do on his albums, that sounds pretty real to me.
The question for me are those albums themselves, I got a problem with the gangster/hardcore/drug/trap music that these rappers come out with.
Not because of the subject but because the idiots have now come out with back to back albums gangster/hardcore/drug/trap music.
How many albums can you go on with that?
A lot of these dudes are pushing 40 still talking that mess, an entire albums worth of it.
That’s selling out to me, you found a formulae and you are going to ride it into the grave.
Mean while every kid out there who does not know better are taking this for gospel.
Being a stripper and a drug dealer are now career options.
But still I only call them sellouts half heartedly, the bigger sellouts are the people who buy their music to me.
The man is determined to die on his cross and I have no problem putting a nail through his ass but he is no sellout.
Let’s look at what he is saying, he hates welfare, hates affirmative action, wants to be judge for being himself and to stand up on his own two feet.
Now despite the fact that it was those things that got him to where he is, he has worked actively to scale back those very same things.
And since I no longer prescribe to the monolithic view of black thought, I do not see him betraying us.
Not to me.
He would be selling out if he became the poster boy for affirmative action.
Nope the old dog stuck to his guns damn it all.
Condoleezza Rice without a doubt in my mind yet with absolutely no proof to back it up.
Here is why, I know the war in Iraq is a scam I see the Bush administration scaling back are rights, I see the big oil grab going on around the world, the two face foreign policy that make allies out of international thugs but enemies out of the ones that do not fall in line.
If I can see that here from my little section of the world than how does she who is in the middle of the mess not see it?
In fact how does she have the gall to endorse it?
The only reason I can think of is that she was hell bent on being the first black woman as Secretary Of State pr either she really is sleeping with the President.
She isn’t no war hawking patriot like Rumsfeld, not a money grubber like good old shoot em up Vice president Dick, she was the one that was supposed to have some sense in that administration.
I know she does not buy into the B.S. which is what irks me.
That is why she is a sellout, she know the truth but sells a dream.
BET, that wonderful network that has brought us BET Uncut, Read a Book, College Hill, Hell Date, and every lousy rapper who can reach the mic.
You know the truth is I believe everything has it’s place.
Porn has it's place, violence has it's place just not necessarily together and not sold in the kids section.
Thats the problem with BET it sells very adult images to kids than turns around and shows church programing on sunday.
We get enough of the stereotypes from othwer networks so you would figure we would catch a break from the one network that targets blacks.
And since Viacom owns BET for the LAST TIME BET IS NOT A BLACK NETWORK!
It just has a bunch of niggas working there.
So to sum up a sellout to me is a combination of some one who trades in his beliefs, and values, and the truth for success, than turns around and tries to sell you a lie that he does not believe in all the while watching that lie do damage.
Damn that was kinda of long.