This Lil Wayne vs. Black Lives Matter foolishness has gone too far. But Weezy is not the only one to blame. Wayne’s words stirred up a fresh round of controversy Wednesday after Nightline aired an interview in which he completely dismissed the legitimacy of the Black Lives Matter movement.
When asked what he thought about the social media movement, Wayne responded with a blank stare and a shrug. When he did speak, he just made things worse. “I am a young, Black, rich motherf**ker,” he said gesturing to the White cameraman filming the interview. “If that don’t let you know that America understand Black motherf**kers matter these days, I don’t know what it is. I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me.”
If we’re gonna discuss this, we need a straight shooter like Charlamagne to explain the concept clearly and engage Wayne in a legitimate dialog about racism in America. Not with journal
Skip Bayless, who baited Wayne into dropping the viral sound bite “racism doesn’t exist” on Fox Sports back in September is not the one. Neither is Linsey Davis, the Nightline reporter who failed to explain the meaning, origins and objectives of the Black Lives Matter movement when Wayne asked her to elaborate on her initial question about BLM.
Wayne is taking a lot of heat for his willful ignorance, but he is not stupid. And his erratic response can’t just be written off as the result of drugs — unless you count fame. And Wayne’s confusing answers are the result of the warped reality fame projects for both fans and celebrities.
Many psychoactive drugs reportedly stop or slow down the maturity of the user at whatever age they were when they began using. So it makes sense that while the world has been on social media getting “woke” for the past two decades, Wayne’s social conscious has been stunted since adolescence.
In 1991, at 9-years-old, Wayne joined Cash Money Records and entered a world where White people showered him with money and attention to perform. His experience is so unique that it should never be superficially simplified like a beauty pageant contestant’s or rigidly scrutinized like a politician’s. Wayne’s testimony should be studied and discussed. If properly fleshed out, it could be used to teach everyone some important lessons about America’s wacky racial dynamics. But we can’t disown or alienate Wayne And expect to solve anything.
How can we expect a lifelong musician to say “the right thing” about complex social issues many philosophers and politicians are still struggling to make sense of? As Dave Chappelle famously joked, nobody is on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what Ja Rule has to say about the world’s most serious issues.
Wayne knew all this was coming when his old buddy Skip first asked him about his views on race. He even prefaced his comment by saying he already knew his words would be misappropriated for click bait. But Weezy, being Weezy, kept it a buck anyway. After all, he has bigger issues on his plate (like trying to convince his Baby that his album still matters) than tip toeing around the PC police’s feelings.
The problem is he started stomping and allowed his words to crush the hearts and souls of his kin and ancestors. Wayne’s unusual racial reality doesn’t cancel out the oppression of others. Obviously, he has not handled this with the brilliance we see in his bars, but jumping on him or “cancelling” him for not getting it is just as wrong.
A wise Libra explained to me this morning that Wayne is clearly uncomfortable with the forum of these conversations, and being a Libra that can’t stomach confrontation, he is acting out as a defense mechanism. Deflecting the question by cussing and making jokes is what the class clown does when they’re forced to be serious in front of the class. And all of it was surely amplified by crafty editing from Nightline.
So while he seemed to needlessly disrespect the woman interviewing him, Wayne may be reacting to questions we didn’t hear or behavior we didn’t see from the reporter. But hopefully he realizes the IDGAF attitude that endeared him to Katie Couric last decade is no longer suitable armor for facing White supremacy.
There’s nothing cool about being ignorant these days (that’s one thing we can thank Mr. Trump for proving), so hopefully Weezy wakes up from the American Dream he’s been living and realizes he can only win by speaking out on behalf of any and everyone caught in a nightmare of oppression, whether it directly affects him or not. His fans didn’t hesitate to ride for his freedom from Birdman. And he definitely doesn’t need to bite his tongue for fear of pissing off his White customers — they’ll love whatever he does, as long as it’s defiant.
So since Charlemagne had no trouble standing up to Weezy’s estranged daddy earlier this year, there’s no reason he can’t sit the Birdman Jr. down on The Breakfast Club and school him on these relevant topics. Not because it is up to rapper to solve society’s social ills. Just so that Wayne has a fair opportunity to represent himself in a way he and those who care about him can be proud of. He gave us his entire teenage and young adult life, the least he deserves is some patience to grow with. We can trust that once he wakes up, he’ll apologize for the wait.
SOURCE: Nightline | PHOTO: Getty