On 2/28/08, Russell asked,
Hi, I have one question to ask that I've been thinking about from time to time. I'm not trying to paint all black people with a paintbrush when I ask this question. I have a great deal of respect for people of all races. I'm just curious about one thing: I'm beginning to notice that a lot of rappers and celebrities go black-on-black with their vehicles and are wearing a good deal of black clothes. Also, I've noticed that certain cars, including some classic cars, are becoming "gangsta" cars. I know Cadillacs have been associated with mafia activity for a long time now, but there are some others that have started to become gangsta thanks to music videos. Also, there are certain brands of clothing that have become synonymous with hip-hop, such as Ecko and Avirex. This is probably going to sound stupid, but I have to ask anyway. Will I be seen and treated as a thug, gangsta, or pimp, if I wear all-black clothes or the previously mentioned brands, drive a black-on-black car, or own certain cars like the 64 Impala, 70's model Cadillacs, or the 70's model Lincoln Navigators that have been popularized and glamorized by the hip-hop culture? I'm not a person dependent on trends or society's demands. I just don't want to set myself up to look like someone that I am not. Thank you very much for helping me with this question.
Sincerely, Russell Williams.
You will be seen as a gansta, thug, pimp "wanna be" if you do all of the proposed activities at the same time. You may also find yourself being referred to as a "wigger", which you should take as an insult. If you really want to get the look right you will play offensive music extremely loud and try to keep a few decent looking women in the vehicle at all times. You will never be a gangsta, thug or pimp in reality and everyone who sees you will know this immediately, thus your official and permanent "wanna be/wigger"status.
Don't feel badly about that, because the vast majority of the Black people who you think are gansta, thugs, or pimps are in actuality really just better at pulling off the look than you could ever be. However that doesn't make them any more gangsta than you are. And in all fairness, if you confine yourself to looking like this only around white people, you may be able to convince quite a few people that you are authentic. Of course you did say it is not your intent to set yourself up to look like something you aren't. You can still wear all black branded clothing, and drive a "gangsta" vehicle, but continue to conduct the remainder of your affairs in your normal fashion and you may create a trend of your own, albeit somewhat more limited in its sphere of influence.
What you really want to know is why is it that a few notorious or celebrated Black guys can shape the actions and opinions of the entire world with what they are wearing, driving, doing, or saying. It's not the rappers, it's the machine behind the rappers. Real thugs and gangsters don't have PR machines. Rappers (aka studio thugs/pimps/gangstas) always have a PR machine behind them. That's what makes the dollars. The machine decides what car you will see the rapper bouncing up and down in on the next video, what brand name of clothing the rapper will be wearing, etc. ad infinitum. Those decisions are based on who pays the biggest sponsor fee.
So what you are seeing on the videos is in no way shape form or fashion indicative of any Black subculture. What you are seeing is what the major advertisers want you to see and none of them are Black.
And you are most definitely dependent on trends, why else would you want to wear brand name clothes and drive the hottest car.
Don't forget you can Ask A Real Black Man anything at all, and you will get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Don't be fooled by fakes or imitation Black men, as they will fill your head with misinformation guaranteed to perpetuate your ignorance.