Monday, July 6, 2009

The Greatest (Minstrel) Show on Earth

I love going to the circus. Not that UniverSoul joint, although I do get amused & somewhat nostalgic with all the African American-esque spins they put on it. But, for my buck, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey's Circus is where its at. FTR, clowns scare me, but I have to remain stoic for my kids sake. Sh!t, clowns are almost as bad as midgets. Midgets = Nightmare City. I used to get high & drunk & watch the Wizard of Oz in Surround Sound. That beat every Friday the 13th movie ever made. Terrifying. An imaginary Jason ain't got nothing on a real-life 3 foot tall buff dude wearing make-up, singing a song about lollipops with a pipe in his mouth. Mean-mugging the camera at that! No Dice. Now, I just watch The Wiz (RIP Mike Jack).

Pardon the scatter brain...

So, my favorite component of the circus is its zany cast of characters. The animals are okay, but unless it has personality like Arnold the Pig from Green Acres (that's a "Pulp Fiction" quote, folks), then its an animal all the same. The bulk of the Big Top's entertainment value rests upon the shoulders of all the people who make it pop.

Just like Hip Hop.

For the sake of argument, the talentless broods with lack of personality are the animals. No specific names come to mind immediately, hence the "lack of personality", but the game is rife with these type dudes. Aww, eff it; Mims, Bow Wow, New Boyz, Chingy, etc. Random faces who pop up occasionally to sh!t on our intelligence & meander into the background without notice. God Bless 'em, though.

It all begins with the Ringleader. The Puff Daddy's, Dame Dash's, Master P's of the industry. Loud, obnoxious, no real discernible skill, yet touching every facet of the production. Try as you might, there's no escaping them. Videos, vlogs, adlibs, websites, these unnecessary commentators run the show. Like it or not. Bear in mind, it does take something besides a shiny suit to call all the shots, even if its naked to the average eyeball.

Next, you have your high-flying acts, who add the razzle dazzle to the spectacle. Your NaS', Tupac's, Em's, Pun's, Jay-Z's, Biggie's, 50's, Twista's, Kanye's & so on. When these dudes call for your attention, its never anything less than all eyes on them (npi). From the moment they emerge(d), its an exciting ride. Effortlessly flipping in & out of tricks, traps & various death-defying situations, lyrically & literally, unfortunately. Too bad we've lost more than a few. We miss them, & cherish the ones who are still here.

Then you have the animal-tamers. Controllers of the most dangerous aspects of the show. The Gate Keepers. KRS-One, BDK, Rakim Allah, Ice Cube, Too $hort, Scarface, & the all the cool-handed veterans who rule by just the crack of a whip. Rather, the sound of their voice. The lions roar & elephant's bellow are silenced by a simple command. Respect is due & widely received for good reason. Hell, without them, the beasts would rip us to shreds (albeit with wackness, but we'd still be shreds).

No circus is complete without the clowns. Ugh x 2. Soulja Boy (Dre) Tellum, Drake, T-Pain (yes, he's Hip Hop. Hip Hop's a culture, not a genre), Jim Jones, Li'l Wayne, this list could go on for a fortnight. If nothing else, these guys provide the needed comic relief that balances out the ugh's & wow's from the ooh's & ahh's. Never looked upon as anything uberfascinating, the clown keeps us occupied with their idiotic antics, & no matter how corny we deem them, we are surely entertained time & time again. I guess its okay for a Jerk to shake his Stanky Legg, occasionally.

Let us not forget the audience. The most intregal part of the performance. The REASON for the exhibition. We, the people, are who they do it for. Whether we love them or hate them, without us there'd be no reason to suit up & execute night after night, city to city. Imagine, if you will, a tent full of acts without anyone to witness them. That would prove to be a pointless excerise in showmanship that would eventually end in some folks killing each other.

Hip Hop, love it or leave it alone.

Basically, I got tired of the WWE comparisons, Ha! I didn't purposely leave out any names, but everyone's perspective is different, so do with my analogy what you will. If I didn't call out your favorite rapper, then he's the guy that gets shot out of the cannon, or one of the dudes who ride motorbikes in the metal sphere.

*cue the clowns*

3 comments:

ron mexico said...

1. the universoul circus is a minstrel show. i'm never going back.

2. i've never liked clowns. they're more scary than funny. i said it.

3. these niggas been the big top circus since forever. only thing i disagree with is puffy not having a discernible talent. i hate on him hard for his many many many shortcomings, but as a producer and a visionary the man made some musical magic. i can't take that away from him... i don't know what the fuck he's doin NOW, but in 93 he was the bill gates of this rap shit.

i'll step off puffy's dick now. please continue.

and wowwwwwwwww @ your comment on bol's blog today.

Master CHeef said...

nice analogy, much more original than the typical sports comparisons

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