Monday, February 9, 2009

Not gangsta...SO not gangsta!!!

The most anyone's seen Ray J since...ever.

Last Saturday afternoon, following a hellish journey home from Los Angeles, I was too catatonic to do damn near anything, let alone get up and find a remote control so as to change the channel on the television.

And so it stayed glued to VH1 as I played catch-up on my computer. I endured the drivel of reality shows with washed-up 90s stars and camera whores before I finally got up to switch on the PS3 so I could continue watching my "The Tudors" DVDs.

As I got up, "For The Love of Ray J" came on. The pilot episode. I had read about it briefly on the plane ride in that abortion of a hip-hop periodical known as The Source, so my curiosity was ever-so-slightly piqued. I stayed through the first commercial break. Then the second. And then, before I knew it, I'd reached the elimination portion of the show and lost a good hour of my life that I'll never get back.

First off, it's safe to say that VH1 has become the Krispy Kreme of basic cable: Everyone knows the shit is not good for you in way, shape or form, but folks can't stay away. I never, ever go looking for VH1 shows, but if I end up glued on the station for whatever reason - usually a result of being in front of someone else's TV who has it on - I find it difficult to turn the hell away.

But I digress. "For The Love of Ray J" is constructed with pretty much the same formula as all these other "find love" exercises in putting society's dregs out there for public consumption. But for some reason, this series is even less palatable than than the others. I think it has to do with the fact that there is absolutely, positively nothing compelling about Ray J.

Flavor Flav? Interesting motherfucker. Bret Michaels? Former rock god. Who can name more than one song from Willie Norwood? If you can, email me and I'll hit you in the face with pizza dough for being a tool. This cat wouldn't exist in anyone's mental Rolodex if big sister Brandy hadn't had her run. The only reason anyone has mentioned his name in the past three years is because he railed half-Armenian, half-horse socialite/social disease Kim Kardashian and put the shit on videotape for all to see.

Leaking an intimate sex tape to the public without the expressed permission of his partner is plenty enough for any respectable woman to not want anything to do with a guy. But we're definitely not dealing with respectable women. VH1 is single-handedly setting the feminist movement back years with every one of these reality shows, just as the negroid males on the same shows probably took a handful of votes away from Obama.

Jimmy Kimmel put it perfectly when he addressed some of the Flavor of Love stars at The Roast of Flavor Flav: "Now where was I before I was interrupted by these whores?" Each of them get on the show and talk in the private camera room about how they're "different" from the rest of the women in the audience because they're "actually here because I am looking for something special; something real." And yet, they all end up 7/8ths naked in front of the camera embarassing the dogshit out of their parents. Dumb broads.

I mean, where do they find these women?? When they're all getting to know each other and rattling off their respective professions, all I wanted to hear -for whatever reason - was "medical school, lawyer, retail buyer." Nope. "Hairdresser. Waitress. Slutpiece." And as fine as most of them are, several of them screw up their natural beauty with terrible makeup, tawdry behavior and clothes that'll never get them invited to any man's dinner to meet the family. I mean honestly...a tattoo of a fucking jungle cat on the side of your face?!?!?!? I hope ol' girl comes from money...

And then you got Ray J himself feigning genuine interest in the women while projecting a not-so-modest solipsism that has him looking like a utter stooge. I always thought Flav was playing something of a caricature of himself on his show, but Ray J doesn't seem to be acting; the D-level singer is probably as surface-level as he'd have you believe.

I'm definitely done after one episode of this show. Especially since he kept the dirty, buttcheek-clapping stripper. If any of you are convinced these shows have any tincture of reality or genuineness, joke's on you.


Jessica said...

I am sooooooo glad that you tagged me over on Facebook for this one! You are a trip, but you aren't wrong about any of this. I watched "FOL" - both seasons - and even watched the train wreck that was "ILNY" but I just can't do it anymore. I tuned in for the first episode of "Real Chance of Love" or whatever the hell it's called and about 7 minutes in had the feeling that "the people" were gonna come and repossess my degree from the University of Michigan for such behavior!

And I guess I'm a tool because I know two songs Ray J sang: "Wait a Minute" featuring his former jumpoff Lil Kim and "One Wish." And I have to admit that I was feeling both of them at the time. That said, I wish a nigga WOULD hit me in the face with pizza dough. We going a few rounds on that one, buddy! LMAO

Maroon Memoirs said...

You know how I got over here...

My cynical side tells me that shows like this are merely the latest installment of post-1964 race education for the white folk. We are clearly not the target audience, right? And so the white folk who sit around watching this, well -- it's their education on the lifestyles of the rich and negro. And so they learn. And while they are in their youthful, rebellious phases, they glorify all of the non-virtues that are hyped-up as essentially (I mean in an essentialist way) Black.

And then they get their business degrees. And look for their homes in the suburbs or whatever kind of gentrified neighborhood is hot with them, these days.

And then? You best believe they don't want to live next door to us or send their kids to the same schools, because you know, they "know" Black culture. Right?

Lord, I'm cynical...