“You looking for the enemy then stare into the mirror…”
Last week, B.o.B caught his share of flack for his remarks regarding the Michael Brown murder and the nation’s reactions to it, specifically the response of the Black community. Maybe Twitter isn’t exactly the right medium to wax philosophical, so Bobby Ray took it to the booth to record “New Black.”
I have no doubt that B.o.B’s heart is in the right place. He makes really positive music that they play on the radio and they don’t let really negative stuff play on Clear Channel. And, his head is in the right place as well, saying some of what needs to be said to his Black brothers and sisters.
“Cause as soon as you see some n*ggas fighting
You’ll be the first motherf***er to yell out ‘WorldStarrr’
Can’t nobody else touch a n*gga,
But it’s cool for a brother to just bust a n*gga
Guns sold in every hood, here slays a dozen n*ggas
Gone kill ya self while you at take a couple wit’cha”
I’d be lying if I told you there wasn’t a lot of truth in that set of lines and “New Black” as a whole.
But you know what? Just like his tweets before, now’s not the time. Lines like the last two quoted above could fall victim of ill timing for Bobby again if anyone realizes that a 23-year-old essentially just committed death-by-cop earlier in St. Louis.
So Bobby Ray, I love you brother, but now’s just not the time. Trust me, most people – be they in Ferguson or elsewhere – are already doing a good amount of self-reflection and healing. As a community, there’s a wound there that’s still too fresh for forced rhetoric, because, let’s be honest: you can’t make pop-infected “Airplanes” raps one day then expect people to take you seriously once you decide to go all socially conscious MC for a few days out of the month when tragedy strikes. Or when shit hits the fan and your name gets called out.
See, there’s a difference between being outspoken and just practicing bad timing. Right now Bob, just chill and wait for the fever to go down in Ferguson. Let those who’ve always focused their verses on the community take the lead. In fact, your Grand Hustle labelmate Killer Mike wrote a thoughtful op-ed that published on Billboard today and it’s worth checking out.
In the meanwhile, try to sprinkle more “New Black” into the mix of what you normally do. And I say that with all due respect because I know your talents are immense and your heart is pure. We need as many good guys on this side as we can get.