|But We Love Flavor Flav.
Words By Cameloti Bulgari
What you are about to read is Part One of a discussion between Gottyâ„¢ and Cam.
When Flav’s album leaked (yeah…he dropped an album recently), I was thinking “wtf?” and the debate started – Is Flav milking the cow’s tit for all it’s worth @ the expense of PE’s legacy?
Below is Cam’s take. Part Two, Gottyâ„¢’s take, will appear tomorrow.
Personally, I loved the video for “Fight the Power” that Spike Lee directed back in the day. Flava Flav had that full-length denim parka and the magician hat with that stupid-big clock around his neck; it just complimented his wacky persona. He balanced that heavy political message of militarism and black power that not everyone was trying to vibe to at that time, he injected some fun into it. Since then, when you look at P.E.’s creators now, maybe no one ever expected Chuck-D– that hybrid gangsta-rap-politically-savvy-rhymeslayer outta Strong Island–to fall off as far as he did, but with the resurrection of Flava Flav in the past few years, P.E. still stays in the collective ether.
A lot of people will say VH1’s rating bonanza “Flava of Love,” is a mockery of what P.E. stood for back in the day. But it’s entertainment the masses love. According to Nielsen Media Research data, (the stuffy white men at Viacom have to be super-pleased with this) VH1 has Flav to thank for its highest-rated telecast ever. 7.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday, October 15, to watch some thick red-bone nicknamed ” Deelishis” win the golden grill (which I think is kinda sexy…women with mouth jewelry, why all the thugs get to wear ’em, huh bruh?)
Flav, 47, (and with about a half-dozen kids according to some reports) has been blazing a unique comeback trail–to call him the “King of Reality TV” is a legit moniker– that’s probably a good sign for how to create longevity based on this rap thing we love so (anyone catch Ice-T trying to teach white kids to rap?–no, anyone see his wife’s banging booty on that album cover?!?). Sure, it’s buffoonery, but it’s great fun to watch. How many times do you see girls, with and without, loads of weave dishing it out for an over-the-hill hype-man; spitting on each other and getting into petty beefs. It’s what we love about Jerry Springer, but with less overt sadness.
And make no bones about it: We loved Flav’s “YEAHH BOYY”s. He helped define the generation from whence a lot of us came (if you were an 80’s baby, that is). Could there have been an O.D.B without the lunacy of Flav to prepare us?
Flav’s basically doing what ever performer in history has done once their 15 minutes dries out. If Hollywood Squares was still the show, Flav would be on it…The Gong Show? Hell yeah. But with the onslaught of reality shows, why not use rap to save it. VH1 used to be the fogey station, old 80’s standards and shit your uncle Jesse used to still think was cool. Flav is basically using his rap cred as that legit vehicle to make money. Don’t be mad because he sold out a little, okay, a lot! Flav’s just trying to collect on his resurrected stardom. Besides, most anyone spitting on a CD is still pimpin for someone, whether it be the all-mighty Iovine or the ever-present Koch. Everybody gotta cut a deal…just so happens hip hop fans are getting old, and with it their icons are growing gray, too. L.L. can change his face and do all the crappy flicks he wants to, but we’ll still appreciate the occasional club banger that he drops every other summer. Flav was never a great rapper…sure “911 is a Joke” is a classic by clown-rap standards, but face it…if Rev Run can have a show, then why can’t Flav? It’s not like we’re gonna buy his records, so let Middle America support his silly ass and watch as chicks from all walks of life play themselves on national cable-T.V. I like it.
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