A line has been crossed in hip hop. The rapper Meek Mill has offended audiences. If you haven’t heard you might be wondering what could possibly offend hip hop fans. Rap lovers have been listening to lyrics depicting violence and disrespecting Black women for decades. Rappers have made music glorifying idolatry and every sin known to man. Hip hop artists are known for being brash and irreverent. That’s their brand.
Well, Meek Mill said something Vanessa Bryant didn’t like. Basketball widow Vanessa Bryant reacted to a line in a Meek Mill song that made reference to Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash that took his life. And that ladies and gentlemen is the line you don’t cross with hip hop fans.
They don’t mind music that has degraded their culture and has poisoned the minds of young people globally for three generations now (myself included) but don’t you dare say anything to upset the princess of Black America, Vanessa Bryant.
That’s right. Instead of worrying about your own children and the influence that hip hop has on them, instead of worrying about the influence that hip hop has had on you, let’s worry about the woman that inherited $600 million and won’t give her in laws a dime and no longer wants to support her own mother. Let’s worry about the woman that is so notoriously mean that it was written about in the LA Times. Let’s worry about her.
Meek Mill’s song was definitely crass, insensitive and tasteless. But that’s what rappers do. That’s what’s made them billions. Why is Vanessa Bryant the one person on the planet that needs to be treated with kid gloves? I’m not defending Meek Mill. I don’t give a darn about him. But I don’t give a darn about Vanessa Bryant either.
My concern is how ridiculous Black people look rallying around this woman who doesn’t really acknowledge them. She doesn’t even acknowledge her Black in laws. Black people look very stupid putting this woman on a pedestal. I don’t know of anything that she or her husband ever did for Black people, LA or Kobe’s hometown of Philadelphia.
This is why Black people have a hard time being taken seriously or getting respect. Black people are happy to be subservient to Whiteness. It’s very sad to see. Had Kobe Bryant been married to a Black woman Black Americans never would have rallied around her in such a way. I promise you they would have had criticisms of her just like they criticize Kobe’s parents.
The only women Black Americans choose to protect and put on a pedestal are women with significant European ancestry. And that’s a huge factor or why Black people struggle so bad.
Anyway. I don’t care about either of these characters. I think Meek Mill has apologized. I guess that settles it for Vanessa. So in the eyes of Black America I guess it’s settled. Their princess has been satisfied. I hope a grain of this chivalry and grace will be applied to Black women by Black Americans one day.
Like much of the United States and possibly the world I am on lockdown because of COVID – 19. I have two jobs and both have shut down for the last five weeks due to government orders to prevent the spread of the plague. This has given me a lot of time to catch up on reading. I checked out the biography Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant shortly after the NBA star died and I didn’t get around to beginning the book until the quarantine in March.
I am an NBA fan but Kobe was never my guy. He didn’t play for my team which is the Detroit Pistons. I have chanted BEAT LA in my living room many, many times. Most of that energy was directed towards Kobe. When Kobe died on January 26 I was shocked and saddened. Even though I’ve never been a Kobe fan I respect his success and I appreciate what he did for the game for twenty years.
This biography is very well written, well researched and detail oriented. This book is essentially an NBA history that focused on the late 90s to the mid 2010s. There are accounts of injuries, trades, games and series. The book is a little less than six hundred pages so it is a long and at times dry read.
I enjoy NBA but the minutiae of this book was a bit much for me. I was disappointed that the author only devoted a paragraph or two to the 2004 Laker loss to the Detroit Pistons. I was looking forward to reliving that in print but the author glossed over that glorious event. But overall I enjoyed the book because it cleared up some of the folklore surrounding Kobe’s relationship with Vanessa, his mother and father and Shaquille O’Neal. And yes, the rape trial was discussed.
This book reinforced all of my previous notions about Kobe Bryant. He was an aloof man and fierce competitor. Kobe Bryant was not a nice guy. He didn’t really get along with anyone once he became a star. But that wasn’t important to him. Winning was. He was meticulous in everything he did and was a diligent worker. Kobe had no patience for people around him that didn’t live up to his standards and people were easily discarded.
Kobe also didn’t like to share the spotlight with others. He didn’t want to share the spotlight with Shaquille O’Neal or Phil Jackson. LA wasn’t big enough for all of them. He never wanted it to be said that he needed them in order to be successful. Kobe was a lot like a 1980s night time soap opera villain that was motivated by a single goal and he didn’t let anything get in his way. Even though Kobe wasn’t warm and fuzzy I did like him more after reading this book. I respect the man’s drive and passion.
I also disliked him more after reading this book. By all accounts Kobe was a prick and so is his wife. He stabbed Shaquille O’Neal in the back more than once. He threw his coach Phil Jackson under the bus. He turned his back on his parents and siblings and cut them off financially before marrying his wife Vanessa and buying a beautiful new home for her mother who was in financial straits before her daughter married the NBA star. No one really seemed to get along with Kobe. As an NBA fan I kind of already knew that.
I did learn some new details about Kobe’s life but there wasn’t a lot of new information for me in this book. It’s fun to relive some of the NBA history that was written about in this book. I enjoyed the dirt that the book shared on Kobe’s personal entanglements. The author did a good job of giving us a backstage look at NBA life. I would recommend the book if you’re an NBA fan. You will enjoy it and it might make up for the NBA Playoffs being postponed.