Home Featured Why Are Educated Black Men Obsessed with Being Thugs?

Why Are Educated Black Men Obsessed with Being Thugs?

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Young Jeezy & Jay-Z perform "My President is Black" laced with several references to the N-word on Jan. 18th, 2009, two days before the Presidential Inauguration.

Some time ago, I got a phone call and it was my best friend telling me about a party the past weekend in Boston, MA.  Apparently, a club owner shut down this party because he thought there were drug dealers in attendance.  Turns out the party was a few former Harvard graduates who threw a party at a local lounge in Boston.  Shout out to those cats, they actually some cool peoples.  As she expressed to me why the club owner was going off, I had to stop her and ask her, “But do you see what we look like when we go out?” Dave Chappelle said, “You may not be a ho, but you are wearing a ho’s uniform.” The same applies to the gross amount of educated Black men who choose to do the same thing with their portrayal of the Black American Thug.

My freshman year at an off campus house party at Syracuse University, a predominantly white four year institution seated in Upstate New York, I observed the following; a song came on the sound system, it was titled, “Many Men” by a popular artist at the time, 50 Cent.  What interested me about this scene was that every Black male at this party, also students at Syracuse University, knew each word and recited them with such conviction in their hearts.  I wondered to myself, “Who exactly is wishing death upon you?” But as you listen to most young Black men enrolled in colleges across America, and even those young professionals working in white collar corporate America, they relate more to Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Tupac, Biggie, and many other gangster rappers than anyone else.  It has only been recently that you have seen that we’ve turned away from rappers whose entire repertoire consists of drugs, violence and horrible fiscal management and chose to listen to more uplifting music.

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As I would walk around campus I would see that young Black men who came from the hood and had every opportunity to succeed and leave the hood refused to let the hood go.  I witnessed many young Black men who sat on the stoop of their apartments.  I couldn’t understand it, and to this day it continues to baffle me.  I was raised in a pretty rough neighborhood in Washington, DC, and once I had the opportunity to get out, that’s exactly what I did, I got out.  I didn’t look back or look for ways to maintain a connection with drugs, crime or violence.  However, I still continue to see many people who are infatuated with thug life proving that they indeed have a disconnection with society and don’t realize that no one wishes for a “Thug Life.”

In 2004, we would see a popular artist and trendsetter for our generation idolized, he was the most popular college dropout in America at the time.  Sitting on a grass hill at another university Cornell University for their “Slope Day” I witnessed thousands of students repeat the words of Kanye West’s music back to him.  He paused for a minute during the show and let the crowd speak his lyrics, “Chasin’ y’all dreams and what you’ve got planned, now I spit it so hot you got tanned.” And each student repeated that with such conviction and candor that you would actually think that the thousands of students at this Ivy league university in fact were spending money to get an education that they thought was absolute bullsh*t.  But this was not the case, it was only to show that the attraction towards fast money, fast living and easy success was more attractive than the journey of a college education.  But Kanye was no thug, he was just a rapper, the son of a college professor, Kanye made a career of telling young kids that college wasn’t for him, and maybe it wasn’t for them either.  His freshman tour travelled the country mostly at college universities to sold out shows.

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When we look at Black America in our social settings, we see something troubling.  If we are not in a suit, at times, we are dressed in a fresh pair of kicks, jeans that are either too baggy or too tight, and sunglasses that are much too big for our faces.  We show up to nightclubs in Black SUVs with tinted windows sitting on too large rims.  We blast Rick Ross from our stereos.  We tell ourselves that Plies’s song, “Plenty Money” exemplifies our feeling at that time.  This is a PSA for Black Male America: When you show up to places in public dressed like this, behaving like this, promoting this, you look like THUGS.  And for those of you who do not, but prefer a grown & sexy approach, I honestly question if you are wearing a button down now because Jay-Z said throwbacks weren’t cool anymore, or you legitimately don’t agree with that image.  Pause for a moment and take a look at the Throwback jersey that is located in the back of your closet.

Many people suggest that the fascination with Thug Life is a reflection of the neighborhoods that we came from and the things that we looked up to in our youth.  The “real” role models in our communities.  As Kanye would go on to say in another song, ”Where I’m from, the dope boys is the rock stars.” So some might suggest that we just don’t know any better, and are indeed just living out our childhood dreams now that we can afford to finance our dreams.  I don’t have all the answers.  And I’m not innocent in all of this, I’ve been guilty of taking off my shirt and clutching a bottle of Moet with my sunglasses on even though the lights were off in the club.  But I had to make a conscious decision to at least acknowledge the behavior as ignorant.  Is there some type of insecurity in Black men and their lives?  Is it not good enough to be quite normal in the grand scheme of things?  As if it is normal to be a great Black father and husband, a successful husband in America.  Or do we chase notoriety by emulating the thugs, dope boys or gangsters of our community?  Whatever the answers are, we may never know.

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However, as for 50 Cent, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking to any thugs when he said, “America’s got a thing for this gangsta sh*t, they love me.”

Hey guys, check it out, my new eBook, 17th and K Street, dropped today and the information for download is here.  Please download it.  Thanks to all who had a hand in the creation, development and publishing of this project.  I hope you all enjoy.  Most of the faithful readers of SBM.org will really be entertained.  I always like to remind you guys that SBM.org is just one space where you can find Dr. J, but as Jay-Z once said, “They only know what the single is, and singled that out to be the meaning of what he is about and being I’m about my business, not mingling much, running my mouth, that sh*t kept lingering, but no dummy, that’s the sh*t I’m sprinkling, the album with to keep the registers ringing.  In real life, I’m much more distinguished.”  This book will surprise many of you, enjoy.

Comment(167)

  1. As a college educated black man with a "white collar job" who grew up in the hood ala South Central LA, we can't forget from where came from. #kayneshrug.

    1. there is a difference between "not forgetting where you came from" and glorifying it. and if you came from such a deplorable place, why would you NOT want for forget it?

  2. Was with you until you accused well-dressed people of copying Jay-Z. Guess no one can win, right?

    Anyway, I went to Cornell, and saw a lot of what you mention. My sense at the time (and now) is that while it's sad when people squander opportunities in front of them BUT college aged kids are immature, impressionable, and do a lot of dumb stuff (for lack of a better word). Our parents smoked weed and had anonymous sex; then they grew out of it…maybe this is our Woodstock?

  3. I find the same trend in educated black women, however, the trend is more towards ratchet activity. I definitely know ALL the lyrics to Khia's "My Neck, My Back" and I know plenty of other educated women who will sing this at the top of their lungs once they hear the beat drop. Very similar to when educated women hear the "Back That @ss Up" beat drop, we get that oh-dis-song-right-here-is-my-sh!t-clear-the-floor-i'm-about-to-put-in-work.

    Ehhh it happens to the best of us lol

    1. Yo i'm actually turned off by the women who know all the words of My Neck, My Back… and choose to recite them to the top of their lungs. Like seriously, explain that type of ratchet behavior?

      I had an epiphany one time in a lounge when Freak Girl came on and all these "divas," a term for basic broads in DC, stopped what they were doing, put down their glasses, and rushed for the dancefloor. At the point that you can kick off your shoes and place your hands on the ground and start grinding on a dude in one fell swoop, I lose absolutely ALL respect.

      1. "At the point that you can kick off your shoes and place your hands on the ground and start grinding on a dude in one fell swoop, I lose absolutely ALL respect".

        LOL!

  4. Its all entertainment! Thats as much as I can say.

    I love hip hop, recognize the ignorance in it, and will sing every rap lyric because I like it. Cant speak for the fake thugs, but thats what I like. Good post

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-312634">

      Streetz: Its all entertainment! Thats as much as I can say.

      I love hip hop, recognize the ignorance in it, and will sing every rap lyric because I like it. Cant speak for the fake thugs, but thats what I like. Good post

      I agree with this statement. Most of the black men that I know think along the same lines, as well.

      In response to Dr. J's post, I kinda of see where he's coming from, but both my college and post college experiences were very different. In college, the black men who did the whole "thug" thing were definitely in the minority. They DID listen to rap… but they weren't really portraying that image out in public. It was actually frowned upon to a certain extent. Post college, I really haven't run into a lot of black men who behave that way either. Then again, I probably avoid the places that black men who behave that way frequent. Not my scene…

    2. Big Bro,

      But that's because you know that i'll ride out with you to Plenty Money. And you know I have no problems paying for bottles in straight cash homie. LOL. Yo we gotta do it big in 2013… Perfect storm is about to happen…

      Deltas Centennial and Barack's Re-election…. oh it's going to be INSANITY in DC.

  5. (very deep sigh) I can only speak for myself… (smile) It's on…

    Is there some type of insecurity in Black men and their lives?

    Look… I've been taught and have observed that the best person a black man CAN be is HIMSELF!!! If a black man WANTS the world to tremble in his presence, all he has to do is JUST be himself… (smile) The black man is the most feared, MOST misunderstood creature on this planet, and whomever can't be understood is usually feared… The best security comes from knowledge of self and in BEING self despite "influences" otherwise…

    Is it not good enough to be quite normal in the grand scheme of things?

    (smile) And WHAT exactly is "normal"?

    As if it is normal to be a great Black father and husband, a successful husband in America. (smile) Or very good friend… Or boyfriend… OR fiancee… "A" to the "men" on THAT comment…

    Or do we chase notoriety by emulating the thugs, dope boys or gangsters of our community?

    I don't "chase" notoriety… I MAKE notoriety… (smile) One of the most common things that is said about the Symbiotic Loner is that the mold that made him was shattered upon his birth…

  6. "the DAUGHTER of a college professor"??! lol

    I don't think that educated Black men are obsessed with being thugs. I mean, some are. But, I honestly think they're a minority. I could be wrong, but I feel like it's all about entertainment. Jamming to 'thug' or 'hood' music doesn't indicate an obsession with being thugs. I'm well educated and like Kema said, I can jam to Khia's "My neck, my back" all day! It's about entertainment for me. The songs you listen to don't have to define you.

  7. I used to live on 6th and K,,,,and congratulations and whatnot! 🙂 I will definitely be reading that!

    This is a deep topic…there are so many factors at play…It would literally take all day..but, I will say, Hip Hop plays a large roll in this, absolutely.

  8. I think it has to do more with the Music than the thug culture per se. Rap was originally started as feel good/party music with a small rebel touch in it. Then for some reason, thugs and gangsters became almost synonymous with it as the time went by. The only coke rap I can listen to is Rick Ross because his beats are hot and that 99% of his raps are mere fairy tales. Other than that, I mostly listen to Kanye and any new school rapper that's good.

  9. Eh – everybody loves good music. "It's got a nice beat, and you can dance to it" is my motto. But like most folks, I know when to put that shyt away. When the mortgage is due and the kids are cryin. Then I get my "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" groove going, lol. Kat Williams did some jokes about people grinding on their everyday jobs to "Everyday I'm Hustlin'"…the only Black folks who stay losin' are the ones who insist on bringing that music to life instead of enjoying it then going about their business.

    1. "the only Black folks who stay losin’ are the ones who insist on bringing that music to life instead of enjoying it then going about their business."

      Cosign

      That Kat Williams joke is funny. Sometimes you need to hear those songs to get you through the workday.

  10. What I think you fail to realize is how much Caucasian people enjoy the same kind of music and emulate the same kind of things. 70% of all hip-hop record sales can be attributed to whites. This is an American cultural phenomena. Other than that, you fail to understand the existing media bureaucracy that doesnt offer viable alternatives or balance to people in our ages 16-24 demographic. In an era where we were raised by the television, its not hard to see why even college kids identify with the same entertainment they were pedaled all their lives. Its about time we appeal to "urban" media outlets to provide a healthy balance of entertainment for subsequent generations.

    1. I think it's important not to deflect issues in the Black community to others. Accountability doesn't work that way. I may have misunderstood you, but are you saying that it's of no fault of our own?

      And I didn't fail to realize that. As an avid hip hop fan, I am well aware. How else do you explain Eminem? How else do you explain 50 Cent? Those are two perfect examples of the crossover of Hip Hop into the white side of America. But be careful to note, that those white people masturbate in our culture and they emulate it. And then ask yourself what are they emulating and what does that say about our culture. They are not getting the entire image from the music, they are looking at how we behave… and when that is reflective of something we see on TV or on the radio, it's a problem. The breakdown in Black parenting at times is that we don't do our best job to make sure our children know "that's TV!" and this is who you really are. In my observations, i'd have to say that it seems like whites get the memo.

      I said on Twitter last week, despite the fact that CNN reports that teen pregnancy is down in the US, the population continues to increase in Black America. The purpose of that article was to say that MTV Teen Mom reality show wasn't really affecting anyone. However it isn't affecting white folks, and may very well be affecting Black America.

      1. I actually think she has a solid point about what other cultures do. Not so much as it relates to hip hop, but as it relates to their own music and culture. I've worked with white chicks who grew up poor in their equivalent of the hood and when they get around their people, they act their equivalent of hood. I've known middle class bred white folks who still go to what can only be described as raves, sniff coke, listen to Metalica and come to work the next day. It just is what it is.

        My point is this, regardless of where you come from, or what your race is, lots of people are going to be more comfortable going back to what they know. You do that subject a disservice when you make it about race, and it also makes it impossible for you to get a real answer.

        The truth is, it's not ghetto life or thug life, it just so happens that the ghetto thugs are the ones making the music. I respond the same way to Lupe's "The Show Goes On" when it comes on in the club as I do when "BMF" comes on. That's my joint.

  11. I don't see much harm in college educated black men who want to embrace their inner hood occasionally. What does it really matter if they want to polish the rims on their all black range and buy up all the Rose' on Friday night after leaving their white collar law firm/investment bank/ponzi scheme? Will some people view them as thugs? Of course. But I learned along time ago that even a black man in a tailor made suite, who gently listens to Berlioz will still be viewed as a thug to some individuals. A well dressed thug, but a thug non the less if you know what I mean. The point is to be true to yourself. Being educated does not mean you have to forgo your baggy jeans( although I do hate that look) it also doesn't make you any less "real" if you like to shop at Banana. We are a unique society of people, and instead of labeling each other we should just embrace our dynamics and realize that we have a place everywhere and anywhere we wish to. Don't be confined by others opinions of you; the one that matters most is your own. Now if you personally look at your actions from last weekend and feel like you were on some Sambo-ish… then correct yourself. But don't change for the sake of conforming. After all, being one dimensional can be a bit boring.

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-312654">

      83Aries: But I learned along time ago that even a black man in a tailor made suite, who gently listens to Berlioz will still be viewed as a thug to some individuals. A well dressed thug, but a thug non the less if you know what I mean.

      This is so true…

  12. Wow! REALLY great post! Had to de-lurk for my second time…

    Why are EDUCATED black men obsessed with thug life?

    Define educated. If the goal of education is to go beyond mere facts and memorization on the surface to something substantive that lies deep within us then many of us can agree that there are many in our generation who are far too blinded by bling to care about going "that deep". As a result many wall mounted degrees are not actually indicative of true education. Many do not develop the fundamentals of character – but approach education as just a means to get money. The cause for that, in my opinion, does exist in the declining education system but also, as you touched on, because we lack leadership/role models.

    With the exception of Barack & Michelle and a few others sprinkled here or there… the predominant image of success from the black community is in entertainment of some form. We know how well hip-hop has glorified thug life, but that influence has spread into sports where even athletes emulate their favorite hip-hop stars. Back in the day everybody wanted to be "Like Mike.." but today, even our modern day Mike – arguably Lebron James, wants to rep the ROC. The influence of hip-hop in sports can also be the reason why black men are not the only ones obsessed with thug life. We all know white kids buy (yes, i mean actually purchase) hip-hop music just as much if not far more than we do. We've all pulled up to the white boys at the light blasting Jeezy like it was nothing! It's just that for some reason they don't actually end up in jail. Perhaps because despite their equal propensity for violence.. the cops wont stop and harass them.

    As a people we have this amazing ability to not only emerge from whatever condition we may be born into… we make it look damn good while we do it! So good, in fact, white people stay jockin it becomes fashionable. Maybe it really is in our soul to rock that gold.

    The Power of the P-U-***.. It's why every mutha- in the world dress fly!
    I think many men are obsessed with the dream of emerging from their fatherless childhood and impoverished neighborhood to drive fast cars, live in fancy homes and have an endless supply of beautiful women. In hip-hop, thug life has previously been the means by which this life is obtained. After all when "your gear is fly and your in the in crowd… all the wavy light skin girls is loving you now"! Right? While most of us educated black women agree that while they may have some kind of s*x appeal.. we are not necessarily interested in marrying a thug and being involved in that life. The fact remains, however, that something about the image makes us wet is s*xy.

    That could very well be enough reason for men to emulate the image at a party regardless of the reckless repercussions. I mean when you are out having a good time celebrating your wins and living your dreams.. what is the harm in that? Well for those of us who recognize it's just fun and it's just for the night.. nothing. But for those who truly see no other way out of the hood- that life is more real to them than anything. They live by it. Unfortunately… most die by it.

    1. I enjoyed your comment, especially this

      "As a people we have this amazing ability to not only emerge from whatever condition we may be born into… we make it look damn good while we do it! So good, in fact, white people stay jockin it becomes fashionable. Maybe it really is in our soul to rock that gold"

      Too funny.

    2. Liked your comment. But was it slightly ironic that Jay-Z performed at the Inaugural Ball? Obama has made it clear that he's "more of a LL guy." But I thought that was interesting choice. I thought for sure that he'd pick Kanye over Jay-Z, but nonetheless I was happy and unsettled at the same time.

      1. <blockquote cite="comment-312671">

        Dr. J:

        Liked your comment.But was it slightly ironic that Jay-Z performed at the Inaugural Ball?Obama has made it clear that he’s “more of a LL guy.”But I thought that was interesting choice.I thought for sure that he’d pick Kanye over Jay-Z, but nonetheless I was happy and unsettled at the same time.

        Well I don't know – Jay-Z is closer in age and well is highly more intelligent in his actions than Kanye IMO pre and post MTV ridiculousness. Also I think Reggie Love (age 29) had more to do with that then anything. He (i.e. the POTUS) that Reggie introduced him to hiphop and he introduced him to Jay. He's trying to bridge the divide and at times you just don't know where Kayne is with his schizophrenic ass……..

  13. I'm mobile so probably going to misspell some crap. Anyway, good post and for the most part I agree. The main thing I have a problem with is, for the most part, the term "thug" is used for and defined by the predominant members of society.

    For example, last week Sarah Palin called Common a "thug." Many of us are already ware of this. In my opinion – despite the fact Sarah Palin is an idiot – had Common not been black the term "thug" would not have been used. Thug is often synonymous with young intimidating looking minority (of any race) but especially black males. Inversely, if blacks weren't minorities then I don't think the term "thug" would be wielded so freely to describe them but I guess we'll never know because this is the society in which we live. To quote Kanye as you did: "Even if you in a Benz, you still a n*gga in a coupe."

    As someone pointed out earlier, this music is now predominately purchased by white America. If it's just entertainment, then it really shouldn't matter who or what listens to it as long as its only used to entertain and not emulate. To my earlier point though, if a white guy is influenced and a black guy is equally influenced, unfortunately the "thug" label will often be reserved for only the black guy.

    There's plenty of music, rock, heavy metal, etc that is equally or more destructive in their call to "arms" but when emulated no one labels those people "thugs." Oh well.

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-312659">

      WisdomIsMisery: For example, last week Sarah Palin called Common a “thug.” Many of us are already ware of this. In my opinion – despite the fact Sarah Palin is an idiot – had Common not been black the term “thug” would not have been used. Thug is often synonymous with young intimidating looking minority (of any race) but especially black males. Inversely, if blacks weren’t minorities then I don’t think the term “thug” would be wielded so freely to describe them but I guess we’ll never know because this is the society in which we live. To quote Kanye as you did: “Even if you in a Benz, you still a n*gga in a coupe.”

      <blockquote cite="comment-312659">

      WisdomIsMisery: To my earlier point though, if a white guy is influenced and a black guy is equally influenced, unfortunately the “thug” label will often be reserved for only the black guy.

      Yup… I think this right here is the main problem…

    2. I also have a follow up question: Why do (predominately) black artist feel the need to promote thug life? A lot of these rappers arent even from "the hood" anymore. They are simply studio generated thugs. Further, once they "make it" they still feel the need to talk about the hood and hood life, like a Jeezy for example. These guys are rich (millionaires anyway) and still talking about selling coke and getting arrested for gun posession – but I guess it's "entertainment" and easy to rhyme.

      You can take the man out of the hood but can you take the hood out of the man, even if the man's hood life is manufactured.

      *shrugs*

      1. "Why do (predominately) black artist feel the need to promote thug life? "

        To build their street credibility no matter how manufatured it is, because at the end of the day It sells records, get soldout concerts and moves merchandise off the shelves. I think sometimes it's all a marketing ploy manufactured by the record company as well, but some of them (artists) tend to take it too far and end up behind bars for real.

  14. Rappers are shown as Alpha Males (#no1906) ripe with success. They have money, fame and unliimited confidence. Most are shown as coming from a rough past and acheieved their lifestyle through whatever hustle was required. Regardless what they say or do, it's understood they are their own person, lawless, raw, and unwavering and violent when necessary (which is quite often in rap).

    Simply put, alot of black males use this as inspiration to continue their own grind, because many of us can relate to the upbringing and admire the qualities/talent and struggle in rap music. Jay-Z was blasting in my dorm room back when I was studying for Fluid Mechanics and Rick Ross was my savior while practicing for my Professional license.

    I am no thug, but I get rap music in a way some Brothers do. As Motivation.

  15. Good read.

    To me, "educated" is a complex definition and a matter of opinion but for the sake of this post I guess Dr. J means college or university educated….

    One of the biggest problems I have is black men (educated or not) proudly using the N-word (especially in public). Its so embaressing, everytime I hear it I cringe. An educated black man should know how to act, behave and dress accordingly.

    Are there educated black men out there who still where baggy jeans? *le sigh*

    Not every black man, person, family is from "the hood" so to say its a reflection of our culture, neighborhood is b.s in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with listening to rap and knowing all the lyrics to a Jay-Z joint but I also feel that black educated men should know that emulating thug-like behavior is not cool at all.

    Lastly, I want to point out that I truly feel black men have come a long way…I dont see an obsession with the thug life among black men, as much as I use to.

    1. Educated is a complicated term. But it's not complex or a definition. I would say educated means "when you know better." I respect that you may have a HS Diploma, Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, or Military Training. All those plights are educated plights. I will say this much, i'm talking about at the minimum HS educated, if you weren't able to make it there, I pray for you and can't chastise you for much.

  16. Hold on let me pause my Wacka Flocka…

    Now where was I? Oh yeah…

    To me its all entertainment. I grew up middle class and know that life. Huge fan of hip hop and listen to a huge variety of it. A lot of it is that life I dont know. I dont try yo love thay life though even union I'm usually comfortable in the hood somehow.

    I may know all the lyrics but trust me bwing bout that life ain't with it

    1. You know what's funny is that… I posted this and then looked at the playlist for my mixtape, (link above, plug plug) and I was like, damn you have a lot of gangsta rap on there… lol. Hey I put some, somewhat, maybe could be perceived as not gangsta rap on there too. LOL. Turn the Waka back up.

  17. I don't have a comment…I just think this post was very well written. Interesting perspective. 🙂

  18. As someone who literally called themselves an educated thug on twitter but a few short hours ago, I find this post to be quite timely. I definitely have seen and known my share of thugs and to me none of the college educated people I've come across can even really properly emulate the thuggery of which some think they see and know. Like a twitter friend told me.."just because you saw Menace II Society doesn't mean you're a gangsta"

    Posturing the thug life in the club (to use your example) is just that. It really has no racial lines as I'm sure a few of us have witnessed our white brethren going hard in the muthaflucking paint or raging against the machine.

    I think the real problem is is that we equate the word thug with black men. Nowhere in the dictionary, not even the urban dictionary, does it say that a thug is unequivocally a black man or specifically a black man who wears tight or baggy jeans who wears sunglassses at night a la Corey Hart (don't ask me why I know the artist..google is a friend indeed) sipping Moet and pissing Henny.

    Really though, I'm not even mad at any of the brothers who know how to stay on their toes, never let folks catch them slipping or sleeping, and have a by any means kinda attitude. Because in the hood, in college and in corporate america that type of thugging is universal.

  19. I don't think it's "Thug Life". I think its your culture and you embody that culture. I partially know "thug life" and someone with rims on their car or listening to hip-hop is not "thug life". Why is it that once you finish school some people feel that your wardrobe should consist of Dockers and tight sweaters off the work clock? I think its presenting an image more than being of substance. All of my friends don't hold white collar jobs, some of them have been to prison, hustled, etc. Why would I totally distance myself from them as if I've acheived some higher status? Unless it's all about status? All of my friends that were in the streets never left me alone b/c i was in school and had a profesional job. So why would I do the same to them? I think its being dishonest of who you are to act like you are some highly sophisticated educated person because you have this degree or that job. Personally I think is one of those "pull your pants up stop saggin"

    issues Black folks have where they feel its more important to present an image than have substance. There is a time and a place for everything. Of course in school at work you leave that stuff at home.

  20. <blockquote cite="comment-312668">

    WisdomIsMisery:

    I also have a follow up question: Why do (predominately) black artist feel the need to promote thug life? A lot of these rappers arent even from “the hood” anymore. They are simply studio generated thugs. Further, once they “make it” they still feel the need to talk about the hood and hood life, like a Jeezy for example. These guys are rich (millionaires anyway) and still talking about selling coke and getting arrested for gun posession – but I guess it’s “entertainment” and easy to rhyme.

    You can take the man out of the hood but can you take the hood out of the man, even if the man’s hood life is manufactured.

    *shrugs*

    I think it requires being truly educated to contribute to the soundtrack of our lives today and discuss the hardships and injustices faced by "the people" – whether you are directly impacted or not – without promoting or glorifying that life.

    For example Kanye has been mentioned heavily… he discussed the hardships of college life (among other things) but for ME he didn't, necessarily, glorify dropping out of school. Eminem sort of dresses the part and comes with the same thug-like aggression – but his lyrics have a different kind of violence that, like you said of non-black individuals, no one really calls thuggish… Therefore he may not be perceived as promoting thug life.

    There is a fine line between angry poetic expression and reckless thug-life glorification.

    Hip Hop is a culture complete with language, fashion, etc. and it is unfortunately (or not) heavily influenced by the gangsters that once dominated the game. The executives at the label know people will buy the music, whether its genuine or generic… just throw it on a hot beat. It's all the same. O_o

    I wonder if we viewed purchasing music as voting for that individual as our voice and personal representative to the rest of the world how many of us would still be bumping to Wacka or Nicki – that would be an inconvenient truth. I guess we will keep it as entertainment.

  21. This is a pretty judgemental post….LOL…sorry got to go there again.

    We all play the cards we are dealt. I work in adult education……..so I can tell you…….you can't change behaviors you learned over a lifetime in one day.

    I've oftern heard people ask "Why do blacks in college try to be thugs." This was always funny to me because it never occurs to these people that some of those college thugs are really thugs tryin to be college students. They aren't fakin. College is a time to learn and grow. Some will outgrow these behaviors and some won't.

    Black people spend way too much time judging each other. And way too much time seeking the white mans approval. If I can only adopt his ways, his behaviors, his style of dress, his speech, learn his history and go to his schools etc. etc. It's pathetic.

    Stay black….das all I can say. ROFL

    As far as this gangster stuff……America's loves gangsters and guns. I won't even waist time proving this point.

      1. I remember I had this mean racist African professor. I would be in class thinking…..if this guy taught at my high school we would have stomped him out on day 1. ROFL

    1. Great Post, Dr.J!

      You make an interesting point about some of the thugs faking being college students, etc…This post is more pointing about those who never had to or don't need to represent "thug life" doing so. It pinpoints and questions as to why our culture have devolved into this being our main representation in mainstream media.

  22. Also… the whole thug=black thing is especially ridiculous since a lot of gangster rappers are actually emulating white Italian mobsters. Smh.

  23. <blockquote cite="comment-312671">

    Dr. J:

    Liked your comment.But was it slightly ironic that Jay-Z performed at the Inaugural Ball?Obama has made it clear that he’s “more of a LL guy.”But I thought that was interesting choice.I thought for sure that he’d pick Kanye over Jay-Z, but nonetheless I was happy and unsettled at the same time.

    Yea… I think Jay-Z performing at the inaugural ball was a political move on Obama's part to maintain the co-sign from young people. Kanye is a liability. His "George Bush doesn't care about black people" comment may have ruled him out of that one… Jay-Z is corporate and clean enough to be at the white house and his dopeboy days are far enough behind him to allow him in certain affluent circles while maintaining street credibility.

  24. I am a Ivy League grad working on a second degree. I am a thug/hustler/gangsta, etc. I grew up in the hood, the projects, Breukelen Projects in Canarsie, Brooklyn to be specific. My pops was a thug before he got his life together. Everyone around me was a thug too, or a drug dealer, or a hustler. My decision to play football and then to go to school wasnt because I had some love of learning. This honestly, just my hustle. I have the same motivations as the ball players and the drug dealers, I'm just trying to put a forest around my mama house and be fly while doing. While I dont mind reading books and having good debate, can I also occasionally like to BMF?

    I feel like I am corporate thuggin. Behind all of the jewels and making it rain music, alot of the "thug" music, at least to me, represents a certain me and my squad against the world mentality. I think that this is something completely relatable. So while I may not be selling real coke off of my iPhone, trust that i'm moving major weight in the metaphorical coke off of my Blackberry.

    As long as the music doesnt, get me in jail, trust that I will still be listening to "I'm not star" before EVERY law school exam that i take

    1. Exactly!

      Literally my first week of college one of the dudes from neighborhood that had dropped out of the college I was at was offerin us spots on his block which was about 10 minutes aways from campus. I declined. One of my boys took him up and sold crack the whole time we was in school. The local police and school had files on my crew. Nobody was fakin. ROFL I laugh now everytime I'm at a work event and someone asks me what fraternity I'm in. LOL 10 years after college I'm givin off frat vibes. That ish is hillarious.

      Just cause you see a dude in a shirt and tie speaking proper English. Don't assume you know his story.

      And don't assume every young thug you see is some stupid fool influenced by gangsta rap.

      We all grow and learn. And make choices based on our present reality. That's life.

    2. Sup Peyso. I was actually on your old grounds this week watching my cousin walk.

      One thing I never do is try to justify what I listen to, how I act or dress, or where I or my ninjas come from. That is just childish and b!tch activity.

      People, esp on these sites, make these broad strokes statements about what a black man should be. A grown man doesn't have braids. A grown man should listen to more than rap. A grown man should not run trains. A grown man calls the day after he smashes.

      You want to know what a grown educated man should be doing: making up his mind for himself and exactly what he wants to be. Not listening to people tell him how to act or put him into a box. Me and my goons enojy our life. They really like their hipster fashion and I'm not going to let somone tell me that Slim's love of 40 oz is the reason the black family is struggling. The dude is a good boyfriend and has a amazing J.O.B. Focus on what is important, don't Pettifog the situation. #JonStewart.

      1. I'd just like to state for the record that CheekZ meant I'd make a good boyfriend for a woman interested in a serious heterosexual relationship. Other than that, good comment sir.

        1. my fault man.

          I was just trying to say people have their priorities screw up. Pause.

          ……..

          But you do love dem 40s though.

        2. <blockquote cite="comment-312723">

          Slim Jackson: I’d just like to state for the record that CheekZ meant I’d make a good boyfriend for a woman interested in a serious heterosexual relationship. Other than that, good comment sir.

          Ughhh, I think the readers will be able to comprehend Cheekz's sentence.. *smhlmaooo*

          Duly Noted Tho. LOL

        3. @Slim's clarification:

          Swing loooow, sweet chariot!

          *thud*

          @CHeeKZ comment:

          Yes! Do you and find someone that may like to do you too for the next several decades…

  25. I'm a African American male, went to college and came out with a B.S., highly successful and working a "white collar" job as we speak….and honestly…..I live in a predominately white area, but I like randomly going out dressed like a regular hoodlum sometimes (without the sagging pants of course, and no boxers showing….or long shirts lol) because I like to see how differently people treat me than when I wear my top coat and business attire. Its amusing to see and I like them not knowing who I really am.

    End of the day, I agree completely with this post. I see this all the time and it was running rampid in the university I went to that was also majority white. To me it made us look bad. That we came from the hood, in college, but here we are bringing the hood with us. That we are flooding the dorms with music sharing vulgarities and ignorance, concentrating on drugs and getting new attire rather than being seated in the front of the class and studying outside of midterms and finals. Yes, other races do it, and I did it when I was younger and dumber, but when you're black in a white area, I think you have to show that not all black people fit the stereotypes.

    1. "but when you’re black in a white area, I think you have to show that not all black people fit the stereotypes."

      "I dont have to do anything but stay black and die" Joe Clark

  26. <blockquote cite="comment-312670">

    Dr. J:

    But be careful to note, that those white people masturbate in our culture and they emulate it.And then ask yourself what are they emulating and what does that say about our culture.They are not getting the entire image from the music, they are looking at how we behave… and when that is reflective of something we see on TV or on the radio, it’s a problem.The breakdown in Black parenting at times is that we don’t do our best job to make sure our children know “that’s TV!” and this is who you really are.In my observations, i’d have to say that it seems like whites get the memo.

    I like this!

  27. I actually promoted the very Cornell show in question…

    As a complete side note, I put in months of work into that show, getting funding, missing class, Putting up flyers, its actually really cool that 6 years later some guy that I didn't even know was there actually remembered the event. Just having people still think about your ideas years later, make the hard work worth it.

    And actually I think you misunderstood #rogerclemons that the crowd was trying to say. Back than Kanye marketing scheme also breaking stereotypes. He was a nerd, who didn't dress and jerseys or bust a gun. People told him he couldn't be on the Roc, or even rap. No one but Kast and the Soulaquairns were known at that time. He broke the mold, and that was the energy you felt that day.

    Back in those 'Many Men' days, the only popular music was thug rap. That was an industry problem.. lack of diversity. I don't think we should make it a black male problem. And if you ever been to the Nell, you know we are more Jalen Rose than Grant Hill.

    #SlopeDay

    1. Not only was I there, I was part of those Greeks who got up on stage when Kanye sang, "School Spirit."

      I didn't understand what that crowd was trying to say, Kanye's actually my favorite rapper. Kanye's marketing scheme was not breaking stereotypes, his marketing scheme was the College theme because it sold, and continued to sell; Late Registration, Graduation, and what was supposed to be Good Ass Job. But nonetheless you are somewhat right. Kanye wasn't a nerd, he was just a guy who wore a backpack and was more into fashion than most straight men were at the time. Kanye broke the mold but don't deny that a lot of college students wished they didn't have to work that hard for success. That's why Kanye appeals because he makes you feel like, "I don't have to do all this crap to be successful." His words are very powerful because most college students aren't chasing their dreams, they are chasing their parents' dreams.

      Full disclosure: I was actually dropping courses my freshman year to work in a studio in Cuse. I actually knew about Kanye's rapping well before he came out with an LP.

      Hip Hop in 2003 when Get Rich or Die Trying Came Out… Joe Budden just dropped, he wasn't talking about gangsta rap. Kanye was dominating the air waves as a producer, the resurgence of Talib Kweli and Mos Def. There was the Neo Soul movement, pause for the Dweli and Donnie beef when we actually thought that an R&B artist might get shot for talking slick … and his last name wasn't DeBarge. Musiq was huge. Common made a strong push. John Legend was killin em. There were several outlets not to have thug rap.

      Cornell is more Jalen Rose than Grant Hill? CHILL. First and foremost, I hated Jalen Rose for that entire situation. But if you are going to be real. Syracuse = Jalen, Cornell = Grant. Except for maybe y'all women, they went hard in tha paint.

      1. I was at the Slope Day concert. I tried to get up on stage but security was hating, so I watched saltily from the crowd as other greeks had a grand ole time.Cheekz is right about the Jalen Rose up there though. Don't be fooled.

        1. Esp above our year. After us it is rumored that the Nell stop accepting kids from rough areas. But before that, people really were taking in a ton of Brooklyn kids. Kids from the Bricks, BX. Its the kids they get from the south that are a bit snooty with a stick up their back end.

          and the most famous ivy's are known for the same stick up the bum problem. Upenn dudes are cool. except Nowledge and Double O and Brown and Colombia heads are down.

      2. LoL. Than Kanye held an improtu beauty pageant on stage and this Freshman jawn won. She was humble, but some of these birds that lost were feelings themselves for the nxt four year and shouldn't have been. She had an easy victory.

        Yeah man, I have been up on Kanye West since we produce on the Harlem World album. Chi Town Classics vol 1 was a very slept on mixtape. So I know what you mean about his schemes. Don't forget he also had the car crash scheme ripping off 50 Cent near death. Than it was a trend for rappers to get shot and release an album right away talking about how they are ordained by Christ to rap.

        I completely disagree with your summary of the climate back in 03. John Legend wasn't out yet. Joe Budden flopped and his first album wasn't promoted like Mood Music, he was def jam's 50 cent. You had to listen carefully to see he was smarter than pump it up. And Common was years away from BE. He just dropped Electric Circus which was a down point in his career and a completely terrible audible. "Are your eyes still green girl?" Real hip hop had not had a commerical success since black on both sides going gold until Get By got a little buzz, than College dropout. Also Kanye success as a producer is overblown. Just Blaze during that time had way more radio spins at THAT point. When Kanye got hotter as an artist, he past Blaze with producing singles. But between Philly Free and Cam's Come Home with Me, Just owned radio.

      3. You know what I forgot about that publicly funded part of Cornell University. That may explain why you had some hood kids from Brooklyn there, but that's cool.

        – Joe Budden – Focus, was a banger.

        – You are right about Common, but that only reminded me that The Roots (Phrenology) were on top that year. Quality was better than Beautiful Struggle and that came out Dec-02, so really 03.

        – Kanye not getting spins. H to the Izzo. With all due respect, you can have a seat.

        – Just Blaze was doing OK for himself, Flipside and Pump It Up were classic joints. In terms of sheer spins, check Soundscan, Kanye killed Just Blaze in 03. Everybody wanted a Kanye beat. (This guy said Kanye's success as a producer is overblown…)

        – Sustain your point about Legend to some extent because he was all over Kanye's first few mixtapes and album, his actual LP didn't come out until 04, but he was out.

        – State Property was big, but yo… there were outlets that were being taken advantage of outside of SP.

        – Plus, 2003 the HEIGHT of the Neo Soul movement.

        1. *stands back up*

          You know sounds scan doesn't track radio spins. BDS does. Also H to the Izzo was in 01.

          Stand Up. Encore. You Don't know my name… only tracks I am going to give him props on in 03.

          After that Blaze dominated that year. Full Albums of heat. The Memphis Bleek album, the Freeway, the work on the Black Album, two tracks on the Dip Album, two singles from Joe Buddens, a single from Fabolous. He was the Lex Luger of that time.

          I'm not saying Kanye is wack, just cold during that time period. Probably not his fault, he was working on his own album.

          I'm not a neo soul negro. I don't hang out with Neo Soul negros. I don't know where to go get a Neo Soul friend. But I remember R&B being really down during that time period cept for Kelly.

  28. It takes some people longer than others to grow out of bad habits. Men need to understand you cant be a thug and go to college. Now you can be tough, be street smart and go to college but an all out thug, na B save that for a BET movie.

    I have no problem with people reciting thug lyrics it’s just a thin line between reciting ignorant lines and acting ignorant.

    I go to St.Johns so we're in the city alot of the poeple I go to school with commute from their "hood" everyday so even when some are on campus they still "thuggush per say"

    But it just goes to show you how much your community effects your behavior to a certain extent. My mom is from Brownsville, BK and she always said "Even though I reside in the ghetto the ghetto does not reside in me"

  29. Eh…I dunno. I understand all perspectives to a point.

    What I don't understand is this whole music is just entertainment thing. Do we not recognize and acknowledge the power that words have over us? Do we not understand the impact and effects of subliminal messages?

    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." – The Usual Suspects

    What you feed your mind will come out in your actions.

    Go 'head. Keep thinking it's just entertainment.

    Nonsense adds nothing to my life. Can't take it in…

    1. I don't think you will ever convince a child of this. That is why parents have to protect their kids.

      I didn't believe music and movies could influence me until I took Marketing in college.

        1. But as Marketing classes also show, is that not every single person is susceptible to being affected by the music. Furthermore, not everyone is affected in the same way. I think many of the posts here also show how some of the music affects that person positively. I know it does for me. So let's sweep so broadly

        2. True. But, what's sad about our society today is that we're so hell bent on what's cool for 'us' individually that we sacrifice the greater good for our own non-essential pleasures.

          Some people can use cocaine recreationally and never get hooked and some can't. It's illegal because the problems of the 'can'ts' outweigh the 'can's' 'good'. I look at some of this messy music the same way. The bad it does FAR outweighs the good.

    2. If you look at Hip Hop like wrestling then you're fine.

      If you look at Hip Hop like MMA then you've got a problem.

      That's how I explain why I listen to all these Lex Luger tracks all day long.

      1. So you listen to the same damn track all day long?

        The Juicey J mixtape was the worst case of diversity I have ever seen.

        Cabin Fever wasn't bad though…

    3. I can totally see your point, but I'll tell you why I look at it as "just music". My folks never really censored what my bro and I listened to, and we had our hands on some pretty controversial stuff (Uncle Luke, Eazy E, Adina Howard, etc.) But even though they made fun music nothing they said or did weighed heavier than my mom and dad. And they would pull us up with the quickness if we tried to emulate anything the artists were doing. They had their own musical taste so we were exposed to a lot of old school (like, Otis Redding old) music. Music is like food, a couple doughnuts won't make a difference if you serve the kids a balanced dinner every night. But once they start eating nothing but doughnuts and now-a-laters all day you have tooth rot and obesity. lol, that made more sense in my hungry head.

  30. lol i actually wanted to go to howard at one point the hood didnt bother me cause I have act right and street smarts… People act like coons everywhere you go from Cornell to Everest College (plus those schools could be a great influnece on the inner city community around them if they reached out mroe)

    1. I am from Maryland and had friends that sold drugs around Howard. I didn't want to stay in the DMV when I graduated high school cause my senior year was wild and I figured I would probably get locked up if I stayed in the DMV.

      Truth is though….you take your habits with you. But still I probably got in less trouble away from home than I would have gotten into in dc.

      1. I don't know about that all the time though. Born on the KDY, raised in Riggs Park, I came to the conclusion when I got to school that no one knew who I was and I could be who I wanted to be. In college, I was that dude who didn't beef because I knew what real beef was and real recognize real and a lot of people's antics looked unfamiliar. I was quick to tell people on the side, that if it was real beef they wouldn't be handling it like they were handling it. And from seeing my friends get shot or killed growing up, I knew that most people at my college just weren't bout that life. I grew as a person, habits like records can be broken if you work hard.

        Now if you really don't have the power to change your ways then you are talking about people who are not thugs, but are mentally ill. And they need counseling. I've seen that. There's just some people with anger management issues, there are some people who naturally violent, and then some who are just drawn to breaking the law because they lack that mental capacity to know right from wrong, Counseling can help those people.

        The reality is "thug life" is an adaption by those in a certain environment to survive in their environment, if your environment has changed you have the power to adapt because you adapted to that of your previous environment.

        1. But a lot of these ppl copying thug lives that are from the hood have never been thugs or lived that life. You can grow up in the hood and keep yourself out of trouble because I’ve seen a lot of ppl do it. Now of course your environment plays a part, of course you' will pick up something from that life, but that does mean you have to bring those antics with you to college. Being ghetto and being a thug have become a right of passage for some..Too many young ppl equate their black identity with the hood or being ghetto like that all you can be. Hell I've seen kids from great economic backgrounds acting like they know what it is to have no food in the fridge, see a family member strung out on crack or just having a hood mentality for no reason.

        2. Smilez,

          You're right that's why I said, I used to look at people like you not bout that life, because real recognize real. You can tell when the hood shows up… oh please believe me, you know when the hood shows up.

        3. Can't co-sign all that. You don't spend 17 years adapting a behavior and then turn it off in one day. If you didn't go hard as a freshman you probably wasn't goin hard as a senior in high school. Speakin for myself……please believe I was holdin heat and stompin bammaz out in Go Gos before I ever stepped foot on a college campus. Real [email protected]@az trade war stories. Das how you know who is real and who is not. Don't matter where you from.

          Trust it's NY/NJ dudes beefin wit DMV dudes on many college campuses. And if you think it's never shots fired than you really don't know. Not to glorify that…but it's real. We squashed all beef by junior year. That's part of the maturation process.

        4. Chill Duce. Real n*ggas don't trade stories. "Real Gs move in silence like lasagna."

          I agree somewhat with what you are saying about not being able to change overnight. And maybe that speaks to what school you went to. If you went to a school that was just as hood as where you grew up then maybe that crossed over. For me, I don't know what I would have done with heat at Syracuse. I just don't. I would have only carried if I was planning on using it. And well, I was going to an all white school in Upstate NY.

        5. "I was holdin heat and stompin bammaz out in Go Gos"

          *I'm sorry. this word (bammas/bammaz) always make me laugh*

          #Carryon

    2. <blockquote cite="comment-312775">

      GirlSixx is ChloeRayne516: “I was holdin heat and stompin bammaz out in Go Gos”*I’m sorry. this word (bammas/bammaz) always make me laugh*#Carryon

      That's why we say it LOL

      Funny story…….dudes in college would always be askin what a bamma was cause they didn't know if they were being insulted or not. ROFL

      Part of going to an HBCU is learning that being called a bamma is not always an insult….but sometimes it is.

  31. Why do educated black men think they deserve a pat on the back for being able to read a book in the first place? lol Like OMGGGGG "LIL TY TY GOT INTO COLLEGE YALL, STOP THE PRESSES". Jesus christ…how sad.

      1. And whose fault is that? college is a choice. I got into a good ivy league school here in Boston because I wanted to, and I stay because I want to. (well not really, but I want a pretty title on my degrees and to make money LOL)….Anyhow, black men and their failures regarding school are 100% their own fault, and choice. No one should be patting you on the back for doing something that immigrants that barely speak proper English do every single day.

        How sad is that? lol There are students in my school (MIT) that don't even have basic English skills and will earn more in the future than your average American.

        I should add that there are also 40 year olds with homes, a wife and kids – a good life, that simply go back to school because they want to. Not going to college isn't a reason to be a failure in life.

        1. Ripper,

          I find it funny that you think "a pretty title for your degrees" is tantamount to you making money.

          Additionally, if you don't know and/or don't see that there are social factors that influence and affect the opportunities that are available to people and their subsequent decisions, then engaging you in a discussion is rather futile.

          BUT… thanks for adding to the conversation. Go Celtics.

        2. Here's the reality of it all.

          Regardless of that you think, this affects all races. Why? Because the changes are that your future children may end up trying to emulate the images are well. I see it all that time. "White" men and children the totally submerge themselves in the likeness of the "thug" ideal. Womps…

          And yes going to college. It IS about choice. Everybody should get a pat on the back for graduating from college, no?

          Having a job and sustaining a family IS an amazing feat. I don't know any parent of any race that describes it as being a breeze.

          It's not even about the simple act of going to school in all honesty. It's about the will for self-cultivation and going to school can a side-effect of that. People who work to put themselves where they want to be end up in better situations than people who don't. Let's assume that the large majority of people wish to develop themselves and have goals. And given it's a matter of choice, what yields people to make a choice that's self-destructive? People are not in a vacuum. And it's not about white _____ rates verses black ______ rates. It's the common family verses the media. Meaning that, the imagery place in front of children have caused them to believe that following the imagery will lead them on a path of self-cultivation. ALL races are being dooped. Diverting their choices from school, entrepreneurship, physical activity, healthy foods to emulating the imagery sculpted by the companies. So choice isn't all that free. Americans are overweight. And guess who such facts refer to… Whites mostly. Higher in economic status in general, always been 1st class citizens, have the "knowledge" and money to make healthier choices, but do not since they are swayed by the media that making self-destructive choices will make them feel or look better. So this would post is a side-effect of a greater problem. And yes… you are already a victim, just in a different way. Say you're not… and I'll show you someone in denial.

    1. You must not be from a place, where you are more likely to go to jail and have a rap sheet than having gotten in to Harvard. Please don't knock people who are doing the right thing and the family/friends who support them. This encouragment is what helps keep alot of 'Lil TY TY' in school and doing better than before.

      1. @DeKeLa &@Dr. J

        I dont think he means it should'nt be celebrated, but more look at as its something your suppose to do. It like your parents saying I shouldn't pay you for cleaning your room ..your suppose to keep your room clean because you live in it.

        @RipperMcRipstein

        The pat on the back is to keep young brothers motivated to keep educating themselves. I went to a good highschool and one graduating class had only 3 blackmen who had gpa's 3.0 or higher… there were way more than 3 blk men in that class. Education ahs become a lost tool for some of our young men. We pat them on the back to let them know were watching and tolet them know were proud. It's like a father giving him a pat on the back when he does something a man is suppose to do (coming of age) yea his father raised him to be a good man but when he see's him walking that path on his own he gives him a pat on the back to let him know he's proud.

      2. You mean I must have parents that worked their asses off to raise me in a neighborhood they and their children felt safe in? Hm yeah, but for a good portion of my life I spent my childhood and a chunk of my teen years in the inner city on Boston, not very fun sweety. While my younger siblings are blessed enough to have never seen that neighborhood – I am the oldest and was not. You are preaching to the wrong one. College, and being able to read a book is something millions of kids do every single day, don't even get me started on people that think they're doing something amazing by having a job and taking care of their kids. LOL

        1. @Ripper you said:

          "College, and being able to read a book is something millions of kids do every single day, don’t even get me started on people that think they’re doing something amazing by having a job and taking care of their kids. LOL"

          What are you implying here and what is the connection between the two? Please explain.

        2. LOL! This immediately reminded me of the Star Jones/Meatloaf argument on Celebrity Apprentice. I guess sweetie is the new bitch. Let 'em know.

        3. “The sign of a truly educated man is to be deeply moved by statistics” – George Bernard Shaw.

          …100% their own fault? 100%? You should really know better.

          Please do not think for one moment that because you spent a part of your childhood in inner city Boston that you are some expert on the struggle of black people in America. You sat idly by, likely in fear, and rendered a quick and uninformed opinion on an entire people based on a few years during your youth. Not only do you NOT KNOW the half, you don’t even seem to be putting your experience to some sort of use. I am confused as to how your hardworking parents, diverse upbringing and attendance at MIT could possibly yield such an ignorant individual. You should know that poor people in general, regardless of race, are less likely to attend college. You should also know, especially being from Boston, like myself, where we have things like the MCAS test in place… that oftentimes the reason for people from impoverished areas not attending college is more a result of lack of preparation due to limited supplies as simple as textbooks and teachers. In my high school in two of my major classes (English and Physics) I had “permanent substitutes” for teachers. Is that the fault of black men?

          Immigrants and black people are not the same. The distinction is in something you and I agree to be a major factor in this entire debate: Choice. Immigrants, despite the fact that they may or may not be fleeing a foreign country for a better opportunity, choose to come here and stay. Black people in America are only here because we choose to fight. We are born of ancestors who were BROUGHT here, and were then forced to build this great country that you are benefitting from- for free. You know… some of the same type of work your distant Spanish-speaking cousins are doing these days… for pennies… and illegally? Work taken away from all Americans, black men included, who are then unable to care for their children? This is our fault too though, right?

          Perhaps inner city Boston shook you so hard you are bitter and ripe with hate. I would advise you take this advice from Dr. King “Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that.” For the duration of your time at MIT, and perhaps your life, I suggest you allow your education and experience to help you become Pro-Humanity and use your intelligence and experience to make an actual difference in the world as opposed to merely sitting on your pretty named degrees filling your pockets. What a waste.

        1. Simply because she's not Black?

          O_O

          Woooooow.

          Don't get me wrong, I think her ideas and delivery are asinine, but all because of her race?

          Oh.

        2. <blockquote cite="comment-312773">

          Starita34: Don’t get me wrong, I think her ideas and delivery are asinine, but all because of her race?

          Oh.

          I think because of her race it is understood that she may not understand or even consider the reasons 'pats on the back' are needed. Shoot! I have family (Jamaican immigrants) that might actually feel the same way. But thats because they are looking at opportunities using different lens.

      1. I said make it more clear. I didn't say it was all because of anything. I think it's safe to say that who we are impacts our point of view, right?

        1. very true. by the way its clear now. lol

          And it has nothing to do with her not being black. In fact, I know many black folks who would reply to this entire discussion just as she did.

        2. I think that who a person is coupled with their experiences shapes their perspectives. It's easy for me to understand how someone who is not black (or someone who wasn't infused in ghetto urban culture) can't identify with some of those experiences. It's great if they can, but I'm not shocked if they don't.

          Cool if no one else felt that way…but that's my feel on it.

          I have yet to run accross this…um…comment from a black person who grew up in the inner city or it's perimeter. Maybe it'll happen in the future…but as of today, it's a "no" on that. "Stop blaming 'the man' and pull yourself up"…heard that. "Stop being lazy and work for what you need"…heard that. "TyTy doesn't deserve a pat on the back for graduating with his AA cause that's what he's supposed to do"…after beating the odds based on his conditions…naw, haven't heard that.

  32. Is there a problem with a black man embracing his inner thug?

    I don't think so but he has to know when and where its appropriate.

  33. lol alright I would hope that an educated woman isn't doing a full remake of Tip Drill on the dance floor, that's a bit of a stretch. However, I think letting one's hair down (at the appropriate time) is at said person's discretion. By no means should women be dawning pasties and pelvic thrusting all over the place lol but I believe the concept of a woman being able to, for a brief moment, live vicariously through song.

  34. I love boisterous rap music. I swear and use the n-word amongst friends. I used to wear doo-rags, icy white tees and chains. I still wear a backwards fitted cap.I have a great job and more opportunity every day to do the things I love.

    Music and pop culture influenced me, but I evolved. I grew out of those things that would limit my opportunities and embraced other things that would bring me joy…like southern rap. As someone said up-thread, rappers are portrayed as dominant males living lavish and exciting lives. It doesn't hurt to get lost in the fairy tale if you know how to get back to reality.

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-312732">

      Slim Jackson: It doesn’t hurt to get lost in the fairy tale if you know how to get back to reality.

      Nice quote. And by nice quote, I mean I'm going to find a way to steal this in the future. lol I'll try to remember to credit you.

  35. Good thoughtful post Dr. J!

    I think a lot of people seem to missing the point here. I don't think the post is condemning the imagery itself or the individuals that are partaking in the music. It's the fact that there DO exist young black men/boys who are obsessed with the emulation of "Thug Life." Regardless of the fact that Tupac explained that "Thug Life" was when asked directly, children will emulate adults. And I bet most of the adults don't consider "thug" to be what Tupac said it was, for him (and even he was on some bull half of the time).

    It's funny. A lot of you all today are playing word games. Throwing in the word "hustle" when referring to your ambitions, throwing in "hood" when referring to your rebellious side, citing where you grew up and whatnot. C'mon… This is an argument about ignorance. I don't care if you lived down the street from me all my pre-college life, ignorant is ignorant and stupid is stupid. There are no special rules, just very special people. "Thug" is NOT synonymous with "street smart" b/c ignoring opportunities to better oneself for image sake is essentially, street stupid. It's street stupid to not carry oneself like you have respect for yourself and to use imagery as an excuse not to adapt. This is what happens, all in the name of being "real" and guess what. That ish isn't "real" at all. A lot of people choose the latch on to the ideas of "hood", "gangster" and "thug" and use them as qualifying terms for ones own actions to put forth an impression of "I don't fall into the mold" mentality. No, you ARE falling into the mold. The mold people choose to uphold is one that is tunnel-visioned. What is "thug" really? Does it mean you used to live in a certain place or have a certain approach to life in general?

    "Thug" has nothing to even do with music and clothes. The huge majority of black people have been dooped into buying into media explanation and definition of what a "thug" is. Yes, that's a mind f*ck. People are so busy seeing how far or close they are to, check this -> media's idea of thug, that they never stopped to consider the sources. We're sitting here battling about the imagery when the imagery isn't real to begin with (it's strategic). While the children based their rites of passage on the acquisition and perpetual emulation of the media produced images. Why is that the case? Because we're associate that imagery as substance. This: "_____ has thug tendencies/looks so he must be street smart/strong/willing to protect/etc…" This stigma is residue from a past where one HAD to rebel against the grain of society in order to live. Now we have people arguing about the meaning of where certain jeans verses wearing polo shirts. The battle is no longer the society/media as it SHOULD, it's a battling of imagery. Ya'll miss me with that…

    It's not surprising that anything that involves money/freedom will resonate with any person regardless of the manifestation. The issue lies with the active choice to overlook betterment of oneself which, in itself, is contradictory to the seemingly embedded mentality of blacks: achieve freedom. This is not a "what is education" type of conversation. This is not a "what is thug" type of conversation. This is a "what is ignorance" type conversation! OK. Call your 9-5 in the corporate office sitting on your behind all day your "hustle," fine. But be aware that any imagery absorbed by children will be taken in the form when it readily available to them: media. Moral? Don't be mad when people use their own understanding of "thug" when you refer to yourself as one. Thug is the new n*gger. Yeah… I said it… Every one wants to be a "real" n*gga and a thug -> IMAGE WISE. Thus perform street stupid acts to perpetuate that image.

    Yes… I STILL ride through my neighborhood and blast my music on a warm day. I'm not claiming the act to be part of my culture, or symbolizes where I came from. I just like my music up loud. Citing where I grew up doesn't make me closer or farther from the ideal some many have latched on to. The fact is that I'm none of that.

    <blockquote cite="comment-312691">

    My decision to play football and then to go to school wasnt because I had some love of learning. This honestly, just my hustle. I have the same motivations as the ball players and the drug dealers, I’m just trying to put a forest around my mama house and be fly while doing.

    Peyso: Peyso

    Analyze this: No love of learning which is worded as mutually exclusive to self betterment, thug mentality is synonymous with a "hustle," associating taking care of ones family a key factor of a "thug," "same motivations as the ball players and the drug dealers" who clearly have a focus on the imagery of "thug." Need I say more? No shots at Peyso, since I'm sure he's a great guy. But yo son… WHAT!?!?

    See… Honestly… I don't care with other people look like. They can have whatever image they want and do whatever identifies with them. That's fine. BUT to allow children to grow up with a tunnel-vision mentality that drives them to self-destruction for the sake of promoting an image is ridic.

    Let me re-word it:

    The children (and some adults) have become walking advertisements. Promoting an image or a brand of a (music) company. The best way to promote an artist with a certain image is to have people who try to follow that image, have it catch on, them they call themselves thinking like, dressing like, acting like the image, which in turns buys the product: a twist on "thug" Yep…

    1. It goes back to ppl saying they have a hood mentality.. its killing our black kids.. Marketers , rappers hell even some educated blk people sell this image to the youth like its cool. There still alot of young people that link speaing proper with speaking white. No its called common sense.

      Also our young men listen to what their mothers say so when they hear the women in there lives saying they need a little thug in there man they try to copy those quailities.

    2. <blockquote cite="comment-312742">

      MeteorMan: Let me re-word it:The children (and some adults) have become walking advertisements. Promoting an image or a brand of a (music) company. The best way to promote an artist with a certain image is to have people who try to follow that image, have it catch on, them they call themselves thinking like, dressing like, acting like the image, which in turns buys the product: a twist on “thug” Yep…

      Yup…it's not just entertainment. I co-sign the entire comment. All of it!

  36. I don't think educated black males have an unhealthy facination with thug life. I don't think listenting to rap, knowing rap lyrics, or appreciating rap is the downfall or kryptonite of the educated black man. I'm not sure where you hang out or with whom but I find black professionals have a wardrobe that includes pieces other than suits and "thug" wear.

    Personally, I couldn't care less about what educated and professional black men do in their free time whether they learn every rap song ever written, sport baggy pants outside of work, or get a mani/pedi w/ clear polish (although you should just be getting your nails buffed gentlemen; you do not need a glossy shine, I repeat, you do not need a glossy shine).

    Your statement here is what I care about: "As I would walk around campus I would see that young Black men who came from the hood and had every opportunity to succeed and leave the hood refused to let the hood go. I witnessed many young Black men who sat on the stoop of their apartments."

    What I care about are the young black people who for some reason can't seem to get off the stoop. What was different about you? What did you have that they didn't? What was lacking in them that they didn't even attempt to succeed? Did they really have every opportunity? What can we do in the "black community" to get more kids off the stoops and into schools and jobs. If we really grapple with those issues I don't think rap will play a large part in the conversation. Rap isn't the downfall, it's not the villian. I wish it was, because then we would have an easy fix. You were into rap and hip hop and yet, you went to Cornell, have a job, and in your free time host a couple of blogs that spark conversations like these. So what's really going on with our youth?

    Also I would bet good money that those black grads and alumni involved in that Boston party incident were not dressed like thugs. I don't know how ya'll got down in the Finger Lakes region, but my Boston-area ivy league days were not that long ago. I recall dudes wearing button downs, vests, blazers, ascots AND pocket squares sweating to death at tiny spots like Joseph's. Hot times. Literally. That incident circulated widely because it highlighted that even with appropriate dress and Harvard and Yale degrees in tow some establishments still will view a group of black students and professionals as thugs and refuse them entry. That club also was fined $30k by the Mass Atty Gen and now send their staff to anti-discrimination training. I don't think we (black people) need to take any responsibility for that incident (maybe some others, but not that one).

    1. Agreed.

      I don't typically comment, but just wanted to put this out there. As someone who is actually a Harvard student and was in attendance at the short-live Harvard-Yale party – I did not see anyone dressed up like a "thug" or anything of the sort. No one seemed to be acting out of order either – in fact, it was cold as hell, so after being turned away everyone was just trying to catch a cab to get to the next spot.

      Just want to put that out there so that we keep our facts straight. Carry on.

      1. I'd like to address this. Here's something that we fail to realize sometimes as Black people. Think about what our typical club attire is and also how we arrive to clubs. We drive expensive cars, because we can afford it. We prefer table service over standing in line an paying cover. Then our attire; even if you have on a three piece suit, a white person is wondering why you have on a suit to go to the club? Or let's say you have on a pair of Pradas, some True Religion jeans, and Rugby polo. Your outfit probably costs about $800. Can you legitimately explain why someone would spend $800 on an outfit and wear it to a club? You have to see things from the eyes of the otherside. To us, we don't see nothing wrong with that, and it is nothing wrong with that. But from an outsider looking in, it may come across as if you are trying to impress someone.

        And this is from someone who knows two of the promoters. I know their crowd, i've been to their parties in other cities. Be honest, it's dress to impress. White people roll to the club in Old Navy Jeans and Chuck Taylors.

        1. So are you suggesting that perhaps the club bouncers turned away people because they looked like the brand of "thug" that tries to impress others with their expensive clothing, versus the brand of "thug" that's, well, simply any black person?

          As I go out regularly in Boston, I'm going to go with the latter. While I DEFINITELY agree about the typical crowd associated with the promoters, I don't think that the club bouncers shut people out because they were wearing Prada and polos. I think that they underestimated the number of black people in attendance, equated blacks with bandana-wearing thugs / drug-dealers / type of folk to "downgrade" the quality of the club, and made a decision.

          As an aside – as someone who attended an Ivy for both undergrad and grad school, and played a sport (i.e., partied hard with the white folk), I'm not too sure about seeing those old navy jeans and chucks. Maybe at a bar, but certainly not at a club – my white friends always got pretty decked out in hopes of impressing others. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

          Nevertheless, not trying to overlook the main points of your post, just not convinced that you used the best introduction.

        2. Actually I can tell you why those club owners turned the people away. "Because that wasn't the look they were going for." You know what the problem is with that? It happens everywhere, we only got pissed because it was a white dude.

          I was just making a point about white people going out. But it's only been recent that you started seeing the guido and Jersey Shore cats decked out in expensive clothes. Outside of that you didn't get much past an Ed Hardy tee shirt, and no one takes anyone in an Ed Hardy tee shirt seriously.

          Agree to disagree, but I loved the introduction.

  37. Since this is a personal topic for me I have to be real, I live in chicago, west side born and raised.grew up around gangs, drugs,etc I knew all real killers and hustlers but I never got involved with any of it, I just wanted to play ball. I dressed hood, but im educated as they come, when you have street smarts and book smarts the sky is the limit, I learned things in the hood I could hever learned in a classroom and vice versa some things can't be learned in a book,some things can. I listen to all music hip hop,rock,etc I follow and live by my own damn rules, I am my own man so when some one says a black man is xyz I just laugh. I was taught I can only be responsible for myself, so if you blame music for your actions you are a sheep. To quote my chi-town native common, "i never kiss the @ss of the masses, im the black molasses"

  38. <blockquote cite="comment-312736">

    Dr. J: Excuse me Ripper, this is rude, but are you a Black woman?

    Rofl no. Funny that you assume that though, anyhow my father is Korean and my mother is from Spain.

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-312750">

      RipperMcRipstein: Rofl no. Funny that you assume that though, anyhow my father is Korean and my mother is from Spain.

      Ok i'm glad you clarified that, but you could have saved us all the time and just said you were, "White." And because you are white, i'm going to take everything you said as disrespect. So let's get into it…

      <blockquote cite="comment-312710">

      RipperMcRipstein: Why do educated black men think they deserve a pat on the back for being able to read a book in the first place? lol Like OMGGGGG “LIL TY TY GOT INTO COLLEGE YALL, STOP THE PRESSES”. Jesus christ…how sad.

      You're bugging! Youtube, that chick from BGC and see what happens when you start shouting off racist comments in public. And i'm also interested to know why you thought TyTy is an appropriate Black child's name.

      BUT quite possibly the best way to respond to your entire diatribe is,

      "An Asian American got into MIT? You want a pat on the back for that?! You actually pulling up the rear for your entire race. You are a disgrace to your parents. You would think that by now, your people would be skipping college with how smart they are."

      But wait — your earlier comments, your boy who wrote that article about how Black women are less attractive, and the Asian guy who needed my help in Calc 2, you guys are all living examples of how Asians can be just as dumb as anyone else on the planet.

    2. You came on the wrong blog to spit that dumb sh*t…

      It is one thing to love Black people & then spit noise… But you were out of pocket homie…

      Don't do it in public

  39. Zebras run in the same direction as a defense mechanism. Most animals that move in flocks do.

    Truth be told….depending on where you live…..the smartest thing to do for your survival is to look ignorant even if your are a genius. To be violent even if you are peacful.

    See what always upsets me is about this argument is that people jump straight to stereotypes and assume young black boys are stupid for actin like thugs.

    In many hoods stupid would be walkin to school with new jordans on and braggin about how much money your father makes. Stupid would be tellin everybody you got an A on the last test. Best believe they whoopin dat @ss and stealin your jordans.

    1. I agree somewhat .. i think theres a difference between acting like a thug and just being aware of your surrondings and having street smarts.

      I think the ex you gave was someone who is aware of where they live and have street smarts not so much a thug. A thug would be the one beating up the kid and stealing his jordans.

  40. Studies show (I don't know what studies show but I wanted to start off my reply with this). On a serious note I think that a lot of educated black people like to listen to rap music because it's something that allows them to feel comfortable in an otherwise ill fitting arena.

    Learing the art of code switching is something that we acquire in college. Listening to whatever wew like while learning that art form is like a right of passage. Dressing like a thug and acting ignorant in the club is a growing process. Just like you said that you realized that you were acting silly, so will they. The closer one gets to graduation and real job interviews, the more the silly behavior will be left behind.

    Nice write Dr. J!

  41. A lot of young educated men try to emualte thugs becuase they dont equate eduaction with being tough or respected. When ppl are scared of you you are respected ie thugs.

    Our children dont know our black history so their lost. Maclom X, and Huey P Newton were tough educated brothers who held their own and they were not thugs.

    Being a thug doesnt make you tough ( because when thugs go to jail the Bi*ch comes out of them real fast)

  42. Aaaaaaaalways hated this attitude at Cornell (Full disclosure I'm a private school kid from VA). I wonder if that goes on elsewhere. What's the difference? And why make out-of-state students feel unwelcome. Overall my experience was great, but that annoyed me. Pining away for some long lost Cornell. Humbug.

    <blockquote cite="comment-312747">

    CHeeKZ:
    Esp above our year.After us it is rumored that the Nell stop accepting kids from rough areas.But before that, people really were taking in a ton of Brooklyn kids. Kids from the Bricks, BX.Its the kids they get from the south that are a bit snooty with a stick up their back end.

    1. That was the campus, but that wasn't my crew. We were hated on for hanging out with EVERYBODY. Every one was welcomed at 804. Everyone was welcomed in 211.

      But lets be honest that only get you thru that initial phase. After that you have to find people who have your values.

      B/C if you are some prep kid and you don't believe in man laws like:

      No Snitching and Bros before Hoes .. you have no place in my team.

      Little known fact, use to have a white boy in the crew, but he didn't know what it meant to be a team player. After years of shadiness, it all feel apart.

  43. OK real quick…..if you aint got no war stories…..you are not a thug…..never were a thug.

    What is a war story….a story of you holdin somethin, bussin somethin, stompin somethin, jumpin somethin, sellin something or leakin somethin.

    War stories is how real dudes authenticate real dudes. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE YOU ARE FROM. It's [email protected] [email protected]@az in every hood. A lot of weak dudes try to trade on their hoods name and rep when they have no war stories. And no scars. You ever met a Vietnam vet with no stories to tell?

    Real thugz….when they first meet each other…tend to tell war stories. Cause that is how you find out how real a dude is. If I am a big time dealer and you are a big time dealer we should know the same people. I might drop some slang to see if you know what it means. If I am a known soldier and you are a known soldier we know the same people. We speak similiar slang. Yes before the internet….you could tell a real dude just by the slang he used. You could tell how close to the streets he was and what part of DC he was from Uptown or Soufside just by the way he talked. Like if a dude was "in the cut" he was locked up in Maryland. Or if he called you "son, son" he been to Oak Hill or roll wit dudes from Oak Hill. Or if you knew a hammer was a rim before it was gun.

    I'm just sayin……not tryin to be your ghetto tour guide but it's some real dudes on college campuses. Some will graduate. Most won't. But stop with the judgement. Cause you really don't know what some dudes went through before they got to school.

    1. il Duce the Grand Nagus, Master of the Long Azz Name….I don't know why I want to hug you and slap you silly all at the same time. All the time. You are just the type of dude that I would have hung out with after school. But you know what….when a girl got stabbed to death my sophomore year in a "gang related" incident they found it was some Art kid in VPA that did it. He lived in some new McMansion development in Mitchelville.

      1. That is real sad. It always makes me sad to hear stories like that cause I did so much wild stuff during my college years I am lucky to be alive and free. Nobody goes to college to get killed.

      2. You are just the type of dude that I would have hung out with after school.

        __________________________________

        All my college friends blame me for getting them hooked on cigarettes……yes I smoked back when only real [email protected]@az smoked. ROFL

    2. I’m just sayin……not tryin to be your ghetto tour guide but it’s some real dudes on college campuses. Some will graduate. Most won’t. But stop with the judgement. Cause you really don’t know what some dudes went through before they got to school.

      True but a lot of dudes who don't live that life know those signs so sometimes the real and the fake know the same sh+t .

      1. Nah….you won't have no real war stories. You won't know the right dudes. Like I said…the internet has made it so fake dudes can learn to talk and walk like a real dude.

        For instance……15 years ago…….only a real crip would know how to crip walk. So if you met someone that could crip walk you knew they were real.

        When I graduated high school…..only a real DC dude would know who Wayne Perry was. Now you can just google stuff like that and pretend you really know the streets.

        If you don't have family in jail….you probably not a real dude. Stuff like that can't be faked. When I was in school I knew who was real and who was fake.

  44. Sounds a lot like Black frats, lol.

    <blockquote cite="comment-312784">

    il Duce the Grand Nagus, Master of the Rules of Acquisition:
    OK real quick…..if you aint got no war stories…..you are not a thug…..never were a thug.

    What is a war story….a story of you holdin somethin, bussin somethin, stompin somethin, jumpin somethin, sellin something or leakin somethin.

    War stories is how real dudes authenticate real dudes.IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE YOU ARE FROM.It’s [email protected] [email protected]@az in every hood.A lot of weak dudes try to trade on their hoods name and rep when they have no war stories.And no scars.You ever met a Vietnam vet with no stories to tell?

    Real thugz….when they first meet each other…tend to tell war stories.Cause that is how you find out how real a dude is.If I am a big time dealer and you are a big time dealer we should know the same people.I might drop some slang to see if you know what it means.If I am a known soldier and you are a known soldier we know the same people.We speak similiar slang.Yes before the internet….you could tell a real dude just by the slang he used.You could tell how close to the streets he was and what part of DC he was from Uptown or Soufside just by the way he talked.Like if a dude was “in the cut” he was locked up in Maryland.Or if he called you “son, son” he been to Oak Hill or roll wit dudes from Oak Hill.Or if you knew a hammer was a rim before it was gun.

    I’m just sayin……not tryin to be your ghetto tour guide but it’s some real dudes on college campuses.Some will graduate.Most won’t.But stop with the judgement.Cause you really don’t know what some dudes went through before they got to school.

    1. Even with the left field commenting, today's post was awesome. It was a pleasure to read and discuss sir.

  45. On BlackWeblog Voting…

    I voted… I am so mad I had to choose between SBM.org, Max-Logic.com & Goddess Intellect… So, I picked them in that respective order…

    On Your eBook

    I haven't read your FIRST one yet, so I would read that one first, then the second one… in my own time…

    On EBM trying to be THUGS…

    I can understand why EBM desire to be thugs… Thugs have an strong masculine energy that alot of women go for (when those women are in their s*xual prime)…

    As for me, I desire to re-create that thuggish energy, but minus the hip-hop & the n*gga box thugs operate in…

    But really it all come down what the women are attracted to…

    When women are chasing Educated Black Men & simultaneously rejecting thuggish men…

    The whole game will change…

    P.S. It is a wonderful thing to see Dr. J evolve and live out his dreams… Keep It Up…

  46. <blockquote cite="comment-312711">

    CHeeKZ: Sup Peyso. I was actually on your old grounds this week watching my cousin walk. One thing I never do is try to justify what I listen to, how I act or dress, or where I or my ninjas come from. That is just childish and b!tch activity. People, esp on these sites, make these broad strokes statements about what a black man should be. A grown man doesn’t have braids. A grown man should listen to more than rap. A grown man should not run trains. A grown man calls the day after he smashes. You want to know what a grown educated man should be doing: making up his mind for himself and exactly what he wants to be. Not listening to people tell him how to act or put him into a box. Me and my goons enojy our life. They really like their hipster fashion and I’m not going to let somone tell me that Slim’s love of 40 oz is the reason the black family is struggling. The dude is a good boyfriend and has a amazing J.O.B. Focus on what is important, don’t Pettifog the situation. #JonStewart.

    Lol @ pettifog. John Stewart made Bill OReilly look like the fool he is!

  47. I wonder if white people ever sit around and discuss how some other white people dress too nice and too fancy. Doubtful. This here is a made up problem w/in the "black community" (and we have enough real ones so I'm not sure why we'd start self-imposing some made-up ones).

    What is typical club attire? That isn't determined by the race, it's determined by the venue. Maybe you're not saying this, but to me I'm reading you say that Black folks educated or otherwise don't know how to dress appropriately EVER. When they dress down they project a thug image and when they dress up they dress up too much. There is a time and place where thug wear might be okay and a different time and place where your $800 Pradas will be appropriate.

    And "dress to impress" for our parties is to signal folks to leave their tims, gym shoes, and fitteds at home. I definitely don't think anyone needs to ring the alarm bells for black folks owning/leasing expensive cars or expensive clothes. Do you want them to only wear their nice things at the crib and keep their nice cars in the garage? Also folks who are racist or have racial prejudices (whether consciously or unconsciously) aren't going to change their opinion based on any kind of attire. To some, you're going to be a [no good, dangerous, freeloading, etc.] n—a whether your black ass went to Cornell, worked in Bush, Jr's administration, or own Birkenstocks. OR they'll consider you to be an exception to the rest of us [no good, dangerous, freeloading, etc.] n—as.

  48. "Don’t be confined by others opinions of you; the one that matters most is your own."

    I tell this to my children everyday! =)

  49. I think educated black men dress like thugs and listen to hip hop music on their "off time" is for one reason only – the women. No matter what you say about rappers they have women galore and they think these guys are sexy. These guys have their picks of the best looking sistahs around and educated black men want some of that action.

  50. What does it matter how a black man dresses, that’s what wrong with society now, as long as we wear the appropriate gear when needed such as work, upscale event, etc… Does that make us hood to dress down. If Trayvon Martin was white wearing a hoody would he have been killed? No! Growing up lot of us did look up to these rapper because they made it out the hood and it inspired us to so. I never saw or heard any black lawyers, doctors, etc telling me I could make it out the hood. Whether the rapper did the right thing or not we saw success in them and we knew it was attainable. I am not of fan of some of the trends now like skin jeans but I respect them. Why should we try to blend in and be vanilla it is in our nature to bring flavor to things like some of these young guys say “SWAG”. Most black make when they go to an upscale club or lounge they like to show out so there non hood wear there. Sometimes it’ these club owner and promoter that get these rappers to come to their spot and they can dress anyhow they want then the place gets a large crowd that will spend money.

  51. Our culture is so influential all other races try to imitate us can you really be mad. Some people will like it some people won’t but you have to respect it. Lastly, hiphop is not 100% true only about 60-70% most content is exaggerated to make it more appealing. When a painter paints a portrait of a woman it is not the exact image but close and has his or her twist on it to make it interesting. Just my point of view!

  52. I loved your article. I noticed many people are heated in here because it is the truth. DEAL WITH IT! Great article. Thumbs up!

  53. So after we have careers we should start listening to Smooth Jazz? I mean I like jazz but my first cassette was D-Nice – Call me D-Nice and my second was Onyx – Bacdafucup… As such my tastes are diverse…

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