Sometimes statistics and percentages can be abstract, so I won’t dig into all the numbers that speak to how the already gaping chasm between the rich and poor in this country is getting even wider.
The numbers are there. We know that a small group of white men control the majority of wealth in this country, and are continuing to move further and further away from the rest of us.
This time though it’s not about the white men. It’s about a fan favorite who used his financial wealth to lift himself up in an ignorant, arrogant, and embarrassing way.
Plus, I’m honestly too upset right now to put my focus on Googling numbers.
Video has been released of rapper Blueface standing on top of a Mercedes Benz G Wagon (a vehicle priced at over $100,000) tossing money down to people on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
He smiled as people surrounded the vehicle and scampered for the bills he threw from above.
At the end of the clip I viewed, someone yelled out, “Ain’t no more? Ain’t no more?”
It’s one of the most deplorable acts on video of the entire year.
People across this country are financially hurting. Millions of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and suffering the weeks in between pay periods.
Banks have made over $30 billion dollars this year alone in overdraft fees.
The rich are getting more and more rich.
Check out the yachting industry. It’s booming.
Meanwhile, the rest of us need financial reprieve.
It is then a great thing for those that have had some good fortune to help others.
This was not that.
This was a rapper lacking intelligence, respect, and any ounce of human decency making a spectacle of those that are in need.
This had no reflection of a kind act. It was instead a financial terrorist attack of the worst kind.
Blueface was using his money to literally look down on those that gave him the opportunity to make such a display of pure idiocy.
Unfortunately, listening to his tragically successful music makes it no surprise that he would do something so despicable under the guise of helping. His biggest hit “Bussdown”, is a mindless rumbling that has become one of the biggest ear worms of 2019, and is one of several songs he has created that reek of lackluster talent and the absence of anything remotely creative.
Yes, there are winners and losers in a capitalist system, and everyone will not be rich, but the pattern of those that are made wealthy turning their backs on those that put them in positions of power is incessant. While the rich and wealthy have every discretion to do with their money as they see fit, their choices often pose problematic and unforgiving.
Rappers throwing money at fans or random people know the act will be internalized by the recipients as helpful, but the fault lies in that they are mostly out to get their ego stroked at the expense of those that need money.
Any rapper that truly wants to help others can find a loving way to carry out the act that respects the recipients.
What’s more, the money they give is nothing more than a band-aid on a bullet wound of financial lack for those who are in need.
Blueface stood as if he was some king watching peasants beg for his scraps. His pride in debasing those surrounding the car he was standing on was surreal and jarring to watch.
“Look at me and my expensive vehicle giving away my money. You should thank me and praise me”, pretty much sums up the look of the charade.
The scarring caused from watching people in the video scurry for falling bills far outweighs anything that any of them may have been able to buy from what ever they were able to catch.
Blueface knew what he was doing. He didn’t just pick a random spot. He picked Skid Row. A place mired in poverty, and a place looked down on as hopeless.
A place where he knew his money would get attention.
The physical act was throwing money, but the reality was him laughing at those below him. It was evident in the infuriating grin on his face almost every time he was visible in the clip.
It is inhumane acts like these that continue to confound being rich and wealthy.
From Bernard Madoff to Floyd Mayweather to Donald Trump, people get money in this country and they lose their got damn minds.
For black rappers, I get it. As black people, black men in particular, we have been so disenfranchised in this country that when we make it, we want people to know we’ve made it. It’s part of the reason you see so many young black men on social media posing with stacks of money.
The money may not even be real as some people are so intent on convincing others of their financial wealth, they’ve made “prop money” a top seller on Amazon.
It’s part of the reason some rappers feel the need to walk around with tens of thousands of dollars on their person in book bags or just in their pockets.
They made it through a system intent on holding them back and came out with the financial prowess to prove it.
I have no desire to indict anyone that has reached a financial goal they have either set for themselves or arrived at by luck, but to need help is not an indictment either.
To laugh in the face of those that are struggling and mask it in a way that appears helpful is the epitome of deceit.
While I can’t back away from the fact that Americans and our fascination with wealth and celebrity play into actions like those of Blueface, this kind of human value pirating is obscene. It puts responsibility square on the face of those that have arrived at their success on the backs of fans and consumers to be better and do better.
The irony here is that Blueface is internally more poor than the wallets of anyone he threw money at.
The ability to mock those in need speaks to a hole in Blueface so big, no amount of money or string of hit songs he could ever make will fill it. He could give away every dime he has and still be empty.
His lack of understanding and empathy is a bottomless pit, and people like him who have gained wealth and choose to display it in this way are exceedingly dangerous in their insipidness.
We need to hold our artists accountable. We need to hold our rich and wealthy accountable. Acts like this should not be allowed to stand.
Treating people with dignity and respect is not beyond anyone and no amount of money gained should ever necessitate mistreatment of people in such a manner.
There is one statistic I don’t have to look up.
100% of people with money who “give back” in a way that is ostentatious and self gratifying as Blue Face has done are 100% unmitigated pieces of shit.
All money ain’t good money. Especially if it has a Blueface.