by Brother to the Night
Most of you know how I feel about Hip Hop. My definition of Hip Hop is the culture of musical art form that is self-reflected by music, art, history, dance, poetry, and science that gains its influence from other culture across the world. Pretty deep, right? No, not what I typed, but what it entails. Self-reflection. Gains of influence. Across the world. That’s a beautiful thing.
HOWEVER, let us not leave out how Hip Hop is exploited. Hip Hop is labeled in an exploitive manner. Hip Hop music (basically anything on a 25 and under radio station), movies like “How She Move” and “Step Up” (what are you kidding me? Neither of these movies has a Black or Latino main characters), or anything and everything BET.
Unfortunately, the Hip Hop rooster came home to roost a couple of years ago with the opening of one “Hip Hop Chicken & Fish” in Randallstown, MD (a Baltimore suburb). That’s right; wait, marinate, and allow me to repeat. Exhale. Ready?
“Hip Hop….Chicken… & Fish”. How very unprecedented.
Our story started about 2 years ago when my cousin’s wife Tracy (names have been changed to protect the futile) came in with huge, heavenly aromatic, white plastic bags and laid them on the counter.
Me: Damn that smells good! What’s that, chicken?
Tracy: Mmm hmmm. I got it from a place on Liberty.
Me: Oh yeah? Where?
Tracy: I tasted it before at a get-together at work and it was sooooooooo good. Ummm…you should try some.
Me: *reaching for a napkin and plate* Sure! Thanks. So you keeping secrets?
Me: Are you keeping secrets?
Tracy: What do you mean?
Me: Why won’t you tell me where you got the chicken from?
Tracy: I did. I said a place on Liberty.
Me: Ok, I got that. And the place is called…..?
Me: Huh What? Here’s what…..what the f$%#% is you talking about???
Tracy: Alright, alright! I got it from **whispering** Ghip Rot Hitdin.
Me: Gip Rot Hittin’? What? **Laughing**
Tracy: **sigh** Hip Hop Chicken.
Me: Excuse me?
Tracy: Hip Hop Chicken, Brother.
Me: Hip Hop Chicken. Hip Hop….Chicken. You’re joking, right?
Tracy: **sigh** No. But the chicken is really really good. Aren’t you gonna try a piece?
Me: Oh HELL NO!! **a 10 minute tirade on the exploitation of people of color and our culture of Hip Hop**
So there you have it. The birth of Hip Hop Chicken, and the slow steady death of Hip Hop culture. Here’s the part that hurts your feelings for real for real…..it’s owned by Salvadorians. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s obvious by the lack or ignorance of Hip Hop artwork or photography and the subsequent language barrier that these kats are disingenuous. Hip Hop Chicken is bad enough, but no Public Enemy posters? No Jay-Z? Can I at least get some Lil’ Wayne? No? Oh wait, 92.Q is always playing in the background. No? That don’t count? Damn!
It gets worse. Note the DANCING chicken and fish. Wow. Can ya do that? Can you really REALLY do that?
Exploitive business establishments should be ashamed of themselves for the utter disrespect and exploitive nature of their very existence. Some of these people wonder why their businesses are the targets of crime and vandalism. Here is why geniuses; you directly associate your business brand in a matter that is exploitative to a group of group of people who you are attempting to market to on the most inconceivably ignorant premises imaginable. The common thug is going to associate this (subconsciously) with “who should I rob, the Macy’s down the streets, a store that I don’t seem to belong as far as items, or the Hip Hop Chicken who basically is saying ‘we know how you n#%#s LOVE chicken, and we know how you n#%#s LOVE Hip Hop, so let’s put them together and we all can eat chicken and do the Hip Hop dance. Just look at the billboard! See?’ “
In conclusion, the exploitative nature of American business continues over the disenfranchised and will not end until we as Americans hit them where it hurts; in the pocket. From now on, I want all those who read this to begin and continue to halt all support of establishments such as these. Now pardon me **licking fingers**, I’m done with multi-tasking. Time to finish up this chic….I mean food.