Just a heads up. I was approached to write the sleeve-notes for this incredible box set coming out on Cherry Red Records end of July 2022. With The Soul Survivors Magazine ethos of preserving the legacy of Black Music & it’s culture it is humbling to be part of such a historic and informative music compilation. Check it out and please spread the word as this really is an each one teach one project. Peace Fitzroy
The original Soul Train comes to London Friday 20th May 2022 at Sway with resident Bobby Dee and yours truly as the special guest. Making a royal appearance is the first lady of Solar Carrie Lucas and Freddie Lee. Looking forward to bringing that 1970s & 80s disco boogie and funk back with some swank and plenty of good music in the tank…you coming??
This was one day when the Bob Geldolf & The Boomtown Rat’s classic ‘I Don’t Like Monday’s would not have made the playlist because the Curtis Hairston ‘Morning After’ the Oscars it would seem that many declared themselves an authority debating the Hollyweird ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ Rock/ Bad Boy Will Smith Gate debacle at the Academy Award Ceremony. Tell Lie Vision is rampant in diverting peoples attention. The heat this is generating is quite something considering two months ago and for the last 2 years it was all about the pandemic, which seems to have gone AWOL on holiday because that yesterday’s news became tomorrow’s fish & chips paper when the recent war broke out. Now this story was the number one trending subject and even kicked the war between Russia & Ukraine off the William Bell ‘ Headline News’ tabloids. There is an energy in Hollyweird that makes people behave in some of the most extraordinary ways. Remember Will Smith said that Denzil Washington advised him moments before we saw what took place with these words “’In your highest moments, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you’.
Chris Rock dressed like a black 007 looked a little shaken but not too stirred after receiving what looked more like a table tennis forearm smash than a bitch slap from Will Smith’s reaction to a deemed inappropriate GI Jane joke about Will’s wife Jada’s alopecia condition. After initially laughing at the joke and probably like Carlsberg receiving the “If Tupac was here” look from his wife Jada, Sir Willston of Smithston decides to get medieval and become the black knight who rides in on his charger to defend the honour of his damsel in distress, his queen in green Jada Pinkett Smithston, and also curse her tormentor out.
There is history dating back to 2016 when there was a boycott of the Oscars from many black entertainers including Jada Pinkett Smith which Chris Rock attended and both parties publicly dissed each other in the process. Will and Jada’s open relationship curriculum activities have been aired publicly to the point that 12 days earlier comedienne Rebel Wilson cracked a joke about the couple at the Baftas. Now there was a split in opinions on whether Will was justified in physically attacking Chris for allegedly defending his wife’s honour with many suggesting he was 100% correct. So would those who think he had just cause have the same opinion if Will had attended the Baftas and did the Ray Carling of ‘Scum’ hard man bowl walk towards the stage to then bitch slap Rebel Wilson for rubbishing his wife? Well seeing as she is a woman and a white woman at that.. you can write your answers on a postcard.
In my humble opinion I don’t condone both Will or Chris for their varying inappropriate behaviour. Will Smith let his ego and his emotions get the better of him because of the immense pressure that comes with living in that fame world. He coulda and shoulda dealt with his outburst privately and without exposing himself and Chris, two experienced black professionals, to the stereotypical ridicule that our (people of the African Diaspora and indigenous African descendants) oppressors have bestowed upon us, and that much of the outside world have adapted and expect to see as that negative black on black epidemic we exercise amongst ourselves. The white on white violence dating back to the Romans, the Cowboys or the 20th century Italian and Jewish gangsters eras never get tarnished or highlighted in the same way and yet the violence is openly glorified.
There are questions of this being a staged event and regardless of whether it was or not, this was not a good look for black people period. This was played out like movie in front of the world on the biggest world stage the Oscars, and in a climate where overt and covert racism is rife, this gives the racist’s way of thinking certain degrees of leverage. It’s amazing but not surprising that so many women who claim to want to be recognised as Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Women’ were either turned on or endorsed Will Smith’s Sir Galahad behaviour like that made him become the sexiest man on the planet. What happened to stick & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me, or does one have to prove his knuckle dragging Neanderthal “Ugga ugga find me a woman” caveman mentality manhood prowess in protecting his ‘property’ when they are not actually in any physical danger. In 2022..Really??
To close all this greatly overshadowed the achievements of Will Packer the second black producer of an Oscars night and winners Quest Love for his brilliant film ‘Summer Of Love’ and Samuel L Jackson( congrats with a clenched fist) who also won Oscars. It’s a disgrace that their acknowledgement has been skipped over nonchalantly, like how Richard Pyror demonstrates in his brilliant ‘In Concert’ film how cooly black people skip over a snake in the woods, unlike white people who walk aimlessly and get bitten(Watch it and you’ll get the analogy). I will embrace the afore mentioned in their well deserved success but I will not enable myself to celebrate or indulge in some gossip like fashion regarding the fracas between two black men, and wish to claim it with any sense of pride and entertainment like many I’ve seen within our cultural community, simply because by default they are black like myself. It was very noticeable that Will Smith in his acceptance speech apologised to everyone else for his outburst except Chris Rock who he physically assaulted, who did punch below the belt with his remark but also whose assault on Will’s wife was only verbally. Will Smith has since allegedly written a Big Foot ‘I Apologise’ statement to every one including Chris Rock.
I get that he is upset but he could have been the bigger man and owned his Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanour’ without having Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Coombes allegedly needing to call a truce between Will and Chris to squash their beef. To those who think this part of the post is race bating, and what happened was between two humans who are both fallible. Correct… but also think on this, why is it so highly publicised that Will Smith is the 5th black man to win an Oscar in almost 100 years of the ceremony heavily overseen by white people? These are two high profile black men who against the uneven odds are in this positions as positive role models to give hope to those from their cultural community, a sense of pride that against those uneven odds in the racist abyss they swim in, that they too can achieve great things. That alone shows it has everything to highlighting race and the cultural importance. The struggle continues. Words inspired by the Oscars and a few songs from my youth!! Peace Fitzroy