We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

The rise of black men is the fall of black culture

Thango Ntwasa Columnist
US rapper 50 Cent has singlehandedly thwarted careers of those in his path. /Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Playboy
US rapper 50 Cent has singlehandedly thwarted careers of those in his path. /Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Playboy

There are many rap beefs that have rocked popular culture, from crip walking East Coast versus West Coast, Lil' Kim versus every other female rapper who can rhyme and even AKA and Cassper Nyovest's random hissy fits, there is a danger and an art to rap feud.

However, certain rappers tend to come out of rap battles like Hollywood directors facing a rape scandal.

One of those rappers is 50 Cent, who has singlehandedly thwarted the careers of those in his path. The Prince of Petty, who had more bite than the Beyhive combined, in 2003, he released one of his popular singles, Wanksta, a term referring to an individual who pretends they are gangsta.

While the song was one of many stepping stones that lead to the eventual destruction of Ja Rule, it also details the ascension of an underdog. A classic tale that often tickles the fancies of the patriarchal fans of rap music.

In the song, 50 Cent questions how gangster his rival is, even pondering how the esteem of this fellow has fallen since high school, while his own material wealth and violence reign like Hitler at a bar mitzvah.

The rise of this materialistic underdog tends to be a quiet danger, the kind I recently came across in the streets of Venda lately.

Of late, the men have taken to the fashion of the Middle East thawb robes and keffiyeh headscarves. Not only on a night out, but as day wear as well.

While it makes sense to wear lighter longer fabrics in the heat, it's a little concerning that our own fashion could not remedy the need for cooler threads in the summer.

When I questioned this style, it came out that this was not necessarily a survival of the ever rising heat but, apparently, the micro-fashion trend are based on a stereotype that one is so affluent they are linked to the Guptas.

A strange uniform bought for the up and coming South African male.

These fashion wankstas reflect the desperate need for curated wealth and not an actual acquisition.

For decades, people of colour have been fighting for an awareness towards cultural appropriation. Yet, as global trends seem to embrace blackness and otherness, we seem to have embodied the oppressive, or at least, we are walking in their culturally insensitive footsteps.

Politics, art, pop culture and fashion have come to celebrate men of colour. We are living in the renaissance of black and brown men, but are they?

How often are men of colour advancing and evolving an inclusive culture more than they throw out toys of adult-sized cots over women's natural hair? Are men of colour protecting our cultures or are they setting themselves up to be the Caucasians they could never become as children?

If 50 Cent had such and abhorrence for fake gangstas, maybe it's time we called out elite black men of colour for being fake white stars.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.