Hip Hop Fridays: Death Of A Star: How A Piece Of Fried Chicken Killed Percy Miracles by Phonte of Little Brother
'You know the damage one ignorant Negro can do?' - Master Sergeant Vernon Waters, "A Soldier's Story" (1984)
(yeah, I'm on my 'Wire' steez, with the whole 'start the episode with a quote' ....)
Well folks, as promised in the previous blog, I will now elaborate on a touchy subject that is sure to bring a tear to the eye of many longtime fans, supporters, and big girl lovers worldwide.
Percy Miracles, for all intents and purposes, is dead.
He may pop up on a mixtape drop every now and again (DJ Jamad and Phonte present "The Black Hair Mixtape" coming soon), and he may be 'resurrected' in another form later on (animated series, maybe?), but the days of Phontigga rockin the wig and glasses and performing 'parody' songs are done.
I had been contemplating Percy's death for a while now, for several reasons, but I guess it all came to a head when I was at home one day working on a few sketches for a quick parody album I wanted to record. I really wanted to write a song and see just how far I could go....see just how tasteless, racist, and outrageous I could be before black people all over (intelligentsia and blockhuggers alike) all raised a collective fist and said, 'oh, hayulll naw....we ain't fitna take this sh_t no mo!'
The song in question was called "Pick That Bale" by Percy Miracles, which came with its own accompanying dance, and was topped off by a scorching 16 bar cameo from A-Dolf the Nigger Hating Dopeboy. (yeah, I took it there..)
I thought that a song so racist and over the top would really open people's eyes and help them realize that 'yeah, I know its 'just music' but somewhere a line has to be drawn.'
I thought that a song so crude and tasteless would finally set some kind of standard.
That was, until, I clicked on Youtube and saw a video of a Black man dressed in drag, singing about the praises of fried chicken.
Now, I honestly don't know the history of Ms. Peachez' "Fry That Chicken" (again, see Youtube) but from what several sources have told me, its a real song. If I ever had to single out one defining moment that led to Percy's death and the subsequent scrapping of all my parody work, that was it. It was then that I realized that there is no such thing as a 'floor' for Black music......the law is TRULY 'anything goes,' and I couldn't afford to play the fool no more.
I guess I shoulda first realized this once I recorded 'Cheatin' for "Minstrel Show," and saw the positive reaction it garnered. When I made that song, I truly thought that I had made some of the most banal, ig'nant R&B sh_t ever known to man.....but lo and behold, a week or two after I finished the song, R. Kelly dropped "Trapped In The Closet" and I thought to myself, 'damn....Kells outniggered me.' I mean, next to 'Trapped," "Cheatin" sounds like standard quiet storm fare.
Make no mistake, I'm gonna hate to see the ol' bugger go. I mean, artists and their alter-egos have always been a fun part of the music business, from George Clinton/Sir Nose, Prince/Camille, Shock G/Humpty Hump, etc....and I honestly have a good time playing the role of Mr. Miracles.
But stakes is higher now, and we're facing a generation of youth who have no idea of what a true novelty record is, because nowadays novelty records are law. And itís growing increasingly harder to do parodies of current day Black music, because so often the music parodies itself. No hate, just making a point.
I mean, seriously: if I were to play "Cheatin," "Fry That Chicken," "Trapped in the Closet," "Laffy Taffy," "Chain Hang Low," and "Chicken Noodle Soup" all back to back for the average listener and then asked them to pick out the 'joke' song, could they really do it? Or would it all sound normal?
At some point, as a Black man, you have to wonder when the tide turns from making a joke, to becoming the joke (no Chappelle-o). And much like "A Soldier Story's" Sergeant Waters, you eventually realize that no matter how much you try to rid the Black race of its evils, 'they still hate you.'
I agree with the Sergeant but unlike him, I've never been concerned with what 'they' (YT) think. They may hate me til forever, but when *I* start to hate me....its time to pull the plug.
Rest in peace, Brother Percy. The jig (pun intended), is up.
Phonte, fellow emcee Big Pooh, and producer 9th Wonder make up the Hip Hop group Little Brother. This has been a Real Nigga PSA(R), sponsored by the Percy Miracles Foundation and appears on the blog of Little Brother. http://www.myspace.com/littlebrother
Phonte of Little Brother
Friday, October 6, 2006