By Khalil Amani
Some of y’all might be a little too young to remember Handi-Man, “Defender of the Handicapped.” Handi-Man appeared on our TV screens way back—from 1990 to 1994 on a TV show called “In Living Color,” created by Keenen Ivory Wayans featuring several of his siblings and introducing Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx, who went on to become mega-stars. The character Handi-Man was a black superhero that came to the rescue of handicapped people around the globe. Indeed, handicapped people were being made fun of, but in a way that was not offensive (to most people). Played by Damon Wayans, Handi-Man was a kick-ass Napoleon Dynamite; someone you felt sorry for, someone you laughed at and laughed with. After this caped-crusader conquered his foe, he'd leave you with these words; “And wee-member! (No typo!) Never underestimate the power of de handicapped!” Go to YouTube and check out the adventures of Handi-Man.
So the wire says Kanye West messed with two handicapped people at his concert? (Unintentionally, of course. Side-eye)
Handi-Man, being slow of speech (and a little “touched” in the head) asked me to articulate this grave travesty of injustice perpetrated upon these two handicapped victims, so I’m obliging him. Let’s go!
Me and Kanye have history. Kanye West and I have had a “love/hate” relationship over the years. I applauded his stance on gay-rights after having given him my book on gays and hip-hop in 2008 (Hip-Hop Homophobes… iuniverse.com 2007) where he evidently read it and went on to Madison Square Garden (three months later) and ranted against the evils of homophobia (I’ll take the credit for that!) Check it!
But then I had to put (literary) foot in his ass over snatching Taylor Swift’s microphone at the MTV Awards. I wrote a blog calling him “My Mama’s Old Douche bag.” ("Kanye West is My Mama’s Old Douche Bag!" on The Khalil Amani Reader: http://j.mp/dmj8Op ) Shortly thereafter, I was summarily banned from his website for all eternity. Dude caught feelings on some other! This book gave Kanye the balls to speak up!
That was followed up by another insightful thrashing over how he treated his good friend Sway over his placement on some “Best MC List” where he called into Sway’s show and told Sway’s listening audience something to the effect that he “gave Sway his first TV!” Another blog followed; ("Kanye West: Where Bitchassness Meets Bitch-de-fied!" on The Khalil Amani Reader: http://j.mp/13McU87 )
(I could care less if twenty people read my hip-hop masterpieces, but I feel great rewriting a hip-hop wrong. It allows me to sleep well at night. Certainly, Kanye West reads my shit!)
So here I am in Phoenix, trying to enjoy my family reunion when, all-of-a-sudden, to the west, in the humid Arizona skies the Handicap signal appears! It's Handi-Man!
It’s Handi-Man, “Defender of the Handicapped!” He’s all excited and shit—stuttering and mumbling gibberish and slobbering through the phone—trying to convey to me the latest Kanye West fuckery. Kanye done stopped his show and made erry’body stand up before he would start rapping. Two handicapped people couldn’t STAND UP (for obvious reasons); a man with one leg who held his prosthesis high in the air so Kanye could see it and a man in a wheelchair. I guess folks have to bring their health records to Kanye West concerts now! Ain't that a violation of H.I.P.A.A. (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?
Yo! Kanye! The eff’s wrong with you? I’m paying you to perform! You ain’t paying me to perform! If I wanna sit here and pick my nose and eat popcorn and sip Mountain Dew—this is my right as a paying concert goer! I’m-a need you to get your monstrunky-ass back to rapping and leave these handicapped folk alone! Matter of fact, leave everybody alone and perform for us! We pay your salary, remember?
Like really! With the thousands in attendance, it must take some amount of look-seeing to spot two people sitting down. Are you that vain that you feel like you’re not “rockin’ the crowd” if 10,000 people are standing minus two? That offends you? Well Handi-Man told me to tell you to “bacdafucup!” Handi-Man gives you fair warning! You phuck with the handicapped again? Expect to see Handi-Man peering through your window the next time you and Kim K are bumpin’ uglies—slobbering on your window ceil! You phuck with the handicapped again? Expect to have your microphone coated with spittle, saliva and remnants of Handi-Man’s last night’s dinner—Ho-Ho’s, Little Debbie snack cakes and pigfootsis! Handi-Man ain’t havin’ it!
Yes! Hip-hop/rap concerts rely of crowd participation—old Negro, antebellum South “Call & Response” chanting—everybody say Ho!—throw ya hands in the air! Alla dat! But this ain’t slavery and neither are you, Kanye West, the hip-hop concert “overseer!” I don’t care if I’m sitting front row center! If I don’t want to participate in your party, I don’t have to! Like really, I wish a Negus (no more N-word for me! Negus means KING in Ethiopian languages) would try to make me stand up! Fuck your security! Not nann person better touch me, else I’m going to my scooter and coming back and airing the whole concert out! Everybody gonna get up on their feet—and run when that Llama starts spittin’!
Yeah, Kanye West better pull that fuckery overseas—in Australia, ‘cause if he tried that crap in Brooklyn or Miami—Negus would deal with him and his security!
I think Kanye West thinks he’s transcended hip-hop—that he’s bigger than the genre. When the EMPLOYEE (Kanye) starts telling the EMPLOYER (the people) what to do—a perception of reality has been breached. “Controlling the crowd”—“rockin’ the mic”—is just hip-hop jargon for when the people feel your shit, but to be controlling to the point of stopping your show to MAKE people do as you say is not hip-hop, not rap! Nay! It is egoism, feeling one’s self a little too much or, as the old folks down in the country used to say, smelling one’s own piss!
Hip-hop has fans of all walks of life—even handicapped people! As a matter of fact, there is a genre of hip-hop known as KRIP HOP, which is spearheaded by Leroy Moore, the leader of the KRIP HOP NATION. These are disabled men and women who love hip-hop and don’t see their disability as a stumbling-block to doing rap music. They’ll run Kanye’s feet over with their wheelchair and pull the blickie from under their seat for effin’ with them!
Kanye West! We love your music, but this egotistical, self-delusional, over-eccentric, megalomaniac, save-da-drama-fo'-ya-mama behavior has got to stop! You owe every handicapped person walking the earth a big fat apology! Check ya self, before you wreck ya self! You really don’t want Handi-Man at your doorstep, now do you?
Shout -out to Thomas Akasouthsidetheswooshead Mitchell Jr. Follow this insightful young man on Facebook.
Khalil Amani is a blogger for AllHipHop. He also writes for DJ Kay Slay’s Originators Magazine & Straight Stuntin Magazine. He is the author of six books, including the ground-breaking book, “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” iuniverse.com 07). Amani is gay hip-hop’s self-proclaimed straight advocate. Visit The Coonerific One athttp://www.khalilamani.ning.com Follow on Facebook/Twitter @khalilamani. Instagram @khalil_amani, Youtube @ yahweh 12 Khalilamani@yahoo.com