I remember thinking, when I was around 9 years old, that if Lando Calrissian drinks Colt 45, when I grow up, so should I. Little did I know, or understand, that what Billy Dee Williams was actually doing was offering pipe dreams to a generation of children with undoubtedly bleak futures. If I ever meet Billy Dee, after giving him the once-over for any hidden lightsabers, I’d slap the salt & pepper S-Curl off of his head for not having the chutzpah to tell Schlitz to kiss his ass. I’m pretty sure he’s never drank that piss water to begin with, much less allowed it to consume his life like the demographic that those advertisements were geared towards. Peep the commercials, designed around sexy ladies & the air of confidence Williams has as he holds the can of beer like it’s the catalyst from “square” to “hip.” Now, in 2010, take a look at those individuals who really drink Colt 45 (read: bums). If you look hard enough, you can sort of see who they were in life when Billy convinced them that Colt was all they needed. I wonder if Williams ever feels bad for any wino’s he sees nodding off in liqour store parking lots, clutching a lukewarm can of Colt 45 backwash. & to further drive home the point, Redd Foxx would do anything to get to his Colt, back in the day. For the record, I’ll acknowledge that those were very different times, I’m just saying, though.
It’s safe to say that we can add T.I. to that exclusive club of Black, cultural icons that peddles legal poison to the impressionable flocks of the huddled, young masses. T.I. has teamed up with Rémy Martin (the cognac, not the imprisoned lady rapper), where he’s been named a “Global Creative Consultant,” as well as signing on for all the things that celebrity spokespersons do. They’ll give him exposure, & in return, he’ll bring them healthy young livers to corrupt. As a matter of fact, this is the same dude who had all the intentions on Earth of murdering another man, so this is nothing, so to speak.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that a man does things he may or may not want to do to pay the bills. However, there’s nobility in discretion. Maybe if his personal life wasn’t on display I’d expect less, plus I’m pretty sure Cliff can get just as paid hustling Doritos, Skittles, or even condoms. I’m not mad at T.I. for “getting money,” & I don’t hate (do people still say that?), I just know that the brother’s been through a lot, & sharing those experiences would behoove the youth more than selling them various jungle juices & what not. Especially since the ratio for liquor stores to positive male role models is something like 100:1. & that’s being generous.
Rémy Martin will also raise awareness & monies for Tip’s foundation, K.I.N.G., which helps low income, at-risk families. Now, if T.I.’s helping to push a product that contributes to the reasons why he even began his foundation, that either makes him a genius, or a walking contradiction. Either way, he’s cashing checks.
Word on the street is that T.I. is in the process of distributing his own cognac through Rémy Martin as well, which is nothing more than him still selling drugs, or “trapping,” just legally. Hustle on, hustle man. Not for nothing, but I thought that MTV show ‘Road To Redemption’ was a novel idea that he’d expand on after his prison sentence. No dice, obviously.
Oh well. ‘King Uncaged’ drops August 17th, & after all, isn’t that what really matters?