March 16, 2005
Chris Rock Crossfire
A lot of talk about Chris Rock lately in blogville, coming from some very different angles.
South London's Soul On Ice blog digs the hip-hop sensibility at the root of Chris' comedy:
...Part of what makes Rock so interesting as a hip hop comedian is his measured perspective of the culture. In an interview with Nelson George on the Bring The Pain DVD, Rock insists that his 'Niggas Vs Black People' calling card merely traverses ground already covered by Ice Cube, Chuck D and KRS-One and cites his exposure to NWA's 'Straight Outta Compton' as a life-changing moment which taught him that "you can say anything... and get paid for it."
But Danyel Smith, after the Oscars, was somewhat less than enamored:
I can't take Chris Rock hollering at me from the television set, so I'm posting. Let me 'fess up now. I never have liked Rock. There's a reason he was guest editor of the last issue of Vibe I oversaw: I was a lame duck. Rock's an angry man, but the difference between him and say, Pryor, is that I rarely got the feeling Pryor was angry at me. Rock's comedy resonates with a real dislike of himself, and of women, and of blacks in general. He hates his position in the world, vaunted though it has become. I can relate to hating How Things Are (see previous post) even though Everything Seems Really Great, and I applaud his right to yell about it. But the thing is, I don't have to listen. Rock brings no insight to my life, no laughter, no new knowledge, nothing but a barely-veiled bitterness that he hawks up as humorlessly as snot. And he's a sucker-puncher ... he leads with a compliment, and ends with s**t on my face. Sneaky bastard. Wishing he and his all future happiness.
Then in Danyel's comment section, Hashim took a shot at Sir Richard:
"Rock is a loud self hating complainer, and Pryor isn't? Hmmm...can't cosign that."
Which caused me, as a fanatical Pryor acolyte, to have a fit:
I like Chris a lot more than [Danyel], and I've often found him smart and insightful. But I've been feeling more and more alienated from him over the years.
If you've read this far I'm sure you have an opinion too. Please share below.