Shawty Lo, His Baby Mamas And Who We Should Really Be Mad At
Plenty of finger-pointing about this reality idea, but is it in the right direction?
We almost made it ya'll. We almost made it through the holidays in order to end 2012 on a decent note.
Sure, the hundreds of N-bombs in "Django Unchained" had a few of us riled up, but it's just a movie. Everybody's favorite rapper-to-point-the-finger-at, Chief Keef, dropped his debut album, but that's just music. Movies and music are forms of entertainment that either prove to be disposable or forgotten about in a few months.
The weekend before New Year's was looking to be a quiet one during which black people weren't going to have anything to be outraged about for making us look bad.
But then this leaked onto the Internet:
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It is being reported (code word: blogged and retweeted) that rapper Shawty Lo will be starring in a new reality show highlighting his "blended family."
The show "All My Babies' Mamas" (which we assume is a take on "All My Children") will center around Atlanta native Carlos "Shawty Lo" Walker and the 11 children that he has with 10 women. If that doesn't sound dramatic enough, the Oxygen channel show will also co-star his new girlfriend, a 19-year-old who is the same age as one of Lo's children. The show is reportedly being considered by Oxygen, which is also home to fine entertainment like "Bad Girls Club," "Tanisha Gets Married" and "Snapped."
Brief background on Shawty Lo. He is formerly one-fourth of the rap group D4L. A group who will not only go down in history as the originators of "snap music" but also as one of the groups that many claimed were "ruining Hip Hop" in the mid-2000s. If you need to jog your memory, they made that song "Laffy Taffy."
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That being said, Shawty Lo is no stranger to being accused of "setting black folks back" as Chris Rock would say.
Most of our first reactions have been between anger and embarrassment. And for good reason.
Believe it or not, the only example of a black family television show right now comes to us from Shawty Lo's neighbor and former rap rival T.I., who stars in "The Family Hustle." That's unless you count that cartoon "The Cleveland Show." Well then we guess there's "Are We There Yet?" on TBS. Oh yeah, can't forget about "The Soul Man" starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash. Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe are raising kids on NBC's "Guys With Kids." Tyler Perry still has "For Better Or Worse," and "Meet The Browns" is now in syndication.
When you think about it, there might be more black family representation on television than we realize. But still, the number of Shawty Lo's "baby mamas" and kids still outnumber those shows. The harsher reality is that when and if "All My Babies' Mamas" hits the air, its viewership is probably going to trump that of all of those too.
Let it be known that 2012 was the year of "ratchet s**t." Nobody had a problem yelling "all I want for my birthday is a big booty h*" in the club. Everybody knows exactly what a "Stevie J face" is too. Hell, one of the biggest songs in rap this year was one called "I Do It For The Ratchets." So it's only right that news of "All My Babies' Mamas" caps off the year.
On social media, people have been directing most of their anger at the Oxygen network and Shawty Lo himself. Granted, it has not been confirmed that the show will air, but if it is true, what are folks really upset about? Oxygen is only doing its job. Reality shows like the ones it airs are its biggest winners. Same goes for "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" on Bravo, and the "Love and Hip Hop of Basketball Wives" conundrum Vh1 has been showing for years. The team who created MTV's "Teen Mom" are reportedly the executive directors for the show. Oxygen is selling to whoever is buying.
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As for Lo? Well, the guy's biggest hit is a song called "Foolish" but beyond that, his work was done before this pilot even existed. Eleven kids by 10 different women? We still don't have words for that. Maybe creating this show is his trying to find a way to better provide for them. In the trailer, none of the "baby mamas" talked too slick about Lo or said that he was a terrible father. Their only gripe was that one of the picks of the litter got to go to private school. None of them seemed to have a problem with Lo himself, but instead, problems with each other.
Which brings us to who people should really be mad at, and if anyone, it's the "baby mamas." Sure, say what you want about Shawty Lo being promiscuous. Call him a dog, whatever. But it takes two (multiplied by five) to tango. Lo is a known attention hound who always finds his way in front of the right camera at the right time, but he can't make a show called "All My Babies' Mamas" without the babies' mamas' full participation. Hell, he can't become a "baby daddy" without their cooperation either.
On Friday, soon after the trailer leaked, an online petition began circulating, demanding that the plug be pulled on the show before it even airs. Obviously, "pulling" hasn't worked very well for anybody involved in this show so far, so a petition isn't going to do much to help either.
At this point, the only feasible thing that anybody who disapproves of this show can do is to keep their young daughters away from Shawty Lo.
Just for kicks, we wanted to share this photo of Shawty Lo at an event sponsored by Trojan condoms' Magnum brand a couple of years ago.
Guess we know who didn't take any samples home.