Saturday, June 27, 2009
Inspiration From A Man In Parachute Pants
When football season is out and I am trying to avoid the heat I stay inside and I sit around and find television shows to check out for the first time. I wonder sometimes why we spend so much money on cable and satellite television because most of the programming brings me down. I guess that’s why I watch the Food Network so much. It’s hard to be upset watching good food. It’s especially rough on black men. Between The First 48, American Gangster, and all the other crime shows watching T.V can bring your morale down. Today I was flipping channels trying to escape Michael Jackson and ended up on A&E. M.C. Hammer’s reality show was on and I have a new favorite show. M.C. Hammer may be the best image of a black father on television. As a matter of fact, all black families should watch this show. The show is set up like the standard reality show that follows around people and their families. Hammer and his wife are raising their five children as well as his nephew who he has been raising since the age of 11. His sister is a single parent and Hammer thought the young man needed a male figure so he took him in.
There are two major reasons I think the show is so good. The first one is the interaction between Hammer and his kids. M.C Hammer is a great dad. He reminds me of my own dad. I watched every episode and I never once saw him do anything to put those kids down. On one of the episodes he took his oldest son on the road to a concert in Utah. His ten year old brother was pissed because he had been rehearsing too but Hammer didn’t think he was ready. Before he left me made sure to talk to him about it and let him know that he would have his time to get out on stage if he keeps working. The same kid also had a bad report card and Hammer jumped on him but he never stopped encouraging and telling him he could achieve at a high level. At the end of the show he came home with an A on his test. One of his daughters recorded her first song with her sister and it came out alright so they decided to go to an open mic night and perform it. She’s so shy and was very nervous so the whole family went down there, sat in the front row and acted like she sounded like Aretha Franklin. That’s how family is supposed to get down for one another.
The second and possibly more impressive aspect of the show is Hammer’s attitude as well as his wife. Her attitude might be even more impressive to me than his. Everyone remembers how he blew 33 million dollars in a year and ended up in bankruptcy. That kind of thing surely pushes any relationship to the limit no matter how strong. It also has to be a challenge to a person’s resolve because I can’t imagine waking up everyday knowing I was set for life and now I have to keep grinding because I didn’t do the right thing. When you watch that show you can’t tell they ever fell that hard. Actually, they look pretty damn happy to me. The reason I think they look so happy is they never let what they had define who they are and their love for one another. As far as she’s concern she married Stanley Burrell before he was M.C. Hammer and that’s all she cares about. She’s the perfect example of what my mom used to say about riding the roller coaster ride with your mate. You take the ups and the downs and keep moving. Then I look at his attitude and I think he should be going around talking to brothers about how to handle adversity because many of us make mistakes in life. We mess up money. We burn bridges and waist opportunities. We hurt people we care about with out decisions. Many times we do all of these things at one time and we don’t know where or how to f ix it. I am certain Hammer felt that way when he lost all that money and his light on his fame got dim. When you get broken down you have two choices. You can run away and let that become the excuse for laying around feeling sorry for yourself or you can acknowledge the situation, identify what you did wrong, try to learn enough from the situation so it won’t happen again and keep going forward. I have to say I was inspired by Hammer’s attitude because I have seen some brothers throw in the towel for things far less than losing millions of dollars. I think that that if more of us had Hammer’s perseverance as well as a partner with the dedication to stand with you and empower you enough to keep going through all of that, things in the community would feel a lot better than they do sometimes. I am telling all of my friends to watch this show. I’m glad I felt lazy today.
I was never a fan of M.C Hammer’s music back in the day because I am one of those hip hop snobs that thought he sold out the culture. I was just a kid back then. Now I am a grown man and a father. Today I became a fan of his as a man and a role model. That deserves a least a YouTube clip. I hope his next album goes platinum.