Not to attack the brother but, ummm, I got questions…
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Tariq Nasheed is a New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Mackin’, which went on to sell over a quarter million copies, producer of the Hidden Colors series and internet host. I’m too mature to try and run game on the ladies so I was never interested in the mackin’ books and by the time I put 2 and 2 together, I kind of had a hard time reconciling what I would consider the conscious message and tone of Hidden Colors with the tacky books but, whatever. Besides the fact that Tariq has never said or pretended to present himself as “conscious”, there are a number of people who I rock with that I ultimately disagree with, from time to time (with the exception of Muta…lol). TBA goes off-message a little too much for me (especially with his Boomquisha diatribes), at times, and Tariq has steadfastly defended Bill Cosby, something I can’t bring myself to do, for reasons we can get into another time.
I have never uttered the clichéd “first time, long time” on his broadcast (meaning I have never called in, for the dense among us) but I have been listening to his weekly Ustream offering, solidly, for about two years. His Sunday and Wednesday podcasts are part of my edutainment buffet, along with lectures by Dr. Claude Anderson, Dr. Ummar Johnson, Nelly Fuller, John Henrik Clarke and all of our master teachers. When people ask me what I watch on TV, it’s usually YouTube. The first video that I watched was his utter annihilation of the whole “knockout game” farce that was being used to criminalize Black men, nationwide. I knew it was bullchit and was ecstatic to find someone else who had his 3rd eye open enough to see through the fukry. I watched that one and went to his channel to see that he had absolutely gone in in regards to the Trayvon murder! I will admit that, at that time, I was between a rock and a hard place, trying to find anyone who was even talking about Trayvon on their show, much less defending his life, memory and rights. Sadly, it was through Agent Al’s show and I had to basically sit through him soft-shoeing and defending his good Democrat massas to get through it but the discussion was there. Rob Redding, on the other hand, went in and stayed in! Shouts to that brother. Anyway, after listening to Nasheed’s broadcasts and sleeping for over a year while hearing basically anybody I respected laud it highly, I decided to finally cop and peep Hidden Colors I. I wont sit here and say that it blew me away or changed my life because, truth be told, I had read books on most of the topics covered in the DVD. However, whereas it had taken me reading Rogers, Van Sertima, etc, it was nice to see it all compiled in one neat release. Packaged this way, it would reach a grander audience due to a DVD being easier to share. Not share as in pass back and forth but have you ever tried to get 9 people to sit around and listen to someone read out of a book to them? You could achieve that with a DVD, though. Fast forward and I’m listening, weekly, to the podcasts and hear little bits and pieces that, hmmm, just didn’t sit right with me. I guess the first thing was this “beef” with Tommy Sotomayor. Tommy, in the simplest terms, being the self-hating Coon that anyone with half a mind would dismiss as either an attention whore or provocateur or agent of confusion but look him up, yourself, if you need proof. Through some petty he-say-she-say a rivalry was born, leading these two to trade barbs, regularly. One of the barbs used against Tommy is one of the oldest and most tiredest in Black society…..he went in on duke because of his skin tone, dubbing him “crispy”. So, wait, you make the highest grossing films on Black history, ever, produce and are the presenter of one of the most widely watched YouTube streams and profess to be about Black empowerment, yet call a next Black man “crispy”? A little off topic but big up Jimmy Spliff, from King Shine sound system, who had one of the wickedest talks of 2016. While playing in a sound clash this past February, he was assailed as a “monkey” by the competition and retorted “how you going to call a next Black man a monkey…..and inna Black History Month?!?!?!?”. See where I’m going with this? We all make mistakes, yeah, and even lose our cool temporarily but this wasn’t and isn’t a one time thing as he continues to bash the guy, out of his name, and his gotten salty and even hung up on callers who question him on it. Bad look, Tariq, Bad look. He took it a step further and developed a Crispy Puppet, based on Sotomayor, and web series, The Crispy Show, based on the misadventures of “Crispy”, with Nasheed providing the voice. Besides being a one-joke idea, the jokes are tired and trite. He doesn’t have a Jesse Lee Peterson puppet or even a White Supremacy puppet but you have one made so that you can continuously bash this Black man (no matter how much he needs to be clowned)? Okay, Okay (sigh) *in my Tariq voice ;)*
The second bad look is probably the most egregious, given his empowerment mantra. I was shocked to chit (maybe I shouldn’t have been) to hear him mention during a discussion on the the progress of Hidden Colors 4 to hear him say he was waiting to get back footage from one of his editors in Poland. POLAND?!?! Hey, I’m not the most savvy world traveler but do know that there are some Black folks in Poland so I was just plain shocked at that point and not shocked to chit, as yet. Oh no though, when questioned, he went on to say that this was not a Black person he was waiting on. He further stated that he had tried to work with Black editors before and they were on some bullshiggedy so he was rolling with someone who was serious about the work. Hmmm. Hmmm x 1,000. I wasn’t there, of course, but to keep it really real, I don’t believe him. Do I believe that he may have got caught with a clown who was not as proficient or professional as he should have been? Of course. I don’t believe that he couldn’t find another, after that, though. Hell, I can introduce him to my cousin Black Magic Tim, who is definitely proficient and professional and keep this cipher in Black hands. Again, don’t know why I would assume that Hidden Colors was a 100% African inspired, controlled and produced but it would have been nice and, even more, it just makes sense. Woody Allen and Robert DeNiro do it. When you look at the credits in their movies 85% of the people, from the caterer, to the talent, to the drivers and to, more importantly, every one behind the cameras (down to the grips) are Jewish or Italian, respectively. Why cant a brother who’s constantly promoted, quoted and talked about in the “conscious community” do it? Now, I’m wondering how much more of the production is “outsourced”? He always asks for artists, DJs, animators etc to call in when he working on something but, to be honest, Tariq has never said his show was for, intended or targeted to Blacks so who knows who he’s really asking to call but being that his primary support comes from and through US, maybe he should reconsider.
Tariq produced the Coon Train Awards, which were streamed live, online, 4/9/16 which was kind of redemptive in my eyes as he sort of refocused and stopped the personal attacks. In the back of my mind, though, I wonder what other group made money off of us publicly shaming our sell-outs? I run with him more than I find myself running into him, I just want us to really set this empowerment thing off, Right and Exact. A few months ago, there was an article in the Final Call detailing how the Nation had purchased x-amount of acres of farmland down south and how that one farm fed several other businesses, from the place they bought the seeds and equipment from to the truckers moving the produce to the grocers who sold it and on and on, down the line. I would like to see his films and projects be able to sustain a food chain, in the same way.