By Gregory Moore
While skimming through various news wires, I came across the headline of “Li’l Wayne pleads guilty to gun charge”.
In case you guys aren’t familiar with Li’l Wayne and his music, he’s the rapper who has his voice either on his own product and is in the Billboard Top 100 or he has collaborated on a hot song like Jay Sean’s hot track “Down”, which is the hottest song being played on the radio right now.
Wayne is successful and he has some serious talent.
But Wayne is also now going to be a convicted felon and he is facing other felony charges that involve drug possession and an intent to distribute charge.
Herre’s my question: why are kids, young adults, etc. picking guys like Wayne to be a role model in this day and time?
I say that after having a conversation with a gentleman at the family restaurant today and let me be frank about the conversation: our young people are in deep doo doo folks.
While this gentleman and I were talking about youth programs and what his organization could do (you’ll find about that conversation next week), the more we talked about what kids need today, the more I thought about Wayne and others who have such a big influence over the very targeted demographic that we want to help.
In all seriousness the choice of an entertainer or sports figure is continually the wrong choice for what is success is in this country.
Far too often I’ve opined about success isn’t so much measured in the physical insomuch as it is manifested the reality of what you are capable of doing in reality.
For many communities, especially the Latino and African American communities in particular, that success is truly based on the physical perception. To the young people in those communities, the pimped out ride, the blinged out grill and gaudy jewelry all signify success to them.
Yet what may be materialistic and ‘successful’ to them is not so much the reality that I speak of.
The reality is watching a guy like Wayne commit a crime and be punished in whatever befits that action.
The reality is that while you’re music may be hot, you’re grinding to pay off bills that are just astronomical because you or your posse had no sense of monetary conscious.
While the ability to ‘make it rain’ may seem like success, the excess of waste, crime and even punishment is the reality that thse young people are not seeing.
Sure there will be people who say Wayne is being picked on because of his success.
So having 105 grams of marijuana (3.7 ounces), almost 29 grams of cocaine (1.02 ounces), 41 grams of MDMA (1.4 ounces) and $22,000 in cash when a K-9 unit from the Border Patrol inspects your bus is success?
To these kids it is; they call that street cred.
In reality, it is called what it is; intent to distribute and sell.
Today’s kids need to pick better role models to emulate.
If today’s kids want to grind to get their shine on, they need to do it in a way that would perpetuate them and their families far from what is being currently depicted by guys like Wayne, T.I. and others.
The bling is only temporary and these kids need to realize that.
A reality check is indeed needed.
Or we will continue to see our own kids try to emulate the perceived success and ‘street cred’ that they see now.
That road only leads to disaster and someone needs to avert them from going down that path.