Lukewarm Ghetto Snooze

July 26, 2007

Thoughts on BET's "We Got To Do Better" aka The Show Formerly Known As "Hot Ghetto Mess."

Posted by jsmooth995 at July 26, 2007 12:38 PM

BET is boring. They've got to do better... if they want anybody to care about anything they have to say.

Posted by: Erika at July 26, 2007 1:36 PM

I agree 100% with everything you said.

Posted by: Still Love at July 26, 2007 1:41 PM


Posted by: Lauren at July 26, 2007 1:42 PM

I waited until the show aired to write my piece on it, and I came to the same conclusion - the show is just boring. My headline is similar to yours - "Hot Ghetto Boredom"

Posted by: Hashim at July 26, 2007 3:34 PM

I didn't plan to watch the show. I don’t have unlimited leisure time, and I try to use that time well. Now that I’ve I watched your videoblog segment, I will definitely stick to my plan. Something perplexes me a bit. There are at least two ways to provide moral and cultural education or to teach or promote upstanding behavior: 1) we can show folks examples of what they should not do or 2) we could show folks examples of what they should do. Why did BET choose to support a show that would use option 1 instead of a show that would use option 2?

Whenever I learn of someone claiming that he or she wishes to educate, teach, or promote good behavior by using option 1, I look for other signs that he or she is a charlatan or is trying to get paid or get famous by exploiting Black folks. And I have seen all the signs I need to see for this show. BET, not the noblest of Black-focused television networks, saw a value proposition in this show and felt the show would fit in well with the BET ethos. Bad sign. Advertisements for the show did not leave me with the impression that its backers understood the root social causes of key challenges low-income Black Americans face or that they planned to propose actionable solutions to any of those key challenges. Bad sign. The show had Charlie Murphy, not my first choice of available role models, telling Black folks that we need to do better but not really telling us how or why. Bad sign.

Posted by: E.C. Hopkins at July 26, 2007 4:09 PM

I started watching your show after seeing Robert Scoble's post about the videos you are doing. I am glad to see that you are back up and running after the laptop issues you encountered.

Hot Ghetto Mess may have been boring, but your show isn't. I appreciate that you challenge your audience to think and act 'smarter.'

@E.C. Hopkins - It seems people are stuck in a rut highlighting negative examples to achieve positive results. There is a proliferation of negative ads to reinforce products or ideologies, which I think in the end isn't really helping anyone, and keeps the emphasis on negative aspects of the issue. While I agree that discussing negative issues is important, it needs to be followed by a discussion on what can be done to improve these issues. Otherwise it's just a group of people bitching about stuff.

Posted by: Thomas at July 26, 2007 4:56 PM

You captured perfectly the sentiments of most who viewed the show. It was boring, silly, and disjointed. I'm sure all associated with the show are feeling the same level of embarrassment that they subjected others to on that awful website.

Posted by: LennieG at July 26, 2007 8:39 PM

The website originator had a good idea but when hollywood gets involved they always find a way to strip a show of all it's meaning. I can sympathize because I'm kind of in the same situation with my own website.

I have talked to the Hot Ghetto Mess Website Creator a few times and she does a lot to help her community with her personal and professional time. So don't be so hard on her.

Posted by: The Streets FM at July 26, 2007 9:39 PM

Oh, I get it.

Hot / Lukewarm


Mess/ Snooze

This show wasn't on my radar.

Wasn't like I trust BET.

And Charlie Murphy is raw talent. So that means this town is gonna make sure he fucks his career up, while Shia Lebouf makes all the right moves.

But yo, Smooth, you gonna hafta throw up something more controversial that will challenge us. And split us down the middle and really test our mettle.

Cuz, lately I've been seeing totally eye to eye with you and everything you're saying.

The best part was when you noted tackheads don't suggest culture decline. Very on point.

But see? I'm doing it again.

You know what?

See that army green duffel bag in the corner?
The one with the lightin' bolt emblazoned "Stir Shit Up" patch on it?

Rummage around in there and let's see what you come up with. And no peekin' either.

Side note: Your technical haters mighta noticed the editing lapse where you had to the lull and you pasted yourself coming back into view.

But I 'ont really care about that shit.

-Black People

Posted by: Black People at July 26, 2007 9:45 PM

Oh and if this was an example of boredom and coonin', then go see Talk To Me to cleanse thyself.

It's solid entertainment.

Black, white or otherwise.

-Black People

Posted by: Black People at July 27, 2007 2:21 AM

If I was american I'd vote for you as president!! You're right on the spot. Always. Keep it up!

Posted by: General L.F.O. at July 27, 2007 3:33 AM

That was absolutely perfect.

Posted by: CreoleInDC at July 27, 2007 7:55 AM

Yooo, Jay smooth, Don't know if your really read these things but, I caught the show by accident, I have 14 yr old kid in the house who I inadvertantly walk in on watching it. I mean after hearing about it for weeks I tried to ignore it, for I figured it would be corny due to the time it came on. I was like "come on....are they really going to show Kimbo slice pulverizing some one's face into ground jive turkey, or show some violent parking lot girl on girl weave pulling action....nope" And I was right....(the mike vic/Peta analogy was hilarious though).
Charlie looked a little out of place. I don't know what it was, them tight ass Jim Jones jeans or the fact he couldn't actually see the "hot Ghetto Mess" he was promoting. It was sad.

Posted by: DBtheGmc at July 27, 2007 11:36 AM

This is the best commentary I've heard on this show yet. Loved the Michael Vick/PETA analogy. The show was pointless.

Posted by: Butta at July 27, 2007 2:11 PM

hahah mike vick supporting PETA....classical slapstick, but jay needs chapstick

dang, i was gonna draft the Bad Newz Kennel's number one prize fighter in my fantasy dog fighting league...jk

the thing is in my opinion, coming from an Indian brotha, you can't compare something like that Hipster website to the shit in the Ghetto one, becuase we see white people in a different light than ourselves. If i see a Hot Desi Mess with a North Indian brotha dressing up his dog with a 4 foot tall turban or a bunch of taxi drivers actin a goddamn fool, i'd be kinda sad at the state of the Indo American society, but watching white folk doin dumb shit just makes you think "who the fuck are they're parents?!"

it's an interesting topic tho...

Posted by: Tucan Sam Ain't Nuthin ta F Wit at July 27, 2007 8:37 PM

hahah mike vick supporting PETA....classical slapstick, but jay needs chapstick

dang, i was gonna draft the Bad Newz Kennel's number one prize fighter in my fantasy dog fighting league...jk

the thing is in my opinion, coming from an Indian brotha, you can't compare something like that Hipster website to the shit in the Ghetto one, becuase we see white people in a different light than ourselves. If i see a Hot Desi Mess with a North Indian brotha dressing up his dog with a 4 foot tall turban or a bunch of taxi drivers actin a goddamn fool, i'd be kinda sad at the state of the Indo American society, but watching white folk doin dumb shit just makes you think "who the fuck are they're parents?!"

it's an interesting topic tho...

Posted by: Tucan Sam Ain't Nuthin ta F Wit at July 27, 2007 9:29 PM

That faux PETA pic was awesome! Could you post that somewhere? Great job on the vlog & thanks for stopping by my blog. Peace!

Posted by: FrancesM at July 29, 2007 5:27 PM


Posted by: REMOVED at July 30, 2007 3:22 PM

Does BET actually produce shows? :D hahaha

Obviously, I haven't seen the show, because I didn't know there was anything except for Rap and R&B music videos, religious programs, infomercials and syndicated Sanford & Son episodes.

From your description of the show, it really does seem like "America's Funniest (black) Home Videos" all over again. The only thing I find potentially interesting about it is that they seem to have tried to take viral internet content and make it work in a television show format. Did they have laugh tracks or a "live studio audience"? Never mind. Doesn't matter. :D

One of these days, folx will stop repeating the same bullshit that worked ONE TIME for someone that made ONE MOVIE, such as "Boys N Tha Hood" or "Menace 2 Society". How many times is Tyrese going to try to "make it" in the ghetto? I mean, they even got Marky-Mark (minus the funky bunch) in on the act in one of those repetitive, bullshit, fantasy, no-imagination movies. How do they expect ANYONE to come up with ANYTHING different when life imitates art? Who's going to step up front and make a PROGRESSIVE black movie where something DIFFERENT happens besides people mean-mugging and making unfunny jokes?

Where's the black "Ferris Beuller"? Where's the black "James Bond"... and PLEEEEEASE don't say Vin Diesel & Ice Cube in triple-x! HAHAHAHAHA :/ Where's the black "Oceans 11"? I mean at least Terrence Howard's getting light now and every single movie with a black role doesn't star Samuel L. Jackson. :/ WTF was that when they threw Anthony Anderson (who did a GREAT job in "The Shield", IMO) in to play some Geechee Step-N-Fetch-It that was supposed to be a hacker though we saw ZERO evidence of it and all we saw was him eating donuts, his other fat, non-athletic homeboy running from the cops and not getting shot 42 times in his back, and then Anthony giving up the ghost as soon as the cops came back in the room to interrogate him?

It's ridiculous already. BET needs to start producing intelligent shows instead of wasting time with content that was ALREADY CORNY on the internet.

Posted by: bill c. at July 30, 2007 5:42 PM

First of all Bill, lemme be the first to say that I loves me a fine high yella chick (read:lightskinded -- misppelling intentional -- Black woman) like any other brother.

Just wanted to let some of the brothers out there know they ain't alone.

Yes, I am a recovering redboneaholic. We suffer from the same affliction.

I feel your pain.

Sike, sike lemme stop playing.

But Bill, I feel where you are coming from.
Before I start, I'd encourage you to get a subscription to moviebytes(.)com.

You can see first hand what scripts and ideas are purchased in this town daily.

It will probably be of no surprise to find out that all of the Black material or "Urban" material that's coming through the pipeline are all gang-related flix.

"Life is like a game of chess. You must think first before you move." - English Dub from Shaolin and Wutang.

Like chess, when a player makes a move you gotta ask yourself why?

Why did he do that?

And what are the ramifications say 5-10 moves down the line?

If you are good, then you woulda been able to predict the move that the player made and you woulda been able to see it coming say 5-10 moves ago.

Why are these guys not greenlighting a movie that is not gang-related?

Why is important for them to make it seem like people of color are always fighting and fighting amongst each other and they can only be saved by white folks? (Freedom Writers)

What are the long term effects of always portraying Black people as angry while Sienna Miller and Ashton Kutcher are smiling?

When I say long term, I mean 10-20 anos or more.

Ask yourself, when have these people EVER had Black people's best interest in mind?


They haven't been cool since the first time they arrived on anyone's shores and they are not magically gonna turn cool yesterday.

Or even tomorrow.

Does that mean you hate them?

But the wise man adapts. We have more than enough history on these people. And now is the time to adapt to their behaviour patterns.

The big five agencies (CAA, WMA, ICM, Endeavor, Paradigm) are all run by the same type of guy.
There's no diversity.

The studios (Sony, Universal, Paramount, Fox, WB) are all run by the same type of guys that run the agencies.

No diversity.

We can go on and on with the distribution of information. The news etc.

They are essentially run by the same guys who see the world one way.

So the projects they greenlight will reflect that limited vision.

Therefore with a straight face they will ask a Black superstar - E. Murphy - to play a jackass.

The solution:
A separate distribution of information.

There needs to be a different set of agencies. Or at least one to start.

A new studio.

A new media outlet outside of Associated Press.

We need a separate distribution of information that is run by trustworthy people of color.

This is what I'm working on. After I read your post, Bill, I figured it wouldn't hurt to let people know what's needed.

Because say you write the Black Ocean's 11 and 50 cent writes Gangsta Tales volume 40.

It doesn't matter if you have a plethora of positve and creative or just plain entertaining product from Black people, as long as we have to ask white people to greenlight for us we're fucked.

The guys in power will always go with the thing that makes them look good.

Cuz when people of color look bad white folks shine.

Asking white people to view non-white people in a positive way is moot, my friend.

Not gonna happen.

Moral of the story: no more asking white people for anything.

Here's to the next Black gang movie.

-Black People
(No longer restricted to Hiphopmusic(.)com, I've officially invaded Illdoctrine. Smooth's the blame.)

Posted by: Black People at July 30, 2007 6:41 PM

Smooth, are you gonna delete that lenghty, spammy online tract above or what?

-Black People

Posted by: Black People at July 30, 2007 9:23 PM

Posted by: Cube at July 31, 2007 12:38 AM

I'm just glad that I dont have BET with my Dish Network package. Thank you Jesus!

Posted by: DocBoone at August 1, 2007 12:46 AM

Great stuff.

Posted by: Ron at August 2, 2007 12:36 PM

You're a liar. There was no video of people falling off bikes. This review was shit. That's what I expect for XXL.

Posted by: rubyspirit at August 2, 2007 9:14 PM

I'm afraid you are mistaken, Ruby. My commentary was in reference to the first episode of the show, not the second episode which you reviewed on livejournal.

The episode I was addressing did indeed feature a young man falling off a bicycle, as documented by blackgayblogger's breakdown of that episode.

But thanks for the feedback.

Posted by: Jay Smooth at August 2, 2007 9:44 PM

Great commentary. I just posted this up over at RaceWire, the blog of ColorLines magazine...

Posted by: RaceWire at August 15, 2007 11:02 AM

Always the intellectual.... Great Job.
(Deidra from days)

Posted by: Deidra at August 19, 2007 11:18 AM

i agree that shit was boring as hell...



Posted by: FADE at August 31, 2007 9:36 PM

I know that I am really really late, but I cant beleive noone saw the value in this show. Not only was it laced with tidbits of Black facts that most of the people who need to do better wouldnt be familiar with, it was potentially a mirror glazed over with some funny for those who need to see what not to do. For those people who could be Hot Ghetto messes (and they are definitely out there) the show could have shown them hte ridiculousness of their ways...and I found it entertaining...I wish I wish they would bring it back!

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and wish to assit as far as possible.

Posted by: DamionKutaeff at March 22, 2008 5:00 PM

Hello everybody, my name is Daniel, and I'm glad to join your conmunity,
Wish to assist as far as possible.

Posted by: Dan(lazy)Honnet at March 25, 2008 9:51 AM

Hmmm why yes, I just totaly wish I was black and could relate to black people....ppfftt BBAHAHAHAH

Posted by: EyeThinkUrAwigger at July 23, 2008 11:19 PM

First off Peta is a bunch of racist,stupid,bullshit,elitist pricks who don't give a RAT'S ASS[pun intended]about 'animal rights' they just want to do a LOT of bizzare and offensive shit to get attention for themselves. Second I agree images of black people negative or not don't change a damn thing anymore than a "Law&Order" episode will stop gang violence,rape,child abuse,adultery,elderly abuse,kids killing kids,parents killing kids,etc. . So I'm right there with you Jay but Peta can f##k off seriously!

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