I was all set to do a nice "Happy New Year's" post full of positivity and promise as we begin 2008. It really was going to be uplifting and inspirational and motivational, and all of that. I mean I am REALLY excited about this year and what it has in store, even with oil hitting the $100/ barrel mark. That wasn't enough to dampen my enthusiasm as I prepared to write my first post of the new year.
Then as I was checking out the BlackEnterprise.com to see if my latest weekly article had hit the homepage, all that positivity, pie-in-the-sky optimism got JACKED. I felt like I had the wrong holiday or something. Instead of it being New Year's I really was hoping I had slept all the way through to April Fool's day. Not because my article wasn't posted. It was there (notice how nicely I slid that in there...). But what put me in a total stat of chaos and disorder (pun intended for all of my fellow Prince fans) was a headline for the most read article on the site:
Folks, I'm not kidding. This article is legit....now I could say here 2 legit 2 quit, along with the hand signs and images of Jeri curl juice shooting everywhere, but I don't need to stoop to that....
Hey look I'm all for people making a buck. And to be honest with you I'm for anything that keeps Stanley (Hammer's real name is Stanley Burrell) away from a microphone. I will freely admit to liking his first couple of songs, Pump it Up and Let's Get It Started. I even liked Turn This Mutha Out some. And yeah I did like Can't Touch This, but only because of the Rick James bite. But then he went too far and bit When Doves Cry with his song Pray and that was it for me. Some people you just don't bite (slipping into the vernacular of the time...sorry). Then all he could ever do was bite other people's hit songs. Not just sample a piece, he took the whole damn thing. Add to that "discovering" timeless artists like 3-5-7 and B-Angie-B, the cast of millions in his traveling dance troupe, and those Thief-of-Baghdad pants he used to sport was totally too much for a guy like me to take. That's why all my buddies referred to him as MC Mallet, or just Stanley. And thank goodness his reign of terror was over in the early '90s. But I still get a kick out of those old In Living Color skits with Tommy Davidson wearing those baggy pants and crazy glasses falling off the stage.
I will never get tired of that. OK....I'm back now. Sorry for going off on that tangent. And I'm not mad at Stan (anymore), really I'm not. He actually did a lot of good things in the community, but dude just couldn't rap. So I'm glad he's not in that game anymore. But dude is now considered a technologist? In fact he is the co-founder and chief strategy of DanceJam.com, the upcoming site the wants to dethrone YouTube when it comes to streaming dance videos to the masses. OK STOP LAUGHING. OK, I'LL STOP IF YOU WILL.....ON THREE.....
He's even quoted in the article as saying:
"There is no high-tech lingo or business strategy that you can talk that is above my head," Hammer boasted during an interview. "I breathe this stuff."
Look, I left the rap game in the late '80s to pursue a career in technology (ok I couldn't rap either, and also couldn't dance) and I would NEVER say what Stanley said. But I will give it to him when it comes to marketing himself and hustling. He did create a lot of wealth back in the day, before losing it all. And he and his partners did raise $1M in funding to get this off the ground, which is no laughing matter. And the article actually quoted Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com (and thus the tie in to this blog) as saying :
"We really learned a lot from Hammer. He is the most entrepreneurial individual I have ever met."
Now Mr. Benioff isn't a stranger to hyperbole. And would anyone really consider Stanley to be more of an entrepreneur than Benioff's former billionaire boss Larry Ellison, or another former Oracle colleague Tom Siebel? And speaking of hyperbole, check out what Ron Conway, one of the investors, had to say about the importance of Stanley's technological savvy:
"his involvement in DanceJam has more to do with his technological savvy than his celebrity. I expect him to integrate all his knowledge into this Web site."
Now do you believe that? I know some of the smartest, most technologically savvy individuals around, who have been trying to get funding for their ideas, and I don't see them getting money based on their tech savvy. So I'd be willing to bet that whatever celebrity Stan has left, they will be exploiting to the max to get this thing on the radar. I mean would anybody be spending any time even reading about this if Stanley's celebrity wasn't attached to it?
Alright.....I've got this all out of my system. I've cleansed myself. I'm ready to move on into 2008 with all the promise, positivity and good thoughts now back in my head. In fact I wish Stanley all the best with his new venture. Anything to keep him away from the mic, and out of those trousers, is as positive as anything could possibly be.