Boundaries in Comedy

“Sh*t, I’m living good up in this b*tch

Dicky rollin round the city, blowin good up in that whip

I ain’t black or Dominican, not Hispanic or Indian

So imprisonment is not a predicament, I envision

For a white boy…”

Here’s a snippet of the first verse to Lil Dicky’s “White Dude.”

I’ll tell you one thing- he’s certainly no Eminem in my book. But his lyrics are just as controversial. Some may even describe his style of music as comedic or satirical as well.

According to Merriam Webster- satire is a literary work holding up vices and follies to ridicule or scorn. I saw the clip as nothing more than a failed attempt. There was no ridiculing of any sort; just a four minute and 28 second clip that oozed of white privilege.

As we watched the video in class, some people roared with laughter while others shifted in their seats or stared at the screen confused. I personally was annoyed by the whole thing. First off, he walked around sporting what seemed to be the token Black friend while rapping the following tacky lyrics:

“Slap on the wrist. Get my daddy to choose one of them top lawyers that be rollin round in his crew. I’m eating chop soy and bowling on a carnival cruise. That’s what I do kid. Happy that my name ain’t stupid. Dave could’ve been Daquan with a few kids…”

Then the super thin model-type girlfriend gave him a pretend blow-job. Trust me when I say degrading wasn’t even the word for it. But as usual, someone will find a way to defend the video. There are some who go as far as suggesting that society loosen up; that we need to learn how to take a joke. I say, let’s not be insensitive and disregard other’s feelings. Everyone won’t view a situation the same. It’s sort of like this blog post.

So here’s the deal according to yours truly: Our society is pretty f*cked up when you really sit and think about it. We tend to joke about anything– abuse, rape and even death. Our sense of humor is actually twisted and crude (well some of our’s). However, the question becomes: should comedy have boundaries? Or does the fact that comedy has no boundaries make it more enjoyable?

I mean the late, great Richard Pryor poked fun at setting himself on fire and majority of us found it hysterical. Comedian Rickey Smiley does this routine-regular about a special needs woman named Precious. I can admit to it being one of my favorite moments in his stand-up. And don’t even get me started on Bob Saget- one of the dirtiest comedians out there.

Now, although we may get offended by certain things—the world can’t be all cupcakes and sugarplum fairies. Comedy has a lot to do with perception. Not too many of us would want to start policing it so late in the game. Therefore, we can either take it or leave it.

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