Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Case of Will Leitch & The Burning Q-Tip

The Case of Will Leitch and the Burning Q-Tip

Mr. and Mrs. Negro had one child. They called him TAN, and so did everybody else.

Mr. Negro was the head of all media, and the chief mind on matters of race and culture. The CEO or Chief Ethnocultural Officer. Whenever a TV station or radio show or magazine needed counsel, ideas, or understanding of some race/culture related issue, they’d ask Mr. Negro. And Mr. Negro always had a good answer for them. His track record in the realm of race was without blemish since 2005.

But Mr, Negro had a secret weapon. And that was his son, TAN. No one would believe it, but it was really TAN that provided Mr. Negro all his fodder. The streak since 2005 was no coincidence; it was also when young TAN started his blog.

Now TAN would help typically help his father solve cases for free. But after a while he realized he enjoyed ethnocultural matters so much he should open up a detective agency to help others solve the mysteries of race and culture. So he stole some money out of his father’s wallet, rented out a bodega, and set up shop. He hung up a sign to advertise himself:

As fate would have it, one evening around midnight Q-Tip came marauding into the office. He was clearly bothered by something. Q-Tip, of course, is a living legend, the lead rapper of iconic hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. TAN immediately roused to attention upon recognizing the face.

Tip scanned the sign and fished around in his pockets. Eventually he took a quarter-water out from inside his jacket and looked TAN in the eye, "I don't have any change on me, but I can give you this drink. I have a problem, and I want to hire you." Apparently Tip had happened upon some tough fiscal times of late.

TAN looked at the quarter water. It was cherry flavor. His favorite. He smiled and reached for the Bible on the desk that he hollowed out and used as protection for his copy of The Low End Theory. He lifted the CD towards Q-Tip and said, “Yo, Tip. Do you know how much prep school and college cooch this CD got me? If Obama owes something to the Cosby Show, then they owe something to you as well. You’re the soundtrack of our assimilation. Certainly mine. I’ll take the quarter-water -- cause you know I love me some cherry drink -- but trust, i got you on expenses and all of that for this case.”

“So, now, tell me, what’s the scenario? forgive me, but ... you on point, Tip?” TAN asked.

“all the time, tan!” Tip chorused back.

Q-Tip was calmer after quoting an old classic. but he was still pacing as he spoke, “I don’t know why I’m bugging out. But there's this crazy article online. I think it's offensive, but I'm not quite sure. it just feels wrong.”

TAN was puzzled, "well, it’s an internet article. why don’t you just ignore it?"

"hmmm, well yeah, I was going to do that.... but then after i read it I decided to say something."

“You COMMENTED?!!?” TAN knew entering the world of anonymous commenters could only spell trouble for a veteran hip hop artist .

“What did you say, tip?”

uh,something like this:

damn mr. leitch!! why are u shitting on me and d *ck riding kanye. seems like its an assignment you didnt want to do so why do it? you should have done a DL4 assignment or better yet a "whatever happened to fallout shelters in a Mc Carthy era new york?" piece!!! i'm good... you??? JADED!! yes this is qtip

heavens to Jarobi, what an outburst! was that all?

oh i forgot... ASSHOLE

"Wait, Tip. You actually commented, went back and then called him an asshole?"

"Can I kick it? Yes, I can."

TAN was frustrated, "hmmmm. well that doesn’t seem like behavior fitting for a believer in The Love Movement. What happened to nothing being more important than Beats, Rhymes, & Life. You know what it’s like to be stressed out, so I don't understand why you would be so irritated with someone's opinion.

TAN rubbed the melanin on his skin. He always did that when deep in thought.

“And what does Kanye have to do with any of this? We should leave him alone, he lost his mom....”

“Will Leitch was the writer, he brought up stupid Kanye! and then he started making it like i was a nobody. Like I can't even get the Knicks cheerleaders to show me love!” Tip was raising his voice.

“I’ve been linked to Nicole Kidman in tabloids! I’ve been in movies! I know I'm just DJ’ing and stuff now... but I’m a big f’ing deal! ”

TAN felt he had to calm Tip down again.

“you on point, tip?”

“all the time, tan!”

Ok, hmm, this sounds like a weird case to me. I actually know Mr. Leitch. And I know him to be a fine noble gentleman. I’m quite certain the last thing he wanted was to hurt your feelings. I have a photo with him on the mantle.

Tip was surprised, “oh, if that’s your boy... maybe i should go talk to someone else?”

TAN quickly established his priorities, “no, no tip. I’ll get a lot more links if I stick with you. plus, he writes for New York Magazine, and knowing them there could definitely be something dubious going on.

(NY Mag was a leader in a lilly-white media industry; often guilty of having white people discuss brown people and revealing themselves to be out of touch with the city that is their namesake . they’re insensitivity earned them the alias NY Mag-a-Mean.)

Desiring to get to the bottom of this, TAN declared, "let's go talk to New York Mag"

Tip thought about it then fell back, “you do it. i'm trying to get back in the game. too much at stake in my renaissance for me to do any more protesting."

"They won't do anything, I'll link a couple other hip hop bloggers and black-people websites so they have to play fair." TAN comforted.

TAN saw NYM hanging out with the rest of the waspy media cool kids. “Hey New York,” TAN said, “looks like you sent a white guy to do a black guy's job again. you know the rappers and nba players are sensitive about that. and for good reason. you don’t have proper respect. the respect that comes from intimate knowledge. why do you keep doing it? “

NYM barely even looked at TAN in responding, "We’re New York Magazine. We are entitled to cover hip hop -- born in the Bronx, NY 30 years ago I’ll have you know -- any way we want. We don't need a range of perspective when we have editors getting our grammer as tight as possible. We run this town. "

Then looking directly at Tip and TAN with squinty-eyes, "The review is fine. And don't try and act like we're mean and/or racist. Our online division are all young urban multicultis. They're post-racial. Get out of here, or else we’ll ask our audience why black bloggers keep asking questions of race even after Obama. Don’t make us tag you as “Al Sharpton 2.0”.

TAN knew this wasn't true. but needed more proof before taking on Mag-a-Mean.

All of a sudden, the man of the hour walked in, Will Leitch ... he almost ran away when he saw Q-Tip.

"look, i didn't do nothing but my job," said Will. "I don’t hate Q-Tip and Tribe, I LOVE TRIBE. I couldn't overstate their importance. I even said that in the review!"

Leitch continued, "I'm just trying to impress the people over there, and it's supposed to be what i do. you add context and importance to a review. so i saw tip at halftime and his album's coming out, and kanye does dominate now, and i don't know what the big deal is!!"

TAN rubbed the melanin on his skin. he did that when he thought at maximum levels.

"What were you listening to when you came in, Will?"

"Nirvana. You know about the book I’m writing, right?"

TAN rubbed his melanin some more and absently answered Will, "Yeah..."

He pulled out his iphone and looked up the review and response blog again.

It was quite a tricky dilemma: was this a case of a fading rap star overreacting in a new medium. was Will really d-riding Kanye? so many people are these days...

All of a sudden TAN stopped rubbing himself, and looked definitive, "Tip, you ‘re right to be annoyed. There’s a legit gripe against you and it cuts deeper than it seems."

"But it's also not Leitch's fault, it's his boss that's the problem. This is another case of NY Mag-a-Mean not doing the right thing."

NYM spat in TAN's direction, "You're a stupid ethnocultural blogger, you can't prove anything."

TAN pulled out his laptop, "Sure I can, everything you need to know is right in front of us."



Tip images:
© mekuria getinet/

other tip


  1. You've got me on the edge of my seat, TAN, and I can't just flip to the back of the book for the solution. I can't crack the case myself, so I'll have to wait for Negropedia Brown to reveal the damning evidence.

  2. I can't wait to see how we end up keepin' you down again!

  3. Anonymous1/08/2009

    I was on the edge of my seat too!! Damn why they had to do Tip like that?! and FUCK Kanye....whiny ass dude ughhhhh lol

  4. TAN, play the resurrector and give this case some life.

    I bet you none of this would have happened if Leitch knew the importance of a Skypagah!

  5. Anonymous1/11/2009

    'Hey Sucka Nigga....who ever your are..." (CLASSIC!)

  6. You know what? I'm still proud of myself for calling you Negropedia Brown.

  7. As well you should be. i think it was a top 5 moment of Inspired Genius from Orange (or Orange-Tan collabos, to not encroach on the rest of your genius swag)

    speaking of names, really need to find a new word for swag... gonna look into it. internet should have solved that by now. but i haven't received the memo.


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