If you're one of these rappers, I'm sure it's hard enough trying to branch out into various business ventures.

Not only do you have to worry about your weed carriers and other assorted bums from the neighborhood showing up to your new company looking for a cushy job in middle management that doesn't require the ability to read, but I'm not even sure if it's possible to own such a company without having to pay some sort of tribute to the tall Israelis.

Case in point, all of these rappers with these fake clothing lines.

And then there's the matter of trying to promote your company to the business media without accidentally conjuring some centuries-old, demeaning (and yet probably true) racial stereotype.

For example, just now I came across this story on the MSNBC website about how Ludacris is planning to start his own chain of restaurants in Atlanta. He's teaming up with this Asian fellow who runs a successful chain of restaurants in the Bay Area.

Here's the bit, from the article, about how Ludacris was finally convinced to go into business with said Asian fellow:

Bridges considers [Chris] Yeo's first name serendipitous and after he visited one of Yeo's restaurants and tasted his chicken lollipops and watermelon martinis, a business relationship was born.


And on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, even.

For what it's worth, I can't imagine the reporter invented the bit about Luda being so enamored with chicken and watermelon out of whole cloth. You can't just pull shit like that at a respectable institution like the Atlanta Business Chronicle, where this story was originally published. (I'm sure they've got some sort of acceptable use policy.)

Ludacris probably mentioned it to the guy, forgetting that if you're black, you can't just admit to white people how much you fucking love chicken and watermelon. Especially watermelon. Chicken is understandable, in the sense that you show me someone who doesn't fucking love fried chicken, and I'll show you someone who ought to be placed on one of homeland security's watchlists, right next to TPAR.

It's like the old Dave Chappelle stand-up bit. You grow up thinking you love fried chicken because it's tasty and delicious. But come to find out, you probably would have liked it anyway, regardless of how it tastes. The same way Indian people love food that smells like the shit that collects in your drain after you do (or, preferably, your wife does) the dishes. You just don't have that much control over it.

Which of course begs the question: If you're a white journalist, and the black guy you're interviewing says he was inspired to invest in a restaurant after tasting some chinaman chef's chicken lollipops and watermelon martinis, what should you do?

On the one hand, there's your responsibility as a journalist to report the truth, regardless of how unintentionally hilarious stereotypical it is; but on the other hand, you see what happened to that guy from Golfweek.

All he was doing was reporting on a (perceivably) racist incident, i.e. some racist shit some other cracka-ass cracka said, and yet now he's the one who's out of a job. Meanwhile, I'm not even sure if the white chick who suggested Tiger Woods be lynched lost her own job. (If so, I might have a job opportunity with her name on it...)

Another obvious question raised here: What the fuck is a chicken lollipop anyway?

It reminds me of that time when I went to Diddy's now-defunct Justin's, in New York. In all of my 24 or however many years, I had never tried the Incredible Hulk. And let's just say it wasn't for a lack of time spent drinking.

Part of the problem is that, apparently, I'm the only man in hip-hop who's more of a beer and wine person. Which is not to say that I don't go in on some hard alcohol from time to time. Because I do; just not every day of the week.

And the other problem is that, having been raised in the suburbs, not to mention reared on Natty Light, I'll admit I'm kinda loathe to go into a bar asking for all kinds of weird-ass drinks. People might look at me funny. So in that sense, it was cool to be in a place where some bullshit like that was actually on the menu, albeit at upwards of $10 a pop.

MY POINT BEING, I'm assuming I'm not just speaking for myself when I say that I can't wait to try Ludacris' new glorified chicken wing joint fine dining establishment. I mean, chicken lollipops? Watermelon martinis? Why lie, I'm probably genetically predisposed to enjoy such culinary delights.

My only real fear is that I'm gonna die when I'm 50 Young Jeezy or somebody might shoot the place up. I remember I read a story in one of the alt-weeklies down there about how wild the Black Mafia Family is. So hopefully this place does carry-out, or - even better - delivery. Like a real Chinese joint.

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