Wednesday, September 06, 2006

They all look the same

I was heading inside Amos’ Southend on Friday when a guy wearing an oversized polo shirt and jeans stopped me. He wanted to know if the 1st Fridays party was the only thing happening that night.

The line to get inside the club stretched down the sidewalk just after midnight.

I suggested Studio 74.

He looked at me as if I were stupid, and said he didn’t know what 74 was.

"We’re not from here," he said, pointing to five other guys standing against the building. "Can’t you tell? We’re from Philly."

I looked at his friends. Each wore oversized white T-shirts and jeans.

This time, I looked at him as if he were stupid. I laughed, and said, "You look like every other black man in Charlotte."

Why do grown men feel like it’s okay to dress exactly alike?

Wait, I know. Commercial hip-hop has turned many young blacks into followers, and made geographic regions indistinguishable.

For example, the finger-snap dance popularized in Atlanta’s Bankhead community is now done here, too. If Yung Joc’s "It’s Goin’ Down," plays in the club, watch how many people do the dance from the video. Gold teeth, which have been popular in the deep South forever, are now fashionable nationwide thanks to Nelly’s "Grillz."

Cmmercial hip-hop has turned countless young blacks into ghetto cloones, and there’s a guy from Philadelphia running around thinking he’s an individual.