“You spell colored like this: Colored. We live in a global community now and this is how we like It.” – Charles John
I hang out with coloreds. I shmaak them. They seem to shmaak me, most of the time – the wightie. I like the way they help each other out; as opposed to us whities who live in live in little boxes made of ticky-tacky that all look the same. (Sure, they rob each other too, but so do white people, everyday – it’s called economics.) This is not about why I think colored people are better or worse, I am writing this because they represent Cape Town. The Cape Flats represent Cape Town.
Coloreds were kicked out of their communities in the 1950’s during the Group Areas Act. Having spent a lot of time talking to coloreds, I’ve heard time after time about how the government pumped their communities full of mandrax to keep them numb during this time.
Tik and Heroin have since taken over, and the gangs have become more powerful, more idolized among the children growing up on the Flats than ever before.
It is no surprise that YMCMB is the brand that coloreds are embracing more than any other right now. They had the carpet ripped from under them. Social status is obviously a big deal. They’ve grown up in communities riddled with drug and gang culture. They’re been forced to hustle and flow.
Who are the Young Money Cash Money Billionaires? I’m sure you know by now: They are a combination of Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records. It’s the brainchild of Lil’ Wayne and Birdman. They are the bain of our society. “DAMN, Lil Wayne and Birdman are such YMCMB ballers!” Everyone on the flats wants to be a baller, except the ones that don’t.
Those of us who still resonate with brands do so because they reflect who we THINK we are, but, on a deeper level, brands connect us to our tribes. Brands connect us to our people. They are the symbol of belonging to something greater than ourselves. YMCMB connect the tribe whose mindset is about moving up in the eyes of society.
There is a perception among white people in cape Town that coloreds are all about status; They pimp their rides, they boost their sound system; They wanna be seen with gold chains and fresh sneakers. It makes them feel like they’re moving up in the world. This is not entirely a warped perception – nobody wears brands with as much pride as coloreds. It just seems so ironic that they have always embodied brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Quicksilver, Element, Hurley, to name just a few – brands that are historically “white”.
YMCMB at least represents the “Get Rich or Die Trying” mindset, which is black. At least it’s not white. But it’s still not colored. It’s not Cape Town. It’s more of the same second hand American sleaze.
When coloreds realize that their story is worth telling, they’ll stand up and create their own brand. Dear ouens: I wish you would stop chasing the fucking American Dream, it’s dead. Fok. They’ve already gotten rich, and they haven’t died trying.
You on the other hand have the potential to make the world stand up and take notice. Check what Die Antwoord has done – they’ve blown up overseas; and they’re not even colored!
Africa is hot right now. The rest of the world cannot get enough. We need to jump on the bandwagon. We need to milk it for all it’s worth.