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I still believe in Lil Bow Wow

Internets, Black People Twitter is giving Lil Bow Wow a hard time because he was on Instagram pretend

Life in a Shanty Town

May 12 · Issue #4 · View online
The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

Black People Twitter is giving Lil Bow Wow a hard time because he was on Instagram pretending to be flying on a private plane, when in reality he was riding in coach, in a damn window seat. The flight attendant probably didn’t let him sit in the seat with the emergency exit, because you’ve got to be strong enough to pull that lever.
Apparently, he also lied about having a luxury box at an Atlanta Falcons game, in a week when the Falcons didn’t even have a game, and I bet if you spent the time it would take to go through his TL (many people on Black People Twitter are unemployed) you could find all kinds of things he’s been lying about.
I wouldn’t worry about any of this if I were Lil Bow Wow, if only because your goal in life, as a man, should be to have Black People Twitter disapprove of your actions, but also because there’s nothing wrong with not having enough money to fly on a private plane.
According to the Google, Lil Bow Wow is 30 years old now, as of a few weeks ago. He’s somehow catching up to me in age. He’s entirely too old now to be a child performer, but he doesn’t look grown enough to try out for adult roles in films. I believe the reality show he was trying to promote when he got caught fronting on Instagram is about being a former child star.
If he were 20 or 30 years older, he could have had a cameo in the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, along with the likes of Leif Garrett, Danny Bonaduce and Screech from Saved by the Bell, all of whom probably know each other from jail.
It’s likely that Lil Bow Wow’s financial situation will only get worse. As was the case with Ja Rule in last week’s Life in a Shanty Town, I can only guess, to within a five-year margin of error, what year it was the last time he had a song on the radio. It could be even longer ago than it was for Ja Rule.
For a minute there, you’d see Lil Bow Wow acting in dance and roller skating movies marketed to a black youth demographic, but I’d imagine the audience for those movies has long since moved on with their lives.
Black roller rinks do have at least one night a week for brothers of a certain age who still like to roller skate but don’t want to get shot at by child gangbangers, but I don’t know that there’s a director in Hollywood with the vision to bring a film about this to fruition, not even Jordan Peele.
I doubt Lil Bow Wow has much, if any, money left over from when he used to be a child rapper. Child performers are usually ripped off by their parents, who claim they need the money to pay the rent while the kid pursues a career in show business, but in reality that money is probably spent on drugs.
In the late ‘80s, a law was passed so that child performers wouldn’t arrive at the beginning of adulthood broke as a mofo, after what happened to Gary Coleman, but it only protects a small percentage of your earnings. Your parents can still spend quite a bit of that money on coke.
Lil Bow Wow was signed to Jermaine Dupri, who’s had his own share of problems with money. Dupri, in turn, was probably signed to someone else, if not a few other people. Who knows how much of that money was left after everyone got a chance to wet their beak? And that’s not even counting the fact that Lil Bow Wow had to pay people to write his rhymes.
One of Lil Bow Wow’s ghostwriters was T.I. In interviews, both Lil Bow Wow and T.I. like to tell the story of the time Lil Bow Wow ordered T.I. to go get him a Sprite, and T.I. had to check him. Lil Bow Wow went and got his own Sprite, lest T.I. kick his ass. In retrospect, this may not have been the best decision.
Lil Bow Wow may or may not have been able to put a shoe on T.I., but I feel like that’s a fight you have to take—especially when you’re in your late teens, when you can get your ass kicked and still be functional the next day. Statistically, this was one of the few opportunities he’d ever have to fight another adult more or less the same size as him.
If Lil Bow Wow had won that fight, he might have garnered the respect as a true adult that will elude him for the rest of his life. T.I. probably wouldn’t have written any more of his rhymes, but you can find people capable of writing garbage commercial raps on the Internets. It’s not such a rare skill. Eventually, people in India will figure it out, if they haven’t already.
Even if he lost, T.I. would have just looked like a bully for beating up a little kid. And Lil Bow Wow may have been able to get some money out of him, either to keep the story out of the news or because T.I., as an umpteen-time felon, can’t have 5-0 knowing he’s out here getting in fights. At the very least, Lil Bow Wow may have been able to get some free rhymes.
If he’d then invested the money he saved, maybe he wouldn’t have to pretend to be riding on private planes.
Lil Bow Wow doesn’t have much use for private planes anyway, because he’s such a small guy. Even a regular seat in coach would seem luxurious to him. In the pic some hater surreptitiously snapped and posted on Snapchat, Lil Bow Wow looked more comfortable than I’ve ever been on a plane, even when I was riding in business class.
Airlines will sometimes sell you an upgrade to business class for like $30. It’s only really worth it if you can drink more than $30 worth of free alcohol, which, for a brother like me, is just warming up.
They probably won’t even sell you alcohol on a flight like Lil Bow Wow was on, but that’s easily rectified by getting drunk in a bar in the airport before you get on the plane, or at home before you even go to the airport.
Depending on where Lil Bow Wow is going, and when he needs to get there, he might also consider taking the bus. One of the many benefits of riding the bus is that you can just bring a bottle of alcohol and drink the whole time—or so I’ve been told.
In fact, I’d argue that private planes are a waste of money (ir-) regardless of how much money you have. A wise man once said, if it flies, floats or fucks, rent it, don’t buy it. I say you shouldn’t even rent it. Unless it’s a woman, in which case there’s no way you’re not gonna end up paying.
Why do you think Ivanka Trump flies commercial down to Mar-A-Lago, running the risk of being harangued by angry gay guys? As the president’s daughter, I’m sure she has the money to rent a plane, and even if she doesn’t I’ll save up and rent one for her (but it’s coming to St. Louis).
Warren Buffet supposedly only flies commercial, despite owning an entire fleet of private planes. He rents those planes to dumbass rappers and uses the money he makes to finance a scheme to reduce the world’s population to fewer than two billion people.
The only real reason to take a private plane is to show off. A certain kind of woman, if she sees you flying in a private plane, will want to have sex with you. Hence Lil Bow Wow’s fake Instagram post. It didn’t work, because the Internets are such haters, but if it did just think about how much money he would have saved.
Take it easy on yourself,
Bol Byron Crawford: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Books
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