The Art of the Mack: Legacies Lost in Translation

Posted by Jessica Holter on

Perhaps, in the wake of public scandals regarding famous Black Men, we should consider that history is being written here. There are lots of famous White men, who have done dastardly deeds, yet their art still sells for millions. Yet, some of the greatest achievements in American entertainment history have been made by men who will be remembered as rapists, pedafiles and drug addicts.

Take for example  Walter Richard sickert, whose art piece Nude before a Mirror, Fitzroy Street has an estimated value of $80,000 or so. I know. Who is that? Jack the Ripper, that is who he was. His art is still on the market. Pablo Picasso is another valued member of a club of men who have twisted love/hate relationships with women. But when they go to value his art, do they say, oh, but he cheated on his wife with a 17 year old girl, so I don’t want his art? Nope, they buy pieces like “The Mackerel”  - slang for pimp in French, and think little of meaning or emotional origin of the art. He had a lot of women, and more than one babymama. Most of the women were very young and impressionable. One of his wives, remained his wife in law only as he went on to take up with other women without divorcing her, because he didn’t want to split his assets with her in accordance with the law. Yeah, he was a handful. Using all of his women as models for his art, while laying the pipe to them. Picasso, like a true, “mack” spun a web so tight around one of his women, when their relationship was over, she went into a nun-like seclusion stating ”After Picasso, Only God.”

Most people remember Elvis Presley as the king of Rock and Roll, but his Grammy awards are for gospel renditions of “How Great Thou Art” and “He Touched Me.” History seldom reminds you that his bride was 14 years old. Or that he died, an alcoholic,  barbiturate addict, who fell off a toilet into a pool of his own vomit when he met his early death. Graceland is truly a monument to his accomplishments, and that 14 year-old bride built it. 


Playboy is an American institution, and a sited source for R Kelly’s confusion over why his style of Macking was criminal. But does his lifestyle affect his art? What will we gain from his incarceration? Who will gain from it? (I’d wonder aloud here, about the value of prison stock and if the net worth of those under contract as tenants comes into play, but I’m more interested in soul-utions, and change we can all see and subscribe to.)

Perhaps instead of muting R Kelly, the “owner” of the music can donate proceeds from the sale of R Kelly’s songs to a worthy organization working to stop child trafficking. Perhaps, Cosby’s case could lead to a public address on the doping of America. Because we are all passed out getting our nipples played with right now. They are just reaching out… grabbing the pussy. 


Cosby? Y’all know, for a man like him, shame is the prison. The bars just put the 10 on the two… so you can see, you can never get too big to become a slave. But the Huxtables are adorable, right?


(Here I would muse about what holdings one surrenders when one drops in status in the American corporation, from tenant to slave under 13, but I don’t want y’all getting the wrong ideas about me.)


The history we record through our creative works is a record of us. The history recorded about us… are records of the state.

Well, gotta go. I just stopped by to pull your coat tail. To rap with you a bit about history in the making and legacies lost in translation.


Jessica Holter Ghetto Girl Blue

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