Banter on Tulips and a Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z and John Coltrane, Outkast and Othello.


Unsung Legends

Now playing: Earth, Wind and Fire, Reasons (live)
*Singing along with Mr. Bailey* "It's all about looove. It's all about love." So, in this spirit, I've decided to turn over a new leaf. The lovely and sweltering summer weather here in NYC has given me a decidedly warmer approach to humanity. Translation: I think I have been pouring the haterade a little gratuitously recently. I certainly don't want anyone to misinterpret my sarcasm. I do love black people (Most black people. *smirking*) So today on this blog, I want to take a minute to pay some of our unsung heroes a tribute. It's sort of the "Mahogany Elle Legends Ball"... unfortunately, I won't get a chance to sport the Vera Wang as Oprah did (boo...) (Though like a remixed version of Stephanie Mills in the Wiz, I know if I continue to click my heals, the blowuptuate fairy will grace me with my magic Range Rover and glass slippers). Anyways, back to the honorees. Yes, so I'm thinking the celebration will be later this year. There's only one complication. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who these honorees are. I know what they have done, but couldn't pick them out of a lineup if I had to. Perhaps you, friends, bloggers, countrymen, can quell my confusion and crack the case so the invitations can be sent out on time (or at least on C.P.time) ... Thanks.

I've always wanted to know who was the first person to come up with the "rat" tail in the 80's? Who was the first person who sat up in his barber's chair and told Willie the barber, "Nah, man. Don't cut a little patch in the back of my head. I'd like to grow it much longer than the rest of my hair, thereby proclaiming my cool status loudly for all to see, along with my parted eyebrow. " I can't help but wonder how Willie, the middle-aged barber who lived through the Afro and Caesar alike, MLK, JFK, and the Detroit riots, replied. Or maybe he just gave that "I know you're crazy" look that old black men somehow all learn to do the same way. Anyway, if anyone has leads as to this first tail sporter, please inform him that M. Elle would like to bestow upon him the first "I thought up some ridiculous ish and got away with it" award. Thanks.

Who was the guy who engineered the fireworks for Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial in the 80's? I'm not sure that this guy deserves a legend award in a good way, but quite possibly because C-O-Nspiracy theorist me suspects that this is where Mike first started to go downhill. After that first surgery on his head, which was necessary (and to a little M.Elle quite scary...I thought I would lose my favorite singer!), he caught the operation bug. In the years that would follow, he was back to get his nose chipped away, then hacked off, then the butt chin installed, then the cheekbones chiseled *sniffle*. And suddenly, he looked nothing like the poster with him in the bowtie and yellow sweater that my older cousin had... he looked nothing like the man with glowing socks I so admired. *Mocking Ricky's mom in Boyz in da Hood* "Look at what they did to my boy!". Since I'd rather not blame a man who is currently under so much fire in the courtroom and is quite obviously Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs, I'd prefer to locate said engineer and present him with the second unsung legend award for totally destroying the greatest Moonwalking red jacket wearer ever. Thanks, man. You took my heart and stomped on it, singing "Mama say, mama sah. Mama coo sah". You're a cruel, cruel man. *sniffle*

Who first told Nick Ashford (of Ashford and Simpson) that a long perm was a good idea? Not hating on the brotha at all. Really, I'm not. He and his wife are a wonderful songwriting team that came up with the classic "Solid as a Rock" and my favorite, Diana's version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." But everytime I see Nick, I can't help but ask what Valerie said the first time he came home with three feet of unadulterated permed tresses. Call me narrow minded, but that would have been a signal for me to give buddy the walking papers (that and the fact that I spot him with mascara on in photos. Uh...what's really good with that?) I'll say again, I love the fact that they're icons and that they've been together for so long and I'm possibly wrong for saying I'd let a no-lye come between me and my man, but I'm just wondering how she reacted that first time. I'd also like know how he got to be that smooth to pull off the same 'do for thirty years and not blink an eye. That's some cool brotha! The third prize, the "So Talented I can get away with a Diana Ross 'do and no one will blink an eye" award goes to Nick and the mystery hairdresser who convinced him to make that move thirty years ago.

I have more awards to dispense, but seeing as how it is Africa-hot up in here, I'm going to have to hit you up with the second round at a later date. The committee is also taking recipient suggestions, this being a democracy and all, so in the words one rapper, holla back youngins (whoop. whoop.)


At June 08, 2005 2:36 AM , Blogger Gunner Kaufman said...

from the vast amount of research that i have done...it seems to me that the rat tail, or in certain parts of NYC, the tail, was oringinated by barber in the bronx...he was doing a hair show in a projects basement when a trap went off and all that was left of the trapped animal, was his hindquarters and tail..hence rat-tail...come on..you talk about the cats that lived through MLK and X..then they also lived through...the KONK!! now whats that all about???
Love your awards though...but you left out an award for the first "shag"....and the creator of the "permanent crease colored lees"
okay, im out!!

At June 08, 2005 8:03 AM , Blogger Will said...


*cowering at the mention of Nick Ashford* *shudder*

Great post...can't wait to see the rest of the honorees.

At June 10, 2005 7:15 AM , Blogger piranha said...

oh my god, you had me really lmao....that was brilliant. I fully agree with you on the Jackson-destroyer award, although I am almost too young to know the 'old' jackson but i ve seen pics...it s a fucking mess. and the rat tail....hahaha, hilarious! I am on your side, wondering wtf invented this...
keep it up!

At June 13, 2005 12:59 PM , Blogger Zantiferous3 said...

LMAO@the mention of Nick Ashford *scrolling down to see if Will commented* ROFLMAO even harder bec. he did!!! LOL Did you know that he was afraid of Nick Ashford? LOL That is hilarious to me.

Oh... back to your entry. LOL - you are too funny... I'm mad that you're still upset over the Pepsi debacle. Tell me... what will you do when Wacko is in prison? Will you write... visit... send care packages? LOL

At June 14, 2005 8:03 PM , Blogger Mahogany Elle said...

g.kaufman - thanks for the explanation. LOL at colored lees (i bet I still have my purple ones somewhere...)
will - i hear you're scurred of Nick Ashford... LOL. Pray tell why sir? ;)
x - luckily i won't have to send him letters in jail (although the mind does wonder at his cell...would have had to ditch the wig and grown out his...gasp natural hair...could he have kept the sparkly gloves? what about the armband? (it would have clashed with stripes). LOL. No for real, I hope the man gets some help...maybe the clock can be reversed and he can go back to normal(I bet they saved his old nose somewhere) *singing like Michael* "But the kid is not my [love.] Oh noooo....Heeeee"

At June 21, 2005 7:44 PM , Blogger sj-the-infamous said...

"...hree feet of unadulterated permed tresses." Hilarious...

I too, think the Pistons could use a good barber. Collectively speaking...there is way too much hair on that bench!! Thank gawd Rick Fox ain't on the team...

Your blog is hysterical. I'll be back more often.


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