Thanks to the current zeitgeist, music fans are now in an unenviable position where we have to determine how to respond when an artist we bump on a near-daily basis says some dumb shit that forces us to re-examine our relationship with their whole catalog. We had to deal with this during Kanye West’s Tour de Stupide last year, and now Daniel Caesar is on the chopping block.
Caesar, who is neck-and-neck with H.E.R. as the most talented R&B act of their generation, hopped on Facebook Live (first mistake) Tuesday night while drunk (second mistake) and made some unfortunate comments defending perpetually problematic culture vulture Julieanna “YesJulz” Goddard.
I was flowing with @DanielCaesar’s music, but his social commentary is trash.
White people being mean to Black people is a thing of the past?
Blacks are mean to whites and shouldn’t complain when whites reciprocate?
Did you miss 400 yrs of history?pic.twitter.com/jfxMWz0Q3B
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 20, 2019
Quick recap: YesJulz – whom I honestly didn’t know existed before she started making news for the wrong reasons – got ripped to shreds by Black Twitter last week for a couple reasons: there was a bullshit freestyle in which she sneak-disses Black women, as well as an appearance on a program with Harlem rapper Murda Mook in which she called out Scottie Beam and Karen Civil as haters, to which both women responded.
I have to keep this simple because I have work to do.
Everyone knows you slept your way into this industry.
Secondly, @YesJulz where are you?
I’m in Newark.
I am also in Jersey City on Fridays
I’m in the city all the time.
Send me your pin. Now.
You and your black friends.
— Are You Valet? (@ScottieBeam) March 11, 2019
@YesJulz I’m not sure if you bumped your head before your interview. But I never spoke on you doing rolling loud. I could careless what opportunities are given to you because your blessings are not my blessings! I’ve been nothing but cordial to you
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) March 11, 2019
In his Facebook Live video, Caesar asks his audience why we’re “being so mean” to Julz (who is of Italian and Puerto Rican heritage), and to white people in general. He’d get the side eye if he contained his complaints to Julz, but he stabbed himself in the stomach a few more times by using his drunken diatribe to condemn how Black folks “treat” white folks in general.
He asked, “Why is it we’re allowed to be disrespectful and rude to everyone else…” Daniel, sir…whatever you interpret as “rude” is simply our exercise of what little privilege we have, and chances are the target of our ire is deserving. If we had the energy to come at every white person for being white, our arms, legs and fingers would be tiiiired.
He also said, “White people have been mean to us in the past. What are you going to do about it? There’s no answer other than create understanding and keep it moving. You have to bridge the gap.” There are so many things wrong with this statement, but I’ll address the two most glaring ones: “In the past” suggests that racism – direct or institutional – no longer exists and that white folks are kumbaya-ing with us now so we should just be cool. This dumb shit would’ve been perfect coming out of Candace Owens’ mouth.
The other problem is that we should be the ones to “bridge the gap.” The way white supremacy is set up, placing the onus on Black people to facilitate “understanding” is akin to blaming the chickens for doing a piss-poor job of convincing the foxes not to eat them.
The irony of this all is that everyone was defending Caesar last week when Dave Chappelle called him “very gay” in front of him on John Mayer’s Instagram show. Caesar admitted to being offended by the statement in the moment before acknowledging that he was being sensitive. I think very few people would not object to publicly being called “gay” by a popular comedian, but Caesar even defends Chappelle during the video. Dude seems a touch confused.
Black Twitter for the Win
Of course, Black Twitter wasted no time letting us know what they thought of the young man’s video:
Table full of boys knowing he was drunk and not one of them snatched his phone and ended this monstrosity. You need new friends, @DanielCaesar. This is on top of all the ignorant things you said. https://t.co/fqPYSYCUSl
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 20, 2019
Daniel Caesar waking up sober asking his manager what he said on his live pic.twitter.com/fD0Vr9eGyB
— mánzi (@mvnzi) March 20, 2019
Daniel Caesar is morphing into Uncle Ruckus before our eyes pic.twitter.com/8ZQvNQarzq
— World Wide Wavy 🌊 (@Gov_Jo_204) March 20, 2019
Folks may defend Caesar for making his statements while drunk, but I never buy the “I was lit” excuse as a reason for trashbag actions – if anything, the truth comes out when folks get bent enough to tell you what’s on their noodle with no filter.
Caesar is a 23-year-old Canadian, so I’m not ready to throw him out quite yet on the grounds that most early-20-somethings haven’t shed that outer layer of stupidity just yet. But he needs to rein that cornball shit in post haste, because it’s a damn shame to see such a talented dude trending for the wrong reasons (*ahem*Jussie*ahem*).
Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have paid him to be aggressively light-skinned via a computer keyboard for nearly two decades. He loves his own mama slightly more than he loves music and exercises every day only so his French fry intake doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at his own site, wafflecolored.com.