We’ve all seen the infamous Breakfast Club interview with Birdman a few years ago. If not, here’s a quick recap. Birdman entered the station with an entourage of people clearly irritated. He states, while standing, “Y’all ready? I wanna start this shit off straight” and takes his glasses off and sits them on the desk, “telling all three of y’all stop playing with my name.” He continues, arms folded below his waist in a stance that, if you’re from where I’m from, you know what it means. “Stop playing with my fuckin’ name, stop playing with my name and I ain’t gone say it no more.” He says in a highly irritated manner. He then takes a seat while Charlamagne and DJ Envy are seemingly confused (or at least playing confused.) Birdman continues, “Nigga when my name come up, respekt it. Stop playing with my fuckin name.” while putting his sunglasses back on. “All three of y’all, stop playing with my name. I aint gone say it no more.” At this moment the camera flashes to Angela Lee as she’s looking very confused and nervous while the room is dead quiet.
As the show officially begins Charlamagne and Baby go back and forth and it’s clear that Baby only showed up to make one thing clear, “Put some respekt on my name.” He clearly didn’t care about anything else at that moment but them and everyone else putting some respekt on his name. After a quick back and forth, he stands up while saying, “is y’all finished or y’all done?” while he and his entourage leaves the interview after only being there for one minute and forty nine seconds. Probably the shortest and most hilarious, yet serious radio interview ever. He came, said what he said and dipped out, haha. As we see from this situation Baby felt like The Breakfast Club was playing with his name & he wasn’t with the shits, at all.
This, is exactly how I feel about beer. For decades the inner cities and urban areas have been flooded with flavorless, watery cheap beer. You know, the type of beer you see the fiends drinking or your alcoholic no good uncle drinking, you know what I’m talking about. The 211’s, Colt 45’s, OE’s and so on. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a teen who just wanted to get twisted I drank these all the time! It was never for the taste, appreciation or respekt of beer but just to get faded. We eventually moved on to Heineken and Corona but the thought of, “hmm, this is good.” never once crossed my mind while drinking any of these. That’s why I was shocked when Hov stated that Bey tasted like Corona light on “Everything is Love”. Bad example OG, but I digress.
Our neighborhoods have been flooded with the lowest caliber of beer- specifically concerning taste, and let’s be honest, we’ve all had a bad experience with one of these beers at some point. This is what the corporations told us beer was and tasted like, and thus, this is what we believed. It’s very common to talk to another black person & they tell me that, “beer is disgusting.” that’s totally normal for me to hear so it’s always a lituation when I get to let someone with a open mind taste a new beer and they smile because they’ve never thought beer could taste as good. Simply put, it does taste that good, you’ve just been finessed into thinking of this beverage that’s been around forever as one thing with one representation of it.
Beer has many different flavors, the broad range of its hue resembles a skittles commercial (or that kid 6ix9ine’s hair and teeth) & it’s versatility is unmatched but beyond that, beer has been around for ages and stood the test of time. Its been argued that the invention of beer played a huge role in nomads settling down. It’s been presented that the discovery of beer played a huge role in the forming of civilization, the invention of the wheel, math, the list can go on. What we do know is that beer was enjoyed & respected all the way back in ancient Mesopotamia. We do know that they had a god (Ninkasi) dedicated to beer, many other early civilizations had beer gods & goddesses as well. They thought beer was important enough to worship a god whose job was to brew and bless them with beer, if that ain’t respekt I don’t know what is. What we also know is that this was the same in ancient Egypt, we also know that workers were paid (at least in part) in beer. This obviously can’t be the same kind of bullshit that’s shoved down our throats in the urban community, haha. Fast forward, we see that some major inventions and innovations have taken place because of beer, one being refrigeration (see Carl von Linde) and another pasteurization (see Louis Pasteur).
The history of beer is a rich and inspiring one that could be studied for decades- I mean, it has only been around for a few millenniums. All in all, it’s definitely a beverage that should be explored with an open mind and should be respekted.
So, what do I suggest as a avenue of respekting beer? I’m glad you asked, first I would wipe your mind clean of everything you think you know about beer because, this clearly isn’t the beer that you’re use to. Secondly, I would have you understand that with dozens of different styles of beer, that all taste and look different you’re doing your palate an disservice by brushing this category off. Beer has long been viewed as the everyday drink of the common man, and it is! But styles like Barley wines & Russian Imperial stouts have long been enjoyed by both royalty & people of notoriety- they didn’t just drink wine. You open yourself up to new experiences, pleasures and information by embracing what beer really is & not what they told us it was. Beer is diverse in every way and you put yourself in a box by letting trash beer experiences stop you from trying new things. Open yourself up to experience all that beer really is and see where this ride takes you.
Every beer isn’t for everyone but there is a beer for everyone.
My Beer Gangsta is Respekted, B.
-The Oxford Companion to Beer (1)
-Joshua J. Mark (2): https://www.ancient.eu/article/222/the-hymn-to-ninkasi-goddess-of-beer/
-Bryan Hayden, Neil Canuel, Jennifer Shanse: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10816-011-9127-y