Here’s something you might not have been expecting: Nick Cannon is the latest celeb to weigh in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, doing so Sunday with spoken-word rhymes spread across his social-media accounts. Titled “Oscar,” Cannon’s powerful poem seeks to wrest attention away from mainstream validation and reward, and to put the focus more on vital societal and global issues:
“It’s blasphemous, don’t get distracted by these lottery tickets and statues,” Cannon spits. “It’s just fake gold and plastic.” In what the entertainer calls “not another trophy rant,” he places heavier emphases on America’s prison system; “The Black Plague”; and the deaths of “Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray,” among other concerns.
In a way, his verses echo similar sentiments initially brought up in Janet Hubert’s recent video — his digs, however, are much less personal and more open-ended. (“Oscar” comes not long after calls for an Oscars boycott, as well as growing concerns over a stunted Academy.) As for the actual awards show, Cannon lauds Chris Rock for (still) hosting, even though numerous other celebs have asked the comedian to ankle the gig.
Roll the clip above for the whole message or check out the lyrics below, courtesy of Cannon:
Damn! Look what they did to Oscar.
Nah, not another trophy rant.
I’m talking Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray.
Why we trust what the news say anyway?
It’s blasphemous, don’t get distracted by these lottery tickets and statues.
It’s just fake gold and plastic.
We come from Pharaohs with no masters.
What happened? We went from golden tombs to closed caskets.
The Black Plague, they want us to catch it.
Just ask Magic, Malcolm, Martin, Muhammad Ali, Bill Cosby.
How the enemy can tear down our community and rewrite the history by highlighting our flaws.
But let he who cast the first stone, who constitutes the new laws.
Nah, I ain’t never seen Empire but I serve my own throne.
What I look like begging them to let royalty into they home.
As for me and my house, we’ll serve the Lord!
We crying for votes but how many of us is on the board.
Better yet, when’s the last time you showed up and supported the NAACP Awards?
I want what’s mine, not yours.
Fuck getting my foot in.
I’m building my own doors.
Hollywood mainstream don’t validate me, yo.
Like Hov say, Save the accolades, just the doe.
You in this show for the business, or this business for the show?
Talent and brilliance? Hands down, man we got that shit.
That’s why I told Chris, man go ‘head and rock that shit.
You got the Juice now.
Fight the Power.
Hell yeah, I’m gonna watch that ceremony where they gonna let a black man be the Master for at least two hours.
So don’t waste your voice, don’t waste your prayers.
Save ‘em for the thousands killed in Nigeria, Kenya, The Philippines, Syria or right here in our urban areas.
Nah, now no one cares.
What about my mother raising a son while working three jobs and still equating to less than minimum wage?
What about me being placed on medication before my system could age?
What about that prison industrial system turning Brothers into new slaves?
Where’s the outrage? Where the complaints at?
Overcoming obstacles, definition of Black.
But I guess they don’t make no awards for that.
Real Kings don’t need no pats on the back.