Whitlock: Rap on LJ? He made dumb mistake
The only way to understand the “Larry Johnson Rap” is to start the speculation at the very beginning.
Sorry, I don’t buy all the denials, the claims of a Larry impersonator. They don’t add up. Look, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
This column will operate from the premise that Larry rapped the profane lyrics that could be heard on SBL Mob’s MySpace page until late Friday morning.
With that in mind, here’s what I believe happened:
1. As 28-year-old wannabe gangsta rappers are apt to do, Larry attended a house party frequented by other wannabe gangsta rappers. At some point, Larry forgot who he was, forgot that he had far more to lose than all the other wannabe gangsta rappers at the party, grabbed the microphone and busted out a “freestyle” rap expressing angst about his contract situation.
It was a stupid joke, born out of immaturity, frustration, insecurity, timing and maybe even alcohol consumption. It happens. It was a joke, a bad one. But Larry in no way thought he was making a rap song. He was clowning around in private. Therefore, it’s impossible for me to take the whole thing seriously.
2. Later, the wannabe gangsta rappers, members of SBL Mob, figured they had something cool for their poorly trafficked MySpace page. They posted the song and a picture of Larry (taken from Google images) on their page, creating the perception with their minuscule group of fans that SBL Mob is down with LJ, who is down with Jay-Z, who is down with Beyoncé, who wants to be down with me. You follow?
3. Someone alerted wannabe investigative journalist Kevin Kietzman that Larry Johnson could be heard on MySpace cussing, talking about guns, using the N-word and dissing Carl Peterson and Priest Holmes.
Kietzman, a man who is losing his radio ratings to Bland and Blander and is overshadowed at his own station by Soren Petro, sensed an opportunity for a ratings coup and a chance to bash Carl Peterson.
With that in mind, Kietzman used his radio pulpit to paint the picture that LJ’s latest act of immaturity might get the running back in trouble with law-and-order commissioner Roger Goodell. Kietzman also focused on Johnson’s alleged use of the “F” word before his utterance of Carl Peterson’s name.
4. TV stations KSHB and FOX 4 followed Kietzman’s lead and placed LJ’s rap at the top of their newscasts.
5. Wannabe NFL legend Carl Peterson and his staff of minions fell into Kietzman’s trap. Fearing Goodell, unsure of an Imuslike fallout from LJ’s politically incorrect rap and deciding that no laws were broken and no one got hurt, the Chiefs assumed a quick-dismissive denial was the proper course of action.
Larry went Shaggy — “it wasn’t me.” Herm Edwards didn’t want anyone to get it twisted — he doesn’t listen to gangsta rap. And Carl contemplated a parking-price increase.
6. Kietzman correctly sensed that he’d created a Ricky Clemons situation — “them (Chiefs) be shaking” — and continued to stir the pot with a brilliant Friday monologue. Calling Larry’s rap a “scandal,” Kietzman said Johnson should be suspended for allegedly freestyle rapping “F--- Carl Peterson,” and the talk-show host also expressed disgust that Johnson rapped about “killing” people. Kietzman insisted that this was an issue that required a prompt response from Peterson and possible action from the commissioner’s office.
Before his Friday show was over, Kietzman had interviewed two members of the SBL Mob and Basement Entertainment who contradicted Larry’s story about an impersonator.
7. After a day’s worth of pressure and fear of the SBL Mob getting exposed — one of the group’s members is currently incarcerated, according to its MySpace page — SBL Mob decided it was best to go with Larry’s impersonator story.
All I can do is tip my hat to Kietzman. He turned Larry’s relatively harmless act of stupidity into two days of outstanding radio, and he convinced many people in KC that Larry’s crime was allegedly rapping “F--- Carl Peterson,” something Kietzman and every other sane football fan in this city says on a regular basis.
Larry’s crime, if he committed one, is being a millionaire football player from a great family who wants to be a gangsta rapper. Larry’s crime, if he committed one, is being a grown black man and thinking there’s something cool about repeatedly yelling the N-word and rapping about guns in front of a crowd.
Larry’s crime, if he committed one, is sinking to the level of the SBL Mob in order to fit in.
Is it surprising? No. Is it sad? Absolutely.
What should the Chiefs do about it? Pray that Larry runs for 150 yards and two TDs on Sunday.