The Fire Challenge: Idiocy on Some Other…


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AllHipHop.com


By I’m not one of those old-head Negroes who think my generation of youngsters was better than the current generation of youngsters. I’m no prude! Hell, I’m still writing for hip-hop! We did silly shit as well, like “Streaking”—running bucket-naked across a football field to the delight of a cheering crowd—or egging someone’s crib who had offended our youthful sensibilities—or swimming in the canals of Miami, even though we were fully aware that alligators were in those murky waters.

But got damn! This new ignant craze of lighting one’s self on fire? Hold on! This is some idiocy on some other! I hate to even post this video of this ignant dread-head doing the Fire Challenge, but here it go!

Black people are forever doing things that hearkens back to that “Peculiar Institution” (a euphemism for slavery) and Jim Crow America. A few years ago blacks (and white people) were “Planking”—an eerily oversimplified game where youngsters were laying side-by-side on the floor, reminiscent of planks—boards on the slave ship. Indeed, many black folk cried foul and said the game was racist and that white folk were making fun of and exploiting black folk; that they were replaying the way Africans were packed in the hulls of slave ships like sardines. People were planking in Burger Kings, restaurants and grocery stores! What an effing game—creativity aside! I wrote on that shit too! (Checking out “Planking: Treading on “The Souls of Black Folk.”” on The Khalil Amani Reader: )

From there, here we are at the “Fire Challenge”—a game where young black men pour rubbing alcohol on themselves and set themselves ablaze! Smh. What kind of coonerific game do we have here? Like, we all know the end result! Do they think they are invincible against the raging heat that alcohol and fire produces? What’s the fucking point? Is it for the amusement of those trifling onlookers and Internet trolls voyeurs? Are they seeking some kind of fame from these flames this ignorance? I might be old, but I’ll be damned if this is a game I would’ve played as a young man!

This is what I pray; that any person who would defy the laws of fire receives the maximum burnage and subsequently dies! I need you to be the martyr for the Fire Challenge Movement so that this will cease immediately! I need that fire to give you—not first degree burns—not second degree burns—not third degree burns, but fourth degree burns—the kind of burns that extends through skin and into the underlying fat, muscle and bone! (And you niggas playing the “Breathing/Pass Out” game I hope you too, stop breathing so others won’t have to endure death as well!)

The fire challenge is only slightly amusing to those watching how the victim handles the heat and we all know the end result! Fire will have the toughest nigga screaming like a bitch and running for the shower, so why even play such a dangerous “game?” I’ve only seen one man handle fire without a peep and he was a Buddhist Monk who was set on fire while in a trace-like state in protest. He handled that fire with some unrealness!

None of you bitch-ass niggas are built for a real “Fire Challenge,” so cut the shenanigans (in my Joseline Hernandez voice).

Now let’s go back in history for a moment. While these young black men are playing the “Fire Challenge” game let’s not forget about the thousands, yea, millions of black/Africans that were burned at the stake because of the color of their skin! And this is how we honor the Ancestors? If you asked any person participating in the Fire Challenge game they would say that this has nothing to do with slavery or their African ancestors. Of course! Willie Lynch in full effect! They haven’t a clue that this self-mutilation mentality was planted in the mind of the slaves on the banks of the James River in Virginia in 1712 by a cracka that was hell-bent on keeping slaves “slaves” even if freed—Willie “Muthafuckin” Lynch! Willie who? Yeah, right! Here it goes for you lazy Negroes. Willie Lynch letter: The Making of a Slave

White men have been burning up black people for over 400 years and this is the “game” you’ve come up with in 2014? Fuck outta here! You need your ass beat for playing it! Straight like that! Every time you play this “game” you’re shitting on the graves of untold Africans that were tortured, raped, lynched, burned at the stake, hung from trees and murdered in ways that your puny mind can never conceive! Don’t get it twisted and say the old fella is reaching. What you find flippantly funny I find sickening! Watching people burn in 2014 is that same amusement white men (who had no Internet!) leered at 50, 60, 70 years ago! Willie Lynch got you doing it to yourselves now.

But if 1712 is too far to reach back for your fragile imagination and you need an in-your-face, 2014 example on what fire can do to the human body, I’m sure my good friend, the “Dougie King” Kenny “Ken Dawg” Matthews would prolly have something to say about this ignant “game.” You might remember him from his Worldstarhiphop.com video. Dude was burned as a child from head to toe and struggles everyday with his disability—yeah; one of your hip-hop/black brothas—and this is how you’re acting? You don’ created a “game” with fire that has left millions of people like Kenny disabled and disfigured and you find entertainment in this?

(Follow Kenny on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @ iKenDawg) Read his story “Dougie Dancer Ken Dawg: Beautifully Disfigured” on The Khalil Amani Reader:

Black youngsters! Stop this bullshit! There are hundreds of “challenges” that you should be engaging in, like graduating from high school, getting a college degree, helping your family, quitting using and selling drugs, not getting preggos, fighting others for Worldstar amusement, reading books, etc. How about challenging yourself to not get caught up in any of society’s ills? How ‘bout dat! How about learning the difference between “your” and “you’re” while you’re all on these Internets exhibiting your ignorance? How about that? This “Fire Challenge” is idiocy on some other! Got dayum!

Khalil Amani is a blogger for AllHipHop. He also writes for DJ Kay Slay’s Originators Magazine & Straight Stuntin Magazine. He is the author of six books, including the ground-breaking book, “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” iuniverse.com 07). Amani is gay hip-hop’s self-proclaimed straight advocate. Visit The Coonerific One athttp://www.khalilamani.ning.com Follow on Facebook/Twitter @khalilamani. Instagram @khalil_amani, Youtube @ yahweh 12 Khalilamani@yahoo.com


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  • Markus

    To the parents of this young lost generation be they black or whatever because other cultures are starting to pick up on this stupidity, i say that they need to be more intruding in their children’s lives. These cameraphones have become gateways to nonsense and it’s clear that a lot of these young idiots can’t handle them. Lighting yourself on fire has become a game? How stupid can you get? Unfortunately the youth of today always seem to have an answer for that. So before they can sink their IQ’s any lower, parents should step up and find out what their kids are doing with their free time.

    • Immortal

      But even you have to admit that there has been a steady regression in how much time is spent between the kids of today to include many of the late 90’s. Gaming systems, in house cameras, and “influential” music have replaced the quality time that parents used to spend when the highlight of a kids day was throwing a football/baseball with the ol man, going to the mall was an event, even McDonalds was seen as a treat not like it is today for any of what I listed. Some parents see time after work as for them rather than the kids, and they’re happy to let the internet, PS4, Xbox or whatever raise their kids; as long as it’s not them. It’s a systemic failure not even black or white, Christian or Muslim, or anything vs anything else. Parents need to step up and find themselves first. No more being the “friend” to your child. Be the adult and set the example. Once you’ve found yourselves, then you can finally begin raising your child.

      • Markus

        Totally agree and can appreciate your point of view.

  • Judah Nazayar

    black africans..is a oxymoron.. thats like saying.. budhhist catholics.. africa was a whiteman. And not calling your ancestors by their names..while pretending to honor them is hypocrisy. Whites are the second slave owners of our ancestors. The first are the hamites. Or what u call..*africans*~ negroes tend to let the hamites beheading, rape and murder, and eventual selling of our ppl to the whiteman..go scott free without mention..(we israelites tell the whole story..not half)… with that said.. The whiteman is responsible..along wid agent negroes for the complete buffoonery of our young ones. Want them to stop the degeneracy?? ..promote anti coonism..promote knowledge of their nationality and history. Keep calling them african ameriicans..and u just keep the cycle going. African american( a term coined by jesse jackson)= a NIGGA.for NIGGAS.

    • Brindle

      so what would you prefer we call ourselves and our ancestors?

    • Papi Peligro

      hamites? Man kids are kids. Hamites? YOU CANT TAKE all the good and go over here with it and be like this here was started by us. People are people always have been. NEVER WERE NO HAMITES. SHEMITES. Or whatever. Noah really bra. Noah. Seriously. Global flood took in 2 of every kind of animal into a box the size of a football field. Everything you say sound foolish when derived from dumb idea.

  • The_Good_Life

    This isn’t really funny but why Kenny only got one lil band aid patching up all that isht???

    • Brindle

      you wrong…. with a good point

  • Brindle

    “let’s not forget about the thousands, yea, millions of black/Africans that were burned at the stake”… This fool turned “the fire challenge” into a racial thing… The only thing racial about it is the fact that we as black people used to laugh at white kids for doing these things, now we’re participating… Our communication due to the internet is now world wide, we’re exposed, our music has gone global and acceptably gotten worse and we’re cool with it. Our quest for green has caused us to lose our path as a people and caused us to operate on an individual thought process which means most will fail, some will succeed but as a whole, we’ll all lose… Yes, we need to step it up but no, the fire challenge is not a racial issue


      Lol..TRUE, but i have never meet a black person( on the internet) that believed Obama was going to win (ever) or one who think that were winning anything at all!!! (internet niggas be real depressing) and some racist whites and uncle ruckus always agree with them too. ijs im glad real life don’t “work” NOTHING like the comment section on these blogs…not you per say…but alot of the other bloggers tho..like them fake internet revolutionary’s that love fear mongering

      • Brindle

        LOL… aint that the truth… I just don’t see how he went from looking at these vids to some kinda conspiracy… black folk need to quit that sh!t…


        LOL yeah man, that shit wack!

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  • Papi Peligro

    White people started it.

  • ZUBU

    Everytime I think I have seen it all something else even more shocking comes along. SMH…

  • i’mreloaded!

    I gave up on these “New Nigga$” as we call dem down here in da South, a long time ago. Simple minded Black youth being guided by absent minded Nigga$. Young Black child+ no self respect or respect for others= New Nigga$.

    • Celz

      When I was kid the fire challenge was put a drop of alcohol on your palm and light it with the water running already. It never even crossed niccas minds to set your whole damn body on fire.. This fool almost burnt the whole house down.. smh

  • Im Just Saying

    I laughed from a good healthy place, not because I see a teenager/young adult almost burned his pubic hair off (I am not going to lie, it was pretty funny), but this mess you call an article. Mr Khalil Amani, you sir sound like an old man rambling, and does not know what the heck he is talking about. How does slavery(Willie Lynch), Buddhist Monks method of protest and real burned victims correlate with a generation of young adults and teenagers doing stupid challenges for Gram (that is Instagram for you old heads) or Vine( Look it up)? The answer is that it doesn’t. Listen, it’s 2014, my generation is stupid and impressionable, done. You should write about something that actually is problem in the black community. Hmmm I got one. How about why black people celebrate crime rather then education? Please don’t take my comment seriously, it just a reflection of your article, which is a joke. Good grammar though.

    • ZUBU

      You laughed, it was pretty funny? Naw, it was dumb as fuk but I didn’t find nothing funny about it. I can totally understand you not agreeing with the writing of the article. Societal norms generally do not align with finding humor in other humans in pain/suffering…….IJS

      • Im Just Saying

        “Societal norms”, huh. Do you mean social norms? Also, are you sure you want to lead with that statement to prove me wrong? Look, you seem like an intelligent individual, but you have many holes in your comment bro. Love the sarcasm though.

  • Immortal

    As bad as the article is, and the actual “challenge” is, I’m going to sit back and wait for these two things to happen” 1. Someone defend the article. Hopefully they would be mentally competent when they do and 2. someone to defend the “challenge”. I know for a fact I’ve done some ignant ish in my time, and maybe more to come depending on view, but there is nothing on earth that is going to make me want to set myself on fire or watch someone else set themselves on fire. I don’t think its a black vs. white thing, it’s just a STUPID thing period. Planking, egging and toilet papering houses, even doing the Harlem shuffle were stupid, but didn’t harm anyone or lead to permanent damage (unless you did the dance in front of a NYC taxi). AHH I don’t expect you to have decent op-eds but honestly you could at least make the ones you do allow onsite to make a clear and coherent thought, not using random “facts” that are easily seen through. You would think with as many people that tell you that the writing on here is horrific over the years there would be some effort to regulate what is published and how it’s delivered.

    • MarilynRStroup

      I just got


  • danboy1386

    I wouldn’t even know of this if you hadn’t posted it. stop spreading this mess for hits on the site. Another story that has absolute zero to do with Hiphop.

  • Dhz30

    some of the shit they post on this site, man..god damn..the entire article is poorly written and the premise is just plain asinine, but this:

    “so cut the shenanigans (in my Joseline Hernandez voice).”

    makes me not want to bother giving the author a second chance..

  • Dope

    Why do these articles always have to emphasize the ”difference” between black and white people (though you’ll happily piss on white people when they mention anything that remotely seems like it’s separating one group from another)?

    Planking, owling, that thing with hitting people in the street and now this shit is not a black or white thing, it’s not an emulation of something from the age of slavery, it’s just a stupid internet thing that spreads like memes and people who do stupid shit because they obviously don’t have anything better to do with their lives, and want those facebook likes or retweets or whatever. So if you’re going to attack this, let it be an attack on stupid people and nothing more.

    • TruthSerum

      For real. The only people who connected “Planking” to slavery are the ones who see Racism everywhere.

      “You see, Shooting pool is racist because the white ball knock all the other colors off the table, so that’s racist DEEERRRPPPPP!!!!”

      And connecting this stupid fire game to KKK pictures?? Nah man, Cavemen invented fire long before they came along. There is nobody playing that stupid game telling themselves “Let’s set ourselves on fire like they did our ancestors back in the Day!!!”

      Things like that are why it’s so hard to get people to take racism serious when it does happen.

      “This cop pulled me over and beat me because he’s racist” says one kid, and the other person looks at him and says “Sure, it was racist, just like planking right??? *Rolls Eyes*”

      All this stupidity is the results you get from raising a generation of kids on garbage reality TV shows like “Jackass” and “Fear Factor” and what not. You got a generation, black and white, that has bravery confused with idiocy………. But there is nothing racist about it.

      • AJP

        “And connecting this stupid fire game to KKK pictures?? Nah man, Cavemen invented fire long before they came along. There is nobody playing that stupid game telling themselves “Let’s set ourselves on fire like they did our ancestors back in the Day!!!””

        I think that’s part of the problem though — that these kids might even have that disconnect in the first place — and I agree with the author on his point. Fact is that struggle for basic human rights is a central part of the African American experience, and it’s an aspect our culture that you can’t just brush to the side. What black person hasn’t at some point been reminded (and I’ve been reminded this by WHITES too) of how our ancestors died to that we could have the right to educate ourselves, or the price blacks suffered to vote, or to be able to advance professionally in society, or even something as simple as being able to walk freely down the street — and how we need to appreciate those freedoms that we have. But what’s it saying about these kids where they can’t even appreciate that suffering our ancestors went through (as well as the Tibetan monk and the Worldstar boy), and are voluntarily willing to trivialize it for no gain other than meaningless attention? That’s troubling.

        To be clear, not everything is a race issue, but race certainly has its place. It’s true that we can’t trivialize it by making everything “racist,” but with all the pushes towards postracialism and for blacks to “get over it,” there’s a tendency among blacks and whites to shame anyone who sees or mentions race, and we can’t fall into that trap either. Race is as fundamental to this country as the Constitution and the founding fathers — for blacks especially, it will never be irrelevant.

      • Dope

        Real racial issues, and not just black-white but among other races too, do exists in certain situations and let’s be real, will exist as long as humanity does. People will always find one reason or another to proclaim their group as superior to the other one, be it race, gender, nationality, religion or any other thing.

        But the point it to deal with those issues when they really do occur and not to take every situation, that has nothing to do with that issue and make it as if it has like the author of the article has tried to do with planking and this burning etc.

      • AJP

        You’re absolutely correct that race is bigger than black and white, and I’d even agree with you that this isn’t a race issue. But again, I think we take it a step too far if say that race has no place in this discussion. A psychologist would probably have a field day with these kids’ motivations for performing these stunts — and who knows why they do it? But if a family member came out and scolded one of these kids by saying “your parents didn’t raise you to act like that,” I don’t think you’d be so quick to cry “family doesn’t have anything to do with this”! To take it a step further, if someone viewed this from the perspective as an American and said something like “I’m embarrassed that you displayed our country before the world like this, and that you would waste American freedoms by setting yourself on fire”…even if you disagreed with the perspective, I don’t think you’d say “why you making it about America?” The author’s perspective is racial — specifically, a black perspective couched in an awareness of the struggle. But his perspective is still in line with — and no less legitimate than — the other two.

        Again, I think a lot of the reaction to the article stems from our current tendency to shame race out of the discussion. It makes people uncomfortable, so we try to sweep it under the rug and only deal with it when we have to. But it’s never irrelevant, especially in a world where true racism is hard to identify (so really, who’s to say what’s a true race issue anyway?). No one lives in a vacuum and I think that it’s important that people see how their actions are viewed within the contexts of history and society as a whole. Then maybe more people will realize that their lives are more important than a few minutes of internet fame.

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  • Celz

    Maybe the planks were from a pirate ship.. Or a house.. Or a fuccin seesaw.. Why a slave ship? You really think white kids go around mocking black people and our ancestors struggles by pretending to be the floor in a slave ship? Where is the historical significance? Did they ever put slave ship planks in odd places before and take pictures?

    You’re still enslaved in your own mind my friend..

  • MadRespect06

    Yeah the author really went off the deep end with this one….I really don’t think any of these challenges have anything to do with race. Maybe stupidness and dumb-assness lol but thats about it. We gotta look past black and white sometime if we wanna make any progress mentally. The world is alot larger than what we see here in America…wake up. smh at the article

  • This stupid generation as well as the other lames who do this challenge are just preparing themselves for that eternal hell fire

    • hoeyuno

      Your reaching to..these are usually teenagers who will grow up and look at this as something stupid they did in there youth…nothing more…

  • Malibuchemist

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  • MarilynRStroup

    I just got


    • hoeyuno

      What are you wearing???

  • JimJames29

    Smartphones and youtube give the new generation a platform for their stupidity. Thats pretty much all there is to it.

  • hoeyuno

    Everyones entitled to there own opinion but really! !!???? Your gonna compare bonehead kids playing a dumb game and risking there own safety(by choice) to peoples getting lynched, tortured and burnt to death.. …that shits not even cool!!! This is up there with kanye comparing minorities in America back in the day to modern celebrities….your comparing grown men getting ripped from there wives and children to be tortured to death in front of people like a sunday night movie to kids who are doing dumb shit for “likes”….reaching ass shyt like this is why white peoples roll there eyes when people call out racism.

  • Hey! As a White man I’m just happy to them stepping up and taking over the dirty job of burning themselves. If they also get into auto-erotic asphyxiation (The Hanging Game), our work is done. ROFLMAO

    But, after this, can you all please stop jabbering #BlackLivesMatter? It’s pretty damn obvious that they don’t and almost as obvious that, with the current crop, they shouldn’t.

    Of course, if more of you “old-head Negroes” had stuck around, did the right, i.e. White thing, and raised your children, they probably wouldn’t be quite so bad or so bad off.

  • bobfairlane

    Why do negroes keep moving to White countries, even after “400 years of slavery”?