It’s Joe Clair! Real Love vs. Fake Love

Ok. So why didn’t anybody tell me I fell off?

I thought I was doin’ my damn thing. All these years of hustling these dollars, I thought I was on point. I mean, I thought I was the shit. Now it’s becoming abundantly clear to me that I fell all the way the fuck off. And you Black MF’s ain’t tell me nothin’ about it. Why not? I’m beginning to think the love is a little fake. Lemme explain.

For those of you that don't know, I just got a new show on BET called “Take the Cake.” It’s a live interactive game show that I co-host with Toccara from America’s Next Top Model. The response has been incredible and inspiring. You play the game through your cell phone or online live while the rest of the country is watching. Nightly, we give away thousands of dollars to hood stars across the nation. The suits are lovin’ it. The public’s lovin’ it, well not everybody, but still all is well in basic cable land.

Anyway since starting the show I have heard from hundreds of people I haven’t heard from in quite a while. Hip-hop n***as and athletes and actors and stripper broads have all just magically remembered that we was cool and have been hollerin’ atcha boy from out of the blue. I have been requested to host all kinds of ghetto fabulous mixtapes and DVD’s. I am getting invited to special parties and exclusive events. As a matter of fact, last night at my weekly show at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles we had all kinds of celebrities drop through. Famous director F. Gary Gray celebrated his birthday there. My BET mate Free was there (looking as good as ever). Carl Payne from “Martin” and “The Cosby Show” came through and did the Cole bird call. It was f**king lovely.

The interesting thing about all of this is that everybody pretty much says the same thing…. “Way to go Joe. You back, my n***a! Where you been?” Where I Been!? I’ve been here. I been right the f**k here!!! Granted I am wasn’t on TV everyday like before but I been right here. I’ve been hustling my Black a** off. In the three or so years it’s been since BET ended my gig as host of “Madd Sports” I’ve been all over the TV. I was on Comedy Central’s Comic Groove, a short-lived Def Jam like showcase hosted by Tracy Morgan. I was on “The First Amendment” comedy show on the Starz network. I was on the BIG Black Comedy Show on Showtime. Back in November I was on “Def Comedy Jam.” I have had countless commercials. I even starred in a movie called Lord Help Us. (It got good reviews too). I have also been telling jokes in every town, city, municipality and hamlet from coast to coast. I’ve been here. Y’all have seen me!

I bring all this up ‘cause when y’all see me I always get love. Of course there is the occasional hater. “That’s why Tigger took yo’ job n***a!”, but for the most part it has been love. And I get that good ol’ you like my favorite cousin love. I don’t get the gushy sign an autograph love. I get the real, “ Oh s**t there go my n***a Cleez!” love. That’s the one’s who don’t call me Joe Torry. (See last week’s entry) I thought the love was genuine. It feels real. I have a great feeling in my heart and soul when I receive it. This year in Vegas at All-Star weekend I couldn’t walk three feet without stopping and takin’ a flick or giving out how to get on advice.

How come none of y’all ever said “Damn you fell off!” That’s how it feels now that I am back on every night and I see y’all. It feels like I fell off before this and didn’t know it. Like everybody was in on it but me. I mean even ex-girlfriends never called and said I was some bullshit. They always had good words and love for me. But now the love has a funky little flavor on it. It has the feeling you get when you’ve been played a little. Like the girl you’re in love with cheated on you with a dude you know and ain’t tell you thinking she was sparing your feelings. You don’t have to spare my feelings Hip-Hop nation. I can take it. I know I’m a nice guy, but I have a thick skin. Tell me what’s going on. Lemme know so that I won’t be in the dark again. Fa real.

Now, I know I should be grateful for any love at all but if you could put your feet in my shoes for a minute and see it from my perspective you’d feel the same way. So as of today let’s make a pact folks: I promise to always be what I’ve always been…just Joe as long as y’all promise to keep it real with me and tell me what is really going on the next time BET fires my Black a**. Aight? Do we have a deal? O.K. I expect y’all to give me the truth from here on. Holla back.


Joe Clair is an AllHipHop columnist that got fake love from the site well before any TV shows, movies or comedy showcases.