Mayor of Hartford Tells Dave Chappelle to Stop Whining, Do Yoga


Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has weighed in on the Chappelle controversy currently making his city Internet famous.

If you missed the controversy- in late August, reports surfaced that Comedian Dave Chappelle– on tour with Funny or Die after a long hiatus- had a “meltdown” during a set in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ebony writer Lesli-Ann Lewis, who was present at the show, took to the web to not only correct the story but to give it some context.

Her account, and the dozens of videos posted to Youtube after the fact, offer a different account of what occurred– one in which Chappelle was interrupted minutes into his set– a mark of a crowd that became increasingly rowdy as he went on.

At one point he informed them;

You are booing yourself.  I want you all to go home and look in the mirror and say boo.  That’s how I feel about you.

Lewis’ article puts his reaction in context:

“While the racial makeup of the crowd was incidental, the way they treated Chappelle is not. It speaks to a long complicated history: the relationship between the White audience and the Black entertainer. This is a relationship you can easily trace to early minstrel shows, to archetypes of Blacks that still define the roles we’re offered today. We have seen more Black comedians bow to racist tropes, demean themselves—albeit unintentionally—for White audiences.

Chappelle wasn’t having a meltdown. This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has done so and it isn’t the first time his behavior has been characterized as a meltdown.”

The crowd at Hartford had something in mind that they wanted to see.  They wanted to hear bits from The Chappelle show– when he refused to comply, they got angry.  Not because his material was mediocre but because it wasn’t what they anticipated. There was no interest in listening to his set. What should have been a monologue turned into a dialogue featuring a hostile party.

He was being urged to shuck and jive and he refused.

Chappelle’s comments days later at another show in Chicago give us more insight into the comedian’s state of mind.  Cheered on by the crowd, Chappelle tackled the controversy.

So much better than Hartford.  I will never go back- I won’t even go to Hartford for fucking gas.  I don’t want anything bad to happen to the United States but if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford Connecticut… that crowd was evil.

Addressing the racial dynamic of the crowd, he joked:

I wanted to pull a reverse Kramer and call them all crackers or something like that. I knew that shit would be on Youtube. ‘Funnyman Dave Chappelle calls a room full of white people crackers. Couldn’t do that.  ‘Cause I felt bad when Kramer did that shit to us.

The Mayor of Hartford’s response?


Dave Chappelle asked the crowd in Hartford to respect him.

They declined.

He pushed back.

The city’s mayor told him to do some Yoga.

It’d be easy to brush this off as folks being overly sensitive or projecting racial insecurities onto something unrelated. But in truth– whether we’re discussing black women being used as props in Miley Cyrus’s act, or Dave Chappelle being drowned out by a hostile crowd– what we’re ultimately discussing is respect and the difference between delivering the joke as opposed to being its subject.

Rap Group Odd Future Kill the Cupcake Dead

If  you ever needed evidence beyond the absurdist creations on Cupcake Wars–Cheeto topped cupcakes, anyone?—that the gourmet cupcake craze is over, rap group Odd Future have proven without a doubt that the frosted, twee fad food is absolutely dead.

Before Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA)–a foul-mouthed Los Angeles based rap group signed to Sony Records, fond of the usual conjugations and variants of that four-letter f-word; tired, overused, crude terms for women;  expressions of violence including kidnapping, rape, and murder; sexual epithets; as well as  expounding anti-gay sentiments–played Chicago’s Pitchfork Festival in what music critic Jim DeRogatis called

the most controversial booking in the seven-year history of the Pitchfork Music Festival

the band, accompanied by their publicist, passed out cupcakes to volunteers manning the festival’s outreach booths for LGBTQ awareness, domestic violence resources, and rape victim advocates– groups whose message was specifically geared

to counter what they [the organizations] saw as dangerous expressions of hate, violence and homophobia in Odd Future’s music.

DeRogatis called Odd Future an

unexceptional live hip-hop act, no better or worse than a hundred other mediocre ones you’ve seen before, albeit even more than usually foul-mouthed,

while Chicago Sun Times’ Thomas O’Connor recounted that

the 45-minute set was a very average hip-hop show…nothing radical.

In a break between songs (which O’Connor described as)

hate speech…more like listening to Oi! (a racist punk subgenre) without guitars

replete with plenty of

f–k you bitch…f–ckin ‘ho…smack you, bitch

ad nauseum, lead singer Tyler the Creator acknowledged the recipients of his cupcake diplomacy with

“A big shoutout to the domestic violence groups out here”

then launched into one of the group’s masterpieces “I Got a Gun (You Better Run).” I guess that passes as humor? Irony?

As Odd Future closed with “Pidgeons,” with its chorus of

Kill people, burn s—, f— school

Tyler the Creator dedicated

this beautiful song to everyone who don’t like me, every protester … everyone writing a faggot-ass review of this show.

And what did Tyler tweet to fans along a photo of himself holding a box of cupcakes out to a volunteer?

Went And Gave The People Who Don’t Like Us Some Cupcakes.

Yes, the cupcake is dead, its final death throes not cause by perky bakers with squeaky, childlike voices and frilly aprons squeezing swirls of rose-scented, pink sparkly butter cream onto variations of red velvet bombes; but by crass performers who shallowly grandstanded the treats as calculated sop for the ignorance they spew.

[HT: Pop N Stuff/, Thomas O'Connor]

photo: screenshot from the Food Network show Cupcake Wars