By now, many of have already seen the one-two Mortal Kombat kick Solange served Jay-Z. But the crucial point was the photo of Jay, Bey and Solo leaving the elevator as though nothing happened. This is the epitome of being Sophistiratchet (pronounced sophista-ratchet). There’s a time and a place for EVERYTHING!
In a world full of BASICS and pure ratchetness, the key to surviving is not only to be original, but to also be sophistiratchet. I didn’t coin the term, and I don’t completely agree with urbandictionary.com’s definition either. However, I do claim to be in the upper echelon of sophista-ratchetry. In fact, I knight myself to be the king of sophistiratchetness with Issa Rae as the queen. (Who else you know can wittingly cuss a heaux out turn around and do an interview with Katie Couric? That’s a God-given talent!)
Understanding what sophistiratchet is isn’t hard nor complex. You see, currently, I’m trying to navigate this matrix called “corporate America.” (Oh sweet, Underwoods. Teach me your ruthless ways!) And to survive this matrix, you have to know the ‘art of ass kissing,’ which I haven’t quite conquered yet. ‘The art of ass kissing’ isn’t a new concept either. In fact, there are many well-known clichés that define the premises of the ‘art of ass kissing’:
- “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
- “Fake it till you make.”
All of these clichés ultimately mean “be fake,” which is something hard for me and Solange to do. The concept of being fake to “fit in culturally” (as so many jobs are now requiring) highly disturbs me. Even the practice of networking, which is essentially using folks, seems fake to me. And trust me, I’m not trying to go on a self-righteous hood rat rant about “keeping it real,” but honestly I’ve tried faking it on several occasions. For instance, pretending to care about a co-worker’s family pictures, when I honestly don’t. (Your kids are NOT that cute!) Another instance, becoming a dog owner to fit in at the office, when in all actuality I don’t like wiping my own ass. So, picking up the feces of a four-legged canine for a few licks in the mouth isn’t something my negritude will allow me to participate in at this point in my life. (For now, Sallie Mae is my pet, my “man’s best friend,” my “main bitch.”)
You see, most black folk (and other folk) try to distance themselves as much as possible from black culture and low class “antics” (YAAAS, Solange!) as they move up the economic ladder. They try so hard to fit in that they end up looking like Tom Dubois aka Don Lemon and Bill Cosby, just out of touch and out of line–a huge problem. I have no problem or no shame in representing where I came from. It has made me who I am. So, meddling between the two worlds of sophistication and ratchetry (or country-ness) isn’t a problem for me.
Another cliché constantly totted around is “be yourself.” But how can one be intrinsically true to thine self and be true to thine self at all times? (Read the afore written in a pretentious English accent .) By being sophista-ratchet. No. Sophista-ratchetry isn’t so much a dichotomy or play on words. It’s really being ethnically, culturally and intrinsically true to yourself no matter who you offend because (cliché alert) not everyone in this world will like you. So, you may as well like yourself. And concerning Solange, I’m sure she didn’t want her sophistication to publicly succumb to her ratchetness. But who doesn’t let loose behind closed (elevator) doors?