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Jan 29, 2006

Another Bad Creation: Greeting cards for Hip-hop heads · by Rafi Kam

Official Street Cards branches out for some Korean stereotyping in this card about friendship.

Until the Camron-Jay-Z-Nas news broke, the hot January topics on hip-hop blogs were hipsters hiding their good ol’ racism behind an ironic pose and whether or not Aaron McGruder had joined the ranks of Bill Cosby when he had a resurrected Martin Luther King Jr call out a bunch of ignorant “niggas” in a Boondocks episode.

For the record, all the hub-bub about both of these issues was fairly ridiculous.

Some of you then must prefer your assumptions of ignorance to come in earnest, more in a for-us-by-us mode and devoid of any ironic or satirical intent. If so this news item from AllHipHop is right up your alley.

Presenting Official Street Cards, a business idea so ignorant we can only wish it was satire.

From the Official Street Cards About page:

Official Street Cards began as an idea and as this idea grew it became a need. Growing up in the streets of Brooklyn, we learned to express ourselves through our music, dancing, walk, talk, clothing, and our writing… that’s when we, a group of B-boys and B-girls, decided it was time to put our hip-hop culture on a greeting card, thus, the beginning of Official Street Cards. OSC not only taps into the well known Ebonics slang but also the graff art we as hip-hoppers became so familiar with. Our aim at OSC is to reach individuals who wouldn’t buy a greeting card because of its word play…to corny or to mushy. We at OSC trust that to reach our hip-hop generation you must speak the language. OSC was created on the grimy streets of Brooklyn, with the goal to reach out to many others. The beauty of hip-hop is that it starts in the hood but reaches out across the world….

Doesn’t sound all that bad right? Trust me, it’s all in the execution….

The encouragement page has two cards on it. One is targeted to an aspiring basketball player and one to a frustrated would-be mc. A greeting card intended for an mc hopeful is sort of niche isn’t it? These guys might be taking the “Long Tail” too far.

How about encouraging kids to keep up at their school work? An underrated fact is that there are more kids in the hip-hop demographic in schools on any given weekday than there are ripping mics or dunking basketballs.

Perhaps if Official Street Cards could offer their encouragement in something more academic, they wouldn’t have their only blank coming-soon page be the section for Graduation cards! How about some Quality Control to prevent this embarassment? If you don’t have any graduation cards, at least take it off the damn category list.

The Father’s day page includes this picture of some kid smoking a blunt with Mos Def and this card from a kid whose Dad left him with nothing but a pair of Timbs to grow into.

The flipside are the Mother’s Day selections which show two cards thanking single working moms for getting the “doe”. A fine sentiment but did they both have to be MILFy mid-riff bearing construction workers (Thing 1 and Thing 2)? Not even one option for something generically professional or just relaxing at home? Why sexy construction workers? That’s not even a stereotype!

I’ve been saving the Lock Down category for last. Allow me to have my Bill Cosby moment now….

What the hell kind of ignorant crap is this? You won’t be AIGHT, you’re in jail dummy! And you’re spending your commissary on absurd greeting cards that make it seem like it’s ok that you’re in jail. Chris Rock said it but Official Street Cards wasn’t listening, “You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low expectation having mothafucka.”

What’s next from this company? Happy 1st of the Month? Happy Born Day? “I’m Gonna Kill You”?

Finally, does the whole thing have to be so cartoony? I just feel like these characters should go back to Cita’s World or to eating their Fruit & Walnut salads from Mickey D’s or maybe to carjacking folks in GTA. Even if the pigs catch them, they’ll be aight boo. That’s just keepin’ it real.

Comments for "Another Bad Creation: Greeting cards for Hip-hop heads"

  1. I kinda like the hood cards.

    I saw them in Harlem last year.

    Reninatronix    Jan 30, 02:19 PM   
  2. But that’s because you’re illiterate!

    rafi    Jan 30, 02:28 PM   
  3. By which I mean you’re ill literate.

    rafi    Jan 30, 02:33 PM   
  4. I had an idea for a series of greeting cards all to be grouped together as part of the “Going to Hell” line. These would be cards expressing sentiments you’d always felt but didn’t have the nerve to express. Once you had confirmed you were already going to hell, you could finally get some things off your chest.

    Joey    Jan 30, 03:27 PM   
  5. I got some “hood” postcards on my safari to the far regions of Bedford Stuyvesant last year.

    R.H.S.    Jan 30, 05:49 PM   
  6. I’ll Be Aight!

    I mean sure, I’m in jail. But at least I’m not in the Hole.

    Andy J    Jan 31, 01:34 PM   
  7. The street apparently inspires OSC to use cliched, hackneyed phrases like “I’m droppin’ you this line, to ask you this one more time, (Would you be my sweet Valentine?)” Christ, it’s the kind of rhyming that went out with the limerick. “There once was a girl from Nantucket…”

    And another thing… abbreviating the ‘g’ from dropping, does not a homie make.

    Next the OSC’ll be tellin’ me I really am lovin’ it, whenever I stuff a big Mac into my face. Idiots.

    George Aye    Jan 31, 05:31 PM   
  8. Dear Lord

    nuff said

    Panamagreen    Jan 31, 10:43 PM   
  9. well I just figured out where to get my girlfriend a valentine’s day card.

    oh and thank you for mentioning cita’s world, that made my fucking day.

    Serg    Feb 1, 02:57 AM   
  10. Yo dog, man them shits is dope fam. Don b dissin them cuz they tryin to make it to the top na mean? Props to da boys OSC!

    Raspberry Yall

    Raspberry Smooth E    Feb 1, 08:57 PM   
  11. Y’know… I had an idea like this once…

    It was a Jump… to Conclusions-mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor and it would have different conclusions written on it that you could… jump to.

    Tom Spikowski    Feb 2, 06:00 PM   
  12. - Fuck Compton.

    Boogie Down Abductions    Feb 4, 09:22 PM   
  13. MR.KAM




    JANINE    Feb 9, 05:14 PM   
  14. Turn her mic off!

    The Oh Word visitors will not be denied.

    rafi    Feb 9, 05:37 PM   
  15. Hey everyone I just got home from a long day of taking drugs off of the streets! What did I miss?

    R.H.S.    Feb 9, 08:00 PM   
  16. why so judgemental? who are you kidding? when was the last time you ventured from your bedroom in your mamma’s house to smell the real world??!! they are doing there thing and are not relying on government support who by the way are tired of calling your tired “arse” to pick up your WIC checks!!!!

    JANINE    Feb 11, 12:07 AM   
  17. You’re not supposed to be on government support, you low-expectation having mahfucka!!!

    I’ll be right back, I have to go purchase some delicious Rice Chex with my last WIC check…

    R.H.S.    Feb 11, 12:13 AM   
  18. After brutally decapitating an entire orphanage of cancer-stricken burn victims I was pretty damn sure I had skybox tickets to “Hell”. Then I found out about Official Street Cards and I sent one to each victim on my holla list. Six “Year of the Antelope’s” (China!) later all my sins were forgiven! Thank you OSC and Fuck You Mr. Kam for encouraging the death of orphans.

    I’m not returning to this faggot site ever again (unless you review the second to last DMX album from the perspective of a lowly General Mills factory worker, in which case I will totally subscribe to your weird RSS feed thingy). XOXOXOXO!1

    Agent G    Feb 12, 04:57 AM   
  19. srini oru alithayooli

    srini oru thevidiya mahan    Oct 6, 11:47 AM