Pop singer John Mayer-with his mouth uncharacteristically closed.

Once upon a time, I really, REALLY liked John Mayer. I was definitely an early adopter. I can remember getting a promo copy of “Room for Squares” in fall 2001 and falling in love with it almost immediately. “Heavier Things” and “Continuum” are both probably among my Top 20 if not Top 10 albums of the past decade. I thought (and honestly still think) that the guy is a top-notch lyricist, and that people who only know him for “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Daughters” are missing out.

That said, over the past couple of years, he has turned into a supreme douchebag. Or perhaps that quality was there all along and I never noticed it before. Lately, John has gone from someone who I wouldn’t mind getting drunk in a bar with to someone who I’d probably backhand if I ran into at a bar (provided he didn’t have tons of security with him). I think I’ve been very good at separating my appreciation from an artist’s craft from my appreciation of an artist’s personality (see: Jackson, Michael), but his mediocre latest album combined with some things he’s said recently has caused him to drop a few notches on my publicity meter.

Granted, lots of media types have jumped on Mayer’s latest pronouncements (in a yet-to-be-published Playboy interview) and taken them a bit out of context (including Perez Hilton, who’s a bigger douchebag than John Mayer is)-as a result, theyre trying to brand him as a racist. Do I think that’s the case? No. Has John apparently not realized that there’s a fine line between politically incorrect and idiotic? Probably. Do I think John suffers from a chronic case of diarrhea of the mouth? Absolutely. Let’s break down some of the more quotable elements from the article and see what we come up with.

Quote #1-re: Jessica Simpson:

“That girl is like crack cocaine to me. Sexually it was crazy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm. Did you ever say, ‘I want to quit my life and just fucking snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to fuck you, I would start selling all my shit just to keep fucking you.'”

That quote is actually kind of amusing. Let’s keep it real here-if you have any knowledge of who Jessica Simpson is, do you think anyone is keeping this airheaded bimbo around for her mental capacities? While there’s a slight chance that her dumb blonde image is a farce and she’s actually a quite intelligent young lady, you’ve gotta admit that the possibility of that being the case is pretty farfetched. So you kinda have to give John props for being honest here. Jessica Simpson knows how to throw the pussy. No surprise. Church girls are always the freakiest.

Quote #2: regarding his popularity in the Black community:

“Someone asked me the other day, ‘What does it feel like now to have a hood pass? And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, ‘I can’t have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.'”

I kinda understand what he’s trying to say here. He’s basically saying “I can’t really have a hood pass because I’ve never had the ‘hood experience'”.  If you take the time to read into the statement in its’ proper context, what he’s saying makes a lot of sense. Most people who even use the term “hood pass” use it to describe black folks in general-even black folks who don’t live in “the ‘hood” and can’t relate to that environment at all.

However, John nullifies any intellectual value in that comment by throwing out the “N” bomb. I have a very specific issue with the word “nigger” because a lot of times it’s not easy to understand what context the word is being used in. Is every white person who uses that word racist? No. Is every black person who uses that word using it as a term of endearment? No. What do we do with people of other cultures who use the word? Just because people like DJ Khaled (Middle Eastern) and Fat Joe (Puerto Rican) identify with hip-hop culture, is it OK for them to use the word even though they’re not black (my answer’s no)? This leads into a whole other conversation about the word “nigger” and who I feel should be allowed to use it (no one at all), but that’s a long-ass conversation that I’ll save for another article. Of the three eyebrow-raising comments John is being raked over the coals for, this is the only one that really irritates me, just because he never should have thrown that word out there, and the fact that he uses it in a public forum in this specific context-while I still don’t believe the dude’s racist, I still think that maybe he thought he had enough of a quote-unquote hood pass to use the word and not get in trouble for it. Fail.
Quote #3: regarding dating Black women:

“My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fucking David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.”

OK. So basically he’s saying that he’s not sexually attracted to black women-I think. If he’s not saying that, then he’s saying that his sexual past has not included Black women, which would be an even more benign statement than the first one. Granted, what he said was insensitive and crass, but is that offensive in and of itself? Only if you’re  a black woman with a crush on John Mayer. There are plenty of people in the word who are not sexually attracted to people of different ethnicities, and that doesn’t make them inherently racist. If you flip that statement 180 degrees, would there be an outcry if, say, Jay-Z did an interview and said he wasn’t sexually attracted to white girls? Shit, I think there would be more of an outcry if Jigga did an interview and said he WAS sexually attracted to white girls. Just because someone of a different ethnicity doesn’t make your dick hard doesn’t mean that you HATE them.

Ultimately, it’s much ado about (basically) nothing. People love to start shitstorms and make mountains out of molehills, and that’s all this is. Does it give me the impression that John Mayer is a self-possessed asshole? Absolutely. Does it give me the impression that John Mayer is a racist? No. People-whether in the public eye or not-are prone to say stupid shit (and I’m sure the fact that John was allegedly drinking as he carried on the interview didn’t help matters). Granted, the comments he made were in poor taste, but nothing he said was vile enough that it would make me stop buying his albums-so long as they’re still good (and that last album definitely put me in the skeptical zone). It might do John some good, however, if he used his mouth more for singing than he did for talking.

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