Our Brother Richard Pryor was more than a comedian. He did more than curse and tell dirty jokes. If that's what made him money, that says more about what the paying audience put up their earnings to be entertained by than his capacity to perform. This dynamic of investing into a percentage of a person...and discarding the remainder...to relegate them to a...controllable, predictable commodity...has not evaporated. It has merely evolved...into something digital.
Before it did, there was Rich. He had Chapelle Show before Chapelle...on NBC at that. He was why Saturday Night Live pre-empted their live simulcasts by 5 seconds. They did not know what he was going to say...and knew there was a chance he could say anything. As his star grew, so grew the need to control his image/tone. So movies w/ character and heart like Busting Loose and Which Way Is Up conceded to the caricatured and clown-styled likes of The Toy and Brewster's Millions. No disrespect to Stir Crazy but I preferred Car Wash b/c it had characters that reminded me of ppl I saw when I went outside. That relatability...identifying w/ that genius level of expression...is of the utmost importance when developing your own voice...especially in a society...that just wants you to shut up and get over it...whatever it is...and no matter whether you deserved it...or if you were a victim.
This is not a celebration of victimhood though. This is an acknowledgement that the Jester was the only one in the Kingdom that could make fun of the King...and that our beloved Brother Rich taught many how to be Jesters speaking in their own terms and in their own skin. The wordplay "Rich Prior to being Stolen" should be read literally but considered figuratively in respect to what riches society may strip you of in pursuit of what it defines as success. Define it for yourself.
Screen printed w/ love on:
- 100% combed ringspun cotton fine jersey
- 4.3 oz.