You may have exclaimed "Uhhhhhhh!" when you heard that New Orleans' favorite musically atrocious bounce rapper Master P is planning to launch a new cable network called Better Black Television (BBTV). P says it will be "a family-friendly network" with "positive subject matter," meaning it's designed to be a kick in the balls to BET, which has been knocked forever for having a trashy programming lineup. Master P jokes aside, could this thing actually work-and should it? We, the opposite of his target demographic, will tell you the answer: BBTV's announced show lineup so far includes hip hop video and interview shows with only "appropriate" music included; a comedy show; a kids' show called Gee Gee the Giraffe; a bilingual soap opera; a cooking show; a financial literacy show; a "behind-the-scenes" celebrity show; family-friendly black movies; and profiles of historical black figures. If you've spent much time watching BET, the lineup sounds awfully familiar. BBTV is essentially saying that it will be what everyone hoped BET would be before it degenerated into lots of infomercials, Juice reruns, and endless repetitions of, um, Master P videos. (Although BET has made a bit of a comeback with original programming recently, it hasn't been enough to resurrect its reputation for embracing stereotypical lowest-common-denominator black programming). So yes, the irony of Master P running a positive network is not lost on anyone. But give the man some credit. He went from selling tapes of his terrible music out of car trunks to running a business conglomerate that probably makes him worth more the Puff Daddy, his more glamorous NYC counterpart. BET has long had the "black cable network" idea to itself, which allowed it to get away with selling such crappy programming for so long. So P, we salute your business sense and your commitment to positivity, if not any of your 15 albums or your son's equally grating music. Master P could easily be the next black billionaire; he just needs to remember not to go so heavy on the music censorship that he blocks exposure for the next coming of himself. Uhhhhhhhh.
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