5 Reasons Why You Should Buy...: "Patrice O'Neal's Mr. P": "If You Want The Truth, Buy 'Mr. P.' If You Want To Laugh, Buy 'Mr. P'"
Thursday, Feb 9, 2012 12:00PM
[With late comedian Patrice O'Neal known for filling people with timeless laughter, his wife Vondecarlo Brown gives you her Top 5 reasons to buy his posthumous Mr. P album.]
1. Keep Patrice Alive
It is a personal goal of mine to keep Patrice's voice and philosophies alive, so if you want to help me do that, buying his first and only comedy album is definitely a way to do that. But what's in it for you? Knowledge and laughter. People always ask me, what's the difference between Patrice at home and Patrice on stage, and without hesitation, I say "absolutely nothing". I've never seen him write for the stage. I've only seen him work out his thoughts in real life on our friends, our daughter, and myself. His interpretations of life, love, relationships, race, and politics all come from a place of such truth and honesty that it can and will make you uncomfortable. And what do most of us do when we are uncomfortable? Laugh. If you want the truth, buy Mr. P. If you want to laugh, buy Mr. P.
2. Support Integrity
Patrice, as he would say, was a hard one to support industry wise since he was so anti industry. He used to always say, "no one in Hollywood stands alone. Everyone needs permission to support something. Everyone is too afraid to lose their spot". So how could someone that was so anti-industry have any outward support from the industry? But he did have their love and respect, which was evident in their reactions to his death. I think a lot of people in the industry quietly admired Patrice's integrity and courage to stand strong and not sell his soul for fame and fortune. He only wanted to do the Charlie Sheen [television] Roast, he said, so he could shake his (Charlie's) hand and tell him how much he respected him for standing up to the powers that be on such a high level. I also remember when he did the Charlie Sheen Roast, how surprised he was to find out that Slash from Guns & Roses was a fan of his. He never felt he was known much outside of the comedy community. When Patrice did "Jimmy Fallon" to promote Elephant in the Room, the Roots band played the song "Creep" as he entered, and that meant a lot to him. He was so impressed that Questlove from the Roots was a fan of his and the "Opie & Anthony Show." He always seemed really shocked to know that people of the hip-hop community knew who he was since hip-hop has such a young pop culture type fan base. He felt that he himself had a limited fan base, but he understood why. His comedy contains very strong material for an audience of a very mixed crowd racially, but they are also usually a more mature and experience group of people. I guess, in a sense, to know that he was loved and respected in the hip-hop community as well shows that hip-hop has grown up a bit. It is certainly not just a fad for kids like it was once thought to be.
3. Love The Honest Mentor
Patrice was a music fan and loved all music in general. He gave me the opportunity to write and produce the music for his Comedy Central special Elephant in the Room, which was very intimidating. Not only because it was my first major job producing and writing, but also because I was producing and writing a song for Patrice; and I know he knows music, and I know he knows what he wants. I also know he would never say something is good and use it just to spare my feelings. If something is good, it's good. If it's bad, it's bad. A persons feeling's about the truth was never his concern. Especially when it came to his work. He was a perfectionist when it came to any project that he was working on. So, he told me it was between me and Run DMC's Rock Box, and of course I thought I was going to loose that battle. But I gave it a shot anyway, and six song submissions to him later (yes, six) he said to me "yes, that's the one". He was determined to have his own original music to walk out on stage to, and the only direction he gave me was to "write a song that you think your man should step out to". I just starred at him and he patted me on my head and said, "you can do it". I honestly think he was just proud to be in a position to give me an opportunity as an artist. He was on a journey to get himself into a position to help, not just me, but everyone in his circle that he believed in, to get opportunities that he felt they might not ever get. He said the entertainment business is "incestuous" and he needed to be the boss for his people. In every script he wrote, and in every project he created, there was a part written or spot created not only for myself, but also for everyone in his circle if he could find a place for any and all of us. He had a strong desire to help everyone grow as artists and people. That is who he was. A mentor and a leader that found intense joy in helping others that he believed in, not just within his circle, but lots of times, strangers in general life situations as well. He also co-executive produced my debut album. The first single, "Honest Righteousness" is a song I wrote about my feelings for Patrice. He called it "the stalker song".
4. Comedy Is What Feelings Sound Like, Just Like Music
Some of Patrice's favorite songs were (in no particular order):
1. Carley Simon - Nobody Does it Better
2. AMG - Bitch Betta Have My Money
3. Howard Tate - Get It While You Can (He would sing this to me all the time : )
4. Rufus Thomas - The Breakdown
5. RUN DMC - Rock Box (and EVERY Run DMC song LOL)
6. Chubb Rock - Treat'm Right
7. Tom Jones - She's A Lady (He would sing this one to me as well : )
Otis Redding was his favorite singer, and Public Enemy along with Run DMC was two of his favorite Rap groups. He also liked the Beatles. He was not particularly fond of any current music. The only current song I've heard him mention and say out loud that it was a good song was Miguel feat J Cole All I Want is You.
Patrice loved music with meaning. He loved music that was fun. He loved feeling happy. If music is truly what feelings sound like, then from the two songs he would sing to me, and tell me that those songs made him think of me, then I would say that he loved me a lot. I'm so proud and blessed to have experienced the true feeling of love, and I miss him so much. Music certainly is a universal language because it can interpret to others how we feel, and sometimes even reveal things to ourselves that we did not realize. So, if comedy is what feelings sound like as well, then listening to Patrice will certainly give you more insight to him, as well as yourself.
5. If You Didn't Know Him, This Is A Good Start. If You Did Not Of Him, Then You Know Nothing Is Ever Repeated
Patrice's comedy does not need a back-story. From the moment he first stepped on stage, until his very last gig at Caroline's on Broadway, Patrice's material was fresh and new; relative to the place in which he was in his life. Once his material became a product for a special, you never heard him repeat it again. You may hear it repeated by many far less brilliant comedians that lack originality so they try and take his thoughts and spew it out in a far less illustrious way, but why bother with that?
Thank you for your time and thank you for helping me to keep his voice alive.
You Decide. Will you purchase Patrice O'Neal's Mr. P?
SOHH/Mr. P Twitter Contest:
Want a chance at winning your own copy? Here's what you gotta do:
1- Follow @sohh & @sohhdotcom on Twitter.
Beginning around 3 PM EST, check out SOHH's Twitter accounts for questions based on Vondecarlo Brown's 5 Reasons you should buy the album. Make sure when you answer the question, you include the hashtag #SOHHPatriceONeal in your response. G'luck!