Comedians provide an invaluable commodity to the community-at-large: the joy of laughter. Their words stimulate the body, by provoking physiological reactions, and at times, with a rare talent, an experienced comic actor can stimulate the mind and soul as well.
Following in the footsteps of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, Katt Williams joins a small cadre of comedians who have mastered the art of improvisation and generated a body of work that stands well against the test of time. In fact, this past November, Warner Brothers Records released a box set that features three of his best-selling albums: The Pimp Chronicles (2006), American Hustle (2007), It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’ (2008).
Upon review of the box set, I was reminded of all the intense laughs that streamed tears down my face during listening sessions and viewing parties with my friends and co-workers. Today (and forever, I presume), I will remain a student of the knowledge shared in his stand-up sets.
In all honesty, I do not remember the day or the time I became first acquainted with Micah “Katt” Williams. Such details are unimportant, however, when I reflect on the lingering effect Pimp Chronicles (Part 1) had on my emotional psyche and outlook on life. My favorite bits include “Haters” and “Self-Esteem,” with the former encouraging listeners to strive for success in the face of adversity and the latter jokingly lambasting women who wallow in self-deprecation.
Although Katt Williams’ “sermons” tend to be a bit crass, due to his proclivitous use of expletives, he gives humorous insight into two universal truths. On one hand, the presence of haters increases exponentially with one’s attainment of personal greatness. And on the other, we, as individuals, tend to be our harshest critics.
In “Haters,” Katt Williams jokingly lectures the audience:
“Live your motherf**king life. You gotta get your motherf**king hustle. Understand ni**as gonna hate you regardless. Get that outta your head—that fantasy world where ni**as ain’t hating on you. You gotta be grateful. You need haters. What the f**k is you complaining about? What the f**k do you think a haters job is: to f**king hate. Let them motherf**kers do their godd**n job. What the f**k is you complaining about? Ladies, if you got 14 women hating you on you, then you need to figure out how the f**k to get to 16 before the summer gets here. What the f**k is you mad about? Fellas, if you got 20 haters, you need 40 of them motherf**kers. What the f**k is you complaining about? If there are any haters in here right now and don’t have nobody to hate on, the feel free to hate on me. Sit back there and say my hair ain’t luxurious, when you know it is, b***h.”
In “Self-Esteem, ” Katt Williams light-heartedly reprimands the women in attendance:
“Ladies, I’m telling you: “You gotta be the s**t to you!” Stop waiting on a ni**a to verify whether you the s**t or not. B***h, if you the s**t, then you the motherf**king s**t. We tired of y’all getting with us and blaming us for s**t we ain’t even in control of. You done got with a ni**a and now you talking about: “You f**ked up my self-esteem.” B***h, it’s called self-esteem. It’s the esteem of your motherf**king self, b***h. How the f**k can I mess up how you feel about you, simple b***h. I’m just saying ladies, stop tripping on s**t that don’t even motherf**king matter. Never in the history of ni**adom has a ni**a been getting ready to have sex with a woman and changed his mind because her fingernails and toenails didn’t match. Not never. Not never! Never has a ni**a been putting on a condom and said: “Bitch, is that plum and red? I can’t even do it, b***h. I’m outta here. I can’t even do it.”
In 2007, Rolling Stone hailed Katt Williams as “the next Richard Pryor.” And considering his hilarious supporting role in Friday After Next as “Money Mike,” as well as his guest appearances on BET (“Comic View”) and MTV (“Wild ‘n Out”), there is no denying his status as a prominent cultural fixture.
During Season 5 of Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List, she sought Katt Williams’ advice, in order to prepare for a special performance at the Apollo Theater. At the beginning of the segment, Griffin notes that Williams is her favorite stand-up comic and that he is America’s best-selling touring comic.
In 2008, Katt Williams’ hugely successful It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’ tour traveled to 100 cities. At the end of the year, however, he retired at age 35. Although I hope that Mr. Williams will reconsider his retirement, the compilation of work inside of his Katt Boxx will entertain listeners for many years to come.