If you’re late to the weird Internet exchange between myself and Tom Hanks’s son, Chester Hanks, who inexplicably is a rapper who goes by the name “Chet Haze,” then you can catch up here, here or here. And in the end, we’re exactly in the spot I feared, Chester has compeletly chickened out of a competition he suggested - and here’s how…
During the exchange, Chester challenged me to a rap battle, which I believe at the time he assumed was something that would never be accepted by a random “comedian” on Twitter. What Chester didn’t know, and probably the reason he Googles EVERYTHING now, is that a little over ten years ago I was crowned one of LA’s best battlers, and actually got a million dollar Interscope record deal because of it. He dug himself a hole when I quickly accepted and every moment since has ignored his challenge. He ran quickly away from any rap comparison and instead just issued repeated physical threats to me (a “blogger nerd”), choosing to incorrectly spell words in his tweets and act like he’s writing a 1990’s Ice Cube song. Like he wasn’t the 5 year old at the Toy Story premiere.
And Chester, when it comes to being a “nerd” on the Internet, I’m not sure I could ever top your accolades.
Since the Twitter exchange, Chester and his manager Briggs, have avoided any and all opportunities to follow up on Chester’s challenge. We were offered a large-scale, streamed live battle, with all profits benefitting a charity to fund music programs in underprivileged neighborhoods. He said no. The latest and greatest avenue opened last week, when Howard Stern extended an invitation for an in-studio dual appearance, where we would battle live on-air. Chet and Briggs again stated they’ll reject any and all offers, and asked us to lose their contact info.
I’ve never had a problem with Chester being Tom Hanks’s son, although he repeatedly tries to make it about that. Being Tom Hanks’s son is actually the coolest part about the dude. Chester recently tweeted, “You think you may know what my life is like, but you have no fuckin idea,” then 5 hours later tweeted a picture from the Saving Mister Banks red carpet. Listen, we know what your life is like, Chester. You seem to be the only person who doesn’t. And that’s my actual problem.
What bothers me is that you’ve weirdly immersed yourself in a character, one you’ve created from emulating rappers you love, and gangsters you’ve seen on TV or in movies, and created this “Chet Haze” persona. You were raised in Malibu and Brentwood and graduated the very difficult Northwestern University with a degree in Theater (which makes sense actually), but pretend like you’re on The Wire. My sole problem is that you’re not being real.
The only real thing I’ve noticed while talking with you is that you’re the only member of the Hanks family that your dad doesn’t follow on Twitter - and that shit is sadder than Jenny dying of AIDS. Cause even he knows: Chet Haze is a disgrace. I was actually just trying to help. I wanted to resurrect Chester Hanks.
You’re a joke, Chester. You and Briggs are like the new Jay Z and Dame Dash, without the talent. Or drive. Or ability to realize what’s good for your careers. Or self awareness. Or talent again. Dodging your own challenge is really just the final punchline. I hope this post gets retweeted and reblogged enough so that whatever music video or song you release in the future always gets placed somewhere near this reminder that you ran from a battle you initiated, and in turn don’t actually know what hip hop is. Hip hop is Shan vs. KRS. Hip hop is Eminem at the Rap Olympics. Hip hop is Eyedea at Skribble Jam. Hip Hop is 2nd Round Knockout. Hip hop is authenticity and standing by your assertions. And as a result, hip hop isn’t you.
Just be yourself, Chester, you’ll be surprised how many of your “haters” will go away. Until then, you’re too afraid to battle a “blogger nerd.” Don’t worry though, I won’t say your name again, and I doubt anyone else will either.