Just a thought…a long one


As I sit here on the Q Train bumping “Read My Mind” from The Killers I remembered I got some killing to do myself. Now when I say kill I mean it in the figurative sense only. Even though I’m currently bumping some alternative the subject of this piece is Hip Hop under fire.

We all know the racist undertones of society aren’t leaving anytime soon. As long as the “Powers that be” continue to rule this country, Afro Americans will be considered second class citizens. Not too long ago we got our “Freedom”. Although we were one of the first immigrants here (need I remind you it wasn’t by choice) we still endure many limits to this day.

Now I’m not what you call a “Lazy Nigga”. I believe this is the land of opportunity and hard work will take you far. At the same time I know the Matrix isn’t built in our favor. Many years ago we were proud to be Black. Jay-Z said it best on “It Ain’t Personal” and I quote: “Ya’ll both Broke there ain’t no strain on the relationship”. With that said let me go back to my people. In the 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s we as a people stood together. All we had was our pride and us. Being treated like animals made us band together and in turn sparked a revolution.

This Era brought Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and many others. We were strong, proud and for the most part peaceful. Since The Matrix couldn’t rid itself of us, it decided to adapt and fix the problem. They sniped Martin, played us against ourselves to kill Malcolm and much more. The same situation occurred with the Panthers. We were broken as a people but the powers that be knew this was only temporary, they had to make this permanent.

Now “The Man” knew total poverty and oppression would only spark another revolutionary wave. It’s like when you put a crab in a pot. If the waters boiling and you put it in the crab will try to get out. If it’s cold and you put it in and let it slowly get warmer it won’t make any attempts to escape. That’s the game plan that’s been put into place since the early 70′s. A few of us were let in to give us hope that change was happening. To an extent it was but I have a theory of my own.

If you give someone nothing they will fight. Give the same person a little you can hold out for a longtime. So now we have credit, leases, and such. We are now ruled by our possessions. The only thing that satisfies us is the accumulation of more junk. Like Kweli said “Were survivalists turned consumers”. The illusion of a semi level playing field is what has been bestowed upon us. Today we go through new and improved racism. Racial Profiling from the police, not getting a job when qualified (we need affirmative action whether you believe in it or not) for it. During this change of strategy a new generation was born, some call it Gen X.

In this generation we as a people have made the entertainment and sport industries our own. Hip Hop came around during a time when opportunity for the Afro American was reflective of the civil rights era. Sure we had OJ Simpson running Touchdowns and Richard Prior making us laugh. But remember, we had Ali and Dick Gregory back then too.

Spoken word over break beats became the sound of the black youth. Artists like Busy Bee, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-1 created music that woke up the world reminding the masses that were a creative force when it comes to music. Do you remember Rock N Roll, yea we made that too. Songs like “The Message” and “Self Destruction” spoke of the troubles in the streets. The music demanded change in our communities. The music however made a change.

As the 80′s rolled by a new epidemic struck the black community with avengeance. We now know it as CRACK. Once again the man made his play and played us against each other. The Reagan Era left a bitter taste in our mouths. The sound of the people swayed from the happiness and revolution to straight Gangsta. The music painted pictures of the results of the Crack epidemic.

Songs like “Fuck The Police” and “Dope Man” emerged. The tales of street hustling and black on black crimes in our communities were the norm. When people like C. Delores Tucker and Dan Quayle stepped in wanting to ban the music it only made it more popular. Big business realized what a cash cow this music was and decided to get with the program. Only problem was they only wanted to fund one form of the music, that gangsta lifestyle. Less acts like De La Soul were getting signed and more like Snoop were being welcomed in.

Today Hip Hop is under a microscope and the witch hunt is on. The sad part is that the hunt is being led by our own people. I call them The “Upper Crusted Negro” (I’ll elaborate more another piece). All of a sudden they want to play all knowing and all seeing. Now they want to police there own and say what is right. But they damn sure wouldn’t invite you over for dinner. I haven’t seen any real rallies for justice like our true leaders of the past. They’re to use to sitting on there high horse and judging from there.

At first I took it as just people being Snobbish. After reading The Mis-Education of the Negro I’ve come to realize this isn’t new. Instead of making an attempt to come to some common ground they want to shut shit down. Judging from there pseudo Cosby family lives acting as if there skin isn’t the same as 50 Cent. I’m not in full defense of the rappers but I do have some form of understanding. Many of them have witnessed or heard second hand some of the terrible tales they paint. None of what they say is new to our communities. Crack, Murder and Prostitution run rampant in the ghetto. If the problem wasn’t there would they write about it.

Am I saying it’s right to promote this to children, definitely not. Were still not looking at the real culprets in this situation. We should attack the parents for allowing the TV to baby sit them. Too many kids are left alone to figure out life. You order channels pumped with sex, violence, and drug use then get mad when your child makes the wrong choice. Who really is to blame in that situation. Then you have the corporations distributing the music. Children can go in and purchase explicit copies without being carded. If they can be checked for movies then why not music.

When I was 10 I’d sneak and listen to Black Sheep’s “You mean I’m not” song. The explicit content of that song had me open for those few minutes. After the song ended though so did the fantasy. I knew the song and its content was inappropriate because of the buffer my parents laid out for me. It helped me to not glorify this lifestyle on CD but to enjoy it like watching Rambo.

Now I know that all of us aren’t blessed with real parents or a healthy family situation. I for one propose that many of us (all races) should be neutered or spaded for the most part. Until my law is passed we shouldn’t put free speech on trial. The motion picture association permit children under 17 from seeing R-Rated movies. The music industry and its outlets (retail, radio, television) should regulate themselves as well. Distributors of the content should regulate children’s use and viewing habits of inappropriate material. If artists realize that the negative persona becomes less profitable some might change to satisfy the customer.

We as a people never look at the Big Wigs up top who really allow this. We always let “Massa” get away with murder and tell on Toby. Same goes for the youth in the ghetto. So easy it is to murder a brother, but they won’t take that same gun and lay down a cop. This new attack on ourselves is simply the man playing Gepettos. Today there are kids of color attending the best private school across the nation because their parent’s make money off rap. We have multi-millionaires feeding numerous black families across the country. Curtis Jackson no longer peddles drugs in his community. I’m pretty sure he took several other dealers off the street too. At the at the same time inspiring a child from South Side to become a CEO and not a dealer. Maybe one day his son, or Puff’s, or someone else’s will become a senator for the people.

Some may sell out, become snobbish, and be the new “Upper Crust” but hey. The possibility of new management in The Mans cabinet is more than enough reason to want to stop this cash cow for Blacks. In closing I feel we should educate each other so the change can come gradually. We can’t point and blame thinking that will bring change. I love Hip Hop, and the entrepreneurial spirit of it helped make me who I am today. It was Puff, Jay, and Russell who inspired me…..not Jesse or Al Sharpton (I’ll fry those coons another time).

2 Responses to “Just a thought…a long one”

  1. R. Kelly's Lawyer Says:
    May 29th, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Good post dude.

    Just like Russell, Jay & Puff inspired you, there are rappers the inspire other youngins too. Whether they want to the role models or not, they are forced into the position. That being said, they should separate their music from their lifestyle.

    Hip hop is a powerful tool, but it seems like we’ve forgotten how to use it. There were moments when I thought were heading on the right track. The Vote or Die campaign (eventhough we didnt win) had a record amount of young voters nation wide. Then we go back to coonville ala the whole “Stop Snitching” campaign.

    [Black & Ethnic] Politicians are threatened by hip hop cause its bigger than them. So every chance they get, they will try top ban it first chance they get. Our “artist” with their bird-flipping, snatching each others jewelry, misogynistic behavior, and other coonery are only helping their cause. If you know you are under a microscope, dont load your vehicle with guns and drugs then drive 100mph through a city street.

    Dont get me wrong, Im not a solely a neo-soul, backpacking, coffee shope-esque fam. I like the punch-you-in-the face, cocky rap too. I just feel like they should be more aware of their audience. People watch what you do in and out of the studio…

  2. NativeAmericaIndianX Says:
    June 3rd, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    First of all whoever wrote this i must say i’m impressed. As far as i’m concerned your points are accurate and valid. I have a problem with the whole rich black folk house negro mentality. People don’t realize when these people talk about selling drugs that its a reality for a lot of young men and women. Its hard to think about the consequences of your acts when your trying to “get some money to feed your daughter” and $6.50 an hour for 20 hrs a week aint cuttin. All these problems stem from the lack of opportunities available even to those capable of taking advantage of them, and a never ending sense of hopelessness. We’ll never fully be out the ‘trap’ as a people because we have been part of an intricately made plan to stay down or remain within a hopeless state of mind. The fact that white folks dance around the subject of racism as if it didn’t really happen tells you all you need to know about where we’re going. So for the time being all us blacks got is sports and entertainment until we even. And to the those that want to turn their nose up to these young men and women who have literally made something out of nothing i challenge you to come up with a better option than the ones Jay-Z so prophetically mentioned, until we’re even.

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