Niki Minaj & White Supremecy vs. Malcolm X. I know Which Side I'm On. Do You?
Man, words fail me, yet, I feel a torrent of them welling up inside wanting to burst out. Then I ask myself, what difference will it make? Other than relieving me, if only temporarily, of the anger and disgust that I feel of course? Well, I’m sure I might get a lot of backlash for this, but I must and will get this out.
If there is anything I’ve learned over the years on Facebook and other networks, is that no matter how many pretty cards about peace, being positive, pro black/Latino/woman/sexual orientation that we post on line, no matter what our political or even religious beliefs, no matter whether we claim to be progressive or are just passively watching everyone else post, whether we post sunsets or pics of kittens, fact is, people don’t care enough about the bigger picture and are even less motivated to take a stand on any real subjects. I consider myself one of those people. But I’m trying to change that. Here’s one example I believe shows our collective weakness and ignorance and it’s one that the majority of us will be familiar with: pop culture.
Many are quick to believe (perhaps in the space between their ears mostly, though some actually are bold enough to post it) that everyone else but them are sheep, that they stand apart, and that because they are adults and it ain’t hurtin’ nobody, there is no harm in who they listen to, dance to, sing along to, buy records of etc. Yet, if only it were that simple.
How many of us go out and support, look up to, let our kids listen to, follow on Instagram/Fb/twitter etc, these straight up corporate whores who demean our women, our men, our families, neighborhoods, and even our history, then say, “oh, but it’s just a song?” I’m sure many of you will not bother to watch the attached video at all, the intelligent but angry black narrator will perhaps sound militant to you and well, we have been systematically programmed to believe that is a bad thing. Yet, what he says is spot on and it’s time all of us wake up to this shit! If you don’t, and hey, it’s your choice, know this, next time you sing along to Nicki Minaj, or any of these crap rappers that are one by one dismantling the progress made over the last few decades by men like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X (who so many of us are quick to post quotes of) and those that supported and followed them, you are participating and supporting the destruction of our people.
Over dramatic? I’m not sure how, in a world where people cry when a singer they never met dies, or someone gets eliminated from some senseless reality TV show, this could be considered over dramatic, but I also know, this is a very big issue, and many would prefer to ignore it. I get it. I’ve done that. Been doing that. But I can’t any longer. More than ever before I’ve been slowly leaning in a different direction ever since I held my first born in my hand, but now, well, now I make the clean break.
Now, this I’m sure is what will cause the most backlash, but oh well, here I go! Sorry Biggie and Tupac, screw you even harder Puff daddy aka p diddy aka diddy aka Uncle Tom, see you in hell Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, and all you sold out black, Latino, and whatever other races that have taken the beautiful art form of Rap and allowed it to be destroyed, in fact used it to harm our neighborhoods, our minds, our kids, our progress, our people. Fuck all them rap AND EDM, and Rock, and whoever else refuses to tackle positive, uplifting messages and instead sings only about sex, drugs, and violence. I mean how many more videos do we need to see of a horde or whores dancing around a got damn pool? Seriously? Are we that fucking clueless?
Listen, watch the video, don’t watch the video, keep supporting Nicki threesome, (she’s named after a sexy act people) and the like, but know that for many of us, if not the majority, our hands are not clean and we’re already seeing the results of it. And it’s only going to get worse for future generations. I’m ready to fight for my children. So as small as an effort as it is, I’m gonna get even stricter with the music I allow them to listen to -and wifey would appreciate this- with movies too.
I am fully aware that we simply cannot block our children from everything. What we can do however is give them the proper foundation. However, though I mention my children, fact is, the main point that I want to focus on, is about us adults. I believe that I and my fellow adults are the ones who need to stop listening, thus supporting this crap.
So many times we say, “hey, I’m grown. I know better, so I can listen to it cuz I know it’s fantasy.” Ironically enough, ask these people if they believe in the power of words, of the “spell” words hold and they’ll say they they do in fact believe in it – it just doesn’t apply to them, they believe. I say this is the “devil,” “ignorance,” “laziness,” and whatever else you want to call it, pulling the wool over our eyes.
I’m a grown man, but even I fall victim to the spell of these songs, to the deft defying lyrical abilities of the most versatile rappers and the gyrating bodies of impossibly gorgeous figures selling me nothing but lies. Look at Shakira and Rihanna’s latest vid. OMG! But what does it all mean?
What does it matter if a poet has great lyrical fortitude if he uses it only to relay to me, to our youth, over and over how much money he has garnered from selling drugs, how many chicks he’s banged, how many fellow brothers he physically beat up? We need to stop giving these people hall passes simply cuz they can string words together in cool ways. It’s almost, no, it IS us simply settling for and making excuses for them because if we reject them, we somehow reject a certain time in our lives, or maybe, we’re just too embarrassed; I’m sure they are as many reasons as there are dead n words in the lyrics of all the crap we have been listening to over the last two decades for why we have allowed this to go on. But not for one second will I trick myself into believing that the good positive rap outweighs the bad, especially from these I have named.
And allow me to touch on these certain characters I have referenced. Besides possibly dating myself a lil bit, some might say that these specific examples are no longer relevant, to which I reply with this. Whenever Biggies birthday or the anniversary of his death comes around, you see more posts about how great he was and how much he is loved/missed, than, dare I say, you see posts about Bob Marley’s bday/death day. You def see more than you do of Tupac, which is telling since he was the most militant and progressive of the two. No matter how you look at it, that’s straight despicable. As for Diddy, I guess now that he made his millions on this crap, he is off to other things so he is absolved? Oh, wait, I bet he ain’t gonna allow any of this negative stuff to be played on some new video channel he is alledgedly working on, right? I highly doubt it. Anyway, the fact that these figures are still inspiring or otherwise funding and steering in a negative direction, the creative endeavors of our youth, as proven by the countless references to them in the songs of the new age artists, makes their irrelevance, relevant.
As for Jay Z. I am the most disappointed in him. I mean am I t
o believe that when Harry Belafonte, who possibly was feeling irritated at the moment and was perhaps releasing years of disappointment (keep in mind what he has done) made an off the cuff comment it hurt Jay Z so much, he had to put it in song, to be on record for the rest of history, for not only our youth but all people for years to come to hear and that is somehow justified? I guess two wrongs make a right is passé, now, it’s “one wrong is going to be met with an even bigger wrong and I will be forgiven/justified for it.” Sorry, I won’t subscribe to that.
Jay Z could have invited Belafonte onto Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose, Oprah, a got damn TED conference, the local bar and had a talk, he didn’t have to brand Belafonte “Mr. Day-O,” or “Hublot homie, two door homie” on a record for the rest of history. And no, he gets no love cuz he has said a line or two about the “shit I do for the homies” and giving anonymously. The rest of his raps are “fantasy” why should I or anyone believe that line is any different, that it isn’t just more boasting?
Listen, I don’t know if there is some sort of conspiracy where the Illuminati is brainwashing and buying out our rappers or not, but whether we are being manipulated or not, neither scenario is good and we are participating wholeheartedly nonetheless. So either way, we need to take a stand. And I don’t know how much if anything Jay Z or any other rapper has given to charity, but if they are going to boast song after song about their riches, can’t they at least drop a few lines inspiring our communities to give to each other without exposing themselves as philanthropists, cuz you know, that would be the death knell in the career of any respectable rapper?
And while we’re on the subject of lyrical content… we’re so accustomed to this dreary, violent, derogatory bottom of the barrel crap, that we have all but forgotten the versatility inherent in the art form of rap. There are millions of other everyday topics we could be touching on. If we could hear a million songs on how one black man can destroy another, why not a million stories about waking up, putting on a suit or a nice dress and feeling great and upon stepping into traffic, the subway etc., experiencing one of those lil moments of racism all us people of color, especially our black men, experience on a day to day basis? And not a song in which the story has a violent ending or anything, but perhaps artistically and creatively delving into the thought process and the pain one feels due to this, and if further inclined, how we can overcome it with intelligence, being better citizens, and so on?
Why not a million songs about a sister struggling to be respected not only by other races but by men in her community? A million songs about how to raise our children, treat our women, our elders, our neighborhoods, our historical figures; a million songs about the affect of the killing and subsequent conclusion in the unjust killings of Devon Martin and Jordan Davis just to name two, while NEVER once using the n word!
I am sure we can come up with a million other topics we could be rapping about, and get this, the songs can still be cool enough, funky enough to sing out loud while they play on the radio, dance to, have a good time at the club with. Wow, imagine that. Imagine that.
In the meantime, if you’re going to support this crap, then please don’t post quotes from Bob Marley, Gandhi, MLK, Malcolm X, Alan Watts, the bible, etc., just don’t do it; spare their memory and spare us the hypocrisy! If you feel this applies to you, please, take it and swallow it completely.
If you are in need of a quote however, please feel free to ponder then post the following. I’m not a bible thumping anything, but this verse is truth:
“When I was a child,a I used to speak like a child, think like a child, REASON like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”