Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Everybody's favorite, once-great-but-now-relies-on-controversy-to-sell-records-rapper, is back with "Be A Nigger Too."
According to Nas this song, and album, is supposed to "take power away from the word" by beating it to death. Though I can understand his reasoning, somewhat, I don't think he has enough credibility to take on a task of that magnitude. Hell...he can't even articulate that in interviews or through song.
"I'm a nigga, he's a nigga, she's a nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga toooo...::breathe::... NIGGA!
It's not working. By allowing people who have not been oppressed by the word to use it freely only serves to grant those same people the right to oppress. Those people that are now allowed by the savior Nas to call themselves "nigga/er" will have the privelege or playing both sides of the fence when it's convenient. That white kid that puts on the doo-rag at a Nas concert and sings along with this song only has to put on a suit the next day to release the word's baggage when it's time to go to that job interview. That Asian kid that is allowed to call himself "nigga/er" probably won't have to deal with getting pulled over for driving while Asian. Pressing the issue only serves to make it worse.
Nas disappoints me. As much as I think he was one of the greatest lyricists of my time off of the stength of two albums (whatever, bitch! It Was Written was a classic!) he proves more and more with each album that as much as he tries to portray himself as the conscious rapper, he's just as confused as I am with the positions that he chooses to take. This particular song is conscious-light. If you really listen to the song, it has no substance. He even drops the attempt at social commentary and reverts back to materialism and violence in the second verse.
The more I think about it, I don't think that he's even pulling the strings in his own career. I think that his controversial angles as of late are makeovers forced upon him by his label to sell records--his artist development meeting probably went something like this...
Label Head: "You're our conscious rapper. That's the look and the market you're going for, right? You're hip...you're with it. Much cooler and edgier than your competiton Table Kweeli and Most Definite. How about we call your album Nigger and sell some records!"
Nas: "True indeed, son. Let's get this paper."
I read an article that stated that Young Buck was recently denied permission to put out a song that had an anti-police message; that same article cited how Def Jam would not allow Public Enemy to reference Mumia Abu Jamal or Amadou Diallo in a song because it was too controversial, yet the same label allows Nas to make an entire album called Nigger? The same label that put out Thug Inspiration 101 by Jeezy the Snowman? There's something wrong with this picture. Could it be that they don't take him or his message seriously? I know I don't.
“You've been everything they ever told you to be. Nasty Nas, Nastrodomas, Nas Escobar. and now you're their Nigger… At what point are you going to be a man?”
Just to clarify, the statement that he made at the end about Black people not being able to vote in another 23-years is inaccurate. The legislation that he's talking about is the Minority Voter's Protection Act which was extended by George Bush 2 years ago. Voter's rights are guaranteed by the 15th Amendment regardless of race, color or creed.
The Minority Voter's Protection Act was enacted by Lyndon Johnson, along with Affirmative Action, in 1964 to prevent states specifically from requiring reading tests and poll taxes aimed to disenfranchise Blacks during the Civil Right's Movement. The law was originally supposed to be temporarily enacted for 5-years to ease the transition of the Civil Right's Act, but has since been extended to 25-year increments as "showcase" political legislation to highlight the government's commitment to Civil Rights.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
...sit the f*** down and shut the f*** up...
Dude... you gave birth to a platform that played videos like "Tell Me What That Thang Smell Like." Why all the hate for Obama?
Former BET owner Bob Johnson is back in the news this week with a new analysis on the Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
During an interview the Charlotte Observer, Johnson—who was criticized several months ago for talking about Obama’s drug use during a Clinton campaign rally—cosigned controversial statements by former Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferraro, saying that Obama is in the position he’s in now due to his race.
"What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called 'Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote?" Johnson asked rhetorically. "And the answer is, probably not."
What Johnson, and many other pundits and surrogates neglect to mention is that Obama’s overwhelming popularity with black voters did not happen overnight.
A Time magazine article that ran in January of last year cited a CBS poll that had Clinton at 52% of black voters, compared to Obama’s 28%.
Johnson didn’t stop with his Ferraro comment, and went on to discuss the racial tensions in the campaign.
"I make a joke about Obama doing drugs (and it's) 'Oh my God, a black man tearing down another black man'.”
He also questioned Obama’s ability to get in touch with the average American citizen.
"I don't think he has that common -- what I call `I-want-to-go-out-and-have-a-drink-with-you -- touch," the billionaire added.
Despite the harsh words from Johnson, Obama’s campaign is not giving Johnson a lot of play and writing off his comments as “absurd” in a statement, while sticking to the ideal of not fighting fire with fire.
"This is just one in a long line of absurd comments by Bob Johnson and other Clinton supporters who will say or do anything to get the nomination," campaign spokesman Dan Leistikow said. "The American people are tired of this and are ready to turn the page on these kind of attack politics."
Johnson acknowledged that Obama will likely win the Democratic nomination and blamed “the liberal media” for giving the junior senator from Illinois a boost.
"They sort of dislike Hillary for her vote on the war. They don't want to see Bill and Hillary in power again," he said of the Clintons. "So Obama comes in and runs a smart campaign. But that's not the Second Coming, in my opinion, of John F. Kennedy, FDR or the world's greatest leaders."
As of press time, Obama holds 1,647 total delegates, while Clinton has 1,507. The next Democratic primary will take place April 22 in Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
A guy in a white Ford Taurus circles the block at 1 a.m. in the middle of the city. He's on the prowl. He spots the woman that he wants and circles the block one more time to make sure the coast is clear. He pulls up beside her...
Words are exchanged, she gets in, money is exchanged, they go have sex.
A guy in a white button-up circles the bar of the club. He's on the prowl. He spots a woman that he wants and circles the club one more time to make sure the coast is clear (he's a player). He walks up beside her...
Words are exchanged, she shows interest, drinks are bought, they eventually have sex.
Though I am not an advocate of prostitution, as I find it morally reprehensible, it can be argued that the exchange of goods and services are similar in each of the above scenarios. Just because one doesn't pay for sex in cash doesn't mean that that those persons' intentions aren't the same.
Many guys and girls play the dating game just to get to the end game. They go out at night to find sexual partners. In many instances these meetings can lead to official dates where more money is spent on activities that add up significantly monetarily. And in many cases both parties are purely interested in the physical result of these outtings.
So if the game is the same, whether its called prostitution or gaming, then why is one, by law, worse than the other?
Make no mistake about it: I am in no way a proponent of prostitution, but I question the validity of the government's role in infringing on an act that, by it's very nature, should be a private act between two consenting adults whether money or dinner is exchanged. If having sex for money, or goods, is a crime then those persons paying the way of others during social outtings (buying drinks, dinner, movies etc.) to earn sexual favors are just as guilty as the pimps and the prostitutes prepetuating a culture that is frowned upon by our federal government.
In the aforementioned scenario, however, the pimps are the night clubs and bars that charge high cover charges and drink prices in an effort to create a sexually charged environment condusive to one-night stands... which is the very reason why men and women congregate at these places on Saturday nights.
On the flip side, if a person wants to solicit sex from a prostitute for hire and cut out the dating/gaming aspect, why should they be punished? If prostitution was legalized and those persons were required to have the proper health checks in place and were required by law to practice safe sex in controlled environments, then much of the disease and violence that occurs in this underground industry would subside.
Once again, I am not saying that prostitution is OK. As a matter of fact it's morally wrong! But so are one-night stands. If we are going to inject morality into our laws then the government has a duty, not only to outlaw prostitution, but also to outlaw drink buying at the club, Waffle House outtings after the club, and 3 a.m. after-the-Waffle-House-one-night-stands.