Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You Want To Be A Nigger, Too? I'll Pass...


Soooo...

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?”

Ignorance:
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.

6 comments:

K.B. said...

I just read the article on hiphopdx about NYOil and Nas. I agree one hundred percent... Nas has been hoodwinked... bamboozled... This nigga done called himself a nigga and don't even know what he's talking about...

Did the label play him into taking this route? (with the whole idea of calling his album 'Nigger') It's a possibility... I'm so disappointed in this nigga, I don't know what to do... Excuse my use of the n-word.

K.B. said...

And that song sucks!

Jermel said...

Plain and simple marketing, that's all this is.

Rap was better when niggas wasn't makin no money but, "...niggas gone be niggas so you might as well get this money while you bullshitin!"

Hahahaha. You know I couldn't help myself.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance, it seems, is a subjective term with it's target demographic varying with the observer's own biases and (strangely enough) ignorance. Your opinion reminds me of the logical fallacy politicians use to detract from the issue without addressing it directly. You over-analyze the person instead of what the person said. He's a rapper. Okay. Does that take away from the value in what he's saying, his point of view, or his bigger goal? Does his being a rapper detract from the big picture? Even though he's a 'savage rapper' (if you're black, I'm disappointed in ya...) by bringing even a little attention to this, it begins the process where positive action can bring about positive results. What most people would like is that we (as black people) just stop talking about race (ironically they've given it a name = post-racial). Next, in order to be post racial, they'll want to take away those structures which give us a little leg up in this world (affirmative action? hmmm?) I understand that you want to be the judge and jury when it comes to this shit, but a well known saying goes, "He without sin should cast the first stone". We'll probably never be 'post racial' (at least how it's supposed to mean...) but canceling out any dialogue on the subject is just as harmful as 'separate but equal' facilities, where one group is to suffer in silence all that is wrong with society, at the same time not allowed to express it.

Brandon said...

Anonymous. I couldn't disagree with you more.

First off, you're not looking at this post in its proper context. Nobody's advocating that we as black people (yes, I'm black and I'm confused by your dissappointment in me) stop talking about race, but let's talk about it intelligently. It is more dangerous to raise important issues in an incoherent way than it is to not raise them at all. And just as an FYI, I invite the discussion of the word, as I wrote a post about it on this very blog. Check out http://intellegentignorance.blogspot.com/2007/02/nigger-experience.html

The song that was referenced in this post lacked clarity, conciseness and purpose. It was contradiction in its purist form. So much so that IT DIDN'T EVEN MAKE THE ALBUM!

I'm dissappointed in you for inferring that I consider Nas a 'savage rapper.' I never said that. My point was that Nas seems to be playing the controversy card for the sake of being controversial, not because he has a firm grasp of the subject. How does one take on the responsibilty of addressing a loaded subject as heavy as the word "nigger" and then end the song by talking about smoking weed, murder, and "flowing tight as Tootie's braces?" Where's the substance and consistency?

As for the argument about my use of 'logical fallacy' without directly addressing the issue, I ask you to read the lyrics of this song (posted below) and tell me how it spurs useful diaglogue.

Moreover, what the fuck is he saying in the clip at the bottom of the post??? He rambles about everybody being niggers and then sites an internet rumor about black folks not being able to vote in another 23 years and passes it off as fact. How is anybody going to take the subject seriously if the person speaking about it in front of the world can't articulate his points in an informed and effective manner?

Just because someone has noteriety and passes themselves off as socially conscious doesn't mean that they are. This same dude was quoted last week as saying "fuck Jesse Jackson" and then went on to say that he and Young Jeezy the Snowman were here to take on the responsibility of being the new, so-called "black leadership."

Jay-Z said it best..."But you can't give cred to anything dude says/Same dude to give you ice and you owe him some head...Is it 'Oochie Wally Wally' or is it 'One Mic'? Is it "Black Girl Lost" or shorty owe you for ice?"



Lyrics to "Be A Nigger Too"

Turn your radios up..
You are now allowed to listen to the radio..
The REAL niggaz are back, on the radio..

Uh, no slackin, no beggin, no askin, no fastin
No disrespect to Islam nor Imam or Pastor
No answers to questions the media's askin
Why we fight each other in public in front of these arrogant fascists?
They love it; puttin the old niggaz vs. the youngest
Most of our elders failed us, how could they judge us? Niggaz
There's verbal books published by niggaz, produced by niggaz
Genuine niggaz, so I salute my, niggaz
Not mad 'cause Eminem said nigga, 'cause he my nigga
wigga, cracker, friend - we all black within, okay?
We all African, okay
Some Africans don't like us no way!
A killng happened in Johannesburg, yesterday
Slain artist named Lucky Dube, hijacked
Some say N-double A-C-P, keep us sidetracked
But I don't buy that, I buy Aston Martins
Faster cars than, NASCAR cars and, sparkin while ridin
Critics, eat a dick! Journalists see I'm rich
with this N-word jargon I'm just starting, bitch!


[Chorus: imitating the "Dr. Pepper" commercial jingle]
I'm a nigger, he's a nigger, she's a nigger, we some niggers
Wouldn't you like to be a nigger, too?
To all my kike niggers, spic niggers, guinea niggers, chink niggers
That's right, y'all my niggaz, too
I'm a nigger, he's a nigger, she's a nigger, we some niggers
Wouldn't you like to be a nigger, too
They like to strangle niggers, blamin niggers, shootin niggers, hangin niggers
Still you wanna be a nigger, too? True..

Wake up in the mornin, shake my third leg in the toilet
Uzi on the nightstand, I'm the man you go to war with
Not a man you go to war against, patience, I'll get you
if that means I can't sleep a WHOLE YEAR, I'ma get you
I'm official not "A-Tisket" or "A-Tasket"
I'll put you in the casket, with the biscuit or the ratchet
We smoke hibiscus, they plants or trees, advanc-ed weed
Don't forsake us, you all are fake blood like movie make-up
I flow tight as Tootie's braces, who be hatin us?
I be on a state bus in shackles if my .8 bust
'Cause y'all some tellers, opposite of bankers
I'm the shit for ages, my clique still real QB gangsters
Clique still movin like Freemasons
So if I'm on the flow for the law, there's lodges all across the nation
Nas is bred for the plan, to hold the Grand
Dragon's head in my hand, come and get me, here I am

Anonymous said...

Such nonsense. That ridiculous music has leaked into the Caribbean, my brother listens to these songs and he and his friends have begun calling themselves niggers. It's disgusting this music breeds homegrown terrorists.