“It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop…”

“Mcs get a little bit of love and think they hot
Talkin bout how much money they got, all yall records sound the same
I sick of that fake thug, r & b, rap scenario all day on the radio
Same scenes in the video, monotonous material, yall dont here me though
These record labels slang our tapes like dope
You can be next in line, and signed, and still be writing rhymes and broke
You would rather have a lexus, some justice, a dream or some substance?
A beamer, a necklace or freedom?
Still a nigga like me dont playa hate, I just stay awake
This real hip hop, and it dont stop until we get the po-po off the block”Dead Prez

Not that I’m an expert but…

This isn’t an art issue; its a commerce issue. It is commerce that drives this dubious “art”, not vice versa.

If one of these guys took their ‘lyrical doushes’ into Joe Blow’s poetry reading, they’d be laughed off the stage.

Ironically, it is the rappers who are the ho’s, the prostitutes. They are the product being pimped – inspite of their “I’m the Pimp-posture.”

What needs to be understood is that the media is in the firm grasp of the ruling class/aka/rich ass white folks. Their interest is tw0-fold: one, make mad money; two, keep the majority of people on brainlock, , manipulable, triggered, like Pavlov’s dog, by suggestion not so subtley hidden in print, film, television and music.

Goldie in “The Mack” reflected exactly the attitude of the people who pull the strings: “I’ve got these bitches minds controlled!”

Yeah, rappers are responsible for what they say – but someone conditioned them from birth to respond and react like marionettes. We need to bear this in mind ANYTIME we begin to create solutions to our problems. The ability of racism/white supremacy (like capitalism) to morph into different, benign-looking forms is not well understood – AT ALL. And this is its greatest feature.

If you don’t understand a bodily affliction entirely, its probably a mistake to start removing organs. No, we have to open the body cavity and peer in courageously and see what the disease is, how it truly manifests and then prescribe the right treatment.

Most of these dudes give poetry a bad name and that’s again, because, it is money and not art, that drives the majority of these brothers. Remove the beat and what do you have?!

34 Responses to ““It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop…””

  1. Freeslave said ”but someone conditioned them from birth to respond and react like marionettes. We need to bear this in mind ANYTIME we begin to create solutions to our problems. The ability of racism/white supremacy (like capitalism) to morph into different, benign-looking forms is not well understood – AT ALL. And this is its greatest feature.”
    –I agree with the morphing aspect but some of these rappers revel in that conditioning! They love that they can spew sexist hatred and make money and for me, that makes them worse than the puppet master because they are fully compliant. So perhaps they are the master’s willing servants instead of his prey?

    –A

  2. Aulelia, no doubt they are willing. But how hard is it to find some poor kid with no self-esteem and give him a respect-injection chock full of money and fake respect? I ain’t excusing it at all. What’s fucked up is that all it takes is about 20 rappers beamed globally through video and cd’s/radio to DESTROY a people.

    We gotta do much rehab.

    We HAVE to do our job which is to raise the cost of our people acting as willing servants to this degradation.

  3. Note on Commercial Theatre

    You’ve taken my blues and gone—
    You sing ‘em on Broadway
    And you sing ‘em in Hollywood Bowl,
    And you mixed ‘em up with symphonies
    And you fixed ‘em
    So they don’t sound like me.
    Yep, you done taken my blues and gone.

    You also took my spirituals and gone.
    You put me in Macbeth and Carmen Jones
    And all kinds of Swing Mikadas
    And in everything but what’s about me—
    But someday somebody’ll
    Stand up and talk about me,
    And write about me—
    Black and beautiful—
    And sing about me,
    And put on plays about me!

    I reckon it’ll be
    Me myself!

    Yes, it’ll be me.

    ~ Langston Hughes

    I was just thinking about this poem the other day. At first glance, I thought Hughes was speaking to the way in which white culture has tried to assimilate the Blues, but no matter how much they ‘borrow,’ they just can’t get it right, cause they don’t understand the basis of it.

    But then, as I thought about it at great length, it gradually dawned on me that it’s not just white culture Hughes is pointing the finger at, it’s America! Prior to reading your post today, I was looking at that concept more on the level of theory, but adding to that, what you have said here, I am nothing short of embracing the idea.

    How quickly American culture seeks to emulate, sample the beat, imitate the street, but in the end, there is no meaning, it’s message lost, riddled with hidden agendas aimed at desensitizing the youth.

    Great article, thank you for addressing this issue FS.

  4. ” Yeah, rappers are responsible for what they say – but someone conditioned them from birth to respond and react like marionettes. We need to bear this in mind ANYTIME we begin to create solutions to our problems. ”

    mark bey: This same statement can go for the entire black population of amerca. Possibly the world. Couldnt the same argument be made about
    Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sewell and LaCoon Barber.Is it posible that that these guys are affected by cultural conditioning? Because if you go after Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sewell and La Coon barber for thier destructive message shouldnt hip hop artist who put out those negative messages at some point and time change thier content and message from so of the more negative things. Aint saying they cant see cream I just want them to change thier message. Also shouldnt some black folk some where pull an Imus on the record companies, pickett, contact shareholders, ext until they stop putting out the offensive content.

    ” If you don’t understand a bodily affliction entirely, its probably a mistake to start removing organs. ”

    mark bey: Does this statement mean we shouldnt be trying to get the hip hop artist to change thier lyrics. When the nation of islam would work with folks back during malcolm time. One of the first things they insisted on was that a man get clean from achohol and drugs and stop running with women. Also those brothers cleaned themselves up physically very quickly. You know suit always groomed freshly and proffesionally. They also insisted that men get jobs. After all of these initial things were done the nation still had a lot of teaching and mentoring to do with those brothas. Some of this took years.

    Are you saying that we shouldnt be actively creating programs and innitiatives to address certain urgent issues having direct negative affects on our community. Problems such as Aids for example.

    ” The ability of racism/white supremacy (like capitalism) to morph into different, benign-looking forms is not well understood – AT ALL. And this is its greatest feature.”

    mark bey: I might agree with this but I also but I still believe that since we are arent bieng hung from ropes anymore or harrased for having meetings to improve ourselves and lives this gives us oppurtunity to prepare and orginize ourselves to influence positive change.

    ” Most of these dudes give poetry a bad name and that’s again, because, it is money and not art, that drives the majority of these brothers. Remove the beat and what do you have?!”

    mark bey: Not all of these brothas are artist. There is a difference between a rapper, an artist and enteratianing. Will Smith is very good very with lyrics but I wouldnt call him an artist. 2 live Crew are rappers but I deffinately wouldnt consider them artist. Just as some singers are poets but not all and not all music is great or even decent art. I dont think you could ever call what some of these guys do poetry. I think Hip Hop and poetry are not neccessarily the same thing. Some of these guys should not be refered to as poets thats comming from someone who cares very deeply about music and lyrics.

  5. hmmm, interesting, this discussion about hip hop music. I see it as a way for the Imuses of the world to point to the black community and try to place blame for racism and misogyny. Instead of looking to the roots of the problem, which is white male capitalist surpemacy. For me, hip hop music is mostly about internalized racism and misogyny, and glorifying it to make a buck and cover your teeth in gold and diamonds. it’s (mostly) careless, irresponsible music, and that is not entertaining to me.

    It’s hard to find hip hop and rap music that doesn’t refer to women as bitches and whores, or glorify treating women as such (by male and female artists alike), and that doesn’t use the N word as self-reference and -description. I know, because I try. I love hip hop and rap, but I haven’t listened to much of it in years because I can’t fathom paying money to listen to lyrics that subjugate me.

    I’d love some more suggestions for artists I can listen to, if anyone has some ideas, by the way. Just throw me out some names and I’ll check ’em out. I have to admit, I’ve kind of given up, and mostly I don’t bother trying to find new artists – I just stick with my standbys. which mostly these days is K-Os and K’naan.

    While I do agree that hip hop isn’t the root of the problem, but a symptom of the denigration of the black community, I also think that it’s time for the hip hop and rap community to step it up, stop internalizing racism and misogyny for the sake of perpetuating white male capitalist supremacy. And I think it’s way time for people to stop buying products that only speak to the oppression of people of colour and women. Cause some people don’t care so long as they make money who they hurt and what kind of society they encourage and represent – so cut the MFs off. Stop buying it, stop supporting it, stop listening to it and watching it on tv and in movies. Because the simple visible presence of black people isn’t enough to end racism. The wealth of POC isn’t enough to end racism. The visible presence and wealth of women isn’t enough to end misogyny.

    I remember when “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2005. Pissed me off. Pissed me off that all those black folks were so excited that a hip hop song by black artists had won. All I could think was, hard out here for a pimp? try being the whore.

  6. “What’s fucked up is that all it takes is about 20 rappers beamed globally through video and cd’s/radio to DESTROY a people.”

    This point cannot be made loudly enough. There are plenty of people who justifiably are upset with some of the lyrics and messages coming out of rap/hip-hop. The negativity that is being presented is undeniably there and must be addressed. But we are talking about a group of less than 100 black men and women who are putting out this controvesial music. (I know Free said 20, but there are a few more than that, maybe even more than 100 but certainly less than 200)

    So let’s be clear on this. There are approximately 35-40 million Blacks in Amerika. Out of that group, a maximum of 200 are actively engaged in promoting misogyny and irresponsible sexaul activity, glorifying drugs and violence, and generally giving a bad impression of Blacks, through their music, which is by and large consumed by non-Blacks.

    The admittedly inappropriate activities of .oooooo5% of the Black population are bringing us all down?

    Are the positive activities and images put out in the everyday lives of the other 99.999995% of Black people completely and totally useless in shaping and defining the collective image and self-worth of the Black community?

    I agree that it would be best if there were no negative images promoted in mass media, the entertainment industry, or anywhere else in society. Wherever they are found it would be best to try to limit them at least to the extent that the more impressionable members of the population (that would be children and white folks evidently) are not able to view them.

    After all, in capitalist America, if there’s a market for it, then there will be a provider of it. But I think the target of the discussion should not be the young Black men and women who are seduced into creating and presenting this material by sums of money that most of us would do much worse things to acquire. I think going after these young, relatively powerless, people sends a message that you are actually afraid to call out the major corporate powers that buy, broadcast and distribute the offensive material. They are the ones who can put a stop to the record sales, the radio and video broadcasts and all the public manifestations of the offending material.

    It’s easy to say that the record companies couldn’t sell it if we didn’t make it. It’s also ridiculous to think that people who are mired in poverty with no discernible way out, will not say anything or do anything to make better situation for themselves. So you get the current crop to fold under the pressure. If the white folks still want to buy it, then somewhere some poor black person with limited choices will sell it to them. If you choose to put the blame on the poor Black person then you are indeed missing the point, and most likely will never solve the problem.

  7. excellent post , and i agree !!! i have been saying this at a couple of posts , but most are not getting it ..

    We did not come to america calling ourselves , nigga , we did not develop the parent word to ho “whore” , we did not create the word nappy .

    There is a great video of bizzy bone floating around . It is a perfect example of what happens to people when they are not ” down with the game being played.”

    None of these so called ” playas” own thier distribution or their labels.. They are just rich house negros . The same goes of the urban clothing lines out there , they are mostly licensed to jewish manufacturers that produce in china .. baby phat , phat farm , roca wear .. So u are not even buying black .

    Everybody is throwing stones at the rappers , but the rappers can’t exist if we do not hear it , or buy products that are associated with … This is another point that is laughable , because no one will boycot these products , they are ingrained in our mind that without them we cannot survive.

    Dave I also think u nailed it …so much talking , and making up lies by spin doctors , no one knows what is going on , you are so right the message is lost.

    mark bey ,
    we are still being hung from ropes in many ways , does it have to be a physical rope.. Poor blacks have to always think of schemes to beat the system , ( no matter if it is a small silly scheme or an elaborate plot .) i.e. How about giving loans to poor blacks who are risks , and then after taking all their money , when they finally default the banks or c unions take back the houses/ or cars ..

    Why do u think the rappers want to be marytered? Why do you think they want to give up thier money , to make the rest of black people feel comfortable ? That is not what has been taught in america , you are taught to get yours by any means neccessary .

    mark bey: Not all of these brothas are artist. There is a difference between a rapper, an artist and enteratianing. Will Smith is very good very with lyrics but I wouldnt call him an artist. 2 live Crew are rappers but I deffinately wouldnt consider them artist. Just as some singers are poets but not all and not all music is great or even decent art. I dont think you could ever call what some of these guys do poetry. I think Hip Hop and poetry are not neccessarily the same thing. Some of these guys should not be refered to as poets thats comming from someone who cares very deeply about music and lyrics.

    I am an artist !! there are many forms of art …Poetry is spoken word , simply put, that evokes , emotions in it’s listener. there is also performance art . Everyday u wake art is all around u , from your bed to your toaster , to the trees , and the human life. How we choose to portray our art is up to us , it is a personal expression .

    free slave
    To end my message i would like for u to find the clip of flava flav being interviewed on wendy williams show . ( these are not the exact words used) Her side kick guy ( i forget his name ) was attacking flav , and saying he was cooning , and portraying women in a bad light, and that most of the women on the show were professional women ( proxtitutes) .. Flav , growls back , that why is the side kick knocking his hustle , he tells him that being on the wendy williams show is no different , because it is a cooning show as well, that tears other blacks down as well .

    He asks the side kick point blank , ” why are u trying to kill my hustle , u have yours , i have mine , what isn’t there enough in there for the two of us …

    While i do not condone misogyny, or negative connotations in regards to black people . I cannot put this on the rappers, I blame this on capitalist racist white america . You want it to stop , tell the parent record companies , and the radio execs , to pull the music , develop some other form , and spin doctor the reasoning.

  8. The problem with going after the rappers, is that they’re going after the rappers.

    The rapper is nothing more than a highly paid flunky.

    Period.

    Whatever it’s origins, in its present incarnation, hip hop is a cancer on our community. A cancer.

    I’m sure that when a doctor finds a cancer, there are good cells around it, but in order to get the cancer out, you have to take out those few good cells around it.

    Watching that farce on Oprah with a panel including the likes of Common, well….

    Common is the few good cells…

    Why didn’t they put the CANCER (50 Cent, Snoop, that idiot who was on 60 Minutes Sunday), on?

    Because, we would obviously see that the CANCER needs to be cut out.

    I think that our community thinks far too myopically about hip hop, its influence, and its collective worldwide damage to us, as a community.

    The entire history of the entertainment industry, from Birth of a Nation, onward, has been one of perpetrating, selling, and shilling US as a community as one that is ‘ less than’.

    Less human.
    Less dignified.
    Less worthy of respect and consideration as equals.

    THIS has been a consistent and persistent theme of the entertainment community with regards to us.

    What makes it so different this time, is that we have, front and center, a group willing to do the selling FOR THEM.

    One of the greatest hustles ever perpetrated on the Black community is that we have a group of House Negro/Uncle Tom/Sellouts…

    Who have convinced ‘the community’ that they are the ‘ downest brothas on the planet’…

    All the while, selling us out for their 300 pieces of silver.

    While White Supremacy has existed for as long as this country has existed,

    Never before have there been so many willing to do their bidding, ‘ as long as they get paid’.

    These sellouts do not care about our community.

    The intellectual and emotional poisoning of our children does not matter to them, because, hey, they aren’t even the ‘target demographic’.

    So, if our children, and the fabric of our community is torn asunder because of the influence of this poison…

    Suddenly, it becomes ‘ only art’.
    ‘ Only music’.

    Anything to obfuscate their responsibility for the damage that they are doing to our children.

    If Condi Rice is nothing but a Black face on Bush’s Imperial Foreign Policies…

    Then these sellouts are nothing more than Black Face on the continuation of the White Supremacist global dehumanization of Black folk in America.

    Black folk in America used to be the standard bearer – the beacon for Black folk around the world. And, the representatives that we sent forth into the world reinforced that idea.

    I tell folks to stop thinking myopically. Stop thinking about the Don Imus’ in Nebraska, Montana, and towns in Idaho. Think globally. Think that the image of the Black man, around the world, is now Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, Cam’ron, et al. That the image of the Black woman is L’il Kim, and Video “Ho’s”.

    GLOBALLY.

    When you go around the world, THESE are the images representing US as a people.

    And, when someone in the Middle East, Japan, China, Argentina, South Africa, Cameroon, treats YOU like those representatives…. don’t be surprised.

    They have made their choice. Their 300 pieces of silver is more important than contributing TO the community. The only thing that the Oprah show made plain and simple is that they have no intentions of letting anyone stop them getting their 300 pieces of silver. They have shown that they are the enemy. They have shown what they’re willing to do for their White Music Overlords.

  9. i spent a lot of time writing a comment , i thought it posted but i guess it did not ..

    but i agree with exodus , going after the rappers is useless. Asking someone who grew up with nothing , to either sell out and get money , or still be poor , seems futile.

    I don’t really care about the words bitch and ho , i am numb to it ..

    It is a art issue , because when u say it’s commerce that is the driving force , people will argue free speech and and this is the artist’s art . When rappers are signed to the label aren’t they called artists?

  10. Byrdparker
    “we are still being hung from ropes in many ways , does it have to be a physical rope.. Poor blacks have to always think of schemes to beat the system , ( no matter if it is a small silly scheme or an elaborate plot .) i.e. How about giving loans to poor blacks who are risks , and then after taking all their money , when they finally default the banks or c unions take back the houses/ or cars ..”

    mark bey: byrdparker the difference is this if I am hung litterally I can do nothing else for my family or community that is a gigantic difference from what you describe. If I am hung literally I cannot pass on knowledge of how to avoid the situation you talked about. Also Poor blacks do not have to apply for loans they cannot aford, no one forces them to do that.

    Poor blacks are not helpless, thier are plenty of very poor black people who do not commit crimes, also poverty may be an excuse to steal but it aint an excuse to take the life of another poor person.

    Byrdparker
    “Why do u think the rappers want to be marytered? Why do you think they want to give up thier money , to make the rest of black people feel comfortable ? That is not what has been taught in america , you are taught to get yours by any means neccessary . ”

    mark bey: The rappers need to change thier content, lyrics and message and black america needs to stop buying anything that encourages crime, disrespect and murder torwards those same poor people you were refering to.

    byrdparker

    ” but i agree with exodus , going after the rappers is useless. Asking someone who grew up with nothing , to either sell out and get money , or still be poor , seems futile.”

    mark bey: You consider asking rappers who encourage violence torwards folks suffering from violence more than all others in america useless. Also not all of these rappers are poor. Lastly gangsta rap isnt the only type rap that makes money.

  11. riykrah said “And, when someone in the Middle East, Japan, China, Argentina, South Africa, Cameroon, treats YOU like those representatives…. don’t be surprised.” – I agree with this and I think to an extent it has a lot to do with globalisation and just how we are all fed incorrect or correct images of each other.

    freeslave, what you said about them being beamed globally is on point. why can’t intellectual images be shown all around the world of young and upcoming black authors or activists? i’m guessing greed is more powerful than intellectual hunger?

  12. mark bey: byrdparker the difference is this if I am hung litterally I can do nothing else for my family or community that is a gigantic difference from what you describe. If I am hung literally I cannot pass on knowledge of how to avoid the situation you talked about. Also Poor blacks do not have to apply for loans they cannot aford, no one forces them to do that.

    bp: From your comments you seem to be educated , and have exercised your mind . But the truth of the matter is most people are just followers , flunkies following the way pop culture leads them … Of course poor blacks do not have too , but when every advertisement saids different no money down , poor credit , no problem , and uneducated person will apply and believe the hype. I think you have to step outside of yourself and see the world for what it is , not through rose colored glasses , just because u get it , does not mean the rest of the people do ..

    mark bey: The rappers need to change thier content, lyrics and message and black america needs to stop buying anything that encourages crime, disrespect and murder torwards those same poor people you were refering to.

    bp : It’s a new world out here , I don’t know how old you are , but I am 40. There are the younger people who are educated like aulelia / bygbaby ( who i do not know but just comment thier blogs ) and then there are the knuckleheads , that really want to get thiers. I do not consider myself to have an old head that is not open to change , but somtimes what I see out here frightens me , some people just have no boundaries . I am not going to say when I was growing up everything was perfect no bad guys , but technologically it was different . Take for example , the three stooges , i actually knew some fools that really tried those stunts, but now with playstation grand theft auto ( i mentioned this because i have played it ) , it is not the same at all…. I also want u to know when i say poor , i do not just mean financially …

    mark bey: You consider asking rappers who encourage violence torwards folks suffering from violence more than all others in america useless. Also not all of these rappers are poor. Lastly gangsta rap isnt the only type rap that makes money

    bp: You have to stop with the rappers , the rappers. Those rappers do not represent anything to who we are as black people , thats the problem with white america , they don’t take the time to know us , they pick up on one part and run with it . But we must know everything about white america .. Most blacks in america are living out a octaroon lifestyle ,imitating everything white .
    what do you consider not poor, buying crystal , having a big house. What happened to I never finished my education , now that i have some money let me hire a tutor maybe bell hooks , cornell west , maya angelou, chomsky , or Zinn is available. You are making me laugh these people are poor! There sellouts , here now for thier earthly pleasures.!

    And to blow your mind even more there is really no racism but classism , but so much bs talking and writing history , no one knows what is really true any more. ( but this is another debate at another time ) .

    rikyrah
    I travel a lot I used to live in hk and china for about 8 years.. It is pretty sensored i left in 2000 and households were just getting basic cable . So if china or hong kong has issues with black people, i would not say it comes from any rappers. Also i want to say the norm would deff know michael jackson , mariah carey , and the loafers ( clubbing everynight) or the more wordly hongkongnese young would know more about the rappers.

    Most people from other countries ( other than european) are not looking at you funny because of the rappers it goes much deeper than that .

    And as far as Oprah goes , she is on some sort of mission , i feel it , but she has got to be careful .. Those old white guys at the top are the original gangsters , the rappers are as fiddy cent put it wanksters. Now the ? to ask is if Obama gets elected where is he really going to take us !!!

    free slave thank you for letting me post to your blog.

  13. Byrd: Use me until you use me up!

    I can’t co-sign you on the classicism not racism comment, but I’m feeling the rest of your arguments.

    That shit is common sense. Its like some of us absorb the dominant hate of black people and it comes out in wardconnerly-speak. Sounds pretty reasonable – if you pay no attention to the context within which we live.

    As you point out, “the rappers, the rappers.” How many genocides have the rappers committed? How many false flag operations have they perpetrated? How many television stations, radio stations, cable outlets, ball teams, production companies do they use to spread vile images of us? One ball team. BET.

  14. ” I think you have to step outside of yourself and see the world for what it is , not through rose colored glasses , just because u get it , does not mean the rest of the people do ”

    mark bey: I dont see the world through rose colored glasses. As far as your next statement goes I aint no better than any else and Im struggling for kowledge and wisdom just like everyone else.

    ” It’s a new world out here , I don’t know how old you are , but I am 40. There are the younger people who are educated like aulelia / bygbaby ( who i do not know but just comment thier blogs ) and then there are the knuckleheads , that really want to get thiers”

    mark bey: Dude Im 34 years old, and Im not educated and you should be able to tell from my spelling and writing that i am not educated. Im just curious and I like to debate, with the purpose of finding a higher then to put that truth into programs and innitiaves to bring positive change in black people. I want to bring positive change period. I am always looking for vehicles of people who want to make a change for the better of black people and the world.

    “You have to stop with the rappers , the rappers. Those rappers do not represent anything to who we are as black people , thats the problem with white america , they don’t take the time to know us , they pick up on one part and run with it . ”

    mark bey: I didnt just include the rappers I also included the exucutives at record companies that release the music. Also you what you want the messages and content are disrespectful to our humanity. You can fight or hate the system/white supremacy while you stand up against music and language that encourages death and destruction in our own communities. You can stand up against a culture that is toxic to itself and I never said or implied in any way shape or form that rappers changing the offensive content of thier music would solve all or most of black folk problems. But I do believe it is a step in the right direction.

    ” But we must know everything about white america .. Most blacks in america are living out a octaroon lifestyle ,imitating everything white ”

    mark bey: I could care less about knowing everything about black america. If you really believe your statement then what do we do. I believe we should focus on the things that are leading to our lower quality of life and lower life expectancy. Simply stating what you said will never change anything. It never has that takes community involvement and programs conducted by people from the community. Thats sweat, money time and effort not just theory, debate and rhetoric.

    ” what do you consider not poor, buying crystal , having a big house. What happened to I never finished my education , now that i have some money let me hire a tutor maybe bell hooks , cornell west , maya angelou, chomsky , or Zinn is available. You are making me laugh these people are poor! There sellouts , here now for thier earthly pleasures.!”

    mark bey: When I said poor I meant the same poor I assumed most other folks think poor is. But I guess from this statement your saying that even the rappers who do not come poor economic backrounds are poor specifically if they are black do to the effects of a racist system. Thus they are helplessly brainswashed and have no control over the content of the lyrics/music they create.

    Lets assume you are correct, even if they wouldnt want to, even if thier inclined to create that type of music surely it cant be to much to ask them to change thier content for the good of all of black america. No one is saying rappers changing thier content will cure all or most or any of the problems black people have. No one is saying that thier arent other pressing needs or even more pressing problems than this one. I simply expressed my oppinion. But surely by now it is obvious that Hip hop culture is toxic onto itself, it encourages behavior that has been responsible for the death and incarceration of its greatest poet’s. Do you or anyone else hear think that its reasonable for them or R and b singers to continue to promote unsafe sex given the situation with black people and aids in the world.

    @ Freeslave

    Ill qoute asa

    ” I don’t have the depth or subtlety of understanding I should have, maybe I’m “out of line”…. BUT I don’t think it’s too much to ask the rappers…. the hip hop artists…. to STOP calling our mothers, sisters, wifes, aunts and daughters: “Bitches and Hoes” and to STOP glorifying the killing of other Black males. I believe this is something we CAN do to improve ourselves while we struggle against these issues. That’s my program” Asa

    Thats all Im saying brotha. Also I have no idea why you are insulted me with the Ward Conerly stuff. If someone disagrees with you or annoys by his persistant questions is that cause to insult him? Unless you feel like I disrespected you somehow for which I would apologize but I will not tolerant insults I will strike back with insults. 🙂

  15. ” As you point out, “the rappers, the rappers.” How many genocides have the rappers committed? How many false flag operations have they perpetrated? How many television stations, radio stations, cable outlets, ball teams, production companies do they use to spread vile images of us? One ball team.”

    mark bey: None of this justifies lyrics that gloryfy the # one killer of black men between ages of 18-35 murder.

  16. Correction I meant to say

    mark bey: I could care less about knowing everything about white america. If you really believe your statement then what do we do. I believe we should focus on the things that are leading to our lower quality of life and lower life expectancy. Simply stating what you said will never change anything. It never has that takes community involvement and programs conducted by people from the community. Thats sweat, money time and effort not just theory, debate and rhetoric.

  17. Yes, Mark but are song lyrics and genocide comparable? And if the same person who controls the production and manufacture of songs also controls the production and manufacture of war – why not go after Mr. Big? It sounds like you are an apologist for the white man.

  18. ” It sounds like you are an apologist for the white man.”

    mark bey: You are wrong.

  19. Mark, everytime somebody mentions the context of black dysfunctional behavior, you ignore it completely. Nobody has said the rappers get a pass on anything. Nobody but you. If you aren’t an apologist for racism/white supremacy, why do you continue to let white people off the hook – over and over again?

    Its not an either or equation – but you keep making it one. I’m not going to debate it with you. READ the words that several other people have written and you will see where you went off the rails…otherwise, pick the needle up and change the record.

  20. ” Yes, Mark but are song lyrics and genocide comparable? And if the same person who controls the production and manufacture of songs also controls the production and manufacture of war – why not go after Mr. Big? ”

    mark bey: You can do both. No one is justifying anything that white people do, you are projecting your misunderstanding of what I am saying.

    Also you will be going after mr. Big for a long time and thier are people who have immediate life threatning needs. One of those needs we have is to begin to respect black peoples lives the way white peoples are respected. It is unacceptable for anyone to kill black people no matter what color they are. Not one time during our back and forth did I ever say they shouldnt see money. I obviously you are confused of where I am comming from. For claryfication on that please reread Asa’s qoute.

  21. ‘Yes, Mark but are song lyrics and genocide comparable?

    I realize I am pulling this out of context somewhat, but couldn’t we also argue that certain lyrics are the equivalent of mental genocide? If you plant the seeds of an idea into the minds of the ignorant, often times it will grow. If a hugely popular artist is putting forth glamorized depictions of a violent life style, doesn’t that encourage their fans to condone the violence?

    I don’t know statistics, but I read somewhere the majority of people buying hip-hip were white. If that’s true, hip-hop has very strong potential to change hearts and minds of young whites, bring people together, but how many actually artists do this? Or, better yet, how many can do this? It easy to sit here and think “just need to put out a better message, feed minds with healthy philosophies,” but… would anyone buy that record? It’s a vicious cycle.

  22. Dave, certainly, song lyrics could and perhaps, are, a form of genocidal activity. My point is that Hitler and the soldier that he moved around like a chessboard pawn, or Hitler and the shower attendant at a concentration camp bore differing levels of responsibility.

    They were both participants; one designed the game, the other was a cog in the wheel. Who did the most damage? I’m not saying both haven’t done damage. I’m saying one is the architect, the other is a bricklayer.

  23. I feel compelled to add just one more thought before the confusion reaches truly epic proportions.

    There is a systematic dynamic in place that operates to maintain the status quo, especially in terms of the relative power of whites and blacks. It is well established that Blacks are basically powerless in the most important areas of economics and governmental power. Blacks control a small fraction of the wealth of this country, and despite our much touted consumer spending power, he retain little wealth from all that spending. There are Blacks in government, even our noteworthy candidate for POTUS, but they are mostly there by virtue of having sold out to corporate interests, or so marginalized as to be meaningless. In the face of these realities, it is ridiculous to postulate that there is this small group of Black entertainers who are shaping the face of Black culture and through this shaping the dominant culture.

    If Blacks truly had the power to influence anything in this society, it would be the end of this society as we know it. If whites were not in power, if white privilege was not such a preciously preserved and protected thing, there would soon be no identifiable white race, as the phenotype of non-melanated skin is a genetic recessive trait. Without the power to create and enforce a caste system in this society, and to demonize, repress and keep non-whites, especially Blacks, from achieving real equality there would be even more intermingling of skin tones and cultures and the white race would simply disappear over time. Without the power to keep that from happening, there will be no more white race.

    Now compare that Racism/White Supremacy dynamic to the current phenomena of hip-hop, where a few misguided Negroes say things that are potentially damaging to our communities. Because that’s all any rapper can do. RAP. TALK. SAY STUFF. Maybe back it up with a little visual reinforcement from a music video. That’s what rappers do.

    Now ask yourself, between a system that needs to keep us down for it’s own survival and a small group of mis-educated Negroes who sell music primarily to white folks, what’s really behind anything negative that affects Black folks?
    That’s the only thing that matters in this discussion.

  24. Exactly, EM. Pretty obvious when put so clearly. I just don’t understand why certain people can’t see the truth in what you’re saying.

  25. If whites were not in power, if white privilege was not such a preciously preserved and protected thing, there would soon be no identifiable white race, as the phenotype of non-melanated skin is a genetic recessive trait.

    EM, what you say is as eloquent as it is brilliant.

    FS, I agree wholeheartedly. Varying levels of responsibility to be sure.

    What I’m trying to get at is that the soldier makes a conscious decision to obey. Maybe that decision is still not entirely his burden to bear because a gun is pointed at his head, daring him to refuse, but the decision still exists.

    I agree completely with some items that were brought up earlier regarding the state of hip-hop today being driven by white corporate money. Only in this sense, it’s no gun to the noggin, it’s worse. It is the promise of wealth, and the allure of social mobility that most people will never experience, all they got to do is sell-out.

    To quote EM again, maybe, like rappers, that’s all we bloggers do Because that’s all any rapper(blogger) can do. RAP. TALK. SAY STUFF. Maybe back it up with a little visual reinforcement from a music video. That’s what rappers(bloggers) do.

    But, as being done in certain niches, such as this amazing blog here, and many others, this talk is being crafted in a way to bring about critical thinking in a day when this is rare. What is the difference? How many of us get paid to blog? No one is holding our ability to speak the truth hostage by threatening our livelihoods (yet). No one is offering us huge piles of cash to disseminate their agenda.

    What if they did? Can you say with 100% certainty that you wouldn’t set aside your ethical code for the almighty dollar? I like to think that I would stay true, but this is an unanswerable hypothetical.
    What is it going to take to get people to value the truth over the lies? To want love more than money?

    Let me ask you all this: why do you feel it is that “mainstream” hip-hop sells so well?

  26. Dave asked: “why do you feel it is that “mainstream” hip-hop sells so well?”

    Because they sell it so well. One thing I forgot to mention, but is common knowledge, is that advertising agencies utilize psychologists to help them craft pitches to people. These are professionals who have taken oaths to serve people; yet, they help corporations gain greater insight into the human mind in order to get them to buy more burgers.

    Mind control ain’t some sci-fi movie – its been happening, it is happening. In military training, its all about “controlling those bitches minds.” That’s how they think.

    Another line from “The Mack” which is really SOP in the military: “Anybody can control a woman’s body; the key is, to control her mind.” That’s how the corporations think – they don’t want to control your body, cuz if they can control your mind – they’ve got your ass.

    Reclaiming your mind, which is what a lot of these brothas and sistas are about in the AfroSpear, is necessary to BEGIN dealing with the shit we confront.

  27. Dave asked: “why do you feel it is that “mainstream” hip-hop sells so well?”

    If you think about it, the mainstream (white) society has always been enthralled by our music. The have always gravitated towards our music. They have always copied (with varying degrees of success) our music. They have always purchased our music. Black music doesn’t get financially successful without crossing over.

    If you look a little deeper you might recognize that most Black music started out as protest music, the music of our struggle. The slave songs that spoke of freedom by and by, and advised runaways to behold that star and go north to freedom. The blues music that spoke of our sorrow and and oppression. The soul music that called for our redemption and uplifting. It all started out strong and positive and uncompromisingly Black.

    Then it crossed over. The white community became it’s patron. That patronage included watering down the message, turning it from a message of struggle to a more sanitized and white friendly message, most often manifesting as love songs or dance music. Hip-Hop deviates from this pattern only to the extent that it’s “white friendly” messages are actually counter-productive to anyone who hears them. The love turned to sex, and materialism and thugism rules the day. But at least it’s not consciousness raising protest music. They can’t have their little white sons and daughters enthralled by that kind of music.

    Minister Farrakhan, in an interview on AllHipHop.com, said

    “The backlash (against Hip-Hop) that is coming is created. And it’s created by the same forces of our image in the first place. Those forces see that we are taking their children from them. The majority of those who buy Hip-Hop records are White, not Black. So if the White youth that are buying Hip-hop and are in love with Hip-Hop, then become a part of Hip-Hop culture, then White people feel they are losing their future generations to the Hip-Hop culture. They�re afraid that if the Hip-Hop genre begins to recognize its power and begins to educate and motivate, young people all over the planet, you can take people away from being brutalized in war. Look at those who are dying in Iraq today on the basis of a lie: 18-19, 20, 21, that’s the Hip-Hop generation. So if the Hip-Hoppers decided to tell them, “why fight? On the basis of a lie? You’re not fighting to protect America, you are fighting for the greedy to gain access to the second largest oil reserve in the world.� What they see is your power. And now they want to reclaim their children, so they want to make the enemy now Hip-Hop. The enemy is not Hip-Hop. They asked on TV if Hip-Hop was art of poison. Hip-Hop is art that has been poisoned. You cannot say that Public Enemy was poison, except to those who love White supremacy. You can’t say that KRS One and Big Daddy Kane were poison; that was art.

    They (rappers) took the spoken word and started educating the people. And those who are wicked saw what they were doing and did not want our young people educated in that. And they were making millions, sometimes out of the trunks of their cars. They had their own system of distribution. So the big boys said, “Wait a minute, we have to cash in on this.” But they didn’t want conscious rap. They wanted gangsta rap. So the more you promote gangster rap, the more you promote guns, the more they can sell prisons on the stock market. Cause they know they are going to fill it with the brothers and sisters from the inner-cities.”

  28. Amen to that.

    Someone told me years ago that research has been done proving that the colors red & green in combination make people want to spend money. Is it any coincidence that Christmas and 7-11 use these colors, to name a few? Theres also been studies done to learn exact decibels and musical tones to provoke specific responses, and these are used in commercials.

    Makes me wonder to what level my mind is controlled… I mean on the one hand, to admit you have a problem is the first step to solving it, but on the other hand, how many problems do we all have that we have not even realized yet?

    That is a deep point you make in regards to the person who swears an oath to serve and help the people, but nevertheless gets used by the system. Like the doctor who thinks she is working on a cure for something, instead, the research is used to make a terrible weapon which is employed against the very same people who she sought to cure.

    Twisted.

  29. forewarned is forearmed. we left out another reason that sex and drug laden rap and hip hop sells to young white america- sex and drugs. wasp america has the dichotomy thing going on- puritans on the inside and perverts on the inside. how many evangelicals get busted for porn? anyhoo- this post isn’t about marketability- and i agree with the wasp- old white male domination thing. being a white female- i at least know a little about being shafted in a white male world. not on the same level as folks of color- certainly- but it is there. what we have to do is work it from the inside out. it’s the only way. my focus these days is to take the neo cons down and save the planet from self destruction- but the left is just as bad in many ways. we have to pick our battles because we have so many. posts like these- and critical thinking and debate (rare in any avenue in america these days)- are crucial to taking our civil liberties back from the neo cons- and wresting power from the old white money. seriously, most of the planet is non white- as was mentioned above- and many of these other parts of the world are on their way up- we are on our way down. globalization is making a more level playing field. there is no better time than now to work for change- as much as we condemn the lyrics and antics of many in the hip hop realm- it has brought more young people together- of both colors- than in the past. take the positives and work with them- and change the negatives. we have a real opportunity ahead. is it possible to trust and work together? or have too many bridges been burned?

  30. EM: you nailed it; anything that is good and can be used to raise up our communities is systematically perverted/appropriated in order to remove its revolutionary capability. They neutered the civil rights movement; they’ve neutered hiphop. Its SOP, baby.

    Bet: the reason it is critical to breakdown the R/WS is that other Isms are used to marginalize other people. Women are bound and gagged by patriarchy; but white women are offered a seat on the white throne, the white pedestal to buy them off. When we can see, like Neo in the “Matrix”, the code that binds us, then we will be able to tear this false kingdom down and build something better.

  31. As Dylan said, “He’s (the rappers) only a pawn in their game”!

  32. You…are hard to contact!

    I guess I’ll write it here…Carnival of Feminists is in 2 days, and I respect your writing (as do many other feminists & pro-feminists), so I’d appreciate any submissions you have. Please send them to:

    http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_126.html

    -Katie from KitKat’s Critique / Sly Civilian’s comments pages

  33. FS – don’t have the time to read all of the 30+ comments, but I wanted to say “AMEN!” to this post!
    I came through because I noticed your link on Dave’s blog and most on his blog roll “make me think” and glad to see that you’re no exception:-).

  34. […] head over there after reading and/or commenting on this post. specifically, a point was made by the freeslave that “advertising agencies use psychologists to help them craft pitches to people.” […]

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