[Kamikaze] Spike's Daze

I've always been a fan of Spike Lee, especially for his "take no crap" stance against the Hollywood establishment.

However, Spike's been on a rant lately, even bringing his tirade to Ole Miss recently. The millionaire director is yet another addition to my "you know what" list of enemies to the hip-hop nation. Lee is another rich African-American celebrity who's decided to blame our ills on hip-hop artists. In his speech at Oxford during a Black History Month celebration, Lee said that hip-hop culture has "perpetuated a cult of violence, drug use, disrespect to women and ignorance among a staggering portion of young blacks."

Thank you so kindly, sir, for coming down here and putting us ignorant rappers in our place. Certainly we are to blame for attitudes that emerged long before rap. It's an easy fix to find a tangible cause to black folks' problems. But I'm sick and tired of these holier-than-thou types descending from their seat upon high to point the finger at something they know little about. Lee's taken every recent opportunity to bash my profession, going so far as to say that Snoop (who is docile by today's standards), is part of the problem but that he "likes" him because he's "funny." To me, that is almost like calling him a coon!

Understand this, Spike: Hip-hop artists are products of their environment. They are only documenting what they've seen in their locality. Unlike those who do rise above such squalor, some artists did not have the positive influence or opportunity to advance in their thinking. When not given a viable alternative, obviously their frame of reference will be limited.

How about pointing the finger at an unleveled playing field? A society at large that seemingly ignores poverty? A society with a flawed education system? A society that makes it difficult—not impossible, but difficult—to succeed if you're not from the right side of the tracks. And that's if you're black or white!

Before hip-hop arrived in 1978, what was the cause of violence and misogyny in the black community? Al Green? Sly Stone? P-Funk? Spike, those problems you mentioned existed long before hip-hop and will exist long after it has morphed into something else. It's a have/have not issue, an education vs. ignorance issue. Not a Snoop or Nelly issue.

You, Bill Cosby, and the like can return to your gated communities and plush homes while we're left to fend for ourselves. When's the last time you've been in the hood, Spike? Well I was just there yesterday. And surprise ... it ain't all good.

Drug use, violence and poverty still surround our young people, and Bush has his foot on their necks. So forgive them if they don't have anything positive to rap about. Your negative stereotype of rappers mirrors the same negative stereotypes that you tried to pin on fraternities and sororities in "School Daze" years ago. Maybe that's just the latent nerd in you striking back against the "cool people."

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff!

Previous Comments

ID
71481
Comment

Every time folks talk about violence and misogyny in rap, I think about cowboy songs. John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, Sam Bass--the notorious outlaws all got songs written about them, and more often than not dime store novels glamourizing their lives. Hell, even the OK Corral gunfight was probably nothing more than illegal mass slaughter perpetuated by a group of half-drunk, violent criminals--Wild Bill and Doc Holliday were nicknamed "the fighting pimps" for a reason. And even Johnny Cash, bless his soul, sang about how he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. I understand that none of this matters, because cowboy songs were generally sung by and about white people, and white people are special. They get special dispensation. Back then special dispensation sometimes involved large crowds of people, shotguns, ropes, and occasionally a last deposit at a shallow grave near Philadelphia, Mississippi, or the Tallahatchie River. Most of the upstanding white gentlemen who committed these murders haven't been tried and never will be. But please, let's talk about Nelly and why he shouldn't compare his penis to power tools. I know Bill Cosby's speech wasn't as bad as a lot of white-wingers made it out to be, but as someone who has read the thing, I'm just not that impressed. Now, I like Bill Cosby and I like Spike Lee, and the men certainly have a right to their opinions--and a hell of a lot more right to opine about the 'hood than I do, for obvious reasons. But I have to say that it depresses me when I see another black celebrity just land on the black community without suggesting anything constructive that can be done as an alternative short of saying that every kid in the 'hood should spend four to six hours doing homework or expect to fail--which is not what they tell the white kids--or telling them to wear their pants higher for no good reason, or to stop valuing bling, or to stop listening to their own culture's music and llisten to... What, exactly? Tchaikovsky? Meanwhile, affluent whites hoot and holler because there's a black man saying what they say about black people every day. Which is, I'm sure, the last thing Bill Cosby and Spike Lee want. But there it is. Good article, Kamikaze. You note I never actually defended hip-hop as a genre. That's because I don't like hip-hop as a genre. But if it's any consolation, I don't like cowboy songs, either. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-22T22:46:34-06:00
ID
71482
Comment

Terrible article. You should take this down and burn it at your earliest convenience. First of all, why are you hating on Spike Lee ? This is a strong black man who made it without little to no financial help from the white/jew coalition in America aka the Establishment. Spike's not the problem, your ignorance of Black people and your connections to have it posted up on the i-net for everyone to see is the problem. Spike clearly says "hip-hop culture has perpetuated a cult of violence, drug use, disrespect to women and ignorance among a staggering portion of young blacks." And he's right!.. He's not pointing AT the rappers, He's Pointing OUT the culture, which has rapidly and consistently declined since it's inception. When have you EVER known somebody to put sh!t on a sno-cone and make it taste bettter?!? PLEASE TELL ME. Black slaves were forced to eat pig guts, cow intestines and drink horse urine and creek water to survive , but nowadays Blacks are eating/drinking better because of the knowledge gained over the years. all your "product of environment" talk is utter garbage. nothing more. You can't sit and blame society for your own f*ck ups. then rap about it. that's retarded. Tom - It's not about "special dispensation" because neither Johnny Cash nor the average foul mouth rapper is the root cause of anything negative or positive in their respective communities. Their just musicians in genres. the AUDIENCE is the ultimate relay between the music and real life because the audience ultimately makes up the public's perception. Tom wrote - But I have to say that it depresses me when I see another black celebrity just land on the black community without suggesting anything constructive that can be done as an alternative short of saying that every kid in the 'hood should spend four to six hours doing homework or expect to fail-- Does it depress you even more to know that kids aren't learning at all anymore? ....even while at school 7-8 hours? I think 4-6 hours is a bit much right after school, but I would consider 3-4 hours. Nothing wrong with that idea at. all.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-23T12:32:17-06:00
ID
71483
Comment

...oh and a quick NEWS FLASH Kamikaze, it's never been "cool" to sell drugs, rape your own women and kill your own borthers all in the name of keeping it real. and Spike is from New York, the biggest ghetto in America, he's in the "hood" everyday. Have you forgotten that Spike Lee is STILL a big fan and supporter of the world's most dangerous rap group, PUBLIC ENEMY?

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-23T12:40:56-06:00
ID
71484
Comment

JSU writes: This is a strong black man who made it without little to no financial help from the white/jew coalition in America aka the Establishment. With all due respect, I'm pretty doggone sure he wasn't making low-budget films just because he went all Stokely Carmichael on our asses and decided he didn't want that "white/Jew money"; his early movies were low-budget because he didn't have the option of financial backing, "white/Jew" or otherwise, and everything I know about Lee tells me that he wouldn't have turned down a sponsor's money just because of skin color. Does it depress you even more to know that kids aren't learning at all anymore? ....even while at school 7-8 hours? Hell, yes, but I blame the underfunded school system--with huge classes, and a mandate to "keep kids off the streets" (e.g., imprison black kids so they won't become juvenile delinquents) rather than educate them--as much as or more than I blame black youth culture (and notice I didn't say "hip-hop culture," which I believe is Kamikaze's problem--that phrase suggests music is at the root of all this). I was homeschooled. Read a hell of a lot of books. Started college at 14. I don't remember putting in very many 15-hour studying days, though. That starts becoming counterproductive after the tenth hour or so. My feeling is that if you come home after 8 hours at school and still have to log 4 hours of homework, the 8 hours at school probably weren't all that productive and may as well be scrapped. We need a serious public school reform package, and not just the unfunded mandate that is No White Child Left Behind. Have you forgotten that Spike Lee is STILL a big fan and supporter of the world's most dangerous rap group, PUBLIC ENEMY? Uhm, didn't Public Enemy stop being dangerous sometime around the third episode of Strange Love? Just asking. I loved "Make Love F__k War" (the collaboration Public Enemy did with Moby protesting the Iraq War), but I think Flavor Flav is going to need to spend a lot less time on VH1's Celebreality programming block if he wants to be taken seriously as a black artist again. Even Chuck D wrote him an open letter to the effect of "You're embarrassing me, man." Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-23T13:45:15-06:00
ID
71485
Comment

What and article and replies! I tell you, I'm inclined to agree with Spike and JSU despite having defended the good side of Rappers and Rap Music many times. I have said many times before that Rap has brought young people of all races together more quickly and solidly than anything I know of. Yet I can not agree more that there has been a great downside to Rap as it has affected black youths in particular and all youths in general. And, I don't have the fears that white folks had about Rock and Roll many years ago. The truth of the matter is that Rap has caused good and bad things to hapen in our society. I don't see how anybody can honestly deny that. Spike doesn't deserve to mentioned in the same breath with Cosby. Spike has defended and assisted in elevating Rap on many occasions. Even Chris Rock now says, "I still love Rap but can no longer defend it." He went on to mention a song called "I got hoes (whores) in different area codes."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-23T13:52:40-06:00
ID
71486
Comment

An important discussion, friends, and I applaud Kamikaze for getting it started. NOW, everyone take a breath and don't make it personal. This is one of those topics where you can hold several thoughts at once, which I suspect that everyone who has posted so far here does, in fact, on this issue. JSU, I understand your passion, and you make some good points, but attacking the messinger here is the same thing you're accusing Kamikaze of doing. So everyone back up a step, but please keep talking.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-23T15:03:45-06:00
ID
71487
Comment

Well said, Donna. I certainly didn't mean to attack Kamikaze. Actually, I agree to some level with him. My problem is with the apparent reluctance of many of them to admit that Rap has a bad side too that needs addressing by the Rappers themselves. Perhaps if they addressed that issue more fervently and honestly they could silence the critics and clean up thier bad acts at the same time. Once again, I was sitting in a car in Baltimore about to turn the ignition switch when suddenly I heard Nelly's song, "It's Hot in Here." The sound (music and cadence) was ao tantalizing I couldn't even move until the song was over. And I had no idea what the song was about until I heard it a few more time. I can say the same about a couple of Mystical songs. I can't wait until he gets out of prison. Since his incarceration, we don't have enough Rappers who holler the lyrics at you. The girls like it when the Rapper is really hard and he hollers the lyrics at them, so I'm told.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-23T15:20:29-06:00
ID
71488
Comment

My feeling is that if you come home after 8 hours at school and still have to log 4 hours of homework, the 8 hours at school probably weren't all that productive and may as well be scrapped. I whole heartedly disagree. the extra schooling that the kids get at home would probably be more like rehashing and communicative sessions to let the parents know how well their child is doing in school. in effect, homeschooling. You were homeschooled all day, good for you. My Parents couldn't afford that so your input about what needs to happen with the public schools because they appear disfunctional in lieu of a few mandatory hours at home, garners no merit. We need a serious public school reform package, and not just the unfunded mandate that is No White Child Left Behind. More importanly, We need teachers who want to teach. Uhm, didn't Public Enemy stop being dangerous sometime around the third episode of Strange Love? Just asking. I loved "Make Love F__k War" (the collaboration Public Enemy did with Moby protesting the Iraq War), but I think Flavor Flav is going to need to spend a lot less time on VH1's Celebreality programming block if he wants to be taken seriously as a black artist again. Even Chuck D wrote him an open letter to the effect of "You're embarrassing me, man." For years whites thought PE was just some old angry Black men with microphones and black hearts, but Flavor flav is showing that we know how to laugh too. His show is hilarious. That's what he does...provide comic relief...he's always done it..even with the group. Chuck D isn't as embarrassed as you may think.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-23T16:39:48-06:00
ID
71489
Comment

JSU writes: I whole heartedly disagree. the extra schooling that the kids get at home would probably be more like rehashing and communicative sessions to let the parents know how well their child is doing in school. in effect, homeschooling. ...which tells me, here again, that public schools aren't receiving enough funding. Public school students shouldn't have to spend all day at school and then come home and get homeschooled. What's the point of that, except to make it even less appealing for low-income kids to get a good education by setting unrealistic goals? You were homeschooled all day, good for you. My Parents couldn't afford that so your input about what needs to happen with the public schools because they appear disfunctional in lieu of a few mandatory hours at home, garners no merit. You're missing my point, JSU. I'm not saying that all kids should be homeschooled. I'm saying public schools should earn the 8 hours a day they get with kids by actually, you know, educating them--and that if they educate them, the extra 4 hours of homeschooling shouldn't be necessary. I mean, maybe it would be nice in some cases, but it shouldn't be necessary to spend upwards of 60 hours a week getting educated. Come on! Most law school students don't even have to do that. My feeling is that kids should go to school or get homeschooled. They shouldn't be forced to attend school by way of compulsory education laws, then be expected to come back home and get 4 hours of homeschooling every day. More importanly, We need teachers who want to teach. That comes from funding. Pay teachers better, pay administrators better (so the people in charge aren't so incompetent as to drive good teachers away), and you'll have more teachers who want to teach. I want to clarify this by saying that for a lot of public school kids--maybe most--the system still works. Most teachers do want to teach. Most students do end up graduating just fine without doubling up and getting homeschooled on the side. I'm not here to bash public schools. I do think they need to work more often. For years whites thought PE was just some old angry Black men with microphones and black hearts, I never did. but Flavor flav is showing that we know how to laugh too. His show is hilarious. That's what he does...provide comic relief...he's always done it..even with the group. Chuck D isn't as embarrassed as you may think. He must be hiding it well. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-23T16:59:51-06:00
ID
71490
Comment

Sorry; I meant to link to this article instead. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-23T17:04:17-06:00
ID
71491
Comment

Hey, guy, I was there, and what I heard was not Spike Lee striking out at all rap (he did say that he is a rap fan), but at the rap that disrespects women so badly and glorifies drugs, violence and the pimp lifestyle. And I have to agree with him about Snoop - Snoop is charming, funny, likeable in many of his public appearances, but he has his side that influences young men to treat women as property to be bought and sold that I dislike. While rap may not be responsible for those attitudes, a great deal of rap is responsible for making those attitudes more generally acceptable and for making them seem "cool" to young people (much in the way that cigarettes were made to seem cool to young people of another era). So - goes without saying that I don't agree with you on Spike. And as far as pointing the finger at an unlevel playing field and a society at large that ignores poverty, Spike does that as well. I tend to come closer to agreeing with you on Bill Cosby, though (even though, like Tom, I have liked him - but I liked him a lot better before some of his recent blanket statements). Still and yet, both of these men are starting a conversation that needs to happen (although I believe a white person's place in that conversation is kinda iffy, so I won't say too much more). And Tom, Spike did suggest constructive alternatives - he told young people to work hard, to study, no matter what their peers said about them being "too white", and for them to follow their dreams, to go for what they wanted to do, not just for the money or what their parents had in mind for them. Kamikaze, I have to admit that I'm not a big rap fan, but I do appreciate some songs and I appreciate it more after going to a couple of step shows and experiencing the impossibility of keeping my feet and body still. :-) I just don't appreciate the way some of the verses make me, as a woman, feel. And that's being very polite and restrained. And I don't enjoy hearing f**k and ho and other impolite words at an unbearable decibal level blasting out of every passing car (including the white kids, who, I understand, buy as much or more than the black kids). So there is the dichotomy - between enjoying the beat (and the dancing), and the poetry of much of the work, but hating some of the thoughts and words coming out of the worst songs and the fricking LOUD loudspeakers that drown out what I'm listening to. Show us a better side of rap - please! And if I am missing something, tell me straight out and I promise to give it much thought.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-23T22:33:00-06:00
ID
71492
Comment

A confession: I absolutely hate "pimp"/"ho" language, casual use of the word "bitch," and so on. There's a lot about specific rap artists I don't like. In fact, the main reason I don't listen to much rap is because I can't go 15 minutes on a hip-hop radio station without hearing something that pisses me off. It's just that when I see negative comments made about hip-hop as a genre, I don't find it to be very constructive. I feel like it's more of a culture war thing. I could be seeing too much Bill Cosby in Spike Lee. I dunno. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-23T23:27:36-06:00
ID
71493
Comment

I'm back:) I was going to resign myself to silence, but had a few things to say. 1. Any Kamikaze on the podcast for us to hear? 2. A home schooler's telling us public shoolers what the problem is. Your a funny guy. Have you been staying at Holiday Inn Express lately? 3. Who can tell me what kind of rap it is i used to hear on the radio in the mid 90's down in New Orleans/WestBank? (does it get broken out that way?) It was raw, pissed off, strong and some great bass lines. Usually late on the Weekends. I like the part when they would have call in people rapping. Anyways...who was the guy who sang Marrero song? I think we went to the same high school and wanted to look up his pic (think he's passed). 4.What's Kamikaze's purpose in his music? Motivate or Educate or fill in the blank? I'mintereseted in the actual philosphies.

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-02-24T00:24:39-06:00
ID
71494
Comment

A home schooler's telling us public shoolers what the problem is. Your a funny guy. Have you been staying at Holiday Inn Express lately? guy, I'm a straight white male anti-heterosexist antiracist feminist; I gave up identity politics a long time ago. Besides, don't look now but this generation's public education policy is being written up by a bunch of private school graduates anyway. Besides, part two, you don't have to be a public school graduate to see that expecting kids to spend 60 hours a week doing anything they don't enjoy isn't really realistic and probably isn't really fair. The implication of the Cosby speech was "go to school, come home, and spend every remaining waking hour studying or you deserve to fail." Which of us is less in touch with the average public school kid? You can find some of Kamikaze's music here. I think he's best known for a track called "Hee Haw," which has a really nice beat. The chorus goes something like this: "If you observe a gentleman acting in an emotionally unstable and disruptive manner in an entertainment establishment, then infliction of moderate head trauma may be appropriate." I'm going by memory, of course, so my wording's probably off. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-24T01:25:45-06:00
ID
71495
Comment

Well stated, CW.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T09:58:13-06:00
ID
71496
Comment

Now let me chime in...Donna, Im a big boy...attacks never faze me. in fact the more aggressive the better. I use their own momentum against them...JSU, your comments came in the hardest so I will just simply step to the side and let you rush past...You dont even get a full response but I'll bless ya. Your comments already let me know you dont know what the hell you're talking about so you're what we call on the b-ball court a "self-check". ...Nobody's hatin on spike(read the first sentence) and I dont recall saying it was "cool" to sell drugs or any of the other stuff you mentioned. Are you Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly under an assumed name? Music, TV and film do nothing more than mirror the society they are a part of. Nobody's blaming society but I am taking into account the external stimuli that folks are faced with everyday. Simply put, if they didnt hear it a home, on the streets in front of their home, on the bus ont he way to their school, or on their tv or in a movie, they wouldnt be privvy to such words. Bitch, ho, and the like(as i said in my interview with WAPT16 recently) are merely words that we give waaaay to much power to anyway. however, the existed before rap started and will continue to be said. Its simply not rappers faults. i could even go into the economic reasons why its done but that would take a much longer look into the music business.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T10:42:40-06:00
ID
71497
Comment

But Kamikaze don't you think Rappers can be more responsible such as a Kanye West is belived to be. Just as Rappers have amazingly struck a mighty blow to racism among young people, don't you think y'all have the power to do the same to other vices, evils, codes, words, etc.. I haven't heard much of Kanye West but I know he has been very successful. To my knowledge, he doesn't do Gansta or gutter rap. I despise Rust Limpbaugh (misspelling intended this time). Sho' hope I ain't sounding like him.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T10:57:40-06:00
ID
71498
Comment

"My problem is with the apparent reluctance of many of them to admit that Rap has a bad side too that needs addressing by the Rappers themselves" ...No Ray we DO acknowledge that rap has a "bad" side. And for me that is the music that just isnt creative. Music that doesnt stimulate a response good or bad. The problem is that society at large and the conservative right(and the record labels for that matter) focus solely on the negative. People have a bad connotation of rap music because they are ONLY shown the negative side. Adults, teachers and the like dont like "rappers" because they only see NEGATIVE stories in the press. The positive artists that do positve things in the community or say positive things on record get NO(and i mean NO) publicity. It doesnt boost ratings feel me? They are MANY artists doing good things. ...Case in point, David Banner did not get nearly as much press for the things he did during hurricane Katrina as he would have had a gunfight broke out at one of his concerts. Nelly has a foundation that helps kids with leukemia. HE also contributed thousands of dollars to the hurricane relief effort, but EVERYBODY wants to harp on the damn "Tip Drill" video. The MAP coalition has artists that go into the schools on the daily mentoring kids. We give free shows to the community, we've raised money for candidates AND for victims of Katrina. but let one of us be involved in a barfight or overheard calling a women a bitch and it'll make front page news. THIS is the world we live in. NEGATIVITY is king. And thats with most celebrities whether it be music or movies, white or black. the majority of America is bored with do-gooders. I have the hardest time getting these principals to let me in their schools with my mentoring program. They are predisposed to shut down ANYTHING that has to do with rap or rappers. They shut out good focusing on the bad. I have to get corporate wit em and give them my academic background and flash some of my big vocabulary words to impress them into letting me in to help these kids and thats WRONG!!! Yes, some of my music has no redeeming qualties to it whatsoever. some of it is merely entertainment and i do use ALL those words in my music but I choose to show by my deeds, by my actions, that I am concerned. Words can only go so far. I am a rapper(who cusses) and Im STILL a positive influence. Believe that!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T11:04:31-06:00
ID
71499
Comment

guywithanidea...this is my agenda...I call myself "the enemy of the establishment". I believe im put here to shake things up...to piss people off...to stimulate dialogue. thats what I look to do with my music and my columns.. I strive to entertain FIRST(cause them kids gotta eat) and hopefully EDUCATE throught the music I do. I always put a little knowledge under the hoodspeak. Kids dont like being preached to. Banner and I found that out on our first record "Grey skies" back in 1999 when we first signed to Tommy boy as the group CROOKED LETTAZ. I got a chance to reach waaaaaay more kids after I did a song that said "bust yo head to the white meat" than I ever did BEFORE my breakout hit. My music is a bible with a playboy cover on it so to speak. Once I hae you bobbing yo head, then my message can slowly seep into your brain. Kanye does an excellent job of this. And it is ONLY because he has proven that backpack rap can sell millions that thesee labels are taking notice that positivity can sell. It is simply a bottom line with these labels. they dont give a damn about the the message they push what sells. Period. we could talk for days on this

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T11:12:46-06:00
ID
71500
Comment

I agree. I saw Lil John or whatever his name is give a large sum of money to hurricane relief. I think it was $250,000.00. I might have his name wrong but he's the guy that says "Yeeeaaaaahhhhh." I was shocked and happy. I have also seen alot of your efforts on the same. I personally dont have a problem with "It's Hot in Here" or "Shake it Fast", but I have a problem with my grandchildren, aged 4,5, and 1, hearing it. I know it not your fault that they hear it. It's the parents or whoever in hell lets them hear it. I know yall get wrongly blamed for that too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T11:17:08-06:00
ID
71501
Comment

Other than Rap bringing young folks together like nothing before, the thing I like most about Rap is that it allowed lots of young black kids, males in particular, to find a way to use the system to make money and be their own bosses. My heart was shattered by the Reagan-Era and its aftermath. I lived in Third Ward, Houston, Texas and saw unbelievable suffering by black folks. I felt like it was open season on the black male. They tried to say y'all had no worth and couldn't accomplish anything worthwhile or financial. Then y'all created Rap music, white kids and the rest loved it, and forced their parents to give them money to purchse it. How about this for telling the establishment to kiss your ***es.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T11:28:32-06:00
ID
71502
Comment

...and I will have two songs for the podcast real soon. My website isnt updated so I have new material past HEE HAW. somebody get the podguy to call me. and I'll drop off some stuff. goto mapcoaltion.com too. ....the reason why im so adamant is because this is what I DO for a living. I'm a RAPPER!!! I am in these hoods everyday. I TALK to these kids EVERYDAY. I know what makes them tick because I take the time to ask what on their mind. I dont just do the normal adult "I know what you're trying to do. I'm smarter than you, Just do what we say" mantra. These kids have genuine concerns and genuine feelings and we're not listening. we just assume we know what they're going through. We just assume that 8 more hours of homework will fix their problems but its deeper than that. Some of them are hurting. And it pains me to hear comments like JSU's because he doesnt know. Nobody can out-argue me on this issue. Im simply to close to it and simply have too much passion for it and these kids that listen to it. Spike aint been to the hood in 15 years!!! he may have passed by it in his car or walked briskly through it but he aint talking to or for those people. Why do you think TUPAC wielded so much power??? He kicked it with what society called the "least" of us. he felt their pain and in turn they didnt think he was feeding them politically correct crap. they felt like he spoke for them. Spike and Cosby aint speaking for us.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T11:31:07-06:00
ID
71503
Comment

Now let me chime in...Donna, Im a big boy...attacks never faze me. in fact the more aggressive the better. Kamikaze, you'll be happy to know that I don't moderate the site, and prohibit personal attacks, to protect you or the other big boys and girls around here. ;-) It's done to protect the integrity of the conversation and to keep many different types of people coming back, so the site doesn't devolve into the childish screaming matches we see on other blogs.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T11:32:06-06:00
ID
71504
Comment

Kamikaze, I read Spike's book a couple of months ago. For the longest time, he kept the house they grew up in so as to also be in the hood. I think he still has it. I doubt he spends much time there, however.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T11:37:25-06:00
ID
71505
Comment

however, the existed before rap started and will continue to be said. Its simply not rappers faults. I don't buy that, Kamikaze. That's a cop-out. Yes, the words are out there, and rappers have the right to use them, but it doesn't mean that it's particularly progressive, interesting, responsible or helpful to society to do so. We could come up with some other choice words and phrases that have been out there in the venacular for the long time that should not be used to make money off of, either. This doesn't only apply to rappers, but it does apply to them, too. I say that as, over all, a supporter of hip-hop. But that doesn't mean that I find everything hip-hop artists, or any other group, responsible, however. I don't believe in blanket attacks, or blanket defensiveness, of any group. I have the hardest time getting these principals to let me in their schools with my mentoring program. They are predisposed to shut down ANYTHING that has to do with rap or rappers. They shut out good focusing on the bad. I think this is one of the most important points that you're making here: that people generalize and stereotype rappers unfairly. That said, many of the more successful rappers help create that scenario. I have to get corporate wit em and give them my academic background and flash some of my big vocabulary words to impress them into letting me in to help these kids and thats WRONG!!! Now, I don't see what's wrong with you having to do that in order to convince principals and academics that you're intelligent enough to mentor their kids, and not going to teach them a lot of trash. We should all have to prove ourselves before the schools let us at the kids. I worry that a little of the anti-intellectual attitude is creeping in here -- not that you are anti-intellectual at all, but that you're mimicking, purposefully or not, some of the idea among some young people that they shouldn't have to "act smart," or speak well, or so on. That worries me a little, being that that attitude is holding a lot of young people back. Spike and Cosby aint speaking for us. Doesn't it take many voices, Kamikaze? I doubt you're speaking for every young black person, either. You shouldn't. It's not like we can stereotype every young African American as feeling or believing or liking the same thing. I think it takes many strong voices and role models, including yours, Spike's, Cosby's, Kanye's and others -- including mentors of other races. That said, I think it's great for you to question what they're saying and get the dialogue going. And it's really important to challenge the people who lift them out of context for their own, often racist purposes.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T11:42:44-06:00
ID
71506
Comment

"I know it not your fault that they hear it. It's the parents or whoever in hell lets them hear it. I know yall get wrongly blamed for that too." Bless you..my sentiments exactly. If everyone would police their OWN household first instead of trying to regulate things, then these artists would have nothing to feed on. And for those who dont have those figures inside the home to explain lyrics or turn the channel, then lets all help find them a positive influence who can. But it ultimately starts at home..I do it for my 2 at home.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T11:44:20-06:00
ID
71507
Comment

and I dont recall saying it was "cool" to sell drugs or any of the other stuff you mentioned. Are you Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly under an assumed name? I don't think so, but if I sound like either one of these slimeballs, I'm not expressing myself very well. Let me go off and muse on this while I lick my wounds. (Ouch! Damn, that hurts!). Simply put, if they didnt hear it a home, on the streets in front of their home, on the bus ont he way to their school, or on their tv or in a movie, they wouldnt be privvy to such words. b****, ho, and the like(as i said in my interview with WAPT16 recently) are merely words that we give waaaay to much power to anyway. however, the existed before rap started and will continue to be said. Its simply not rappers faults. Not their fault that these words are used, but seems to me that some rappers give these words waaaaaay more attention and power than they deserve to have. I could even go into the economic reasons why its done but that would take a much longer look into the music business. I think I understand that, and I understand the economics that are fueled by the violence and the gangsta image. That is not the rapper's fault, but the music moguls who see the money potential in all the sensationalistic media coverage. Bad news always gets more press than good news (how many people do you know who go out of their way to gossip about something good - it's human nature at it's most base). And I didn't say it before, but I do admire the way rappers (or at least, some rappers) call society on it's hypocrisies; the more bitter and raw it is, the more attention it garners, no doubt.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-24T11:50:10-06:00
ID
71508
Comment

If everyone would police their OWN household first instead of trying to regulate things, then these artists would have nothing to feed on. I agree. I think that's important. I also have made the argument many times that hip-hop reflects what young artists have witnessed and seen, and that's good, even the negative. But it's not the *only* thing that's important, especially since you know as well as I do that we need to help young people who aren't getting good influences in their homes, no matter what. Using the "home" excuse for anything we want to do, or not do, is abdicating a level of responsibility. And I do think it is a much harder argument to make about the commercial rappers degrading women at every turn. I don't appreciate the excuse-making on that point, and wish we would see more personal responsibility coming from the leaders in hip-hop. And I'm not buying the idea that hip-hop cannot exist or be successful without the stupid misogyny, or credit cards through women's cracks. I mean, you could have young skinheads doing joyful videos of cross-burnings or spitting racial slurs because that's what they've seen at home, and in their communities, and we wouldn't appreciate that, either. We wouldn't buy the pitiful excuse that, well, they're seeing it in their homes and neighborhoods. So put me solidly in the camp that appreciates the roots of hip-hops and what many artists do/have done for their community, and much of the music being made. But I also refuse to blanketly excuse the negative images being put out by some of the more successful artists (including some I like) because it's trendy or makes money. That needs to be called out for what it is: irresponsible. If that's what Spike was saying, I agree with that point. But, as I said, I think it's good that you're airing out this discussion of this remarks. We need to have these kinds of discussions, instead of all just choosing one camp or the other. This is a complex issue, as the comments here show.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T11:56:02-06:00
ID
71509
Comment

Wow, Donna, what a post. My sentiments exactly. I do want parents to be responsible for what their children hear. But we all know we have children having children who have never been raised themselves. This is a point that make lots of us angry. Since the parents won't protect the children from garbage, we, the caring and responsible ones, (including rappers), have to chime in where we can. I'm sure Kamikaze would agree. Kamikaze, just think of how much more you Rappers would accomplish if you clened up your act and was still very successful. In a matter of time, you could shut up the Bill Bennetts, and the likes. But don't be too concerned about racist bigots, do it for the children coming after you.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T12:07:56-06:00
ID
71510
Comment

No...not being anti-intellectual at all. However, if I sit in front of a principal and say that I want to bring a mentoring program into their school for an assembly. I would get a "sure" or "great" They would ask what kind of message I would be bringing, yes, but that would be formality. Principals are for anything that could be a positive influence on their students right? If I said that I was a pastor and would bring that same program and have the MS Mass choir come sing. I wouldnt face any opposition. But the fact that if I, in passing, mention that I rap or the program will be hip-hop centered, my program will get the red flag or shot down all together. The fact that I want to do something positive for the kids should be reason enough. What? you cant believe Im a rapper because Im educated? because I have an extensive vocabulary? I was in a mtg at city hall Wed and a lady on the staff said to me, after knowing that I was a rapper, "You speak soooo well!" Thats no compliment to any person. black or white, rapper or teacher. Point is...educators think so little of us that they think we dont have the common sense to NOT get up in a school setting and use profanity or broken english in front of kids. Like we're gonna get on stage and start screaming bitch and ho in a school auditorium. Like we dont have the training to distinguish between the street and a school. Any rapper has more sense than that. ...And no I dont speak for all black folks, and not even all YOUNG black folks. But at least when I do speak it is from a point of reference. Not from a judgemental pedestal like spike or cosby. For example, there's alot of stripper talk going on lately so let me use this analogy....I can't sit back and point a finger at a stripper and tell her that what she is doing is wrong(many women feel it is degrading). especially when it is a legal business. If Im not a stripper or dont know the conditions or reasons under which she is stripping I cant judge. If thats what she wants to do or if thats what she has to do to feed herself then thats her thing. Unless I can offer her an alternative or spend ONE night in her shoes I have nothing constructive to say to her. She may hear everyday that she is wrong or what she is doing is wrong but condemnation without explanation is wrong too. Spike and cosby would descend into the strip club, wag their finger, tell the strippers they are bad people and they're ruining society and leave. You got a job for me spike?? what about you cosby? they would ask. ...same thing with the rappers....I bring alternatives to the table when I go speak. Go into these hoods and find out why these kids are saying the things they are saying. find out why they are living like they are living. Find the meaning behind the lyrics. take the time to listen. No, some rappers are not being responsible with their lyrics, but I will forever defend their right to use them. For whatever reason they use them thats their choice. Rappers simply cant be blamed for words that my grandaddy was using in 1927(and used unitl the day he passed for that matter). And I dont think we can be blamed for even making them "popular"

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T12:14:03-06:00
ID
71511
Comment

Rappers simply cant be blamed for words that my grandaddy was using in 1927(and used unitl the day he passed for that matter). Nope. I'm not buying it. They have the right to use them, but yes they can most certainly be "blamed" for the negative impact they might have. And they should be. Try this: Skinhead bands can't be blamed for words that their granddaddy was using in 1927. I do not agree. They most certainly can be blamed, or even condemned, for them. And people should not buy their music. It's one thing for you to say rappers have the "right" to use 1927-era misogynistic language, but it's another altogether for you to tell other people not to "blame" them. That's not up to you to decide.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T12:19:29-06:00
ID
71512
Comment

I have a request. I have a friend who teaches at-risk kids in a Detroit inner city school. She occasionally uses rap in her literature classes. Do you have any particular song(s) that you might recommend to her for use in her classes to motivate and mentor?

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-24T12:19:46-06:00
ID
71513
Comment

It all boils down to money...what sells and what doesnt...skinhead rap wouldnt sell because people simply wouldnt buy it...There is a SMALL section of America that would purchase it, but not nearly enough to warrant legitimacy. but understand and listen clearly...IF SKINHEAD RAP WAS TO PROVE IT COULD SELL A MILLION UNITS, THE LABELS WOULD TRIP OVER THEMSELVES TRYING TO FIND RACIST RAP ACTS!!!!!! quote me on that!!! Like I said Kanye has proven positivity and creativity can sell but he is but one artist. Labels are taking notice but its not enough for them to totally change the trend. that depends on the consumer. and changing what the consumer wants means changing how the consumer thinks. that means getting to these kids and getting them to realize that glamorizing a gangsta lifestyle is not cool. that simple...Kids react by "whats cool" and "whats not cool" ..And lastly I will NEVER apologize for keeping my lights on and keeping my kids fed. With some artists who havent reached a certain plateau, it boils down to eating and not eating. If you are an artist, then you must sell records bottom line. Its not irresponsible on the ARTIST's part for trying to live. Sometimes I feel like folks want rappers to starve to maintain integrity or to prove a point. I would never ask anyone to do this. I had my most successful years to date AFTER I made a song telling people to "bust someone's head to the white meat". but it took me to another level industry wise. and Im no sell-out by any means as many of the "backpacker" set around these parts would have ya to believe. All I can do is prove by my actions as I said before. And I think I do a good job of that...whew!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T12:34:33-06:00
ID
71514
Comment

Anyway, Kamikaze, I have nothing but love for you. I wish you well. I'm sure the Mississippi boys of note, you and Banner, are representing us well. I don't believe either of you would do anything as crazy as those West and East Coast rappers would. You know better. I wish you great success. The more you get, the greater your chance to do good and help other. I realize the Rap game is a rough gig.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T12:39:10-06:00
ID
71515
Comment

It all boils down to money...what sells and what doesnt You know, I just don't think it does. And was Nelly really keeping his kids fed by swiping a credit card through a woman's ass and showing millions of young black men (and women) that women are little more than whores? Are there really no moral lines here? It's all about money? If you're really saying that, then it sounds like you're affirming the stereotypes that the Rush crowd et al are spreading about y'all. Nobody's asking for apologies for keeping the lights on and feeding the family. We all have to do that. But that doesn't mean there aren't, or shouldn't be, limits on how far we're willing to go to make money, and the affects we are willing to have on our own people in order to do so. I agree that good deeds are important. But, honestly, a white supremacist could give money to charity (and many did) and still be hurting society with their views and actions. Likewise, I don't buy that Nelly's giving a lot of money to "the community" makes up for his actions that treat women like pieces of meat.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T12:41:34-06:00
ID
71516
Comment

"Skinhead bands can't be blamed for words that their granddaddy was using in 1927." Racism is a mindset that is taught and passed down through generations. And I think they can AND can't be blamed(if thats possible). But to support my argument...they "can't" be blamed because they are simply espousing a thought they have been taught and brought up on. they know nothing else. It has surrounded them. you grow up in a racist household and everybody in your family tree is racist, sure you can rise above that, but chances are...you're gonna be racist too. same thing with rappers who grew up in impovershed surroundings. when all you hae seen your whole life is poverty, drugs, violence, misogyny etc., sure you can rise above that, but chances are you may doomed to repeat the cycle. If it isnt anyone around you telling you that using bitch an ho are wrong then you wont know the difference. If a skinhead isnt immediately around someone who can school him differently he wont know anything other than being racist.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T12:41:38-06:00
ID
71517
Comment

Kamikazee, I might add, do the best you can when you can. But don't get too down on yourself. Corporate America is a corrupt game too with much cheating, stealing and abusing. So, too, is an idea called America!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T12:46:18-06:00
ID
71518
Comment

Racism is a mindset that is taught and passed down through generations. So is misogyny. So is the belief that violence solves problems. they "can't" be blamed because they are simply espousing a thought they have been taught and brought up on. Kamikaze, *you* have blamed them in your column in the JFP, and should. If it isnt anyone around you telling you that using b**** an ho are wrong then you wont know the difference. I think that's the exact argument many of us making right here. We want to see you and other intelligent hip-hop leaders make the argument that using "b!tch" and "ho" in rap lyrics are wrong, so that young people of today know the difference. But your response has been that rappers don't have to/need to do that, and that it's a matter of economics for them. We *know* that already. That doesn't mean it's a good enough answer, though, when so much is riding on that answer. In the 1960s, it was an "economic" decision for many businesses in Mississippi not to end Jim Crow because they would be boycotted and potentially destroyed by the goons of the white Citizens Council. Most business people made the wrong, immoral decision to keep quiet. They would have argued that they needed to feed their families, too. I am perfectly comfortable "blaming" them today for harming our community greatly with their silence -- even as I can, to a point, understand the pressures they were under. To me, it's pretty simple: You either stand up for what's right, or you don't.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T12:50:13-06:00
ID
71519
Comment

Man, Donna should write a book on this. It should be a must read for every Rappers and lover of it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T12:50:49-06:00
ID
71520
Comment

Well Donna I believe we are ALWAYS gonna disagree on that Nelly issue...And for the record, as I've stated before, I didnt see the woman turn around and punch nelly when he swiped the card. Nor did I hear about it happening off camera. So I would assume she was cool with it. And though you may not like it, and she didnt object to it, what else can you say. She is grown, had every opportunity to object, had every right to draw a line, and didnt. This calls to personal responsiblity now...Sorry but where I come from(and this is gonna be harsh for some so cover your eyes) there ARE SLUTS, WHORES, AND BITCHES!!! women who carry themselves in an uncouth fashion. It exists. deal with it. Ive seen guys grab girls breasts and backsides in a club a million times. Sometimes they get the taste slapped out of there mouths...and sometimes they dont. Are the dudes wrong if the women dont slap them for grabbing them...NO. the women were cool with it. If the women stuck out her backside and said "Nelly swip that card down my crack" whats a guy to do?? NOT swipe it??? he could have chose not to donna but he did. Thats life. Is anyone holding a gun to the girls head on those "Girls Gone Wild" commericals. NO. Women you need to just realize that thes women are a part of your existence just like we acknowledge that there are plenty of jerks in the male species. If you're not a bitch whore or slut...Then we're not talking to you and you and you know it. When women say "all me are dogs" do I get offended...NO because it doesnt apply to me. Frankly donna there are some women who LIKE being treated like meat and I think thats what makes women so mad. and I understand. Women know that ALL men dont think like that

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T12:54:54-06:00
ID
71521
Comment

Kamikaze, you lost me with the 11:54 post. You're on your own now. I hope you can handle the response.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T12:59:48-06:00
ID
71522
Comment

I didnt see the woman turn around and punch nelly when he swiped the card. Nor did I hear about it happening off camera. Yes, I've heard y'all make that argument many times. And it's faulty, and sad. Just because there are women who are willing to be paid in good money or fame to participate in being the symbolic piece of meat does not mean that the rappers are not propagating a negative stereotype to millions of young women and men. Just because the Uncle Toms on the plantations didn't turn around and stab their slavemasters didn't make that institution moral or "right," either. One of the huge problems here is not only what rappers like Nelly are saying to young men, but what they are telling young women that they are. Or should make money doing. We could also have a discussion about how young women should present themselves, or what they should or should not do, but that in no way lets the hip-hop industry off the hook. Sorry but where I come from(and this is gonna be harsh for some so cover your eyes) there ARE SLUTS, WHORES, AND BITCHES!!! women who carry themselves in an uncouth fashion. Congratulations, Kamikaze. And congratulations to the rappers who believe it is so the right thing for you, your families and your communities to use women with such broken views of themselves to get rich. Nice way to help those women feel better about themselves. You know, many of them are sisters, wives, mothers and will even become grandmothers. And I'm sure none of them got this way because men with your attitude said things like this to them. Perhaps for generations. I'm not sure if you realize it, but you are not helping your own argument here. Oh, and next time you notice people out there being racist, we should all respond, "that's life, Kaze. Get over it." We won't, just let I won't have that response here to you. Go on out there and find the women who like to be treated like meat, and treat them like meat, Kamikaze. But don't get all offended when people call you out for doing just that. Reap what you sow.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:03:17-06:00
ID
71523
Comment

The overuse or the use of those words just for entertainment value is absolutely wrong. the use of those words just for shock value or following a trend is no douobt wrong. I always check the artists context for using such words even the n-word, even other cuss words. To get technical, you have some rappers who use these words to actually rhyme the last word of a bar. That happens when the rapper's vocabulary is not deep enough to find another word. that's when they're just flat-out not being creative at all. Just lazy. real lyricists hate that. Its actually sad when that happens. But at the same time, he may not come from a background that allowed him to learn another like-word. who's fault is that...his? that's my question. when a woman carries herself outside of proper fashion or decorum then that word may be used. And like I said, as unpopular as it may be, those type women do exist.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T13:05:11-06:00
ID
71524
Comment

when a woman carries herself outside of proper fashion or decorum then that word may be used. Good to know that there is a Bible of Hip-Hop Misogyny that says when it is, and is not, OK to diss another human being. Not impressed, Kamikaze. And like I said, as unpopular as it may be, those type women do exist. "those type women" -- how amazingly offensive this is. Next time someone stereotypes all young black men as "violent super-predator animals," I believe I will respond, "as unpopular as it may be, those type men do exist." Or, the next time someone says that rappers have "perpetuated a cult of violence, drug use, disrespect to women and ignorance," we should respond, "as unpopular as it may be, those type rappers do exist." Ugly stereotypes, and people who will use them against other human beings, hurt don't they, Kamikaze? What, it's OK to talk about "those" women this way, but you don't want a single person criticizing the rappers who do it? You are being hypocritical -- and building a case for your critics.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:11:15-06:00
ID
71525
Comment

Kamikaze writes: Ive seen guys grab girls breasts and backsides in a club a million times. Sometimes they get the taste slapped out of there mouths...and sometimes they dont. Are the dudes wrong if the women dont slap them for grabbing them...NO. the women were cool with it. Okay, Kamikaze, imagine you're in a room with huge, muscular strangers--men who are, on average, a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than you are. One of them grabs your butt. You gonna get into a fistfight with him? Especially if that means you might get beaten to a pulp, and raped, later? Men teach unforgivable lessons to women. I'm not going to lecture you on clubs or the 'hood or anything like that, but "she didn't hit me" just isn't much of an affirmative defense against sexual assault. And in more general terms: And for the record, as I've stated before, I didnt see the woman turn around and punch nelly when he swiped the card. Nor did I hear about it happening off camera. So I would assume she was cool with it. Yeah, and in the antebellum South, not all that many slaves violently revolted against their masters and overseers, either. Guess that means most of them were cool with the whole being-property thing? Oppression is oppression. Not everybody--and especially not a woman--responds to oppression with violence. I find your post scarier than almost anything else I've ever read on this site, from anybody. I am going to think twice, I guess, before I argue with a black celebrity who criticizes "hip-hop culture" again, because if even Kamikaze is going around saying this stuff, there's a problem. "She didn't hit him back, so she must be cool with it"?! Good grief. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-24T13:11:21-06:00
ID
71526
Comment

Yeah Ray...you better get outta here...but I got this one...And I know as I said, its unpopular but true. And yes racism is a part of life...You didn't know? As a black man, I've been dealing with it all my life. hell yeah, its a part of life. and for the most part that mindset will never disappear in some folks. and I DO deal with. just try to make the best of it....And for the record...I DO talk to young ladies on how they should act...Thats a BIG part of our presentation in these schools. (Cause we do have female mc's that go with us). It starts for me with my own daughter..*gasp* yes my daughter. I know and have been taught by a strong black man how women are to be treated. and by my mother Ive been taught how women should carry themselves. I teach those virtues to my girl, whose 11. and trust she will know how to conduct herself. Does that mean when she's 21 and off in college that I wont see her lifting her top on a Girls Gone Wild video...NO, but it decreases the chances. Unfortunately there are many young ladies who missed the etiquette memo. and I try to reach out to them as well. Those "actions" I speak about. If they have that view of themselves..I want to change that...But donna, once they're 22, 23, 30.(yes I've seen some 30 year-olds out there buckwilin') they're grown dear and pretty set on how they wanna do things. It'll be up to them at that point to make a change. I want to catch them BEFORE they get to that age and still have that mindset.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T13:15:58-06:00
ID
71527
Comment

Yeah, I love the whole logic of, "She didn't slap me, so she must love it." That's caveman thinking. It'll be up to them at that point to make a change. Go on, Kamikaze, pass the buck. Call "those women" nasty names, then pass the buck. You teach your daughter "your" values (hoping she doesn't read these forums), and then once she's out there, if she becomes one of "those women," she's a goner, and deserves whatever she gets? And I love the part that by the time a woman is 30, she's pretty much hopeless. She's chosen the whore life, so she's a whore and it's open season on her type. I truly challenge you to think a little bit harder about the stereotypes you're carrying around, and perpetuating, about black women, Kamikaze. I must say, if I were a principal and read what you've written in the last few pots, I would not allow you to mentor young men or women. Your comments about women here are very scary.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:20:24-06:00
ID
71528
Comment

KamiKaze, can I say you done f***** up? Do you not believe in redemption. Can you love your mother, sisters and neices and really beleive what you have recently said. Have you ever read any of the horror stories of why women erroneously think they're hoes and the likes? Kaze, you need a sociology and psychology class on this. Maybe you should consult with the Holy Bible, too. The King James version would suffice.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T13:20:32-06:00
ID
71529
Comment

...And as I said.....you gotta be out there my brothers and sisters...we'll always disagree on this issue. There will always be some women who miss the boat...oh and Tom..I'm fighting LOL believe it..even if I do get beat to a pulp. But your argument that the women let it happen because they're afraid isnt entirely true...cause I've seen plenty guys get slapped...HARD.. It appeared that they learned quickly that THAT particular young lady could not be approached in such a manner.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T13:22:56-06:00
ID
71530
Comment

young ladies who missed the etiquette memo. And what about the young men who "missed the etiquette memo"?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:23:35-06:00
ID
71531
Comment

.And as I said.....you gotta be out there my brothers and sisters...we'll always disagree on this issue. No, Kamikaze, that is not good enough. Disagreeing on such ugly, ugly views of women is not good enough. You are showing many of us how much work there is get to be done to try to educate men like you so that you will stop perpetuating violent, harmful notions about women in your community. And the "slapping" excuse is bullsh!t.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:25:31-06:00
ID
71532
Comment

I'm waiting on that etiquette memo to the young men to be sent, and I am waiting for the MEN in the world to get behind it. Make sure we ALL get that copy. This just makes me absolutely sick.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T13:25:32-06:00
ID
71533
Comment

Also, Kamikaze, don't try the old "you're not out here with us" routine on this one. You are making horrifying statements about women here, and I don't care where you live or who you hang out with. Actually I do–because you are in the position to pass this backward thinking on to other young people. I seriously challenge you to educate yourself wider on these issues about women. Just as my people have needed to get over their stereotypes and backward beliefs about black people, you need to work harder on women's issues. You have proven that in the last hour.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:27:56-06:00
ID
71534
Comment

So, when I'm out shopping with my *son* and get the "psssssttttt" and other remarks regarding my body parts, that's my fault because I don't slap them? What? What example should *I* set for my son there? Because I've obviously missed the memo on that one as well. I call bullshit and will continue to call bullshit on that one. It's no agreeing to disagree. It's just about damn time some start LISTENING and quit capitalizing on hatred. And it's time for, yes, men and yes, black men, to stand up and SAY what we've been SCREAMING for a while. Spike Lee melts my butter.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T13:28:49-06:00
ID
71535
Comment

Ok...now I've read and taken in your comments. and honestly we're all on the same page and want the same thing...Cause frankly Im being accused of some harsh stuff but I'm just a realist by nature. Im no caveman. in fact my thinking is pretty progressive. And sure, as a principal I would let me in...How would ya'll have us handle the situation?..My thoughts/words are like this...Ladies, if you carry yourself in that manner then expect men to treat you in that manner. If you carry yourself as a bitch or ho then men will in turn treat you like that. If you do not show any self-respect for yourself in public, then you can't expect anyone else to. and honestly I dont think that's a bad premise to go on. You get what you give out. Likewise, the guys who dish it out can expect the same in kind from society as well.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T13:31:05-06:00
ID
71536
Comment

My thoughts are this: Nope. We, by and large, are NOT getting what we give out. We are GIVEN and are REACTING. I cannot say that on any given day, I'm carrying myself like a bitch and say that it is why I get verbally harrassed while being women....mothers no less. Can the women say amen? My basic premise is this....treat us like the intelligent, nurturing beings we are regardless. Get that stereotype of women out of heads and for God sakes love and respect women the way your momma taught you no matter where YOU have chosen to be or who YOU have chosen to talk to. Personal responsibility. Very simple.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T13:36:18-06:00
ID
71537
Comment

Kamikaze writes: I DO talk to young ladies on how they should act... Mighty impressive, Kamikaze. Too bad "young ladies" apparently don't have the same privilege. But donna, once they're 22, 23, 30.(yes I've seen some 30 year-olds out there buckwilin') they're grown dear and pretty set on how they wanna do things. It'll be up to them at that point to make a change. I want to catch them BEFORE they get to that age and still have that mindset. I'd rather see you teach young men to keep their hands off them so their self-esteem doesn't bottom out and give them that mindset. What, you think women who act like that do it because they're being "bad"? Look up the statistics, man--85 percent of prostitutes have been raped or sexually assaulted. As long as you're going around advocating a "grab and duck" ethic, you have no credibility in lecturing these young girls about anything remotely related to sex or body image. You're just one more guy telling them what they can and can't do, and they will (rightly) tune you out for it. What, you think those strippers paid any attention to Melton's "lecture"? The problem is not the women. The problem is the men. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-24T13:36:35-06:00
ID
71538
Comment

the guys who dish it out can expect the same in kind from society as well. Bullshit. The guys who are dishing it out are getting rich off it. Or, at least too many of them are. Can you not even see the double standard you are perpetuating, or at least fooled by, here? We're really not on the same page here, Kamikaze. Not based on your own words -- which is what are "caveman-esque." If you don't want us to think you meant what you said starting up about 11:54 a.m., then go back and revisit your own words. Complaining that you are misunderstood is not going to make those words sound any different to people here. They are your words. Own them, qualifiy them or retract them. But don't blame others for responding to exactly what you said. You say "harsh stuff," you get accused of "harsh stuff." The same standard applies to everyone here. And how in hell does one "carry oneself as a b!tch or ho," Kamikaze? Can you not see that it's the definition of those words that rappers have established, grasped, rapped about and justified that is the problem here??? This ball is squarely in your court. Do with it as you will, but don't complain about being misunderstood.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T13:39:43-06:00
ID
71539
Comment

Kamikaze, you are totally wrong on this. You're no victim on this issue.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T13:42:45-06:00
ID
71540
Comment

And to close(but I will return later to read more) I appreciate all the comments. Glad to have started a dialogue..Understand I've never professed to be perfect or know it all. The same way I may make you proud I may in turn make you shudder at some things I say. but they are me speaking my mind and I will always stand by that however popular or unpopular they may be. Honestly, I'll do some self-surveying and maybe the next time the issue arises I'll say something different...maybe not. But I'm glad we're talking. Im me. and all I can do...again... is prove by my actions But keep talking I'm wounded and limping off....

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T13:42:56-06:00
ID
71541
Comment

Oh, you're not wounded :P I usually agree with you (and you may remember an email I sent around two years ago while you were working for ledge and I THANKED you from the bottom of my heart for your words about Metrocenter.) But I thought on the way of one of your mantras....you've never walked these shoes. That's how I'm feeling about this one. Until you've walked a mile in my stilettos. I invite you to walk a mile in our heels. But DO think about the greater ramifications. Pretend we are ALL what you would want a woman to be, and going forward, speak about us that way. I ask that of all men. Otherwise, it's sexism and stereotyping plain and simple.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T13:59:53-06:00
ID
71542
Comment

Personally, I believe you will see the light in a short time because you're smart and desire to do the right thing. If you didn't want to learn you wouldn't have opened yourself up for the thrashing. Similarly, I bet you wouldn't participate in running a train on a girl even if she said come on and lets do it because you know it's wrong. And you know there is something wrong with the women who will let it happen to her. We don't have to be dysfunctional too just because we find other people that way. We're lucky and blessed we aren't that way too. We should shine our light wherever we can. If a woman hasn't seen or felt love or respect, how will she know she deserves it or should expect it. You know the kinds of situations a lot of these women come from. They would be just as open to your saying I love you or you deserve respect as having their asses slapped. Which event do you think will make the deepest impression to her and of you. I have never met a women who wasn't open to real love and respect. This is what we personally want our love ones to have. Why not everyone else? I've been to the place where you are now. No, I didn't abuse any woman but I have had moments when I didn't feel any great sympathy for women allowing themselves to be abused in strip clubs and elsewhere. The sad and stunned look on the face of one of good friends made me rethink and change my positon. He had an understanding about why many of those women were there that I hadn't considered. We had a conversation on this subject matter about a year ago and he was stunned by my new position. I changed nearly 2 decades ago without even telling any of my friends.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T14:14:27-06:00
ID
71543
Comment

Moreover, the abuse of anyone is wrong.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T14:16:18-06:00
ID
71544
Comment

For some reason I just read this thread. I know its "wrapping up", but I did want to say something. Kamikaze, I normally agree with you. I like that you advocate personal responsibility. I always get that part of you and what you write. But, I don't like that you speak of women that way and use as a defense "you gotta be out there my brothers and sisters." (I think Donna mentioned it in one of her posts as well). Here's why I have issues with that. Because, I AM a woman (seriously, I am). And, on this issue simply because I am a woman, I am "out there with you." I am "out there with you" because the only reason I "get" your ideas about racism are simply because I have experienced sexism. I have been summarily "dismissed" at a discussion table in a work environment because I was the only female. I've been told I couldn't do something because I was "a girl". I've felt frightened just because I was a woman. I've been hit. But only once. I've been touched, felt, rubbed, spoken to, and listen to men call another woman a "bitch" simply because she was female ALL when I didn't want to....simply because I am a woman. You dismiss women as whores and bitches and say they deserve no respect. I say... you get up every morning and be violated, or wake up one day and have a male forcibly have sex with you simply because he is bigger, and stronger....You do that....and then you come back and you tell that woman that *she* has chosen a life for herself that denies her the honor of your respect simply because of what she haslearned from men is the one thing of worth she has to offer the world. Her body. So, I'm thinking that if I can stretch myself to try to understand you based upon my experiences, how about you give me the same respect and attempt to understand women based upon your own opression?

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-02-24T15:13:15-06:00
ID
71545
Comment

Nice comments, Ali. I'd say this thread is far from wrapping up. There is much more to be said, and I'm glad the conversation is happening, however frustrating it may be for me as a woman to hear Kamikaze's remarks about women. But if we don't hear them, we can't challenge them. It's interesting, though. Tonight, I'm speaking to a roomful of young "at risk" girls about overcoming the obstacles that society has thrust upon them. So the timing of this thread is good from my standpoint. It's making my senses more acute as I prepare to try to say something meaningful to them. And it reminds me of just how many obstacles they/we do face in overcoming attitudes such as these toward us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T15:20:06-06:00
ID
71546
Comment

Spike covered this; he said that he reminds young men (who tell him that they only call women "ho's" and "b*tches" who ARE "hos" and "b*tches") that they wouldn't stand for their mothers and sisters to be called those names. Then he reminds them that all these women they're calling out of their names are someone's mother, sister, daughter. I have nothing but props for Spike's talk at Ole Miss.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-24T15:43:40-06:00
ID
71547
Comment

And Spike has grown on the issue of women himself. Rosie Perez hated how she was portrayed by him in Do the Right Thing. Anabella (I hope I got the name right) hated how she was portrayed in Jungle Fever. As I read Spike's book even his wife has had problems with how he has portrayed women in his movies. Consider Girl Six. If memory serves me correctly Jada Pinkett Smith turned him down for the role. Consider School Daze, there was complaining there too. Spike grew up, and like me and others, since he knows better, he's trying to teach and do better.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T15:55:54-06:00
ID
71548
Comment

What the hell I want to know is what is a "ho" or a "b!tch"? Let me guess: Women who left rappers call them whores and b!tches. It's hard to find logic more piggish and backward than this. Not to dump on rappers–many white men believe the same thing. They just don't rap about it. If you don't want to be included among the misogynist pigs, don't defend them. If there is anything I hate, it's a "boys will be boys" attitude–which hurts men as much as women because it presents them as helpless little beings who can't resist the, er, wh*res and b!tches. The smartest men I know are feminists because they know feminism holds them to a higher standard, and believes in them more, than society over all does.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T15:58:42-06:00
ID
71549
Comment

Spike grew up, and like me and others, since he knows better, he's trying to teach and do better. Nice point, Ray. I can be forgiving of anybody who starts at a certain place, but works to improve -- whether it's Ben Allen or Spike Lee. But I have little patience for boorish attacks on women in order to justify small-mindedness.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:00:24-06:00
ID
71550
Comment

Just thought of another analogy to present to Kamikaze: People say to you that you are a "thug" because you go around "acting," "dressing" or "rapping" like one. Does that seem right and just to you? Now substitute the word "whore" for "thug."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:04:27-06:00
ID
71551
Comment

Again: Now substitute the word "wh0re" for "thug."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:04:59-06:00
ID
71552
Comment

Spike confused me when he said "Halle Berry was too beautiful or fine to play the crack addict in Jungle Fever". Yes I heard him say that! She had to beg him for the role. Rosie Perez and Anabella considered quitting because they were so offended by the roles they had to play. They wanted to change it up some but he wouldn't relent. Certainly, they couldn't be allowed to write their own scripts, but how do you reconcile that comment with the other women. Rosie and Annabella are fine too in my opinion. All are women. I'm going to ask him that question some day.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T16:10:05-06:00
ID
71553
Comment

Kamikaze is not a lost cause. I know he asked the question (although presented as a comment) because he was looking for insight and perspective. He's going to make us all proud some day.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T16:13:57-06:00
ID
71554
Comment

I agree with you, Ray. But I'm still ticked about his comments. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:16:03-06:00
ID
71555
Comment

ok....so after speaking with my wife, who's my best friend in the world, I will admit that I may have not taken an indepth look at this issue. I do realize now after speaking with her and several of my female friends that there is a 50/50 road that must be travelled here. Men should be held to the same standards that women are. They too should be held accountable and they too should practice restraint and "personal responsibility" Ali, I don't dismiss women as bitches and whores and I never said that they shouldnt be treated with respect. I think that part of my response was taken out of context. But I now understand that that was offensive however it sounded. Im not gonna say that Im in touch with my feminine side. I never got that term..But I will say that if the shoe was on the other foot I would not want to be groped or have my personal space invaded. I will attempt to be more sensitive. Boys should be schooled just as much about NOT touching women regardless of dress as the women should be schooled on not dressing or acting that way. And although I still do believe that if a woman offeres herself up in that fashion it is HER choice, now I know that that should be a responsible male's opportunity to refuse and show her a better way. I humbly apologize if anyone thought of me as a "caveman". I have a wife and daughter so I would "sexually assault" someone or "rape" someone or do anything against a female's will. Ive been taught too good for that, but my opinion was formed by what I have been through and what I've seen in MY life. My attitude was shaped by what I've seen as a artist. And I challenge all of you to understand that fact. We may not agree true indeed but Ive seen the error in some of my thinking and pledge to adjust. Maybe not overnight but It'll come. Peace.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T16:27:24-06:00
ID
71556
Comment

Nice comments, Kamikaze. Thank you. I'm definitely less ticked now. I must say that this is may be the quote o' the week; makes me giggle: Im not gonna say that Im in touch with my feminine side. Tee, hee. Thank you for having this conversation out loud for others to consider. It takes a strong person to show what to do when confronted with our own prejudices. Peace.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:33:03-06:00
ID
71557
Comment

Meant I would NEVER sexually assault or rape someone....my bad

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-24T16:34:50-06:00
ID
71558
Comment

Was about to edit that one for you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:35:16-06:00
ID
71559
Comment

And he got more perspective than he anticipated, I think. The discussion is good for all of us. I've never seen anybody before counter-argue the issue as fervently as you and Emily did. I, for one, believe women are going to have to fight this fight toe to toe just like y'all did here to make the fellows see their errors. But I'm worried it won't do any good until the younger or hip-hop generation women chime in too. I believe C. Delores Tucker and a few other prominent females have taken on the issue from a national standpoint a few times. I don't think they have made any significant difference in the minds of the average Rapper. I still remember Snoop Dog saying on Arsenio Hall many years ago about Mrs. Tucker and others, "I don't love those hoes." Arsenio was so stunned he walked nearly off the set. He did laugh, however. Kamikaze is a better person than Snoop. He will learn and do his part. I got money on it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T16:42:17-06:00
ID
71560
Comment

I think the good money's exactly righ there, too, Ray. And can I say how much I miss Arsenio?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:45:32-06:00
ID
71561
Comment

RIGHT there

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T16:47:42-06:00
ID
71562
Comment

Wow, Kamikaze. Thank you. You don't have to be best friends with your feminine side to continue to recognize the problem women face every day regarding their sexuality, and I applaud you for thinking it over. I'm ready to do what it takes to get that message to ALL communities. Have y'all heard the rapes at Headliner's rumors? Very real and not being covered enough. I saw ONE small story on it in the Northside Sun, but have HEARD more than I ever thought could actually happen in a 2006 progressive city with so many strong community role models. I don't think any decent person wants anyone sexually assaulted or raped, but I think when we turn a blind eye to the stereotypes we are perpetuating the idea of "you get what you ask for." Again, thank you Kamikaze. It's been a while since I got my passions stirred :) I do get fervent. I wish we could all be this fervent over something so absolutely scary and unjustified and illogical and just plain WRONG. I've gone toe to toe on that issue here several times before, and I tell all of our mutual friends....I want to meet Kamikaze! :)

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T17:30:38-06:00
ID
71563
Comment

I've been sitting back reading this while trying to get some work done. (don't tell my boss!) I hate that this thread went from a real discussion on hip-hop and its public responsibility to one dealing with Kamikaze's female issues... If I may, I am 34 year old black female who LOVES hip-hop. I love the beats, the boomin' bass, the voice of those from the projects who never had a voice before. Do I love all hip hop. Of course not. Just like I don't love all of anything else. Does it bother me that rappers use language that I may not like? A little. What bothers me more is the way the ENTERTAINMENT industry as a whole objectifies women. I get a little tired of people blaming rap- when I seem to recall all the half dressed women leaning over trans-ams in the 80's big hair rock band videos. Where's the backlash against rock? Where's the backlash against beer comercials with fighting bikini clad women? and where's the backlash against the Girls-Gone Wild videos? Yeah- we don't have to buy them, but I don't want to see the commericial ever 5 minutes either. And- I'm gonna just do an all out rant so forgive me- what about the gangsta mentality? We're outraged at the violent lyrics in "gansta rap" but we support white gansta-ism at the movies. How popular is the Sopranos? Are we talking about the personal responsibilty of the actors who portray these characters? Hip Hop is entertainment first. I don't agree with all of the negativity in some of the artists but I don't hold them to any higher standard than I do the rest of the entertainment world. I guess that's what makes me defend it, when it sometimes shouldn't be. We (hiphopheadz) feel like hip hop is held to a higher standard than other genres in the industry. But then again- I thyink most black people, in any career, have felt like when we're sucessful, we're held to a higher standard as well. Id on't like to throw the race card around but in this case...not sure. I love rock and have heard and seen some pretty violent and misogynistic stuff from them. But then again, we know who invented rock-n-roll...;)

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-24T17:30:50-06:00
ID
71564
Comment

Oops- don't mean to say I hate that y'all helped K with his issues! I knew your wife would help you see the light!! Just thought the other half of the discussion was good and wanted to chime in on that.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-24T17:36:29-06:00
ID
71565
Comment

Mysogyny pisses people off no matter who, what or where. I mean, look at Hooter's for God's sakes. :P You are right urbangypsy, we can't BLAME rap, but we can't let anyone off the hook just because someone else is doing wrong. My kid gets in trouble for finger pointing all the time because in the end, it's just an attempt to justify a wrong.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T17:38:13-06:00
ID
71566
Comment

We're outraged at the violent lyrics in "gansta rap" but we support white gansta-ism at the movies. How popular is the Sopranos? I agree with you, urbangypsy. I stopped watching The Sopranos after the one where Tony build the hell out of a woman. I can see your other concerns about the higher standard, and have also made that argument on other threads where people lambaste rap without (or with, I should say) prejudice. However, that doesn't mean we can't push for higher standards across the board. And a good place to start, IMHO, is with any musician who openly calls women bitches and wh0res and slides credit cards through their cracks. There is no subtlety there. Also, being that this is originally about Spike Lee's comments, it was a thread specifically about rap in the first place. But feel free to widen the discussion in various directions.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-24T17:39:52-06:00
ID
71567
Comment

And someone earlier asked about music to teach in the classroom. I used Lauryn Hill in 1999. Worked like a charm. Lots of literary devices and lots of societal thematic elements. I'll say more as I remember what I used, but music is a GREAT way to teach poetic devices.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-24T17:40:06-06:00
ID
71568
Comment

I believe my friend likes to use rap, because that's what her kids listen to. thanks, though, Emily. I was hoping Kaze would recommend some of his work for her to use. And while I began to be doubtful there for a while, I'd feel better about it now that he's done a little thinking (and the women in here have done a little "enlightening" for him).

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-24T17:56:23-06:00
ID
71569
Comment

Nice comment, Ugrbangypsy. Who did invent rock and roll? Little Richard proudly, and probably righfully, says rhythms and blues had a baby and its name is rock and roll. Is this what you're referencing, urbangypsy? Girls Gone Wild is really something. If black folks or Rappers were doing this the fallout would likely be astounding I imagine. But is afterhours Rap any different? It's akin to Black Spring Break v. White Spring Break. But that doesn't decrease the hurt and irresponsibility of the Rappers toward women and others. Too much diverting the issue has already occurred. Girls Gone Wild can't compare to the influence and power of Rap. Likewise, we have to take the responsibility to save our children and communities from an aggravation of what we already see too much of.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-24T18:00:48-06:00
ID
71570
Comment

In the classroom, I use Common, Mos Def, The Roots, Kanye- they're usually pretty easy. More challenging for older students I use rappers across the board- from Jay-Z and Nas to Tupac, Biggie and DMX (pre-crack addiction). If you can get past some of the "bad" language there's some stuff in there that speaks to young people. The pain of being black and male, the reasons for "doing dirt" when you don't see any other way to feed your kids (or yourself), the love they have for their families, their loyalty- even in the face of prison time- all are themes we see played out in the news daily. I use them with young people as starters to open discussions on what life is really like for them. We use it as a jumping off point to discuss reality vs entertainment, life choices and consequences. How not to be looked at as a b**** or h**! ;)

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-24T18:03:32-06:00
ID
71571
Comment

Glad you got my references Ray. And again- I'm not really trying to divert the responsibility. I just get tired of hearing the complaints when I know so many other genres are just as guilty. I wish my positive hip hop was being blasted around the world but the truth is that Tokyo prefers the "Whisper Song"- just like they do in Boise. Rappers should take responsibility, as we all should. I support rappers who do positive music with my money. I don't purchase music I consider to be hurtful toward women. I just wish more people followed suit. As long as we have music companies who are throwing large sums of money at anyone who will cut a record and make a video calling women h****- you're gonna have clowns that do it. But that don't make it right.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-24T18:18:07-06:00
ID
71572
Comment

urbangypsy, great posts as per usual. And you've hit the nail on the head on why Spike Lee's comments pissed me off even though he might have been technically right: I hear all this about black kids going home and studying 4 hours a day while white kids are getting PSPs for Christmas. I hear all this about hip-hop being degrading to women when I can crank up Limp Bizkit's "Eat You Alive" or Nickelback's "Figured You Out" and hear stuff that's much worse than anything Nelly ever wrote. Nobody seems to reaize that people are living and coping with the lives they're given. Everybody seems to be preaching a standard that says if you're black, you've gotta work twice as hard as everybody else or you "have it coming," whatever "it" might happen to be. And that just depresses me. I know it's naive to think I live in a world where black folks can get as much as I do without having to try a hell of a lot harder, but I don't want to go around contributing to that. The system is unfair. I'd rather change the system. I'm tired of blaming the kids the system is stepping on. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-24T21:16:19-06:00
ID
71573
Comment

Thanks for the advice, Urbangypsy, I'll pass your remarks and recommendations on. On Girls Gone Wild, I hate to look ignorant, but I'm not sure what this is. I'm assuming it's a "reality" show on TV? Is this on cable? You can tell that I don't spend a lot of time on TV. What is the premise other than young women flipping up their tops?

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-24T23:15:03-06:00
ID
71574
Comment

C. W., Girls Gone Wild is a videotape collection catching women doing sexy things either on a dare or just feeling the moment. Sometime they are caught in the shower together. Hunching each other. Or just pulling their tops and lowering their panties for the camera. They don't get paid, but get to have a good time and provide some entertainment in the process. (not that I watch them, of course. smile)

Author
c a webb
Date
2006-02-24T23:19:00-06:00
ID
71575
Comment

That's it, basically. It's a bunch of DVDs some guys sell of women flipping up their tops. My biggest problem with GGW is that it's exploitative--I mean, literally financially exploitative. It's a variation on the pimp:ho arrangement. The schmucks selling the DVDs make a mint and the young, attention-crazed women people actually buy the DVDs to see make very little. They're the performers, and the fact that they're not given the same take that, say, Sting would get for a concert DVD kind of underscores just how much they're being turned into commodities by this process. At least strippers get to keep their tips, or so I've been told. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-24T23:23:37-06:00
ID
71576
Comment

Reading back today, I realize what an amazing thread this is – one of our best ever. I remember past threads that dealt with hip-hop lyrics that could not get past the point of challenging someone's blanket (and I would argue bigoted, for the reasons urbangypsy points out) views about rap lyrics. In a thread about rap with a local, self-ordained morality arbiter two years ago, we couldn't get to the point that this thread got due to trying to get past someone's else's stereotypical thinking about all rap music. Our old blogger Nia, a very intelligent black New York editor from Mississippi -- Nia, we miss you! -- wrote then: Wilson said: " Is it "hyperbolic fearmongering" to complain about a performer and/or musical genre which promotes promiscuity and violence to women? I beg to disagree." It sounds like fearmongering because you're making the mistake of assuming that all rap music is the same. Saying that rap music is mysogynistic is a bit like saying that rock music promotes drug culture. Not all rap music is mysogynistic and not all rock musicians are drug addicts. I'm not a fan of Snoop--and I had no idea he was from MS--but many rap artists have very positive messages in their music: Public Enemy, Us3, Outkast, Eric B & Rakim, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest. I could go on. It would be worth your while, Wilson, to actually listen to a wide range of rap artists before making derogatory comments about the social worth of the entire genre. Then, I remember having arguments with another blogger, since suspended due to his postings about race, who simply could not understand an analogy between shocking rap lyrics and, say, David Alan Coe's racist country music. So, it is refreshing for me to see that we are moving past binary thinking -- and hopefully past bloggers who try to use this site to push blanket racial stereotypes -- to have a difficult and nuanced discussion about these issues that isn't just about bashing the "thugs" and their music. And, again, cheers to Kamikaze for creating this particular discussion and his willingness to take a few hits along the way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-25T13:22:13-06:00
ID
71577
Comment

Reading back on that old thread, it is very funny to note that a man who was, supposedly, worried to death about misogyny was accusing a woman (me) of "brow-beating" him ... because this little lady dared to disagree with his blanket statements about rap. Irony abounds, eh? ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-25T13:32:40-06:00
ID
71578
Comment

Check out the Wikipedia entry on "misogyny." It is applicable to Kamikaze's comments about about "hos" and "bitches," as well as to the "browbeating" accusation in the thread from two years ago that I linked above. Here's an excerpt: There are many different forms of misogyny. In its most overt expression, a misogynist will openly hate all women simply because they are female. Some sexual predators may fall into this category. Other forms of misogyny may be more subtle. Some misogynists may simply be prejudiced against all women, or may hate women who don't fall into one or more acceptable categories. Entire cultures may be said to be misogynist if they treat women in ways that can be seen as harmful. Examples include forcing women to tend to all domestic responsibilities, demanding silence from a woman, or beating a woman regularly. Subscribers to one model, the mother/whore dichotomy, hold that women can only be "mothers" or "whores". Another variant is the Virgin/whore dichotomy--in which women who do not adhere to a saintly standard of moral purity are considered "whores"

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-25T14:29:03-06:00
ID
71579
Comment

You know, somebody could do a doctoral thesis on psychosexual development focusing on a certain local conservative bunch's fixation on women--you, Hillary Clinton, and so forth--who assert themelves. The guy you refer to from the previous thread is posting about this very discussion on another site, griping about Mean Ol' Donna. You're such a bully, you know, running your own web site and all without letting them tell you what to put on it. Horror of horrors. What I love about this thread is that it's the first rap thread on this site that I can remember that isn't exclusively about white folks' judgments of black folks as a whole. The earlier thread basically is, as black participants and their "liberal" allies try to, well, justify the existence of African Americans against white criticisms of various aspects of black culture. It gets tedious. This just goes to show that aggressive moderation pays off sometimes. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-25T15:05:41-06:00
ID
71580
Comment

You're such a bully, you know, running your own web site and all without letting them tell you what to put on it. Horror of horrors. Giggle. I assume you're talking about the Lonely Hearts Club of local Web sites. Lord. They exist only to try to discredit me-the-little-brow-beater and the jfp in real time, making a$$es of themselves on a regular basis. I got a call recently from a very prominent businessman in Jackson to congratulate me just because he had bumped into that site, and it made him realize just how much the JFP bloggers are leading the city's dialogue if a small cadre of angry voices are trying to twist our word on a daily, or hourly, basis. ;-) What I love about this thread is that it's the first rap thread on this site that I can remember that isn't exclusively about white folks' judgments of black folks as a whole. The earlier thread basically is, as black participants and their "liberal" allies try to, well, justify the existence of African Americans against white criticisms of various aspects of black culture. It gets tedious. Actually, that is what I was trying to say earlier. In the past, the discussions of rap lyrics here have simply existed on a plane of trying to defend *all* hip-hop lyrics from scared whites who believe it's all the devil music or some such. And that so should not be the point. I got so tired of saying over and over again that "not all hip-hop is the same" until was blue in the face, but some people are too dense to stipulate that part, so you can actually get into a useful dialogue. This just goes to show that aggressive moderation pays off sometimes. Absolutely. We were talking about this at the Lounge the other night. The site simply would not have the same impact if I allowed the yucks to hijack it. Rest assured: It's not going to happen. They can go create their own little parallel universes where they can whine incessantly about how brow-beaten they are by people with different opinions (who, in fact, don't give a damn about them one way or the other). Those people need to seriously get a life. They may not be completely pathetic individuals, but they play them on the Web. Their victim routine is really gross. Cue the world's smallest violin, maestro. On complex topics like this one, though, it is so useful to be able to read and consider people's comments in writing. If there is anything blogging is doing, it's moving us away from the usefulness of sound bites (kind of like the difference between Ben and Erik's detailed postings and responses to readers, and public servants like Frank and Haley's absolute fear of being asked a single question that can't be answered with a sound bite). On talk radio, someone (regardless of their own personal morality) can easily put a saucy quote out there about HOW RAP MISOGYNY IS RUINING HIS ABILITY TO RAISE MORAL KIDS, or some such. But when you read in print what they're really saying, you can think about and, often, see the bullsh!t, and possibly bigotry, hidden in their remarks. For instance, consider this quote from the 2004 thread: Is it "hyperbolic fearmongering" to complain about a performer and/or musical genre which promotes promiscuity and violence to women? Now, note what that sentence does: It seeks to equate one performer with an entire genre of music. That is, if you're pissed at Nelly, then you ought to be pissed at the whole genre. Mad at one black rapper, be mad at them all. Love that logic. And of course it sets up a faulty premise right off the bat. Whereas on this thread, people were talking about individual performers, and even individual performances, rather than stereotyping an entire genre of music, which is downright offensive (and divisive) by any measure, and disallows the more important discussion to happen. It's kind of like what I tell my writers about the overuse of the passive voice–you gotta watch that use of "and/or" and what hides underneath it. On talk radio, you would never get the chance to really consider the insidiousness of that remark (purposefully or not), because it would be gone, and the guy could, when argued into a corner, backtrack and say, "Hey, I didn't say that about all hip-hop!" -- when in fact he just did. On the blog, it's there for everyone to see and ponder. I guess you can see why I like the blogging medium -- when moderated effectively, it holds people more responsible for their remarks, and their logical fallacies.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-25T15:37:56-06:00
ID
71581
Comment

Agreed. I think it's almost a waste of time to have a public argument of any kind unless it's all in print (electronically or otherwise). What gets me is how blatantly they apply the mother:whore dichotomy to you--which is to say that if you don't have kids, you must be a Dangerous Woman. And when one local called our gay-inclusive group "godless" and "childless," I couldn't help but think of the thousands of hours he has spent making sure that gay couples aren't welcome in church and can't adopt kids. That's chutzpah for you. It would make me mad, but I've found that my righteous indignation has died off under the penetrating realization that people are products of their biology and environment, and that it does little more good to be angry at a hatemonger for being who he is than it does to be angry at a watch for stopping. The best we can hope for is to engage and marginalize their hateful ideas, do what we can to prevent them from gaining political power, and hope that, one day, the love within them will conquer the hate within them and they'll come to their senses. Sometimes that happens. I was inspired last week when Mao Tse-tung's original inner circle of propagandists--now in their eighties or so--wrote an open letter condemning Chinese government censorship. Redemption is real, for the one spitting at the cross just as surely as the one bearing it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-25T17:27:55-06:00
ID
71582
Comment

Hey, I pride myself on being a "dangerous woman"–at least to people who spew stereotypes, bigotry and misogyny with impunity. I wear the label proudly. ;-) They are funny, though. They don't realize how much power they give an idea by obsessing about it all the time. That's another thing that businessman told me on the phone the other day, while chuckling. I couldn't help but think of the thousands of hours he has spent making sure that gay couples aren't welcome in church and can't adopt kids. Yeah, well, I'll exercise restraint here, but you and I both know how hypocritical it for many of these types to blast anything to do with "looseness" and promiscuity, whether in rap music or otherwise. It goes back to the age-old double standard: they want to have fun how, and with whom, they please, but if they make enough noise about morality, then maybe no one will notice, or talk about, their little transgressions. Of course, it works the opposite, meaning that their hypocrisy attracts more chuckles than anything else. I am happy to say that public dialogue in Jackson is getting much more sophisticated than just a few years back, and this thread is a good example of that. It's a relief when you don't have to take a pick-axe to the walls of stereotypes that the Usual Suspects throw up before you can actually have a conversation. You just ignore them and get on with it. I suppose that's what bugs the old guard so much -- their rapidly increasing irrelevance.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-25T17:40:00-06:00
ID
71583
Comment

urbangypsy, anytime you'd like for me to come speak to your class, I'll be glad to do it. As I stated. I'm not perfect, and I'm no saint by far. Just a street-certified "thug" (as some people look at me) who happens to have graduated cum laude with a communications degree and who happens to give a damn about a few things in the community. My music may be harsh and that's why I say I show and prove by my actions. thats why kids relate better to me because I've failed, I've done wrong, and I never profess to them to be the perfect adult. I've sinned, fornicated, fought, drank, and smoked with the best of them but I realize there's a better way...Give all us rappers time to mature and you'll see some change. help us fight the system that makes these labels only sell negative images and you will see us change. When I can support my family in this music by just being me...I'll be a happy camper. As an artists speaking for other artists, thats a hard thing to do. ...But lets stay on the matter at hand because the bitch/ho argument notwithstanding, I still disagree with spike for putting this all in our laps. Especially without giving any solutions. Maybe we should organize some kind of forum and have it at Millsaps or something.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-26T15:26:15-06:00
ID
71584
Comment

don't know why they bleeped out the "cum" on cum laude..or maybe again I do...anyway you guys know what that was.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-02-26T15:33:07-06:00
ID
71585
Comment

But lets stay on the matter at hand because the b****/ho argument notwithstanding, I still disagree with spike for putting this all in our laps. Especially without giving any solutions. Maybe we should organize some kind of forum and have it at Millsaps or something. Hey, I'm with you. You both know that we agree on a helluva lot more than we disagree on. I've wanted to do a forum like this for a long time. Let's just make it happen. Natalie is my eyes and ears on event planning so just give her a holla -- ;-) -- and let's get this thing rolling. BTW, I liked your Spike column, and I think you make good points about him putting too much on rappers. I think I know that wasn't what got me going. Again, great conversation, and let's turn the volume up even more. Re our blog censor -- the damn thing must have been designed by a neo-con wingnut. It is funny what it manages to bleep, though. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-26T15:47:35-06:00
ID
71586
Comment

Kamikaze- you are exactly the type of person I would have invited into my classroom. Which is probably why I'm not in the classroom anymore...:). I've since moved on to advocacy work but I do continueto work with young folks when I can- so if the opportunity arise for you to have a conversation with some of them, I'd love to help make that happen. Y'all also keep me posted on a public discussion- I'd love to be in attendance. If there are any mistakes, forgive me, I've just returned from Tent City in Pass Christian and my first Mardis Gras. I hope not to go back to either any time soon. But for very different reasons. I'm going to bed. Peace y'all.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-26T19:14:39-06:00
ID
71587
Comment

Kamikaze said cum. Ha hahahahaha! I also agree that too much is put on the laps of rappers. It's like single moms. It's all our fault, and back in the day before rap and divorce, there were NEVER social problems.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-26T19:25:05-06:00
ID
71588
Comment

I also agree that too much is put on the laps of rappers. It's like single moms. It's all our fault, and back in the day before rap and divorce, there were NEVER social problems. Absolutely agreed, Emily. This is what I like about his column. It needs to be said over and over again that you can't put all of society's problems in rappers' laps -- just as it needs to be said over and over again that the bitch-ho misogyny is just plain irresponsible. I hope to see intelligent, compassionate rappers like Kamikaze lead the way on this, rather than follow.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-26T21:49:10-06:00
ID
71589
Comment

Kamikaze, don't forget as you go through life that people, especially children, eventually wind up paying more attention to what we do than what we say. I had lots of heroes until I met so many of the living ones. I saw great hypocricy that changed my view of them forever. Yet I'm mindful no one is perfect. Not a single one! Doing what we preach is what truly affects people. It's as simple as the beauty of the truth versus a lie. People don't expect perfection but many, hopefully most, expect the truth. I'm pulling for you. I know you care and desire to do well. Care and desire are great preparation for wonderful, faithful and fateful moments that come our way.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T09:54:57-06:00
ID
71590
Comment

And it pains me to hear comments like JSU's because he doesnt know. No sir, it pains you because the truth hurts and you can't accept it. You don't even know me to judge me and You'd be suprised how much more I know about the concerns of the kids of Jackson than YOU do Mr. certified- street thug. haha yeah right. Nobody can out-argue me on this issue. Im simply to close to it and simply have too much passion for it and these kids that listen to it. You're definitely not short on haughty egoism that's for sure with statements like that. and besides, this ain't no p*ssing contest to see whose more hood(I would probably win that hands down anyway). this is about your attack on prominent black folks who hit the nail on the head about the decline in morals amongst black youth of today. You think you know more or have been privy to more info than Spike Lee? a friggin millionaire with access to hundreds of resources, people and documents to back up his claims? You're playing Spike like he has NO CLUE and YOU do? haha, please. Spike aint been to the hood in 15 years!!! he may have passed by it in his car or walked briskly through it but he aint talking to or for those people. Are you Spike's shadow? Where do you come up with these blanket generalizations? Oh, wait, you did say you like to "stir up" things. So pardon my ignorance but that comment about Spike's hood credentials was just dumb especially when youdon't know him. and I didn't get "stirred up" by it in my response to it either. nice try though. Why do you think TUPAC wielded so much power??? Charisma. If you got it, use it. if you don't, just do what you always do and attack those people that have it. He kicked it with what society called the "least" of us. he felt their pain and in turn they didnt think he was feeding them politically correct crap. they felt like he spoke for them. And the same criminal element he represented HAD HIM KILLED. what's your point? Spike and Cosby aint speaking for us. Wrong again Einstein. they don't speak for YOU. But I would much rather have two brothers from REAL LIVE ghettos (Philly and NYC) and found success despite growing up them to speak on this issue that you. You're in a small town that don't even know what real crime is. that's why so many people are still getting picked off daily around here. they just don't know how to move in a city full of crime. Jackson is new to serious crime like we are seeing these days. BRAND NEW. but I digress... But back to the topic at hand. Hip Hop culture is like a sponge, it absorbs whatever's around it. BUT the great thing about it is, Hip Hoppers(aka rappers, DJ's, etc..) have the power to reinvent situations to make them better if they appear to be bad. that's how hip hop started in the first place..OUT OF PAIN AND STRUGGLE..to have something for the young black kids to do to keep them OUT of trouble...that's why hip hop was created...out of neccessity.now why is it that nowadays they are only "products of their environment" as you so cheaply put it? I'll tell you, LAZINESS. It ain't about neccessity to do better in life no more. most of you rappers out there don't even take time to think your rhymes out, you just say whatever the word of the day is and gear it towards the idiots in the streets with a good beat to it to get paid quickly. and YOU were the one who made the comment about "cool people". who were you referring to? if not the fools who regurgitate this madness on a regular basis in their music? the same fools you claim to "understand" so well. Also, Why aren't 100% of your songs about positivity and flower power then? Why don't you become a christian rapper so you can reach more kids and mentor more kids? Are you trying to be Tupac#2? I got an idea, why don't YOU become a school teacher? You have the degree and the "street thug" following as you claim. maybe the thug kids will follow YOU into the classroom instead of you trying to work your way back into the classroom to talk to the kids who are already there. maybe that's your calling in life because all I'm getting from you right now is a lot of horn-tooting and ego stroking about your own personal accomplishments. And finally a little advice , Instead of blasting Spike Lee, you and your MAP buddies should be trying to pay him(or someone of his stature) to come back and talk to the school kids since you and your followers obviously can't break through..... But I figure since you have a college degree you already knew that right? and you're just "stirring" things up for the sake of conversation?.. or then again, maybe you really can't see the forest for the trees. I'm done with this topic.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T11:27:55-06:00
ID
71591
Comment

JSU, I urge you not to be "done" with this topic. You are making some really good points. Hang with us, please. I have a feeling there is a middle ground here, and all of us can get gain something. And I'm not just B.S.-ing when I say that. These kinds of conversations don't happen often in public. Stay with us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T11:32:04-06:00
ID
71592
Comment

I have been following this convo for a while now and just waiting to see how it would play out. Let me commend Kaze on taking a grown up approach to adjusting his thinking pattern. I must say though that his thinking is pretty regular in certain parts of society, just as obsene as it is to you people, it is just as obsene to some of us in other parts of social lives that you are thinking this way. The point of the matter is I think people need to give others the benefit of choosing what they believe. I am a black female quite like urbangypsy, I live hip hop. I am not offended in any way by Nelly's video, nor am I offended by hearing the words B@tch or whore in a song. Neither are most of the females I know who are hip hop fans. We are not offended because we do not fit the definition of either of those words. They are words...that's it, only offensive to those who could be called that by their mother and it would be undeniable. They act like those words. Sort of like me not being offended when I hear someone say the n word (with the er on the end)....that's not me. And frankly, I know a lot of white people who better fit that definition than the blacks I know, but I digress. I feel like if that woman on that video signed a release to show her but being swiped then that was her choice, she got paid to do a job just like any other actor or actress doing a nude or sex scene in any movie. Why wasn't Halle Berry labeled a whore or B@tch when she got tore out the frame in Monster's Ball. I think people sit up and think about how to be contrary just to have something to say. If you are not a whore, then the dudes rapping are not talking about you. Now, I understand that men have a responsiblity as men to respect us as women. However, when a woman doesn't demand respect, then why is it his responsibility to give it to her. She doesn't even desire it. And that's her choice. It may not be necessary to who she is that a man treats her with respect. Yall do know that there are people in the world who don't live by the same values and morals as you all (and I) seem to. Right?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T11:59:33-06:00
ID
71593
Comment

I still disagree with spike for putting this all in our laps. Allow me to answer his and play devil's advocate at the same time..who else's lap should they put in when the rappers are the voice of Hip Hop? The voice is the chauffer, so to speak. the voice drives the industry. the voice is the steering column of the whole thing. the voices are to blame when the masses follow said voices. hope this helps.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T11:59:42-06:00
ID
71594
Comment

Just when I was about to move on, JSU re-energized this conversation with poignant questions and commentary.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T12:00:17-06:00
ID
71595
Comment

Indeed, let's go for Round 2, although I'm going to try to sit out more on this one. But I will say one thing (grin): Queen wrote: If you are not a wh0re, then the dudes rapping are not talking about you. Again, I ask Queen the same thing I pointed out to Kamikaze: You is determining what a "whore" is, in the hip-hop venacular? Do the artists have any responsibility in setting this definition? That is, if a woman needs money to feed her kids, too (see Kaze reference above to why rappers do what it takes to make money) and she signs a release for a credit card to be slid through her a$$, does that decision make her a "whore"? Could this not be self-perpetuating at all? One could come up with all sorts of analogies to challenge this assumption, but I won't right now. Carry on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:06:54-06:00
ID
71596
Comment

Knol, can you de-censor "wh0re," please?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:07:32-06:00
ID
71597
Comment

"If you do not show any self-respect for yourself in public, then you can't expect anyone else to." - Kamikaze This quote has stuck with me through the entire dialogue and I finally feel the need to chime in... It's probably been said but some are never taught self-respect. From a gay and lesbian perspective, churches, politicians, parents, family, and friends will take every opportunity to tell a gay or lesbian they "are going to hell." They will kick them out of their pulpits, homes, and even jobs... And so much more misery being spread by zealots... When society and people, including family and friends, beat you down, it becomes near impossible to respect oneself unless some basic strength and a strong mental framework were established in early development. This is one reason minorities have festivals and often tight-knight communities... In many ways, they are building their own families and support networks to build respect and community. That's all from a gay and lesbian perspective. You can similarly apply the notion to hip hop, race and sex. The persecution, stereotypes or actions may be different but the result on the psyche and society is very much the same. If you are never taught respect and more importantly self-respect, it will always be difficult (if not impossible) to show that in public or to individuals. Hearing music that degrades or lowers one's self-respect is just one method. I can testify after listening to some very agressive/hostile punk and even hip hop and the way it altered my very perspective on the world around me. Sound frequencies, rhythms, and spoken word are powerful... They can heal and harm equally -- "the power of music." Strangely, instrumental hip hop, French hip hop, and most house music (minus that catty diva house that has entirely too much attitude) switched my internal perspective on the world to a more positive and respectful leaning. So, I guess what I'm saying is you can't express self-respect if you've never been taught to have self-respect or been told there's no point. From day one, women are degraded by the media. It might not be as evil if it were equally applied to men and if men were treated equally like sex objects but that's not the case and there is a HUGE divide in the way men and women's sexuality are presented. Another point would be that artists DO have a responsibility and should LOUDLY express the intent of their message. Andy Warhol's art was mostly pre-fab, mass-produced, and recycled imagery. It was useless/meaningless without his intent and agenda against consumerism and industrialization. Dada artists are another example. Their art would generally not be considered "art" (and is still not by many "art lovers") without the intent expressed both in the work and in the word.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-27T12:10:17-06:00
ID
71598
Comment

WOW!!! good discussion...I'm a fan of hip-hop and consider myself to be a pretty "cool" older guy. I'm kinda on the sugarhill gang, big daddy kane side of things. maybe a little LL Cool J. Or has anybody heard of Schooly D? ...But to kind of respond to JSU..how about putting it the laps of the parents, teachers, and pastors(where it belongs in the first place) Im the father of four. 3 boys and a girl and I'll be damned if a rapper or athlete is going to have more influence over my kids than I do. Thats where the responsibility was when I came up and that's where it should be now. The rappers wouldn't have the influence they do if some of us were doing our jobs. Its not their job to do anything but feed their families as I feed mine. hip-hop is not the perpetrator here sir, it's our world. and for that you should blame Bush, his daddy, and Ronald Reagan for that...and maybe Bill Clinton for that whole Lewinsky thing but that's another story. LOL

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T12:12:13-06:00
ID
71599
Comment

I have never agreed with Knol more. Excellent point Knol. I don't understand why people can't see this. You have these blessed people saying screw everybody else. What's worse, too often it's women saying it. The women of this caliber are just as bad if not worse than the guys. They ought to know better.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T12:16:50-06:00
ID
71600
Comment

To me, this is the core of the issue: If you are not a w****, then the dudes rapping are not talking about you. Now, I understand that men have a responsiblity as men to respect us as women. However, when a woman doesn't demand respect, then why is it his responsibility to give it to her. She doesn't even desire it. And that's her choice. It may not be necessary to who she is that a man treats her with respect. Yall do know that there are people in the world who don't live by the same values and morals as you all (and I) seem to. Right? I do NOT buy that line of thinking for one millisecond. People are people, with lives and souls and minds and emotions *no matter how broken* they may be. Everyone deserves respect, and deserves to be treated as a person, not as an object, or something less than human. And, who decides who's a whore or a bitch? Some man? That's just freaking bullshit. And, as JSU points out, why not rap about the 'hood in such a way that actually inspires us? Why exploit the most vulnerable among us? I just don't get that at all. And, Kamikaze, I don't really care if you get in touch with your feminine side, but as the father of a daughter, you'd best get in touch with your feminist side. Bitches and ho's don't just spring up out of nowhere. A girl's ability to relate to men starts with her father. And if she senses on any level that you think that women are objects, and that they *deserve* to be treated like property, then she will internalize that. I've got a few books, if you want to start reading on the psychological development of girls in our society. There's shit that will scare the pants off of you.

Author
kate
Date
2006-02-27T12:17:40-06:00
ID
71601
Comment

"If you do not show any self-respect for yourself in public, then you can't expect anyone else to." - Kamikaze Could someone, anyone please explain to me how standing up in public and rapping about black women being "b!tches" and "wh0res" shows any kind of self-respect? I think it rather indicates a very sad self-loathing for black men to look so hard to find the one group in a weaker position than they are -- black women -- and then make money off their backs. One could argue that they are turning these women into "wh0res," so they have something to make money off of. It's a sad cycle, but one that can be stopped if they young men (and women) will realize what they are saying about themselves. Before anyone jumps me about picking on black artists, I will say that I will happily and readily apply this to any artists who pick on weak groups and tries to marginalize them in some way, and have. I also do not believe, as JSU points out well, that all hip-hop artists do this. Of course they don't, and the ones who don't sell out to misogyny deserves our wholehearted support. Also, considering that so many white kids are into music, is this really a message that black men should be sending about black women directly into the white community?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:18:18-06:00
ID
71602
Comment

Also, and I really am going to stop, you've got to worry mightily about the young men listening to your music and lusting after the rappers who turn themselves into "wh0res" (using some of the definitions above, that could just mean dressing a certain way) in order to attract the new rap elite types. Then they get based for being exactly what they thought y'all wanted them to be. I dunno. I really don't think you can talk about leading young kids on the one hand, and then be willing to send these messages on the other. This has long conflicted me, even as I'm a big supporter of the hip-hop movement. I think it does need some self-regulation, and badly.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:20:52-06:00
ID
71603
Comment

"I'll be damned if a rapper or athlete is going to have more influence over my kids than I do. Thats where the responsibility was when I came up and that's where it should be now. The rappers wouldn't have the influence they do if some of us were doing our jobs." -trusip But, this only points to a problem. It doesn't provide or suggest a resolution. How do you teach and school parents (including single mothers busting their asses to get by) on how to rear kids? There's no manual... There's little-to-no guidance... You have kids having kids. All this points to a problem but no resolution seems to exist or hasn't been brought to light. "Teach respect" is not something that can be done with *every* parent. "Do 6 hours of homework" does not solve *every* problem. The problems are very individual and could even be familial. So, I'm curious how we go about bringing more hope to at least a majority of the youth that have become so jaded, sometimes violent, often disrespectful in ghettoes and in fenced neighborhoods? It has to go beyond the parent and into the community and society if these parents have never had the opporutnity to grasp any of the following: self-respect, respect, restraint, rules, and regularity (meaning organized structure in their lives). If they haven't grasped or appreciated any of those, they will certainly pass that on and the loop repeats. I may have just steered my conversation car all over the insterstate... I promise I'm not drinking! ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-27T12:22:15-06:00
ID
71604
Comment

meant to say YOUNG WOMEN in first sentence above. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:24:33-06:00
ID
71605
Comment

Good points Donna and Knol. My latest thought. How 'bout we set up a poll: Who's more of a whore? The guy swiping the credit card in the woman's butt, or the woman herself?

Author
kate
Date
2006-02-27T12:24:48-06:00
ID
71606
Comment

"whore" and "dick" have been de-censored. Now, everyone behave with those words or we'll call in the zany zealots to slap you around. ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-27T12:28:36-06:00
ID
71607
Comment

Donna it doesn't show any respect when the Rappers do this. Too many Rappers, males and females, don't give a damn about black folks (other than tier posse) or our great and devastating issues. And they don't care how it makes black folks, especially black women, look to white America. To many its albout the dollar and the avoidance of having to get a regular job to make a living. Many would sell off the entire race excepting their families all for the almight dollar. It's easy to recognize the kinds described above because they say nothing and do nothing outside of seeking personal gains and fighting off their attackers.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T12:29:04-06:00
ID
71608
Comment

I agree Donna, that there may be self-loathing in black men. In fact, it is. That comes from generations of being treated as 3/5 of a man(that was actually in the U.S. constituiton BRW) by society. And it could very well be that they have looked for a group weaker than themselves to denegrate to make them feel better about themselves. Good point. You could say that these rappers are "whores" for the music industry too. they do what sells. But look folks, it DOES sell. Do we condemn rappers for feeding their families or the society at large that buys some of that crap. This is America and they have the right NOT to purchase this stuff. Some of this stuff is not fit to listen to. Consequently, they wont get my money. I let my kids listen to Kamikaze. I don't like everything he says but he obviously is trying to do something positive. I grew up off Deerpark and Banks(behind JSU) and that's as HOOD as you can get. And JSU, its nothing to be glorified and I dont believe Kamikaze was saying that. Jackson's "hood" as you call it is just as "hood" as Philly and NYC. Its the same struggle. I saw hookers, crack addicts, drug dealers and the like going to school everyday. Thats the horrible underbelly that exists in poverty and sometimes it isnt any positive to relay. the positive is rapping about getting OUT of that hellhole. When you're surrounded by apples you cant rap or sing about oranges!

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T12:35:32-06:00
ID
71609
Comment

trusip, there is self-loathing in white men, too -- just of a different variety. And a lot of it has to do with the way they've treated other human beings. I know all those things you say are true, and I so support rappers chronicling the violence, the police brutality, the poverty, everything that goes on. I will support the "violent" lyrics that are spreading those messages. But where is the line drawn? Do rappers simply get a pass from society to beat down another group of people with the misogyny? And I've already addressed what I think of the argument that Nelly needs to feed his kids by sliding the credit card through the woman's crack. Not buying that one. Just like with any societal problem: We need leaders -- successful rappers who will stand up and say, "No more. We cannot continue treating black women like this. The almighty dollar is not worth this."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T12:42:43-06:00
ID
71610
Comment

Knol, to comment on what you said. It used to take a village to raise a child. At least it did in my community. We've lost that. What it is going to take is everyone giving a damn about the next one. People are so apt to say these days "that's THEIR business" or "Mind your business" and people pretty much keep to themselves. Folks are afraid to reach out to someone who obviously needs help with parenting or teaching. People often shun it. It pains me because when I see kids being disrespectful I have to turn away beacuse instead of tanning their backsides like I should, I don't for fear of retribution from a parent. We standby and say nothing.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T12:42:50-06:00
ID
71611
Comment

"When you're surrounded by apples you cant rap or sing about oranges!" - trusip That's not true. Not true at all. The beauty of creativity and art, in general, is the ability to transform and/or create different environments, settings, or emotions. I don't (for one instant) believe art is solely a product of its environment. The only environment it is a "product of" is the internal environment (read: psyche) of the artist. I grew up in the country and never really saw "modern" or Bauhaus-style architecture... But, I was drawing floorplans and full 3d sketches of modern architecture though I'd never really seen it. I was surrounded by apples and creating oranges.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-27T12:43:47-06:00
ID
71612
Comment

You're right Donna. Im sure Nelly had fed his kids looooong before the swipe. He's been getting my kids money for a a few years now. As a working class man, I can understand in theory the "feed my family" issue. I love my kids and will do whatever is "legal" to feed them. Notice I didnt say "morally or politically correct" thats subjective. I will do within the bounds of the law what I have to do to feed them. These rappers do this "shock rap" so to speak because kids want to hear it. Especially white kids. And if these labels are anything like my bosses, they only care about the bottom line. (Just like the tobacco industry). They very well are selling a product that corrupts but it makes money so who cares. It's hard Donna for a grown man with mouths to feed to take THAT kind of stand when it could put his folks on the street. It just is. The almighty dollar may not be worth it but thee almighty dollar is what ya need to buy food and clothes for your kids. and until we change THAT not much will change.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T12:51:17-06:00
ID
71613
Comment

I am a black female quite like urbangypsy, I live hip hop. I am not offended in any way by Nelly's video, nor am I offended by hearing the words B@tch or whore in a song. Neither are most of the females I know who are hip hop fans. We are not offended because we do not fit the definition of either of those words. One reason for this is because you and your friends have become desensitized to it and therefore block it out of your minds...which is good if you don't mind a white man calling you n*gger at Northpark Mall and you block that out too. this is what I call selective emotions. and if black women can "turn it off" in their minds to not let "words" bother them, then why can't an entire industry of rappers block out the ignorance that's all around them and put out positive works? the mind is a powerful tool. Rappers' just ain't using it. so I'm doing what Spike is doing and dropping it all in the rappers' lap...If the shoe fits wear it, Kamikaze.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T12:54:40-06:00
ID
71614
Comment

Not exactly the same Knol. I see your point. however as a "product" of that envionment per se. One could very well rap about sunny meadows, but its kinda hard Knol when you only know decay around you. Plus, your raps wouldnt be taken as too "authentic" to the people you are trying to get your music to. When you grow up in those surroundings you dont even have a frame of reference for anything outside of that. Some of my friends growing up have not travelled even to the other side of town. Let alone somewhere to see a sunny meadow. Their world IS their block. Thats it, no more no less. You have to see or be presented with that worldview to be able to even grasp it enough to rap about it. I was, through school, and thus Im no longer there physically OR menatally. But all of my boys weren't so lucky.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T12:59:01-06:00
ID
71615
Comment

JSU, it seems like you hae a personal issue with Kamikaze and that not helping this discussion. You make some good points but its lost in you attacking that brother. HE makes excellent points as well. As a parent, I don't put that blame squarely in any one groups's lap. As I said earlier, we ALL play a part in this. He is right to call Spike out on that. Because in reading about his visit I too saw no solutions in his words just finger pointing. And that doesnt help. As Ray stated, we can all agree here that Kamikaze is one of the good ones. He had a view, he thought one way, and as changed some his thinking. That shows growth. It's not Kamikaze's cross to bear. If my kids are ONLY listening to him then I havent done my job. As soon as about 3 or four more artists come out like Kanye and sell 1-2 million records. Trust me, you're gonna see more of it. WE have to buy it when it comes out. I remember in the late 80's and early 90's there was a big "Black Power" movement in rap. Public Enemy was big and everybody was wearing those african medallions and kinte cloth clothes. Every rapper was trying to make a "black power" song. Artists that you've never heard like Paris and 2 Kings and a Cyher, X-CLan. they were huge. That's what was selling so labels kept signing it and rappers who wanted a deal knew they had to do THAT kind of music...Until NWA dropped and it all changed. Who remembers that? Bottom Line...these labels follow trends. So we must set them. The rappers will rap what WE tell them we want.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T13:09:04-06:00
ID
71616
Comment

I grew up off Deerpark and Banks(behind JSU) and that's as HOOD as you can get. And JSU, its nothing to be glorified and I dont believe Kamikaze was saying that. Jackson's "hood" as you call it is just as "hood" as Philly and NYC. Its the same struggle. I saw hookers, crack addicts, drug dealers and the like going to school everyday. Thats the horrible underbelly that exists in poverty and sometimes it isnt any positive to relay. So did I (Pearl Street and Terry Road), so I know the area like the crack of my a$$ and it wasn't near as bad as say south Philly, West Chicago or Harlem, all of which I've lived or spent summers with cousins. the positive is rapping about getting OUT of that hellhole. When you're surrounded by apples you cant rap or sing about oranges! Then you have no creativity and music is not your forte' and saving grace. You should try something else like um....going on to college and getting a job maybe? But that's too much like right, though.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T13:10:54-06:00
ID
71617
Comment

An old disappointed and frustrated black person of note said recently to an audience of mixed races: "America no longer needs virulent racism, the Klan, the COCC, the SC or any other organization of the likes to help this generation of black folks defeat, demoralize, and destroy themselves. It is now as simple as just putting up a sizable cash ransom, reward or bounty whether it be through the obvious evils of drugs, gansta rap, prostitution, pimping or even sexual slavery and this generation will unhesitantly and gladly defeat, demoralize and destroy themselves. They will do this despite wise and able counsel to the contrary, and many, if not all, will claim they're doing it all in the name of feeding their families as if they have no alternatives. They're a lie and the truth ain't in them." This person went on to say he has run out of hope because "even the young blacks (males and females) who aren't directly participating in this kind of genocide aren't willing to stand up to this disease of relaxed morality and demand better for themselves and their race." He went on to say "he compare(s) this to what is happening in the schools where it's not cool to be smart anymore or to achieve methodically and honorably." The more I think on these hurtful comments, the more I can't disagree.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T13:24:31-06:00
ID
71618
Comment

JSU, it seems like you hae a personal issue with Kamikaze Not at all. I don't know him to have a personal issue with him. He said himself he likes to "stir the pot", and from his writings I can tell that's exactly what he's doing . Because I just don't believe he discounts people like Spike Lee and other prominent blacks the way he does but in the same breath say he's "down" for his people. I'm also offering solutions in my replies (see my last post urging him to be a school teacher, etc..) If anything, I'm trying to find out where his angst for Spike Lee is coming from because I don't know ONE black soul in america that doesn't respect Spike Lee as a strong Black voice in America. But he says "He ain't speaking for us" ...then who is...Suge Knight?

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T13:26:27-06:00
ID
71619
Comment

Look I think this is a good conversation to be having, however, I think you all are missing one important factor that I think needs to be covered in more depth. There is an underlining issue here and I hate to bring it to such simplicity, I don't think that this is an experience that many of you will ever understand. How many of you have been in hip hop clubs and actually noticed how we as young, black hip hop persons carry ourselves. Hip hop is a life style and quite frankly this conversation has further let me know that there is a gap between either races or generations that will not allow you all to even understand what we mean. I think that it is very commendable for yall of you to have such socialy and politically correct opinions, but this is not the way of the world where I come from, or Nelly, or Kamikaze, or any other rappers. The fact that yall want to change this is just as unfathomable as the idea of hip hop going away. Which most of you probably wanted at some point. I personally think that you can't understand this culture nor can you understand this point. Therefore you want to make it just like everything else...debatable and controlable. When the fact of the matter is, hip hop is not one of those things that you can learn....it's a part of us. It is not like the MS America Pagent where everyone who is American can understand it. It is probably never going to be clear and understandable to most of the people who frequent this site and make these thought provoking posts. Carry on....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T13:33:48-06:00
ID
71620
Comment

You cant discount that fella's opinion though brother. A lot of people feel the same way he does. And a LOT of young people feel the way he does. Spike, Cosby, Colin Powell don't speak for them. I know some older black folks my age who dont like Al Sharpton OR Jesse Jackson. its just a matter of preference. No one leader is going to be liked by everbody. Kamikaze, I think, speaks for those who agree with him. As I said, all his music isnt redeeming but I do see him out in the community doing good works when a lot of his colleagues are not. That's the thing, there can be no one "black leader" Thats our problem. it just HAS to be a group effort. It isnt just Spike Lee, it isnt just Kamikaze. It has to a a collaborative effort between ALL concerned parties. No one is without reproach not Spike, not Kamikaze, no one. If they say something that needs to be challenged then it needs to be challenged.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T13:36:25-06:00
ID
71621
Comment

Kamikaze, I suggest you take your post, your article and your opinions to another hip hop site and see if the masses of hip hop lovers share the opinions of the folks on here...since they've convienced you that you are a caveman..... Come back to where what you say is understandable and where people can relate to what you are talking about if you want to actually feel your opinion out. Trust me, this conversation will go a lot differently with people who actually know something about hip hop and black women!!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T13:37:24-06:00
ID
71622
Comment

Hip-hop is a desructive life style that is blinding you to issues and the greater truth. Most of us wouldn't waste our time in such blind enviroments. Standing in a burning fire shouldn't blind you to the necessity of calling the fire station to rescue you. If it does then all the more reason to stay the hell out of the place. Hip-hop is a time or moment of fun and celebration, not a lifestyle.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T13:42:14-06:00
ID
71623
Comment

Maybe we SHOULD do some kind of poll and distribute it to women throughout the city. Black colleges(Tougaloo and JSU) Millsaps, Belhaven. Downtown, online. Let's see where Jackson actually stands on the issue. Is there a dichotomy? I dont know. I dont think any of us can speak for all women white or black. they must ultimately speak for themselves. Men too. what are our thoughts? Sent to a hiphop site, Im scared to think of what we might hear. of what we might feel.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T13:44:38-06:00
ID
71624
Comment

a note on Tupac... Tupac despised and discouraged cocaine use, or any other drug use in Hip Hop, barring weed since he smoked it all the time, citing it was harmless.. I remember when he said it on Arsenio Hall show years back. Now you have Eminem who pops pills and raps about giving women rufies and X to get them naked...then you have that new white rapper Paul Wall and others rapping about drinking codiene with Hennnesey. what is this if not irresponsible? but you get mad when Spike Lee says "hip hop culture is a mess..." ??? you kids are confused. really. trusip wrote - He is right to call Spike out on that. Because in reading about his visit I too saw no solutions in his words just finger pointing. Did Kamikaze offer any solutions in his rebuttle? all I see from him is finger-pointing, a chance to call another black man a house n*gga and a desire to say it's ok rap about violence if that's all you ever knew. Listen, A Tribe Called Quest, one of the best rap groups ever, is from the "hood" in NYC, but did you hear gun violence and raping women on their albums? NO. How on earth did they accomplish that without an imgination? excuses.. excuses...

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T13:47:58-06:00
ID
71625
Comment

Queen601, I have admired your comments and thoughts from the kamikaze601.com for quite some time, but I disagree with you on one thing: his post, articles and opinions are just where they need to be so that discussions like this can begin and continue. I must say that I have kept off this topic for personal reasons, but I applaud Kamikaze's willingness to stand in the fire and proclaim what is dear to him. His message---regardless of how people may interpret it---is powerful. And if a medium such as the Jackson Free Press helps it to be heard, thus opening the floodgates for people to think outside the box, I think it has done a great service to all of us. Whether we agree with him or not.

Author
c a webb
Date
2006-02-27T13:48:05-06:00
ID
71626
Comment

No one here hates Kamikaze or even his comments. We simply disagree with many. We also happen to know that you, youngsters, aren't smarter than we are because you haven't seen or experienced what we have.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T13:48:51-06:00
ID
71627
Comment

Now Ray..I was wit ya but I gotta disagree. Hip-Hop IS a lifestyle. It is a culture. A culture that stemmed form what even JSU says was "pain and suffering" of black and latino people. I watched its birth. And watched as it trickled down to good ole Mississippi. form the rapping to breaking, to dj'ing to graffiti. ALL of that encompasses hip-hop. perhaps we need to go back and give a history lesson too. Its a style that I embody to this day. It shapes views(whether good or bad) style of dress. the way you look at music AND art. There's graffiti in the smithsonian brother. Hip-hop has a Hall Of Fame. It is a respected culture. Not stemmed in just fun Ray its much more than just the music. I suggest you do a little googling. Read up on Kool Herc or Grandmaster Flash or the sugarHill Gang(guys that are STILL doin it) New York created it and Im glad we've gotten a chance to be a part of it. Im always gonna support rap even as I now reach my late 40's

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T13:51:24-06:00
ID
71628
Comment

cawebb, sir you are absolutely correct. I just gotta tell you that it gets really frustrating to read these comments when people are not fully educated on what they are talking about and they speak so intellegently like they have facts and it's really making a mockary of what our lifestyles are. I mean how can someone who can't relate give me any type of insight on what this is suppose to be. You are right though, I suppose Kaze is the right person to be here entertaining these folk. My hat off to you. And now I understand how you could have made hasty comments as stated in your earlier post....since I just committed the same....I just want to say don't second guess yourself because of these folk. Be proud to be hip hop...they don't understand anyway.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T13:56:06-06:00
ID
71629
Comment

You cant discount that fella's opinion though brother. A lot of people feel the same way he does. And a LOT of young people feel the way he does. Spike, Cosby, Colin Powell don't speak for them. I'm not discounting his opinion, he's intitled to that. but he's generalizing when he's says "they don't speak for us" who is us? black people as a whole? his family? all of Jackson? who? certainly not MY friends because we don't see Spike Lee as a ra-coon with a runny mouth. and the main reason younger kids might not connect with Spike and Colin, etc...is because they aren't EDUCATED on them enough to have any respect. Black kids these days know more about AK-47's and pimpjuice than they know about George Washington Carver or even Malcolm X for that matter.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-02-27T13:57:25-06:00
ID
71630
Comment

And Ray again..thats where we grown folks make that gap grow wider. Sure we're older and sure we've experienced some things, but these kids these days are sharp. And we should never discount their feelings or opinions. We cant dismiss theeir words as young folks drivel. Their frustration, as my kids say, comes from the fact that they are not being heard. So I can't let ya speak for all older wiser folks. Cause some of these young folks got it together. Not all grown folks are smarter than these young folks(and I'm sitting in close proximity to a few now at my job). I think Kamikaze is one of those bright young minds that DOES have a clue. I agree C. Webb his message is powerful and can carry a lot of weight 'round here if used properly.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T13:59:52-06:00
ID
71631
Comment

I agree in large part with you, trusip. Maybe I should have said that what it ought to be. I wonder what percentage of white kids who buy and listen to hip-hop is letting hip-hop totally define who they are. I wonder how many will find gainful employment if they do that. I wonder how many of them will eventually run corporations or other important agencies in our society if they do that. I bet the overwhelming majority, for the sake af familiar success and survival, will view hip-hop as a moment of fun and not their lifesytle. Trusip, we have to survive in this society, too. We will always have to overcome obstacles whites won't have too. It's destructive and devastating to let hip-hop totally define who you are. Else we go to an interview like Marlon Wayans did in Don't be a Menace in South Central wearing a wife-beater and saying "I heard you N______ was hiring."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T14:01:53-06:00
ID
71632
Comment

Ray- I usually agree with you but I can't on this one- Not the blanket statement that hiphop is a destructive lifestyle. Some of hiphop is destructive. But the lifestyle itself the b-boying, djaying, the ultimate lyricsts- there is so much out there that is positive. What? When did we ever have brothas making serious $$ from clothing design? Other than Willi Smith? The urban/hiphop fashion trend is not just lining the pockets of Diddy and Russell Simmons but also folks like our very own OFFICIAL BLOCKWEAR (sorry can't remember his name)and my boys back home in Memphis (J2) who own an urbanwear store. Not just a fad- 5 years strong. (for an independent retail store that's a lifetime!) What about dance? I couldn't get a boy in tights to safe my life when I was teaching ballet. But offerring a hiphop class made dance something ok for black guys to do without the fear of being labeled a sissy or punk. (Not my words of course) The artistry of the visual art of the hiphop generation- from the graffitti style that has left railcars and made it to Modern Art Museums to video forms- its a cutting edge style that has been replicated by mainstream media and fortune 500 corporations. and true rappers who study their craft- they read! All the time! Just like literary writers do. It keeps their lyrics sharp. Otherwise they are going to be the base level hallmark card rhyming rappers that most of y'all hear on the radio. I could go on- but I don't want to dillute this great discussion anymore. Just wanted to go on record that I do believe hiphop culture is a viable lifestyle- when lived in a positive light. As a mid-30's hiphophead who is also considered to be a productive member of society (as are most of my friends who live all over the country and are far more sucessful than me:))- We don't think its going anywhere. "Cus we don't stop, and we can't stop..."

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T14:05:47-06:00
ID
71633
Comment

"Black kids these days know more about AK-47's and pimpjuice than they know about George Washington Carver or even Malcolm X for that matter." Point well taken JSU...now WHO'S fault is that? the rappers? Can't really put THAT in their laps. That speaks to a deeper issue. and I feel your frustration. I have a son going to college. He's seen spike's films and has read about colin Powell in school. He even used to sit and watch the Cosby show with me. and He STILL doesnt think they speak for him. Like I said, its a point of preference. I personally LOVED Tribe. But I liked NWA too. and I teach my kids the difference in ideologies.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-02-27T14:06:08-06:00
ID
71634
Comment

You can be smart and without any wisdom. This is the problem. I watch smart one go the prison all the time. I watch smart one get out-smarted by the police on a daily basis.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T14:07:02-06:00
ID
71635
Comment

I agree Urbangypsy. What you're saying involves taking on the good aspects of it. Doing those good things are as as American as apple pie. Not unique in any way to just hip-hop. I have said before I'm glad we (you young people) created it. I just want us to remember there is a world outside and beyond it that we have to learn and master too for the sake of survival. I'm also urging the blessed ones like yourself, Trusip and Kamikaze to keep it honest and honorable by seeing the big picture and having the courage to tell the whole truth.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T14:14:39-06:00
ID
71636
Comment

Thanks Ray. Its a battle. On the one hand I can stand back and say I'm an adult- if I want to listen to violent/misogynistic/destructive-fillintheblank-music, I can make that choice. I can weed thru what is reality and what being done to sell. And what's being done to feed negative images to us. I can sort through the negative lyrics to listen for "the pain", the underlying message, the cries to be listened to. But I'm an adult. The children who are bombarded with this every day may not have anyone in their lives to talk to about the words and images. I used to have female students who thought it was ok to dress (oldschool phrase of the day) "showing all their wares" because they saw the women in videos dressing that way. Dangit- I know GROWN FOLKS who do this. But in the videos- the hoochie-dressed woman gets the guy with the fancy car and all the loot. You and I know its entertainment- but does the 12 year old girl at home watching BET? So I'm trying to make an effort to financially support artists, hiphop or otherwise, who are doing and saying positive things. I try to get youth and adults to talk about reality vs. entertainment. So y'all support some music/tv shows/movies that paint us-all "us" in a positive light. And let's keep talking.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T14:27:57-06:00
ID
71637
Comment

and Ray- one of the things I love about hiphop- TRU HIPHOP- is that it does exactly what you're advocating. "A world outside and beyond it that we have to learn and master too for the sake of survival" We take culture from all over the world, throw in some savy business school learning, and flip out the remix- that's real hiphop all day baby.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T14:31:32-06:00
ID
71638
Comment

How many hip-hopper saw Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union this Saturday? Ho many has purchased the book "The Covenant?" How many really know how long black folks have been catching hell in America? How many have solutions? What do they know behind the music? My nephews don't have any idea what shape they're in. But they know who Nelly is and about the credit card swipe. But I'll stand on the mountaintop and tell the world my nephews conditions are not the fault of the Rappers. We need all the help we can get, however, since many of our boys and girls are more impressed by the Rappers than their relatives who have worked and studied like hell to become lawyers, doctors, teachers, tellers, cashiers, et al.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T14:38:11-06:00
ID
71639
Comment

Again- my point is that we 30something hiphopheads- are the new generation of doctors, lawyers, teachers, cashiers & politicians. and I'll challenge that the numbers of hip-hoppers who watched Tavis, purchased "The Covenant"- with a forward to chapter 7 by our own Oleta Fitzgerald- is probably equal to the number of 30-60 year old black jazz, gospel, r&b lovers out there. NOT MANY. But they certainly shelled out $30 million to see Tyler Perry this weekend...

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T14:51:52-06:00
ID
71640
Comment

I'm thoroughly enjoying this conversation. Although earlier when I stood on my soap box and screamed about "respect for women" I felt stupid for about...oh, five minutes...simply because I understand that rap is a form of cultural and political expression and shouldn't be censored because I get my panties in a bunch. Much like reggae, which I freakin' LOVE with a passion of a thousand burning suns. I think the point comes down to being able to respect rap for its political and cultural expression BUT also understanding that when the rapper perpetuates a negative stereotype they therefore have some responsiblity for what their "art" does to the future formation of their communities and beliefs. The question is this...Do rappers wish to perpetuate the injustices for which "the rap" was created to speak about...or do they wish to finally use the voice they have created for positive change in their community? I was a little white girl growing up in the Mississippi Delta listening to Eazy E (I still get crazy when I hear "gimme that nutt") and that ain't no "easy rap". I knew nothing of "ghettos"...especially "real" ghettos. (since we seem to be fighting over the REAL ghetto and the "fake" ghetto down here ;) I just knew when I cut class at lunch time that Eazy's who I wanted to hear. I've always loved old school rap. Yes, I DO KNOW who the Sugarhill Gang is...but it doesn't particularly mean I "get" the culture beyond observation and attempting to understand to the best of my ability based upon my OWN experiences. Much like everyone else. I may not be "understanding" this in the way that I need to be "understanding" this, but I'm trying. This is why I dislike it when people try to shut down conversations by saying "You do not/will not understand." Well then, teach me.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-02-27T15:03:35-06:00
ID
71641
Comment

Kamikaze, I suggest you take your post, your article and your opinions to another hip hop site and see if the masses of hip hop lovers share the opinions of the folks on here...since they've convienced you that you are a caveman..... Queen, you're not trying very hard to hear to participate in the conversation if you think that's what should happen. The truth is, I do not believe that Kamikaze is a "caveman" -- I adore him, and believe that he is intelligent man, rapper and journalilst who happens to be black -- but that does not mean that he did not say something about black women that *sounded* straight out of the dark ages. And just because that is said all the time in the black community doesn't make it OK -- just like "caveman" comments made in the white community are not automatically justified because everyone says them. By your logic and rationalization, no one should condemn hateful comments by young whites because, well, that's what they all say at the sports bars and dirt-road dives. Come back to where what you say is understandable and where people can relate to what you are talking about if you want to actually feel your opinion out. Trust me, this conversation will go a lot differently with people who actually know something about hip hop and black women!!!!! It sounds like you're promoting the status quo, Queen. That's said. This is a wonderful dialogue, and many people are learning from it, includnig myself. Why in the world would you want Kamikaze to take it back exclusively to the black community where he might not be criticized? I think Kamikaze has shown that he is a bigger man than that. He wants diverse and difficult discussion to happen, and he's creating it. More power to him. Also, I am a woman, and I know many black women well -- although I can't in the life of me understand why any of us need to fit certain qualifications in order to speak out about prejudice and social injustice toward a group of people. That kind of sounds like the Dark Ages, too.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T15:12:34-06:00
ID
71642
Comment

I hear you Ali. Love the JFP for the real dialog. Not just to teach but to talk about things in a way that promotes understanding on all sides on an issue. You definitely don't have to be from da hood to understand the angst of the ghetto. It comes in many forms- parental, societal, self-imposed. Probably why hiphop speaks to so many young teenage white boys in the Midwest... We all have issues. Some of us work them out on wax (Eminem) Some of us work them out with a glass, or a bottle, of Reisling. Some of us don't work them out at all until we've shot up a peer or ourself. We all have things that connect us. Thanks for being willing to listen and contribute. And trying to understand. I hope "we" all can extend the courtesy.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T15:17:10-06:00
ID
71643
Comment

The urban/hiphop fashion trend is not just lining the pockets of Diddy and Russell Simmons but also folks like our very own OFFICIAL BLOCKWEAR (sorry can't remember his name) His name is Staxx; real name is John Tierre. Great guy and businessman. We've featured him many times, and he was one of our Men We Love, I believe. He was interviewed in this story about hip-hop that we did a year ago.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T15:19:03-06:00
ID
71644
Comment

One response to Ray: The "youngsters" have seen and experienced plenty of things that older folk haven't, and vice versa. That's why we all need to teach each other–each one, teach one and all that jazz.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T15:20:17-06:00
ID
71645
Comment

Ms. Ladd please allow me to copy and paste my response to CAWebb's post who said exactly what you said....maybe you missed it... cawebb, sir you are absolutely correct. I just gotta tell you that it gets really frustrating to read these comments when people are not fully educated on what they are talking about and they speak so intellegently like they have facts and it's really making a mockary of what our lifestyles are. I mean how can someone who can't relate give me any type of insight on what this is suppose to be. You are right though, I suppose Kaze is the right person to be here entertaining these folk. My hat off to you. And now I understand how you could have made hasty comments as stated in your earlier post....since I just committed the same....I just want to say don't second guess yourself because of these folk. Be proud to be hip hop...they don't understand anyway. I accept the fact that this dialoge is necessary for some and i also admit to the fact that I spoke hastily and I even admitted that Kaze is the perfect person to be over here with yall having this conversation. Yall do alot of talking on this website about what the issues are and we should all be one and the darkages and cavemen and all that jazz....what else do you do Ms. Ladd? When you log off your computer do you go to the night spots with the black women you know well. And the answer to this problem as well as other racial issues is not to act like we are all the same...the answer is to ACCEPT AND RESPECT not CHANGE AND ADAPT....yall want our culture to be one in the same as the white experience and that is not what we want....we can't even begin to fathom what that is...just like you can't begin to fathom what it's like to sit here and read this white woman telling me what is best for me and my people and how we need to come together with white folks in order to reap the betterment of life....you can't possibly understand what reading these posts is doing for me right now!!!! I guarantee you that.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T16:11:19-06:00
ID
71646
Comment

And the answer to this problem as well as other racial issues is not to act like we are all the same ---Yes, true. We shouldn't act like we are the same. We aren't. Just as *I* (a white woman just like Ms. Ladd) aren't the same. yall want our culture to be one in the same as the white experience and that is not what we want.... ---And this is a large generalization I afectionately refer to as "Bullsh1t".

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-02-27T16:14:35-06:00
ID
71647
Comment

By the way congratulations to you Donna for your attempt to at least try. I know I come across today as being a bit frustrated and I am, but that is not an issue to which you should concern yourself. You do what you do cuz I guess it makes you feel like you have a purpose....that's great. And Kamikaze, good luck to ya fella...your journey is so much more complicated than most people know. If you have to deal with this alone with other things...I can't even imagine having the will power and the stregnth to be watchful of the words you say and to whom you say it. I'm sure I'll be blocked from the site from now on.....hehehe! Good luck to yall folkz....and may whatever God you serve bless your hearts!!!!!!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T16:15:36-06:00
ID
71648
Comment

Sorry, I meant "affectionately"

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-02-27T16:15:48-06:00
ID
71649
Comment

Sorry, I meant "affectionately"

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-02-27T16:15:49-06:00
ID
71650
Comment

ALi, I'm not surprised that you would.....that is the same word I'd use to describe most of what I've read here today....affectionately, of course!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T16:17:33-06:00
ID
71651
Comment

Actually Queen601- Donna is one of a few white women I do see partying with the black folks in Jackson- regardless of genre but especially supportive of hiphop. She's high on my list of invitees to any event. I-as a young black woman- am trying to feel your pain. I just hope that you can try to listen to other people's opinions- not necessarily agree with them- but to listen and respond with less anger. I know- I get frustrated too- but listening is key to understanding eachother. As is responding in a way that explains your frustration without putting up so many walls that people want to not hear you. I respect your posts-so keep that up. But I hope you can hear that some people really are trying to work on the race thang. I know fo sho that Miz Donna is...

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T16:22:10-06:00
ID
71652
Comment

Donna- sorry to have to go to the "W.W.". I know you can defend yourself but dangit I don't like people making assumptions about people I actually like. Cause it ain't many...

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T16:38:27-06:00
ID
71653
Comment

Queen, by your logic, I should only concern myself with violence against white women, because I can't "understand" what it's like to be black? Is that really what you mean to be saying here? yes, Hip Hop needs to be understood within it's own context, I get that. But, violence against women is just plain not acceptable to me, no matter what the context. And for anyone to say that certain women *deserve* to be treated like property is annoying, no matter what the context, or who's saying it. It's not about "political correctness" - it's about respect for every person on the planet, no matter their circumstances. I really don't think I need to be a black woman to understand that. Hip hop is not alone in their exploitation of women; most of pop culture is hugely offensive to me, regardless of the race of the performer. (Hell, most of western religion is hugely offensive to me as a woman, but that's another topic.) Violence against women is wrong, and performers that create and perpetuate the attitude that women should be treated only as sex objects, only as property to be used and thrown away need to hear that what they are doing is wrong. I don't really care about the specific context (Rap, hip hop, country western, rock n roll, etc.). And, if Rappers are sensitive artists and all that, then why do we get into such circular arguments about the appropriateness of lyrics and attitudes that demean women? Queen, I really resent your assertion that we all think Kamikaze is a 'caveman' and don't respect him. I look forward to his columns, and have alot of respect for what he's doing. Because of that respect, I will challenge him on ideas that I think are vital to our culture, and ask him to consider new perspectives, the way he asks me to consider new perspectives. And this whole "but it's a lifestyle" argument doesn't do much for me either. Slave owning was a "lifestyle" too. Just because it's pervasive, doesn't mean that it doesn't have dysfunctional (along with some functional) elements.

Author
kate
Date
2006-02-27T16:40:22-06:00
ID
71654
Comment

Okay, okay ladies.... Esp. to you urbangypsy, I appreciate your comments and your tolerance. I have had just a....very rocky day since I logged on to this site today. I've gone through so many emotions that I can't even begin to tell which is based on emotion and which is based on frustration and which is based on just flat out fact. So to you I apologize for coming across as being closed minded...usually that isn't a word I'd use to define myself, however I can see how my comments today can be taken that way. Kate, thank you for your comments as well. Thank you for your patience and I am glad that you are open minded enough to engage in this topic and to follow Kaze's columns. I can say if nothing else, this guy knows how to spark flames. And I am usually an advocate for conversation, but for some reason this one came near and dear to my heart in so disallowing me to remain neutral. For that, I apologize. I still am dealing with the comments by Ms. Ladd....But I can do that on my own without sprewing out discouraging remarks (if some I made were taken that way). I've seen her out and NEVER with any black folks...unless she was standing on the stage introducing a black artist who happened to be standing beside her. But that of course doesn't mean that she's not out there. At any rate, I am tired of feeling like we have to explain everything about ourselves to people who sit back waiting to have a contrary comment and it happens so much on this website that I suppose my defense mechanism was up before I even began to type. But I suppose that's what this magazine is all about. I'd just rather people accept HipHop and black folk as we are....the same way we accept them for being what they are (white folks). We haven't the power to change anything about white folk so what gives them the right to change anything about us. That may sound like a racist comment -- and if so, I'm sure I'll read more from most of you here on that---but it is not a racist comment....it's just fact. Again ladies, I appreciate your comments....thanks for bringing me back to earth...cuz for a while there my shoes were touching the sky....fa real. (that's ebonics for those of you who are thrown by that word...another black thing) there I go again...sorry....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-27T17:06:27-06:00
ID
71655
Comment

Don't apologize, Queen. There are no perfect answers here. We're trying to have a good dialogue, and succeeding, I think. Everyone will be happy to know that Kamikaze just left my office, and we're putting plans into motion for our public discussion on this issue. I still am dealing with the comments by Ms. Ladd....But I can do that on my own without sprewing out discouraging remarks (if some I made were taken that way). I've seen her out and NEVER with any black folks...unless she was standing on the stage introducing a black artist who happened to be standing beside her. But that of course doesn't mean that she's not out there. No, it doesn't, Queen. And I'm not quite sure I see your point. Maybe we should go for a drink, or a coffee, soon and talk about it. I'll buy. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-27T17:13:39-06:00
ID
71656
Comment

Thanks Queen. We all have our days of feeling and dealing with STUFF. Thanks for saying what you feel- even if we don't all agree. At least we're talking. Looking forward to more dialog from you. I'll be listening.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T17:24:26-06:00
ID
71657
Comment

I had to leave and go visit a client otherwise I couldn't have been quiet. I admit I no longer go to clubs of any sort. I probably couldn't stand the noise. Sorry, I meant music. Smile. I actually like a lot of it. However, I would challenge anyone to prove I don't really know what's going on with young people considering my life is spent talking to and advocating on behalf of them. Maybe I do see too many in trouble and not enough doing well. No one has to use drugs. No one has to drink or abuse alcohol. No one has to generally refer to women as hoes and the likes. No one has to let a lifestyle riddled with negativity, immorality and destruction consume them. None of us, who can see hip-hop for what it is, has to blindly embrace it despite our good senses. None of us has to let the baby get run over by a car just because everyone is racing their cars that way toward the money pit or to let the good times roll. I will never understand why hip-hoppers get so angry about others telling the truth about them, be they any race. It's not like any of the Rappers are listening and taking our counsel anyway. When hip-hoppers get in trouble, do hip-hoppers save themselves? Or do they run to momma and daddy. I can't count the ones I've seen facing death row and hopeful I can work a miracle. I soon learn they didn't listen to a thing their parents, teachers or any other adult told them. Life reproduces itself over and over again. I would love to know what young people experienced today that we never did. The only thing I likely missed was the stupid experiences associated with abusing drugs and alcohol. No one had the power to get me to indulge in these and I know I didn't really miss anything. Hip-hopers, you're not dealing with the bigots and racists in this conversation. We're people who love you. But we ain't dumb and we ain't buying some of the bull you spewing right now.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T17:44:35-06:00
ID
71658
Comment

Yeah, Ali, I love Reggae, too. I can honestly say Bob Marley and Dennis Brown are 2 of my heroes.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-27T17:48:44-06:00
ID
71659
Comment

And what of the countless young people who have NO positive role models in their lives? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you Ray- but in my 10 plus years working with young people, I have met too many kids who have no parents, or parents none of us would want- you know the ones who are crackheads, prostitutes, abusers of drugs and their own children. Yes- the parents sometimes are not equip to be good role models. Ok- the teachers then? Well- count out the ones who are too busy trying to teach to the test to really give the attention needed to the troubled ones. Who have to send them out of the classroom to In-school suspension. Count out the ones who get little support from administration. And lets not even address the ones who really don't want to be there. Or who took their kids out of public school for various reasons but can't afford to teach in the private schools. (That being said there are many good ones too) And the environments they were born into- they didn't create the negative situation they live in. They inherited it. Now- does this take the responsibilty off of the young people or rappers- NO. And do all kids who live negative lives come from these deplorable situations- NO. But it sounds like some blanket statements again. All of society should share some blame. And as far as life experiences being different for kids today- you couldn't pay me a million bucks to be a teenager today. (But my 30something generation probably had it easier than most.) These kids have sensory overload- access to so much- maybe too much information, often mis-information. Many growing up, not just without a father- but without their mothers too. So many are having to navigate taking care of their drug addicted parents and caring for younger siblings. Deadly diseases from sex when all we worried about was minor irritation or the major issue of birth control. I guess my point is let's all try to understand where folks come from. With the attempt to understand the underlying issues, we may be able to get to some solutions-together.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-27T18:30:24-06:00
ID
71660
Comment

I don't like hip hop and black combined... I realize the roots of hip hop but the culture *and* the music cross many lines and barriers. Hell, the Beastie Boys have been around far longer than most of the crunk and gangsta rappers. So, Queen, when *I* speak of hip hop, I don't see the color of skin and do not intend it that way. Some of my favorite rappers are both black and white. Most are European.... I've found many peaceful and non-misogynistic rappers from across the pond. Many are simply hip hop musicians and nix the vocals completely. Of the rappers and poets, all of the music I purchase is what I would call IHH or "intelligent hip hop." I label it "intelligent" based on a genre of electronica dubbed IDM or "intelligent dance music" because the intent is often to spread a positive and/or intellectual message. Ursula Rucker and A Tribe Called Quest come to mind... Beastie Boys are another... I'd say most Old School hip hop was about a good time and far from violent or misogynist... If you haven't heard Ursula Rucker, I highly recommend. Sultry, spoken word over soulful and sexy beats. *And* she sings/speaks/raps about the streets and the harshness of ghetto life without advocating or glamourizing... She manages to get the listener to empathize with the problems in the ghetto and approaches it in a non-hostile or aggressive way. MC Solaar is another I'd recommend if you either know French or can get past the fact that you may not understand a single word he says. His flow and beats are totally worth checking out. The entire Ninja Tune collective also manages to produce incredible hip hop without alot of negavity and manages to have an amazingly positive vibe without being cheesy. I'm not even sure what my point was now.... I guess it's that I do mostly agree with Spike regarding hip hop perpetuating a negative attitude *in general* because I watched it go from being a fairly positive, party vibe and unifying groove including acts like Sugarhill Gang, Beastie Boys and Afrika Bambaattaa to a commercialized, consumerist extravaganza of bling, big rims, and "bitches"... It's hard for me to relate to someone talking about how hard the streets are when their car is valued at a higher cost than my house. Still, I don't selectively criticize hip hop's negativity... I will say the same is true about heavy metal and punk *in general*. There are, of course, many exceptions to these generalizations and I am readily able to admit that. But, like someone mentioned above, I speak with my dollars and downloads. You won't catch me buying an Eminem album because of his hostile lyrics towards women, gays and lesbians... You also won't catch me downloading hardcore punk or metal that degrades women or perpetuates negativity. So, to come full circle... I feel hip hop artists need to take responsibility for their art. Curiously, I think the problem with that statement is that most of the people making money are not artists and instead are cogs in a machine of capitalism leeching off "the culture"... And those "artists" are quite happy making what sells regardless of the fact they preach the streets and drive $100,000+ cars and live in mansions. More power to them but I won't buy their music nor will I buy into the notion that to rhyme about the streets and to be true to them involves degrading women and glamourizing guns, drugs, and a myriad of other dangers facing youth today.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-27T20:20:20-06:00
ID
71661
Comment

Certainly you're right Urbangypsy. I doubt that we disagree on much of anything. Times are worse and more difficult now than when I grew up. But it takes the same courage, attitude and aptitude I used to say no to so many things. I got talked about and called a square, a punk, and many other things. Lots of girls initially didn't think I had anything going for me but I knew all of that would change. I didn't care what my peers thought of me because my eyes were on the prize. My parents weren't pushing or demanding that I do well in school or life. Both of them were young and were doing many of the things my peers were doing. Teachers and neighborhood leaders told me I couldn't amount to anything because of who my parents were and where I grew up. Luckily, I had learned too well to not listen to anything negative or discouraging. What my parents, siblings (especially my brothers) and all my friends were doing looked paralzing and defeating to me so I wouldn't engage in it. Before long I realized that I had to save myself. My mother and many of my siblings have been to prison. All of my sisters use alcohol and all of brothers use or have used drugs. Irrespective of this, I never indulged in either and knew I wasn't missing anything. I don't mean to toot my own horn but I know most kids don't have my innate or accidental makeup. Out of 17 kids with me being the 5th I was the 2nd to finish High School and 1st to go to college. Only 2 more followed me to college. One quit and it took child 17 about 7 or 8 years to finish college. Hopefully, she will get a job someday. I am probably the exception and not the rule. This is the reason I care and will look a Rapper or anyone else straight in the eyes and tell them you must act responsibly because your help is greatly needed.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-28T10:00:01-06:00
ID
71662
Comment

Okay after a day of complete and utter stress with this issue, I spent the early evening hours yesterday discussing this issue with my girlfriends who all love hip hop, are big Kamikaze fans, and even read this magazine and although I can not righteously say that I have come to terms with this entire idea, I can say that each of you display an incredible level of commitment to what you believe. I think that's great. I'm not sure that you all see what my ultimate point was since I got so side tracked by emotions, so let me just say it plain and clear. As a young black woman with intelligence, open-mindedness, stregnth, power and ability to welcome change, I must say that it gets a bit tiring to hear what seems to be pity party attempts on behalf of white "thinking" Americans. You see, the problem I have is that I really can't see how you can understand our culture because you know or go out with black people from time to time. If you are not going to places like the Birdland, or Club 900 or Upperlevel than you are not getting the true experience of hip hop in the hood and therefore you can not tell me how we need to act and carry ourselves. I am certain that if you, as down with the blacks as you all seems to be, will not go into either of the aforementioned establishments without being completely blown away at how the women carry themselves and how the guys treat them. And I may be desensitized by it as someone mentioned earlier, but that's what happens when this is a part of your culture. You can not tell us how to talk to each other. You can not tell us that we should be disrespected by the words rappers use. You can not say that because as a white woman you find the things they say disgusting, because you are not us...they are not talking to or about you. You can not understand. And that being so, I find it difficult to accept the board of JFP getting together to tell us that we have a problem in our community and it needs to be fixed just because it is not something that happens in your communities. There are several things that happen in your community that we don't condone or do in ours, but we don't judge you because of that. We accept it...we might laugh a little, but that's you. Why is it that when a white person feels like they are friendly to the black experience that they are suppose to do something to fix it, by fixing it making it more of a white american experience. That is not what we want. We want you to take us like we are just as we do for you! I mean look at the rockers....they sleep with different women every night and get on television and laugh and joke about it, how many times has Bill Orielly had that on his show? How many times has Spike Lee made a movie about how drug invested Rockers blow something up or publically grab or molleste a woman. That's not our experience, but we accept it. Just as we expect to be accepted. this is where all my rage comes from. I wish that white people would just stop trying to fix us, like something is wrong. Your reality is not ours. It is different, accept that and lets just live together. IF not, just leave it alone and let us work our own issues out. And Donna, I would just love to meet with you....in a public place.....for discussions....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T10:05:36-06:00
ID
71663
Comment

Beautifully and eloquently written, Queen. Someone asked at the State of the Black Union Saturday, when will black folks stop judging themselves by white folk's standards. But I still ask do we want or need our black standards or lifestyle to emulate that of the hip-hop generation? Maybe I am out of touch? What exactly is it in the hip-hop culture that merits supplanting the old life styles or opinions of what's good and isn't in our black communities?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-28T10:21:20-06:00
ID
71664
Comment

Queen, even Kamikaze has acknowledged there is a need for introspection and growth in the hip hop community (that was a very, very paraphrased comment I just made)... Further, YOU are not SOLELY hip hop. I've listened to hip hop since the early 80s when it was all about breaking, mc'ing, djs battling and tagging. Boomboxes, breaking, Adidas and Pumas were as far as the culture went in most areas. It was not a white or black thing and was not a violent scene. Hell, most battles were fought on the dance floor with gymnastic precision. I simply won't allow you to define hip hop and to own it while allowing no other to interpret and define. I'm as much hip hop (because of my own loyalty to the genre -- especially avant garde/experimental hip hop and acid jazz) as anyone getting crunk and sporting the latest trends as highlighted in Source. Why? Because I support hip hop with my dollars... Do I have to go to the Upper Level to validate my "hip hop-ness"? Hell no. I'm not into that scene. I'd rather chill with friends, have a martini and talk about politics, religion, art and music. That doesn't mean I don't listen to hip hop and spinoffs of hip hop daily. It also doesn't mean I have to dress a certain way to be hip hop. You do not own hip hop; since hip hop is one of the largest, organized musical movements of the day, it touches everyone on a daily basis -- it's not just yours or Kamikaze's or Method Man's or David Banner's or Public Enemy's. Since it affects nearly everyone that lives in the modern world (including teens in France, England, Germany, China and Japan which mostly have flourishing, non-violent hip hop scenes), people (whether avid hip hop fans or avid haters of hip hop) are entitled to an opinion.... Especially when they are legitimately concerned about their kids or society as a whole. And frankly, if someone wants to beat on a "fag" or a "bitch" due to a culture that promotes those notions, I have a right to be concerned and express my own opinion. Again, I'm not keen on you making this a black/white issue. As I've said, I grew up with hip hop (mind you, I'm a white, gay man from the country). I was probably listening to hip hop, boomboxing, and breaking when many of the New School (most of which have no idea of the roots of hip hop in the first place) were in diapers or an case of morning sickness. Hip hop is no more a black thing than golf is a white thing. Hip hop is a music first... If you want to start breaking it down into a culture, you'll quickly find that there are huge chunks of sub-cultures within it including Asians, whites, hispanics and even queers. It's not owned by the black community... It's a music that has crossed all the lines into nearly every home and speaker. I'm sorry... Your description of hip hop and who belongs and how they must fit in seems to point to one of the very problems with the New School that will inevitably lead to a collapse or revolution.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T10:24:59-06:00
ID
71665
Comment

Oh how I hate that I typed 5543 characters and only 5000 are accepted yet I can't recover what I typed. *releasing steam* I have to walk away from the computer at this point. I will be back.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T10:26:54-06:00
ID
71666
Comment

lilsoulja, if you still have the browser up, try hitting Alt and the <- (back arrow) to go backwards. You may be able to recover the text.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T10:29:09-06:00
ID
71667
Comment

-I disagree with the notion that hip-hop culture is doing what Spike says it is; because there is more to hip-hop culture than what is being talked about here -I agree with the notion that a part of "hip-hop culture" is carrying on [negative] ideals started from before "hip-hop" ever began -I agree with individual responsibility and I respect the thought of rising above the status quo -I feel that focusing on negativity without providing alternatives leads to closed-minds -I understand that we'd like to see changes, but I feel that we should look to see changes across the board. Placing the burden, supposedly, on one group is not fair (although this does not take from their responsibility) -I know that I am only recanting what has been said before I'm still upset that I lost my post, however, I know that it's gone now. Claude!

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T10:50:00-06:00
ID
71668
Comment

Knol: Thanks, but it didn't work.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T11:09:18-06:00
ID
71669
Comment

Well, let me first say that no hip hop is not SOLELY what we are as a human race...nothing in my posted even remotely stated that I feel that way. I won't even get into all that make us black in relation to what makes you white (if you are). This blog has been, thus far, about black folk in relation to the hip hop culture. There are black people who feel as most of you do about hip hop. However, they too need to understand that the new generation of African Americans associate themselves with this portion of our culture because it offers us an opportunity to be individuals. It allows us the chance to be different, rebellious and forthright with our thinking and our attitudes of frustration. All hip hop is not gangsta hip hop...nor is all hip hop about jewelry, fast cars, women, and beefs with other people. Some hip hop dipicts the life styles of people who consider themselves to be a voice, a responsible voice. I can give you a couple of artists that you can check out that may open your minds to another side of hip hop. Talib Kwali, Common, The Roots, Refugees, Lauryn Hill, Jadakiss, etc...these are what we call Conscious Hip Hop Artists. Now, my point is we are a people built on trials and tribulations. Unlike most of the white people I know, from birth we are taught how to make it in a world powered by whites. We are taught that if a white man uses the N word in your presence then he is trying to disrespect you, he is trying to steal from your stregnth and we live every day in hopes of never being confronted with a white man saying that particular word to us. Point is....I got to get back to yall....would you believe we are having a fire drill right now at this moment....be back momentarily.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T11:09:58-06:00
ID
71670
Comment

"Talib Kwali, Common, The Roots, Refugees, Lauryn Hill..." -Queen Own them all... Was actually listening to The Roots on my iPod on the way to work. If you dig Lauryn Hill, seriously check out Ursula Rucker. She's also done work with The Roots among many other names like Nina Simone and Mos Def. Love her like no other artists and have for years. "We are taught that if a white man uses the N word in your presence then he is trying to disrespect you, he is trying to steal from your stregnth and we live every day in hopes of never being confronted with a white man saying that particular word to us." - Queen How does a black man using the N word or even a black man calling another black woman (or women in general) a bitch give you power or not take away your strength queen? It's completely unfair to lay fault on whites without also looking at everyone else that abuses the word whether they use the *gga version or the *gger version... It's not empowering... Neither is calling a sister a bitch or whore. Unfair to place that on the white men and women of society when blacks are glamorizing the use of it in music, fashion, and pop culture.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T11:16:24-06:00
ID
71671
Comment

And, for what it's worth, Eminem is one of the most vile rappers I know of because he is so commercial and advocates homophobia and misogyny. He's white... So, again, when I talk about hip hop's ills, I'm not discussing race.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T11:17:47-06:00
ID
71672
Comment

Sho you right, Knol.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-28T11:22:05-06:00
ID
71673
Comment

Knol, I think that your constant attempts to be contrary is blocking you from accepting and understanding. However, I will humor you for a minute. A black man or white man calling me a B does nothing to my character at all because I know that I am a B at times and being called that doesn't bother me....some women are bothered but you'd have to ask them why being called something that they don't consider themselves to be would even be worth getting upset about. And as far as black men using the n word to refer to other black people, yet again, another part of us as a people that you don't understand because we don't accept it coming from you. So let me try and make it clearer. During slavery and during the civil rights era, that word was used by white men to "steal their stregnth" to make them feel inferior. It was a term that cut right through the very core of who that black man was. That hatred that accompanies that word (with the er) comes from your ancestors. We, the new hip hop generation, have transformed the word to mean something totally different. Matter of fact it's not even the same word, it is now spelled and pronounced with an a at the end. This word signified unity between brothers. This is why it has become a little bit more acceptable for certain white people to use the word. Not acceptable....maybe that's the wrong word but we can understand how someone can be involved in our community...live how we live, be treated how we are treated (to some degree)...be of caucasian decent and use the word, we feel a certain brotherhood with them (Ex. EMENIM) and therefore give them a pass of sorts. However there is a thin line and it's probably safer to just not use it if you are not of dark pigmentation. At any rate this is a part of us that we can't explain and we shouldn't have to. When your ancestors use the word to demean us and make us feel less than what they were, it set the standard and gave that word power. WE have taken control of the word and given it the power that we see fit for it to have. We control the word and we refuse to share it with the folks who intended for it to be a part of our downfall intending for it to make us feel like we are not as good as "masta". We are as good and we demand respect, and this is probably why the white man has such a problem with the fact that we can use it among ourselves freely but refuse to accept that word being used in a derrogatory nature by the people who originally used it for that purpose. Understand?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T11:38:57-06:00
ID
71674
Comment

Queen, I've heard that argument before... Still, that doesn't mean use of the word gives strength. If I call a lesbian a dyke, it rarely adds power to her. If I call a gay man a fag, it adds no power. In many ways those words lessen the credibility of the person or group. I've heard the same argument about fag and dyke as I have for nigga.... Frankly, we'll have to agree to disagree. Would you call you're mother your nigga? Just asking. If not, you are not using a word that's respectful in tone and are admitting the word does not lend power but instead reduces and belittles. Simple.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T11:45:20-06:00
ID
71675
Comment

Queen, I understand where you're coming from, but I understand folk who've come to understand that supposedly the word in any form is negative. I laugh when I think about how you've spelled it out, because it's true for the most part. Thing is, and we've had this discussion, some (black or other) do view it as a negative word. I would not dare say n*gga in front of my grandmother or my mom (although I have slipped it out around my mom) because of the way they view the word. Other grandmothers and moms have taught their kids to not use the word because of the history behind it. Because we've come to a point where we feel that we can speak however we feel does not take away any responsibility for doing away with some things. Personally, I feel that words can affect people until those people learn otherwise. In the meantime, these words are causing all sorts of ills in the lives of many young folk. A lot of kids use words because they're available and sometimes are unaware of what they're doing. This has got to be realized. And acting like a b*tch and being a b*tch are somehow related but unrelated. And I do realize how it's really no big deal...but c'mon now, it's a big deal.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T11:57:32-06:00
ID
71676
Comment

Lilsoulja....now...commo now...there you go! Look I stated that the word has taken on NEW meaning for a NEW generation. Your grandmother probably worked in cotton fields and watched men get beat by whips while being called the N word with the "er". Of course she would think of it as negative. I understand that. ANd to that regard, it would be disrespectful to her. And thus, your choosing not to use it in front of her is understandable. I use the word in front of older adults and I have not been told up to this point that they are offended by it, however I could understand if they were. How do you handle that? Don't use it in front of folks who marched on washington, folks who worked in cotton fields, etc...not to say that it's a contradiction. It's not. It's just like cursing in front of your parents. You say certain things to certain people and they have a totally different meaning. I mean Knol, do you curse in front of your children or your parents? All this dissecting of this term and of this situation is really cute...but the bottom line still remains....this is a black thing and you can't change it. The word is no longer negative....it is a term of endearment now-a-days. This again just prooves the gap in race and generations.... Lilsoulja, let me see you back at our spot for a hot second....I got something fa you ova there!!!! :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T12:10:43-06:00
ID
71677
Comment

The problem is the content of the rap that is aired on the radio! Everybody doesn't read and comprehend just like everybody doesn't listen to some of the most vile and msyogynistic rap and take the message as truth nor literally. But when you play this type of rap on the public radio stations even I have a problem with it and I am very liberal but believe that you put out a bad message to children when you allow these types of rap on public airwaves. The underground should have remained underground.

Author
JAC
Date
2006-02-28T12:19:35-06:00
ID
71678
Comment

"I mean Knol, do you curse in front of your children or your parents?" -Queen I generally do not... No. I *do not* curse in front of children and have been known to move an entire table at a restaurant while having drinks because I am known to curse quite a bit. Do I curse in front of my parents? Generally, no. Of course, if I do curse, it's generally out of frustration or angst and while venting to them. My mother still gives me ugly looks and shakes her head when I say anything other than damn. This doesn't mean I do not curse. I do. I actually embrace certain curse words and admire what they can do for a sentence that needs some "ummph". But, I have never called my mom a bitch or a honky. To be honest with you, I've never called a single person a honky or a cracker or any of the other derogatory words used against whites unless literally joking with a black friend or two about how the words are trivial and should not be used. I'm 30 and I hardly think the gap is that large between what I see and what you see... I think you're fishing for excuses to explain why your perspective on words that belittle are so far from mine and a "gap" does not explain it from where I stand unless you speak of the gap between the Schools. I think the gap exists between the Old School and the New School of hip hop (notice no talk of race or age). I think this is probably why you see advocates like Cosby and Lee approaching this with a different attitude. They were around during the Old School and have seen where the New School has taken hip hop and youth culture. The Old School was nothing like this New School extravaganza of sex, bling, and excess. The Old School was firmly grounded in its roots and was basically underground and close-knit. The New School has bastardized the art and allowed it to become corrupt by capitalism and elitism. Feel free to use the words you use. I can still have my opinion and will... All I know is you won't hear me calling Kamikaze or my close friends (that are black) niggas... You won't hear me calling another female a bitch unless it's in a "you're mighty bitchy today"... But, mind you, I say "you're mighty bitchy today" to men too. Most importantly, you won't catch me buying an album that profits off the attack of a people, culture or individual. JAC, you're right about the underground... Commercialization of underground movements has done nothing postive for them... Ever.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T12:23:58-06:00
ID
71679
Comment

I've been reading this thread and trying in my older white woman way to understand where folks, Queen particularly, are coming from and will latch on to one thing that she said that resonates - white people trying to fix the problems of blacks. Can I say that this started out with statements by a black man about statements from another black man.....although, you are right, it's gone beyond that. I think. for the most part, the white response has been to an issue with women (of any color), but I do understand where you are coming from with basically saying that whites should butt out of your business and I agree. My job in this world, as I see it, as a person who wants to work for racial healing, is not to 'help' you, but to try and prevent "my people" from getting in your way as you work to help yourself. Can't understand all the ins and outs because I didn't grow up in your world. Trying to understand as much as I can, though. OK? Which is why I'm trying to do more reading and thinking and less talking on this thread. :-) I'm trying to assimilate and learn and I appreciate the honesty of many trying to make people like me understand something a bit foreign to us. Queen, I don't claim to understand, or even to agree with, everything you've said, but appreciate you putting it out there with such bluntness and passion, and giving the hiphop clueless among us a chance to figure out where you're coming from, and what your world is like. Don't stop talking just because you believe I or others don't understand (how else can we learn how to understand?).

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-28T13:23:45-06:00
ID
71680
Comment

Queen, I agree that the word has taken on new meaning. I'm saying that that new meaning is not accepted by the whole. Everyone: And from the past to present, I feel that blacks have taken to incorporate the term in our vocabulary because we ourselves referred to each other as "n*gger/n*gga" after/along with those who chose to negatively refer to us that way. I'm talking about b*tches and h0es too. Yes, the habit of using those words to refer to women has been picked up and carried on (and let me be first to say that I've known myself to do so). As a man, I find it my responsibility to try to correct my wrongs and if in the process I can encourage some of the young folk to do better than I have, I would really like to. I just know that you or any of the women on here would be somewhat irritated if I referred to you as "some b*tch I was talking to on the internet." No, you're no b*tch but it all depends on your attitude how you will take it. I know that (and this was in my original post, but perhaps I'll stop referring to that, since it's nonexistent, lol) I may seem hypocritical or maybe even confused. I am all for blacks of today (who use certain words with little to no apprehension) having a culture of their own. This culture is wide and roots deep. It can not be studied, then tried, then judged. I am also for aspiring to a new level. In no means do I mean aspiring to the likes of [blanket statement here] "white folk." I love being me, in all of my questionable ways. I only wish to live more at peace with myself on things that I can change within my arena. Personal experiences whether our own or of others lead to our opinions for certain actions. Some women have accepted the term b!tch or h0e because of its commonality; some have because of their own knowledge of self (whether or not they answer to it is an entirely different discussion). And some have not. Of course, this does spread across the many shades of color. I respect the fact that some would like to effect a change. You are not alone. And to be truthful, white folk [sensitive and/or involved in the hip-hop movement] never started a push to change some of the words we use. When it comes to contradictions, everyone is prone to guilt. I know I am and have had to consider my arguments because of that.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T13:41:36-06:00
ID
71681
Comment

But they certainly shelled out $30 million to see Tyler Perry this weekend... And it was a good movie! I shall have to look at "the Covenant" and Tavis' State of the Black Union.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T13:54:15-06:00
ID
71682
Comment

C.W. I think you put what I am trying to get across in a very good way. and I think it should be repeated: My job in this world, as I see it, as a person who wants to work for racial healing, is not to 'help' you, but to try and prevent "my people" from getting in your way as you work to help yourself. We as black people are not denying that we have issues...we don't all see eye to eye. The point I am wanting Knol and others alike to leave here with is simply that if you don't get it, it is not to be gotten....just accept. We are not looking for the white man to be our Savior. We are only expecting to be treated fair and just and allow us to be who we are without scrutinizing that which is not readily understandable to you. It is not wrong because you do it differently. Don't be mad because we are not mad cuz rappers call us B*tches. Don't think we need your saving grace because we spend money on cars and live with our mothers. Concentrate on the little white boys who are watching television in basements learning how to make bombs and blowing up buildings killing hundreds of people. Concentrate on the idea that you have people going around here every day that look at the color of our skin and judge us as unworthy just because of that. Heal your own people. We can heal ourselves and thus we can learn to accept and live together as a human race....how about that? What gives you, Knol, the right to judge our situations...the way we talk, the way we act, the fact that we don't get along with other blacks...why is that even a concern for you. Worry about your race...let us heal ourselves. ANd you know what if we don't even mind the help of the genuine, but trying to help us because you feel like we can't do it without you or because you think you know what's best for us...is ridiculous and unacceptable.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T14:30:06-06:00
ID
71683
Comment

Ok, perfect example of blacks being capable of healing themselves...Lilsoulja, your point about the newness of the n word not being accepted by all is taken. I agree and you have made your point clear. In that case, I think that those who choose not to use the word and prefer by their own account not to hear the word, should not be subjected to it. We can offer that much respect to each other. However, at the same time don't tell me not to use the word, just advise that it may not be the cutest thing to use around certain people. I concur to that. It's not a felony and it's not a crime. However we should have enough respect for the mothers and fathers who have not yet gotten pass the old meaning of the word, not to use it in their presence for they, just like Knol, don't understand and don't accept that the word has a new meaning to us.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T14:35:03-06:00
ID
71684
Comment

"Concentrate on the idea that you have people going around here every day that look at the color of our skin and judge us as unworthy just because of that." See. That's kind of how I feel about the woman-side of this issue. I don't understand why it's so devisive and why it's just a "black thing." I can live and let live like the next person until someone else's living starts stepping on my attempts at respect and acceptance. This IS a black issue and then ISN'T a black issue. The hip hop culture has gone mainstream, so that means we all have a dog in that hunt. No, I'm not up in the club. But neither are lots of my women friends, both black and white. And we DON'T want to be treated as commodities when we are applying for jobs, shopping at the mall, working for someone, being someone's boss, being mothers, etc. I just can't buy the *you don't live it so shut your mouth* rhetoric when I DO live it. I AM a woman, a mother and a member of this society fighting stereotypes every, every day. Same for Knol. (Wait. I don't think he's a mother or woman, but you get the idea.) Us/y'all/them. I'm not getting that AT ALL. And again, if we are doing live and let live, until you've walked a mile in my stilletos, don't tell me how to feel regarding the degradation of my gender as a whole.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-02-28T14:46:25-06:00
ID
71685
Comment

WORRY ABOUT MY RACE? Queen, *my* race is the HUMAN RACE. See, all this talk about reconciliation and you are STILL talking black vs white when discussing hip hop. As I've stated, I don't see hip hop as a "black thing" or a "white thing." So, I'm not criticizing blacks when I say rappers need to be more responsible with their art... I'm criticizing RAPPERS. Jeez! Just because I'm a white man does not mean I can't relate on some levels.... I've done hip hop, I've done punk rock... I've had blue hair and piercings... I've been accused of shoplifting and followed through stores because of "my look"... I've also been told by 16yo men that I didn't belong in the neighborhood where I was PAYING RENT AND TAXES because of my skin.... I think you'd be surprised at just how well this white boy can relate to many of the ills of the inner city. Further, I think I'm probably getting far more "you should be this way" as a gay man than most any other race or culture at the moment. But, I'm not trying to start a pissing contest... I recognize your struggles as a people and also the struggle of the youth. I empathize and recognize but that does not excuse treating or speaking brothers and sisters in a way that demoralizes them. No excuse! Forgive me if I haven't been clear in the last ump-teen posts where I've stated repeatedly hip hop is not a "black thing" because I don't know how else to say it. When I criticize hip hop, AGAIN, it's not a criticism of the black race. Otherwise, I would be blunt (something I have no problem being) and say "Blacks need to be more responsible!" By the way, what's the new meaning of nigga? Because if I say it (with an enunciated "ga"), I will certainly get grimaces and possibly more... So, if the word has a "new meaning" why is it limited to just you? Why do I have to explain myself when using it and YOU do not? Seriously, think about the double-standard you're establishing because you think a word has evolved. A passage from the African American Registry : [Neorevisionist] arguments [for the use of "nigga"] may not be true to life. Brother (Brotha) and Sister (Sistah or Sista) are terms of endearment. Nigger was and still is a word of disrespect. ...the artificial dichotomy between blacks or African Americans (respectable and middle-class) and niggers (disrespectable and lower class) ought to be challenged. Black is a nigger, regardless of behavior, earnings, goals, clothing, skills, ethics, or skin color. Finally, if continued use of the word lessened its damage, then nigger would not hurt or cause pain now. Blacks, from slavery 'til today, have internalized many negative images that white society cultivated and broadcast about black skin and black people. This is mirrored in cycles of self- and same-race hatred. The use of the word nigger by blacks reflects this hatred, even when the user is unaware of the psychological forces involved. Nigger is the ultimate expression of white racism and white superiority no matter how it is pronounced.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T14:59:12-06:00
ID
71686
Comment

Knol writes: By the way, what's the new meaning of n****? Because if I say it (with an enunciated "ga"), I will certainly get grimaces and possibly more... So, if the word has a "new meaning" why is it limited to just you? For the same reason lesbians can self-describe as "dykes," but a straight who goes around talking about "dykes" sounds homophobic. We both know that there are stronger words for those in the LGBT community that fall into the same category. Dude. It does matter if you're visibly part of the group that would otherwise be disparaged by the word. I was having a conversation about this with a friend the other day, over a couple of big plate of McAlister's veggie spuds. Self-descriptors have to be reclaimed by the group they're used to describe before they can achieve more general usage. Quakers were described as such, legend has it, because a judge had urged a Friend to "quake" before the law--but the truth is that the popular meaning was that they were scaredy-cats, and "quaked" at the prospect of taking up arms to defend themselves or others. Friends took the label and began calling themselves Quakers. Soon it lost all of its power. In a few generations, when blacks are not quite so disproportionately likely to live lives of poverty and marginalization, I'm sure the N-bomb will either achieve similar milquetoasthood or vanish from usage entirely. But for now, it is just and right and appropriate that blacks be able to use it and whites not. That's the way it should be. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T15:16:10-06:00
ID
71687
Comment

And if I may argue with the African American Registry: N_____ is an uneducated white's mispronunciation of "Negro." That's all in the world it is. That is its etymology; that is its history. It has no supernatural power, no essential quality that would be carried over in all places and in all times. It is not the Tetragrammaton. It is not The King in Yellow. It's some poor redneck's attempt to pronounce "Negro," and it caught on as a slur. Now, after being used in this ugly way for a couple of centuries, it has strong racist connotations--which, for obvious reasons, are not likely to carry over when the speaker is a member of the race being described. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T15:23:39-06:00
ID
71688
Comment

Again the word is limited to me because you lost your rights to the word when segregation ended. And to emilyb, after reading your post I'm not sure that I even have a comment for you. I'm not sure we are even on the same page. I mean this conversation has moved a little pass the woman thing....matter of fact, I'll just go back and re-read what you wrote, I must have missed something. I apologize for not acknowleging your "hip hop isn't a black thing" statement before now. HIP HOP IS A BLACK THING...it has grown into a people thing, but it will always be a black thing...kinda like America will always be the land of native americans. Sort of like Africa will always be the mother of creation. Just because black live here now doesn't mean Africa is not where our roots and our ancestors lie. Maybe too deep, I'll stop there... At any rate maybe if you accept differnences in our races instead of trying to make us all the same we would be okay. See I think you think that we all just want to be like white people and that would make us equal since we always talk about prejudices and being descriminated against. Contrarily, the end to racism will come when we are accepted for who we are, our culture is recognized as being our own and when you all learn to accept that we can move pass racial inequality. Don't get me wrong I'm not advocating segregation. I'm not saying that white need to do the white thing and let us live all by ourselves doing the black thing....not at all. I would love for us all to be happy under the sun picking flowers roasting peanuts or marshmellows whatever, however I just don't find the idea of conforming us to what your idea of a well kept human race is. Why is the white way the right way? And yes, it is very difficult for a black person not to have this conversation without going back to black and white. If you can do it with someone who wholeheartedly disagrees with your views, please invite me to listen...or read...whatever. It's not that simple. I appreciate your ideas and I really feel like you are trying to understand...I agree with your ideas to a point. I just don't think you are understanding my point of view. You are looking at the world totally different than the world I wake up to every day. That being so, I can not make you see what I can...it's impossible. Although your attempt to at least put glasses on to try is complementary and does not go unnoticed.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:29:49-06:00
ID
71689
Comment

That statement should have read, I don't agree with your ideas, but I get your point.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:32:29-06:00
ID
71690
Comment

The one part where I do agree with the AAR is use of the N-bomb in a disparaging way by higher-income blacks to refer to low-income blacks. I've actually heard the word used in this way, and it makes me very uncomfortable. For similar reasons, you'll never hear me refer to people as "trailer trash" or "white trash." I grew up in a working-class part of town myself, and my own grandparents once lived in a trailer. I do use "redneck" because I see it as a cultural rather than socioeconomic term--when I say "redneck," the people I'm thinking of are generally wealthier than I am--but I am trying to wean myself off of using it in contexts where my intent might be misunderstood. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T15:38:07-06:00
ID
71691
Comment

Baby look, here we go again....with the definition of the word. The streets made the definition of the new n word. Not Webster. And to you that has no validity does it. Again the difference in cultures. The n word with the a is a word used among young black americans (generally in this discussion refered to as the HIP HOP generation) as a term of endearment (think i mentioned that before). The term is sort of like the black panthers using Bro. back in the day. Sort of like the way whites say Dude. Get it. There is no race relation when we use it among ourselves. And YOU can't use it because YOU have not endured the torture and tourment that we have endured at your ancestors expense. We have earned the right to make the word mean whatever we want it to mean. You must be pretty impressed at the power of the black race to be able to do that huh? I'm sure. How we can take a word used by your people to bring us down and strip us of equality and make us feel as though not even God could love us and turn it into a word that no matter where you go in this country right now everyone can will acknowledge the fact that you are a BLACK person by using that word. Some of you may think that's a negative thing. I personally think it's beautiful and shows that we are capable of all things even rearranging the English language.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:38:52-06:00
ID
71692
Comment

Why's everyone so excited? Knol, true there is a double-standard on the use of the N-word. It is not being established in this post, however. Blacks were referenced as n!ggers as we know by slaveowners who took this name from the sellers. Blacks who came to speak English would, as such, refer to themselves with this same term. At some point in time that I am unfamiliar with for not studying as much as I should, blacks were referred to as Negroes. Whether this was before or after the passage of black slaves to America, I do not know. I do know that there was a push to rid our society of the use of the word n!gger, because this society was pushing toward equality in the treatment of everyone. This never stopped black folk from speaking what they knew. Yes, it is true that sometimes blacks have referred to their family members (kids or otherwise) or other blacks as n!gger(s) in a negative sense. Mosttimes (and I apologize for this nonfactually-based assumption) it is not used negatively by blacks amongst blacks. Please understand that there can't be one definition for that word because I've seen whites and mexicans refer to one another (affectionately) as 'n!gga'. I'm pretty sure that they picked this up amongst their friends or from the music (oh can't forget movies, also). Oh, Knol, can't explain why you have to explain yourself IF you use the word, but I can see why blacks use the word, even if it does make certain people turn in their graves.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T15:39:11-06:00
ID
71693
Comment

The one part where I do agree with the AAR is use of the N-bomb in a disparaging way by higher-income blacks to refer to low-income blacks. I've actually heard the word used in this way, and it makes me very uncomfortable. You know what Tom, in all my 30 years of living I have never ever heard anything remotely like this among black people. Maybe the person who said it around you would have been in the house instead of the fields on the plantation. I don't know. And I am not even going to say it is not possible. Maybe I haven't been around any rich black folks or something.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:43:42-06:00
ID
71694
Comment

Queen, what about when Chris Rock used it in his infamous routine "I love black people, but I hate n!&&@s?" Is this offensive? I mean, Chris hasn't been poor in a loong time, and he was a successful comic when he said it.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-02-28T15:52:10-06:00
ID
71695
Comment

You know what Tom, in all my 30 years of living I have never ever heard anything remotely like this among black people. Maybe the person who said it around you would have been in the house instead of the fields on the plantation. I don't know. And I am not even going to say it is not possible. Maybe I haven't been around any rich black folks or something. I have!! The Black Couple in the Movie "Crash" would fit this Sterotype to a tee!

Author
JAC
Date
2006-02-28T15:54:51-06:00
ID
71696
Comment

"Contrarily, the end to racism will come when we are accepted for who we are, our culture is recognized as being our own and when you all learn to accept that we can move pass racial inequality." -Queen Please, feel free to describe your culture? I have known TOO MANY white people that live and breathe "black culture" because it is what they have lived with and grown into since birth... Is there a "black culture" outside the roots you're speaking of? Do blacks have to use the word nigga or listen to hip hop to foot the bill? Do blacks that "act white" (not a description I would use) just not get the "black culture" or are evading it? I just don't get how you can say hip hop culture is black culture.... They are not the same. Seems to me that you are stereotyping your own race while I'm trying to say I am of the HUMAN RACE. By using human race, I recognize that music is not a race... That neighborhoods are not a race... That people may have a specific racial makeup but that does not mean they are limited to YOUR definition or MY definition of how a race should act or behave. They are HUMAN. By being human and of the human race, we are all inherently DIFFERENT and share one aspect equally -- our human-ness. "I appreciate your ideas and I really feel like you are trying to understand...I agree with your ideas to a point. I just don't think you are understanding my point of view. You are looking at the world totally different than the world I wake up to every day. That being so, I can not make you see what I can...it's impossible. Although your attempt to at least put glasses on to try is complementary and does not go unnoticed." -Queen First, I'm glad you see that I'm not trying to pigeonhole you... I'm also not trying to change you or anyone else. I'm having a discussion on an issue that affects many I know -- including myself because I've listened to the music since it first emerged based on disco, rock and funk beats. I recognize I see with different eyes and different experiences... But, does calling someone a word with a negative association benefit the individual, the race/culture/community, the human experience? I don't want blacks to act white... Hell, I don't even know what acting white or black is. If you forced me to describe "acting white," I'd be hard pressed and probably describe it as bourgeouis which still can apply to ANY race. We actually had this very conversation last week... My friends and I (Cuban, black, Native and white) decided that the descriptors of black and white are becoming more muddy and often apply to inner-city vs suburban... I mean when we all thought of what "white" described, we all equally suggested it pointed to the uppity suburban attitude (which my broke ass can't even fathom). We got so hung up on "white" that we never escaped the conversation to describe "black". Of interest: the Cuban and Native also related to the "white" and "black" notion of suburbia v. inner-city. And I still disagree that hip hop is a black thing. I say this primarly because the fuel (read: money) for the scene is made mostly off suburban white kids... So, if hip hop is a black thing, the whites are funding it. Is that how you'd prefer it seen? (I'm just making an absurdist point.... No real question for the dialogue.) Which brings me to Tom's point which I'll post in another thread due to posting restraints.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T15:57:11-06:00
ID
71697
Comment

No that is not offensive. Yall just don't see there are complications to this word that you will never understand. Some people are n##gs in the term of the old definition. And he was not referring to financial status. He's referring to actions and demeanors. He talking about them folk that rob you on the corner for sneakers....folks that don't come to work on time.... Sort of like Jeff Foxworthy using the redneck word. Does that help at all? I wouldn't feel comfortable calling someone a redneck but white people call other white people rednecks all the time. I've seen folks from Jerry Sringer all the way up to professionals that work with me that make $70,000 a year use that word....Do you see me on here telling yall to stop calling each other rednecks...Matter of fact this website doesn't even block that word. Let's see if it blocks nigger.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:57:40-06:00
ID
71698
Comment

UMMMMM, who woulda thought!!!!! And that's the one spelled with the er. You can count the spaces if you feel the need.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T15:58:27-06:00
ID
71699
Comment

Hey Queen- not that I'm the race card police but- I don't recall Knol ever saying that "the White Way was the right way". If you get a chance to re-read his posts and some of yours, it almost does sound like you're advocating segregation. I don't think that's what you really mean. Again I think we could try to understand your points better- and you do make some strong ones- if you could try to hear others. And before I get beat up remember I'm a black woman too:}!

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-28T16:00:47-06:00
ID
71700
Comment

ejeff, even then I believe that Chris Rock was not trying to hurt anyone or put anyone down. In that routine, I believe that he was suggesting/stressing that some in our society are remaining still and/or actually moving against progression. Other than those who've learned to react negatively to the mention of the word (by any), I personally believe that nobody took offense to that statement. I cracked up, personally. Queen, "uppity" black folk can act something awful. oowee

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-02-28T16:02:57-06:00
ID
71701
Comment

Tom, the lesbians I know are still offended by the word dyke. They have always been. It's one thing for "Dykes on Bikes" which I find to be a creative use of the word (much like ***ga can be used to complete a rhyme). Even I as a gay man have insulted many lesbians with that word. So, "taking it back" is only powerful to those that prefer to "take it back." It still belittles more than likely the majority. Further, the word dyke has been embraced for several decades and has not become watered down or lost its power of insult. Further more, lesbians often use the word dyke as an insult for a masculine-acting woman just as gay men often use fag to insult another. So, it is hardly embraced like most would think even in the LGBT community... Of course, I speak only for myself and my friends. I've known others that embrace the word but do it in a rebellious or political manner... It's hardly because they feel the word is not insulting or stained with negativity. They literally have to convince themselves the word is not harsh and crude.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T16:03:22-06:00
ID
71702
Comment

Please, feel free to describe your culture? I have known TOO MANY white people that live and breathe "black culture" because it is what they have lived with and grown into since birth... Is there a "black culture" outside the roots you're speaking of? Do blacks have to use the word n**** or listen to hip hop to foot the bill? Do blacks that "act white" (not a description I would use) just not get the "black culture" or are evading it? No, the black culture is derived from the roots I speak of. Nope you don't have to listen to HIP HOP to be black. Just have a black mother or black father...then you're black. Blacks that act white....what exactly does that mean? How does one act white? Are whites that "act black" evading their culture? Do you know any whites that act black? If so, please feel free to explain to me what it is about their character that classifies them as acting black?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T16:03:23-06:00
ID
71703
Comment

Please, feel free to describe your culture? I have known TOO MANY white people that live and breathe "black culture" because it is what they have lived with and grown into since birth... Is there a "black culture" outside the roots you're speaking of? Do blacks have to use the word n**** or listen to hip hop to foot the bill? Do blacks that "act white" (not a description I would use) just not get the "black culture" or are evading it? No, the black culture is derived from the roots I speak of. Nope you don't have to listen to HIP HOP to be black. Just have a black mother or black father...then you're black. Blacks that act white....what exactly does that mean? How does one act white? Are whites that "act black" evading their culture? Do you know any whites that act black? If so, please feel free to explain to me what it is about their character that classifies them as acting black?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T16:03:36-06:00
ID
71704
Comment

Please, feel free to describe your culture? I have known TOO MANY white people that live and breathe "black culture" because it is what they have lived with and grown into since birth... Is there a "black culture" outside the roots you're speaking of? Do blacks have to use the word n**** or listen to hip hop to foot the bill? Do blacks that "act white" (not a description I would use) just not get the "black culture" or are evading it? No, the black culture is derived from the roots I speak of. Nope you don't have to listen to HIP HOP to be black. Just have a black mother or black father...then you're black. Blacks that act white....what exactly does that mean? How does one act white? Are whites that "act black" evading their culture? Do you know any whites that act black? If so, please feel free to explain to me what it is about their character that classifies them as acting black?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T16:03:39-06:00
ID
71705
Comment

Uh, gypsy, please! Why you gotta come on here and take up for everyone. yesterday it was Donna today it's this guy. Do you have any other comments besides, let me see what Queen said that I can piggyback on....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T16:05:58-06:00
ID
71706
Comment

Sorry Queen- Ive been sick so I really just was reading. Actually- I thought I was taking up for everybody I thought was being misinterpreted- including you yesterday and today. Won't make that mistake with you again... And yesterday I had plenty to say on this topic and others. Y'all were doing such a good job discussing this today I thought I'd take a break. BTW- my point was that I think you are smart and are making some good points- but didn't necessarily agree with your assesment of Knol's post. Figured this was a place we all can make our opinions heard...

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-28T16:13:10-06:00
ID
71707
Comment

Queen, I'm allowing you a wide berth because this is a good discussion. But it is not to you who anyone else takes up for, just as it's not up to someone who you take up for. You are the only one I can see (although I'm behind reading this) who is kinda trying to pick a fight with people who don't agree with you. I suggest that you express as much respect for otther people's opinions as you are demanding for your own, and everything will continue to go just fine. In short: Do not harangue other people for disagreeing with you, please.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-28T16:14:01-06:00
ID
71708
Comment

"No, the black culture is derived from the roots I speak of. Nope you don't have to listen to HIP HOP to be black. Just have a black mother or black father...then you're black." -Queen Then, you'll agree when I speak of hip hop, it should not be classified as black. It is a music and a culture that transcends races. As for "acting white," I believe I described that above. This proves to me that you are hardly reading my words and are hardly trying to comprehend them. You simply see a white man having this conversation and feel the need to preach how different we are (ironic indeed)... I get we're different. That was never lost on me... Hell, I'm different than most folks regardless of skin/culture/ethnicity/etc. So, it's never a point lost or one that needs to be reiterated. For now, I'm done with this conversation, Queen, because it's literally as if you are talking AT me rather than WITH me. No hard feelings at all... I just don't feel like we're going anywhere if you're not willing to process what I'm saying. I hear you loud and clear. I've heard similar concepts/perceptions from many blacks I know and also in the LGBT community regarding fag and dyke... It doesn't negate the fact that these words cause negativity and bruise the psyche of many and show a disrespect overall for elders and the new generations. To summarize and finalize: the hip hop community needs to wise up and take responsibility for the direction of the music, art, and culture. To me, it doesn't matter who says it -- Spike Lee, Cosby, Colin Powell, or some white guy from Mississippi. It's important for future generations of all races that we begin to focus on progression and positivity. That's not something I say lightly because it's something I apply to my own community -- the LGBT community.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T16:17:33-06:00
ID
71709
Comment

Queen, I understand the "complexities" of the word perfectly. I've used the term myself on occasion (but less now than I used to). My question was posed in response to your answer that you hadn't heard higher income blacks use the term in describing low-income blacks. I've heard it in both ways by both sides in many instances. I'm not going to go into all of the ways that I disagree with you regarding "ownership" of the n-word. I've heard the arguments before, as well as the excuses for vulgarities like b!tches in hip hop music, and I don't buy it at all. But that doesn't stop me from agreeing with you that black people shouldn't be scared to embrace our culture and demand respect from others who would have as assimilate as though race and culture do not matter in order to marginalize and divide us. There are limits to that, but I do believe that we bring a unique history and perspective to issues regarding equality and civil rights in this country that should not be ignored, or maligned by those who would seek to minimize our contributions.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-02-28T16:17:39-06:00
ID
71710
Comment

And please believe it Queen- I need to piggyback on NO ONE. I've been holding down my own thoughts for a long time. TRUST. Sorry y'all- must be the meds. I'm not usually so catty...forgive me?

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-28T16:19:16-06:00
ID
71711
Comment

Knol, no offense, but I think the communication issue with Queen goes in both directions and that's why I hope you reconsider dropping out of this conversation. I think it badly needs to continue. You seem to believe that, as a gay man who once had blue hair and piercings, you are in a position to tell the predominantly black hip-hop community what it "needs" to do. You also seem to believe that you are in a position to tell African Americans how they may and may not use the word "n____." Hell, when I said that lesbians can self-describe as "dykes" without appearing homophobic, your answer to that was to describe the thought processes of lesbians who use the word. I'll be sure to tell the graduate-degree-holding feminist from out of state what her thought processes are, according to Knol Aust, president of Unity Mississippi, and when she finishes laughing I can tell you her response. You may be accurately describing your lesbian friends here in Jackson, Mississippi, but you are not qualified to speak for lesbians as a whole. And I'm really not surprised that you cause offense when you use the word "dyke"; you're not a lesbian. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard a politically active lesbian from out of state tell me about the sexism she has experienced as a woman in the gay rights movement. Gay men and lesbians are not exactly the same group. And gay men and African Americans certainly aren't the same group. The world is not divided between two social classes, "oppressed" and "oppressor," nor is it a spectrum where some people are oppressed "worse" than others and ergo have authority to speak for the less severely oppresed. Hell, I was born with a craniofacial anomaly and spent my childhood isolated because of an immune deficiency. On top of that, because of neurological damage, I can't drive. Does that mean I can go around calling gay men "queers," or drop the N-bomb at will? No. Most whites who use racist or homophobic slurs, in my experience, are part of multigenerational low-income communities they will never escape. Does this mean they can use the words with impunity? No. The one has nothing to do with the other because we, because they, haven't been oppressed in the same specific way. It isn't about who has had "worse" experiences. It's about who has had the same experiences. Y'all are both intelligent people making good points. But I really think the "oppression spectrum" way of thinking represents a blind spot that might need to be addressed, and I think it could speak to why Queen's posts might not make sense to you. As for high-income blacks who describe low-income blacks as n_____: I've seen it from some African-American men who come from an older generation (usually overheard rather than spoken to me), and I do suspect this is the phenomenon the African American Registry was referring to. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T16:40:18-06:00
ID
71712
Comment

You know what, I basically can not see why and what in my posts makes you think I am trying to "pick fights with people on here". I don't think I've said anything any more confrontational than any one else's replies. Maybe yall are just use to each other and when some one new has a comment that is contrary to what yall think, maybe it comes across as "picking a fight". I do apologize if my agression is too much for you. I hope that maybe this will go to show how serious this topic is to me and others like me. I think I shall allow you all to just continue with your mild mannered conversation as not to upset or pick fights with anyone else on here. To those of you who participated in this debate in hopes of learning or teaching something new...thank you. Maybe one day we will be able to continue this conversation, for now...I can tell where I am not welcomed and I will gladly retreat. God speed....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T16:44:48-06:00
ID
71713
Comment

This, Queen, for one: Uh, gypsy, please! Why you gotta come on here and take up for everyone. yesterday it was Donna today it's this guy. Do you have any other comments besides, let me see what Queen said that I can piggyback on.... What is that exactly? Tom, I haven't read Knol's comments closely; on deadline here, and just peeking in to watch for a killing. ;-) Queen, I haven't said everything you've said has that tone, but you do seem, as urbangypsy pointed out, to want to "segregate" the conversation between blacks and whites. I can't tell you have many ways you've tried to tell me that I'm not qualified to participate in this dialogue. Sorry. It's not up to you. You do not own this issue, although I'm very happy to hear your comments on it, and hope that you will consider mine and those of others here as well.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-28T16:48:55-06:00
ID
71714
Comment

What's Going On, Queen? We've got to find a way to bring some loving here today.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-28T16:59:05-06:00
ID
71715
Comment

Against my better judgement, but because of Ray's comment (which makes me think someone here may be rational), I will say this, maybe I used the word "you" too many times in my comments. Maybe I don't fancy foot around the real issues. Maybe I am making this black and white, but I honestly can not see how it is not a black and white thing. I have been here all day waiting for someone to convince me that it isn't. And because no one here has succeeded in doing so, I am being made to feel like I am here attacking folks. Yes, you went back and pulled my comment to urbangypsy after hours of dialogue with others on here, that's the one that was pointed out. I'll take that, no problem. I sense sarcasm and snappy tones from most of your posts towards me Donna. However, I took that to be a part of the debate. Didn't bother me enough to do anything other than come back with another comment that would proove my point. I am not use to having to sugar coat things especially when the other end of the conversation is just as my end. So, to me that means some differential treatment going on here somewhere. But as someone stated before, this discussion although tough and touchy does need to continue because nothing has been resolved here. I'm not even sure I wanted to resolve the issue as much as I wanted to just point out the idea that we are not from the same world and we as blacks should be accepted into whatever world this is just because we are human. Now, if this is not a black white issue then everything I said since I've been on here has been off subject, but yet and still there has been dialogue. I don't get it. But you know...now I see. Urbangypsy....hope you feel better (and that's not sarcasm...it's an apology). Peace people.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T17:09:30-06:00
ID
71716
Comment

Tom, no clue where you got I was speaking for the entire mindset of the lesbian population. You put that spin on it. I think if you re-read my post I was very careful to specify "me and my friends" and "have known others." I was speaking from my experience and my circles, and never claimed to be speaking for an entire community. I never muddied my intent when making those statements. Don't know how you diverged into that rant but feel free to tell your friend what you will and let her laugh and do whatever she wants (love this place called America) and I will refrain from calling lesbians in general dykes assuming they've embraced the term. Of all the times I've heard the word dyke used, I'd say 90% of the time it was used offensively by straights and gays alike. The basic phonetic structure of the word doesn't even lend itself to a peaceful or loving word. Again, I'm speaking from my own perspective and not representing anyone or anything other than myself. Further, queer (as we've discussed before) is a muddied word that has even been embraced by straights... But, in your scenario, you are calling someone a name... Plain and simply. You wouldn't drive down the road and scream _______ for the hell of it. You'd do it to insult or cause harm. So, no it's not right. <<<< you can fill in that blank with whatever insult or "name" you want. I said I can RELATE.... I can empathize... I can't relive or fully interpret but I can relate based on my own experience. Maybe I should say I can correlate if that makes it more precise. Hell, I've lived through multiple hate crimes for who I am... I've been treated unfairly for at least 15 years of my life because of how I look, my race, my sexuality, and my PERCEIVED sexuality. I've been followed and harassed by police... I've been in bars where police dispersed tear gas FOR THE FUN OF IT... I've been chased with baseball bats and run off the road. I've been treated poorly by two female bosses because of my gender and race. I can relate to being oppressed and can empathize with others that have been and are. I'd say my personal experience probably allows ME to relate to the struggle for equality and the struggle between races and sexes to a heightened degree. To the point I made earlier, we're all different. All we can do is attempt to understand... I think my own personal experience opened me far more to the struggles of others in a way only repeated epiphanies can do. By the way, I don't recall you jumping all over Ali for saying she can understand oppression as a woman... You'll notice no question marks in this post... I'm not seeking rebuttal. I'm seriously offline at this point simply because "It's gettin' hot in herrre" and it's beginning to get too tangled and muddy for my available time and patience at the moment. Too many canvases and databases to continue for now. Carry on.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T17:22:01-06:00
ID
71717
Comment

I guess this settles it then, there is nothing wrong within the "Black Culture". There is nothing wrong within HipHop. We are just living the infamous "Perception Problem". Spike was wrong, and what was Kamikaze talking about again? The City of Jackson will clean itself up through some miracle of The Mayors Crime Fighting Prevention Plan! No, young kids are not susceptible to vile rap lyrics. Also "Wait till you see my &*$!!" is a perfectly fine lyric to be played on Public Radio! That is all.

Author
JAC
Date
2006-02-28T17:25:11-06:00
ID
71718
Comment

By gad, you guys have guts. I can't say much (because I haven't stuck my neck out here like some of you have), but I do have to give the lot of you kudos - one and all, for saying what you think and having a conversation (and sometimes a debate, which is another whole different thing), no matter how sticky it gets! There's some defensiveness on all sides, but so what. There are people who don't understand (but the same folks are trying), so take it into consideration (not everybody even wants to understand). And we're not going to get any issues settled, but some fresh air sure does help get perspective (and we'll all have more tomorrow, and even more next year) as long as we don't stick our heads in the mud and refuse to listen. I'm hearing a lot of feelings creeping out with "arguments" and that's not a bad thing. Air them suckers out!

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-28T17:30:34-06:00
ID
71719
Comment

I enjoy a good long thread as much as the next guy but thank you for wrapping this one up JAC. I thought it would never end, judging from the sidelines it looks as if nothing really got accomplished other than a lot of people going in circles black and white people. A lot of them also seem very angry and all that anger depresses me, one can only read so much.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2006-02-28T17:31:20-06:00
ID
71720
Comment

I sense sarcasm and snappy tones from most of your posts towards me Donna. I'm sorry that you feel that way, Queen. I'm not sure a perusal of the posts above show that I don't respect your views -- although as the owner and moderator of the site, I will get snappy with you if I believe you are being unfair to others or particularly argumentative. Everyone here, including Tom and Knol, has been on the other side of that here. And you might be looking for it, Queen. From your comments, you're not my biggest fan, and that's your perogative. But I will reiterate that no one here owns this discussion or this issue, and I will question anyone who tries to say otherwise. That in itself is an attempt to limit discussion. Also, to understand why people might get snappy with you, you should consider this comment that you just made: because of Ray's comment (which makes me think someone here may be rational) You just called everyone here who isn't Ray Carter irrational, Queen. That's not exactly the way to win friends and influence people to your side. However, like the others, I believe you have a lot to say, and I am willing to forgive those kinds of remarks if they do not become your modus operandi. But I will continue to call them out, because that's the way I run this site. You can dislike that, but the truth is, I can't point you to any other sites within many miles of Jackson that has a thread on it right now with more than 200 posts, people young and old and of different races,economic backgrounds and political beliefs discussing controversial issues such as rap lyrics in an overal respectful manner. Thus, I believe we're doing something right here, and we will keep doing it. I hope you will continue to grace us with your presence and your more insightful comments.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-28T17:35:16-06:00
ID
71721
Comment

Sometimes anger needs to be expressed, needs to be gotten off the chest. Denial doesn't make it go away. Don't be depressed Superstar - a blog like this will never solve the big problems of the world, but if we just let it, it can help us understand one another better. There's not a lot more we can ask for in an online experience.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-02-28T17:36:05-06:00
ID
71722
Comment

I will add that I, too, believe that Ray Carter deserves a pedestal all his own, and I will happily bow before it. And, Superstar, it amazes me that that is all you see in this thread. Wow.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-28T17:38:03-06:00
ID
71723
Comment

I didn't see that comment to urbangypsy, but yeah, that was pretty harsh. She's doing the decent thing and backing up people who are being criticized too harshly. I've gotten in trouble for doing that over the years myself--to the point where people ask "So what do you believe, Tom? You never talk about that." As someone who knows urbangypsy offline, and especially by reputation, I can say with some confidence that she's a wonderful human being who is doing really good things for this planet and I am damned happy that she's posting on this forum. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T17:39:52-06:00
ID
71724
Comment

BTW, I think we should take some of our passion and go jump Doc's Colonel Reb thread. Doc works hard and just doesn't get enough attention around here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-02-28T17:40:16-06:00
ID
71725
Comment

Knol, I may have misread your comment and I apologize if I did. But I did see an implicit hierarchy-of-oppression logic in your posts, where the idea seemed to be that because you are part of oppressed group A, that gives you special authority in dealing with oppressed group B. I've used that logic before myself, so I know how dangerous it is. If that wasn't what you were doing, that's fine--but if I saw it, odds are good Queen did, too. I still maintain that lesbians have the right to say "dyke," and African Americans have the right to say "n____"; that members of other groups should expect to provoke a hostile response if they use the same words; and that this is not a bad thing. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T17:46:23-06:00
ID
71726
Comment

Wow, seems like someone just openned a door to a room we've all been locked up in for days...sort of refreshing....the tension has depleted. Donna, I applaud your efforts with this magazine. Congratulations on having a voice in this community. I don't necessarily agree with that voice but I respect you for being a woman and working hard to get your voice heard (and the voice of others). I really think that yall came down hard on me because I am not a regular on this board...really, I do believe that. However, maybe if yall visited sites that I frequent then I'd have the same view. And again, I have apologized for the "harsh" statement above to Urbangypsy. However, I didn't join this conversation in an effort to make friends. Didn't necessarily join to make folks hate the sight of my name either. But I feel strongly about this subject and I will not apologize for that. Granted, after you've pointed out certain things to me, although I wouldn't take them that way, I can admit that they could have been taken negatively....AGAIN, EXCUSE MY AGRESSION.....geesh, people I feel like I've said sorry on here more times today than I have in the last two months....:-) But I have grown and I appreciate it. This is a long thread and I hope that we can continue it some place., some time. So, Donna, when we meeting for coffee? Don't bag out now!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-02-28T17:51:54-06:00
ID
71727
Comment

I don't want or deserve any pedestal. All I ever do is try to get an understanding of things and do what I think is right. I'm lucky and blessed that I didn't fail despite all my efforts. Grace and mercy have a lot to do with my survival. Additionally, my wife is a librarian which allows her to order lots of books. I have this nerdy tendency to read, learn and think. Anybody can be a Ray Carter. I love. I hate (but try not to). I win. I fail. I often want to knock the s___ out of somebody including prosecutors and lying police officers but my good senses tell me to act better. However, I do try to let the little light I have shine when I can.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-02-28T17:59:51-06:00
ID
71728
Comment

Thank you Queen for you well wishes and your honesty. I hope that you can stick with JFP blogging because I think you have a strong voice that hasn't necessarily been represented here before. And btw I don't log on much either- but I read it all the time. But as we do, we all have our times for getting beat up. That just means we've touched a nerve and maybe are getting a new thought out for discussion. Not a bad thing. Keep ya head up Queen- I feel your passion- which so many folks- young and old have lost. We don't all have to get along. Let's just keep the conversations (on this and other topics) going. And thanks Tom. You, Knol, Ray enlighten my reading daily. Too bad y'all aren't running the city. Less drama, far more intelligence and some great humor thrown in too. Of course- Cowboy Frank's antics would be funny if this was on TV and not in OUR city.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-02-28T18:15:06-06:00
ID
71729
Comment

"But I did see an implicit hierarchy-of-oppression logic in your posts, where the idea seemed to be that because you are part of oppressed group A, that gives you special authority in dealing with oppressed group B." -Tom Tom, I'm sure you know this and many reading this understand and know it as well. As HUMANS, all we can do is relate or correlate our independent and group experiences. Blacks do it with blacks... Whites do it with whites... And it continues full circle through all groups, cultures, and sub-cultures. If we can't use Group A or Experience A to compare and contrast Group B and Experience B, we will never grow, have epiphanies, or experience a different perspective... We all (regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, sex, gender, et al) come from different points in time and space regardless of where we started or end. I respect your point in space/time and I respect Queen's and I respect them all... Do I agree? Depends... But, to say I have less experience relating or more experience is not really your position or anyone elses from your point in space/time. I may be closer to Queens than either of us realize based on my own path and experience in space/time. As I've said more than one hundred times, I've experienced far more oppression and angst than most minorities (black, yellow, tan, bronze, lesbian, dyke, gay, fag, nigga, etc) would care to take or deal with.... I come from a different point than many my age or my sexuality or my gender or my sex or my race would care to experience... I swear that on my beautiful deaf dog and my own life. I have had too many forced epiphanies to count and hold all of them dear to my experience and proudly open my eyes and am willing to look into some of the darkest corners of my own psyche and that of my own community (I'm talking white, black, gay, straight, male, female and more) and those surrounding me... I will never apologize nor be lumped into some easily formulate category that says what I should say or should not say... I've had opinions forced on me at over 120mph and with baseball bats and by skinheads. I'm not attempting to censor hip hop... I simply know there are alternatives to the bitch, ho, nigga and bling mentality based on my sole experience. I think most here are saying the same thing though I think some are excusing it. So, where do we go from here? Do we as a society of whites, blacks, hispanics, gays, straights, er, HUMANS, say we won't tolerate the intolerance? Do we encourage "free speech" that degrades our life comrades and fellow humans? We've come full circle and recognize that differences are HUMAN and experiences are HUMAN... But where do we go from here to progress? There... You got some question marks from me! Damn it! Even after I said I didn't have the time! I only wish peace and love without all the hippy sappiness associated in most people's mind... I'm tired of carrying the "white man's burden" when the white man won't claim me... I'm tired of being lumped into the "your ancestors" crowd when I LITERALLY have no clue of my own heritage by choice and by circumstance. I have no ancestors by blood that I recognize and I have no family tree beyond three branches... Don't hold me to what I do not know. I know the present and my own past and my current path! Where do we go and why can't we as a unifying and growing community be willing to accept inside and outside perspectives of the paths we have available? That means whites can speak to blacks about problems within the black community. That means that gays can talk to straights and vice versa... That means that men and women can converse about their feelings (like Kamikaze and his wife for example) and grow and progress... Seriously. The problems in hip hop are not isolated. They are easy to discuss because of the dominant sexism, racism, and homophobia but these problems exist outside of hip hop.... It's simply easier for us, as a community to target, since the vocals and lyrics often seem to perpetuate the problem. This is primarily the reason I applaud Spike and Cosby for their comments. It's because they are speaking to their communities as elders not as outsiders (though they may be) or as critics... They are speaking from the heart and it gets so easily dismissed by some as racism or elitism while it's not. It might not be constructed in a "user-friendly" or easily accepted format but sometimes it can't be that way. Sometimes a father or mother has to get "ugly" to get the point across... That's why we have elders!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T20:16:31-06:00
ID
71730
Comment

We, as a society, gay, straight, black, white, hispanic, hip hop, rave, acid jazz, rock, alternative, blues, whatever, need to start accepting responsibility for taking care of our brothers and sisters... I'm not talking about socialism. I'm talking about the way of Christ or the Buddha or the gods and goddesses that came before them. We must recognize we are all humans and that is our one, significant common bond. If we can't speak candidly as adults without words being slung in our faces like racist or homophobe or sexist, then we won't grow. If we aren't willing to have the discussion, we will never grow. Again, sucked into the paint fumes... Pardon me if I drove my conversational car into the median.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T20:16:49-06:00
ID
71731
Comment

One last note before I go to the fire pit in my yard... I sincerely appreciate the dialogue. I know others are reading, not posting, and growing... I know that many, including myself, are growing further into their skins because of this conversation. I personally think it's amazing we are able to have this discussion in Mississippi. It does say volumes about where we are presently and how much growth we can acheive in the future. Let's not stop talking... Fine to take a breath and re-think and re-position but shutting down dialogue is toxic without doubt. Kamikaze, you achieved you're goal... You stirred up some shit and got us talking about things that matter! We don't necessarily agree but I think we've grown to respect each other's position a little more and have opened our minds and psyches to new possibilities.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T20:28:44-06:00
ID
71732
Comment

Knol writes: As I've said more than one hundred times, I've experienced far more oppression and angst than most minorities (black, yellow, tan, bronze, lesbian, dyke, gay, f**, n****, etc) would care to take or deal with.... I'm not in a position to speak to your experiences, but there is an old spiritual that begins "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen..." Even if oppression and angst can be quantified--and I'm not sure that it can--and even if you've experienced quantifiably more angst and oppression than most members of minority groups--and that's a pretty tall order--then I still don't understand why this has any bearing on the conversation. As you point out in the first paragraph, we're all human. One day we were interuterine goo and one day we'll be fertilizer. That is the ultimate common denominator. We all walk this road together. So I would certainly agree with pretty much everything else you've said. But I think you need to be cognizant of the fact that at the end of the day, you're a white man telling black folks as a group what to do. That isn't always wrong, but it is problematic. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T20:41:24-06:00
ID
71733
Comment

Knol, agreed 100%. This is one hell of a conversation. I think this may be the most productive conversation about race we've ever had on this site, and that's saying something. Your own posts are pretty damn good, too. Especially the ones that get me riled up. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-02-28T20:44:01-06:00
ID
71734
Comment

Tom, thanks... I understand about the "my perspective" vs "your perspective" or the "oppressed" vs the "oppressor." But, we need to grow past that and I honestly feel if many understood that we ALL experience oppression and angst on some level, we can find common ground in that. My experience hardly trumps Queens or yours... It's not about trumping but expressing and feeling.... But, by discussing them, we are able to see the lines that connect us and make us human. Humanity transcends all the labels.... But, I'm speaking to the choir, I'm very sure! My partner, dog and the fire call collectively through the screened window... I'm off for the night for sure. Peace to everyone whether we see eye to eye or not.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-02-28T20:57:02-06:00
ID
71735
Comment

queen601 give it up. You dug yourself a neck deep hole way back in your first couple of rants, I mean, comments. You've missed quite a few points that I won't bother digging into but I will tackle this one... "HIP HOP IS A BLACK THING...it has grown into a people thing, but it will always be a black thing.." ^^What Moose in the wilderness told you this? and why the hell did you believe it as fact? Hip Hop statrted in the Dance Halls of Jamaica and if you know anything about Jamaican people you'd know they are a mixed bag of people. Black(African), Portugese(Spanish) and British(English). the Jamaiacn accent is of English/British background. Jamaicans have a very strong British accent if you listen closely. Most of them appear "black" because of the mixed breeding and the dominate African melonin gene. the hot locale in the Caribbean contributes to this appearance because the hot sun will tan just about any hide if given enough exspoure. Not only that, One of the first offical breakdancing crews were..drum roll please.... Puerto Rican(Hispanics) - i.e. Rock Steady Crew. White people(boys and girls) have been intertwined into hip hop since it's inception as well. The Beastie Boys are arguably one the most constistent and far reaching rap groups in hip hop history...and they are...drum roll please....JEWISH WHITE BOYS.. others worth mentioning: 3rd Base, Snow(dance hall reggae),Everlast, let's not forget Blondie(rapture) the very first white girl to rap over a beat!, etc... Rick Rubin helped launch Def Jam records and the careers of Run DMC, Cool J, and the Beastie Boys with his production skills. Black people were just the most attracted to hip hop since it permeated and grew roots in the ghettos of the America, namely the South Bronx via the Father of hip hop, Kool Herc, a Jamaican dancehall DJ. So the contributions to hip hop by non-blacks is HUGE!...so you put a big foot in your mouth on that argument.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-03-01T10:10:47-06:00
ID
71736
Comment

hey queen601, A more politically correct way to say it is.... Hip Hop is a Black thing NOW because other races are becoming disenchanted and uninterested in the art form due to the "n!ggers" and their ignorance..

Author
JSU
Date
2006-03-01T10:28:11-06:00
ID
71737
Comment

Great epilogue, Knol. Wonderful conversation where everyone stuck to their guns because everyone had something important to say. I bet time will resolve the conflict. Queen told us her views. We listened. We agreed and disagreed with her. I'm glad she feels as strongly as she does. She will grow into one of us someday, and she will counsel the new Queen that follows her based on personal experiences, this conversation, and the evolution she will undergo. She can do all of this and still be a lovers and believer of hip-hop. Nothing can ever make me hate Motown, TSOP, STAX, Reggae, Gospel, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Country, Rap, and hip-Hop. Yet I know Snoop Doog is crazy as hell; many gospel artists are phonies; Bob Marley would have likely lived longer had he not smoked; Axel Rose is no role model; David Ruffin wrecked a great career due to drugs; Johnnie Cash dranked too much; Robert Johnson was sometimes a low down person, et al. I hope you white folks will refuse to believe you can't understand or feel the appropriate sympathy for the plight of black folks whether it involves the hip-hop culture or whatever. I likewise appreciate and respect Queen's position to decide her own taste, fate, style, and culture without viewing it through the standards of white society (whatever that really is). Marvin gaye told us before he ignored his own advice and got himself killed: Only love can conquer hate.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-01T10:38:55-06:00
ID
71738
Comment

JSU, any way that you can (and this is for others including myself) not take away from a superb fact by shying away from smartazz remarks? Your point in this post is something that I'd like all to realize; especially with Latinos/Hispanics seeming to have to prove themselves capable of being apart of hip-hop (I am neither, but it strikes me as interesting). Now I have your point perfectly, but in a sense we're not talking about white people saying n*gga in the music and we're not talking about whites walking around talking about b!tches and h0es. Agreed, hip hop is not only a black thing. Those subjects--as pertaining to the origination of the discussion--are inside of the black community. In my opinion, that is partly where the 'black thing' argument that Queen presented. Whether or not my homegirl put a foot in her mouth...well, that's an opinion. And it's an offensive statement to boot (meaning a counter-remark is likely to come)...hopefully it can simply be absorbed completely without a retort HINT HINT QUEEN. LOL

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-03-01T10:42:14-06:00
ID
71739
Comment

Other races don't seem to be becoming uniterested JSU. At last count, white kids 18-25 were the biggest consumers of hip-hop music. Hell, they are the ones keeping it afloat. No its not just a black thing. It would be arrogant of us to think so. Black folks make up what? 12% of the population in this country. Pretty soon we won't even be the biggest minority. No, JSU they're not turned off at all. Its definitely not a black thing NOW and if we aren't careful the industry won't care about our input in the near future. Anybody watching the emergence of reggaeton and hispanic rap artists. These labels are businesses that will meet a demand. More hispanics. more latinos. we will start producing MORE hispanic or latino music. Sure some Black AND white folks are disinterested in hiphip because of a few "words" but the industry as a whole appears to be thriving more than ever. And it has NOTHING to do with n!ggers or ignorance. thats how YOU see it and thats ok. You're entitled to that. But all old fogeys don't agree wit ya.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-03-01T11:01:48-06:00
ID
71740
Comment

Sure some Black AND white folks are disinterested in hiphip because of a few "words" but the industry as a whole appears to be thriving more than ever. Not just words. you rappers are still getting robbed at the bank via "fishy" contracts from the labels, targeted on the streets by haters who want what you got, your groups are still in BIG Beefs. didn't Tupac just get murdered over a beef? bigggie smalls too? oh yeah it's thriving alright, thriving like a snake pit. oh, but I'm too old to understand it? yall kids are just lost. yall make me ashamed to have been from the funk era, WHO by the way, laid a smooth foundation for you rappers to roll your raps over and get paid and live good without all the hate and jealousy. WE did that( us 70's folk) the one's you claim are too "old" and out of the loop. But that ain't enough for you kids. You want free reign to use derogatory terms and flip them as you see fit. that's cool if you can be original with your words, but using cuss words is just WEAK, in my opinion. you young bloods got a problem and it ain't with me, it's with the individual in the mirror. and that's the truth...sho nuff! <---now THAT feels good! long live the funk! REAL Music

Author
JSU
Date
2006-03-01T11:42:39-06:00
ID
71741
Comment

Funny and true to a large extent, JSU. You gonna get your butt whupped! We're too weak to fight and too run.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-01T12:11:00-06:00
ID
71742
Comment

I meant too old to run. I will add that the hip-hoppers need all the love we can give them. The need for love never ends. Criticism without love is wrong too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-01T12:17:28-06:00
ID
71743
Comment

Thanks Ray. And I can tell you that this experience has taught me alot about myself...my opinion and the opinion of others, white/black, male/female. I think next time I feel so strongly about an issue, I'll be able to speak about it in a less personal fashion and hopefully less offensive. Still feel like I feel, but I have learned how to speak in a fashion that will hopefully one day allow me to become "one of you". I am very impressed by the dialogue that came from this. I look forward to more encounters and discussions. I mean in the long run, this issue has been on my mind and in my spirit for days now. I've had to face this issue head on (maybe I should have done this before I started posting...) but, at the very least I had to come to some sort of direct commitment to what I believe because of Knol and Tom and Kaze and JSU and Urbangypsy and ms. Ladd....I was very unprepared for this type of conversation with the amount of built up frustration. At any rate, enough of the sobbing....I appreciate this and I think it brought us all together in a unconventional way....:-) That pleases me!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-01T12:25:00-06:00
ID
71744
Comment

Queen, I think your presence and remarks were very important to this discussion, even if I had to call you down on a couple of your more emotional ones. But, girlfriend, that happens. I call myself down, too. Todd calls me down sometimes. We all need an editor/moderator sometimes so we don't drive away the people most likely to listen to us. I'd love to have coffee. I'm out of town next week and crazed this one. Why don't you call me or e-mail me, and we'll make an appointment! And don't you dare bail on us now. You're a JFP Blogger now whether you like it or not! Peace, Donna

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-01T12:31:21-06:00
ID
71745
Comment

Be careful JSU, you might be headed down a road that I just got off of with those comments. Seems a bit confrontational....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-01T12:32:28-06:00
ID
71746
Comment

I will add that the hip-hoppers need all the love we can give them. The need for love never ends. Criticism without love is wrong too. Right on, Ray. And sometimes real love must be tough. If we didn't care, we would just run on at the mouth about all rappers that that dude I linked up above from two years ago. Hopefully, the love is shining through. I think Kamikaze knows how I feel about him, and that's why I challenge him. I believe the feeling is mutual.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-01T12:33:55-06:00
ID
71747
Comment

You know Donna, I might loss my job, I've been on this site so much, I might need to come over there to find a job. I don't think I'll be able to stay away, believe me....I've tried! I might be addicted to information. That's not a bad thing is it...because I have learned so much. ANd I think I'll start at the beginning and read all the way down because this started off about Spike Lee or something didn't it????

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-01T12:38:40-06:00
ID
71748
Comment

Oops that would be lose my job. :-) Geesh!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-01T12:39:23-06:00
ID
71749
Comment

My last comment on this issue, I hope. Anyway, I was just at Peaches Cafe waiting for my food when somebody played What's Going On and Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye. As I listened I could distinctly hear Marvin's beautiful lyrics, piano playing and vocal arrangements, James Jamerson's and Bob Babbit's bass line, Robert White's and Joe Messina's guitar licks, Jack Ashford's vibe and tambourine, Eddie Brown's bongo and conga, and many other sounds. All of it reminded me of how beautiful, surreal and Godly music can be. Consider these Marvin Gaye lyrics: Where did all the blue skies go; Poison in the wind that blows from North and South and East; Oil wasted upon the ocean and in our seas, fish full of mercy;Radiation under ground and in the sky; Animal and birds who live nearby are dying. Mercy, Mercy, Me (The ecology). Mother, mother, there is too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother, there's far too many of you dying. You know we got to find a way to bring some loving here today. War is not the answer for only love can conquer hate. Don't punish me with brutality, talk to me, so you can see, what's going on. Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong. Oh, but who are they to judge us, just because we wear our hair long. Tell me what's going on. I'll tell you what's going on. (What's Going On).

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-01T15:23:40-06:00
ID
71750
Comment

"What's Going On" is a GREAT song!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-01T15:29:11-06:00
ID
71751
Comment

But Ray(and JSU) understand...Marvin Gaye made "Whats Goin On", but he also made "Let's Get it On" Think about that. But I dont think anyone ever called him to task. There was a dichotomy there. In one he addressed social issues the other he just wanted some "lovin" (for lack of a better term, ya'll know what he wanted;-) Either way he was genius. I grew up on some funk, JSU cmon. Parliament and Bootsy wouldnt have been so "psychadelic": without a little "herbal stimulation" ...ahem. And they alluded to it in their music. Our music was just as bad, for its time. I remember my folks tellin me that MY music was trash too. Older folks need to stop acting like they weren't young once. I think JSU just has a little latent disdain for the young folks. they're not THAT bad and the majority of them are far from lost, cut em some slack.

Author
trusip
Date
2006-03-01T16:16:47-06:00
ID
71752
Comment

Sho you right Trusip. And since Marvin had gone nearly crazy from cocaine abuse by the time he made Sexual Healing, guess what he wanted to call it instead of Sexual Healing? He wanted to call it "Santified P*#@y. The record company told him he was crazier than they thought already. Had he been around now and wanted to still do it now the record labels would have let him. I still love 'let get it on'. I love the arrangement more than the message of the song but I ain't against the message either. But Marvin didn't give us vivid and exact details on how he would do it. I know it was only because of the times however. The lyrics quoted earlier talks about not judging and listening to each other. George Clinton is as big a drug addict as ever existed. I can't stand him or his music. Those diaper wearing freaks never impressed me. I do like Bootsy Collins, bass player, and Maceo Parker, saxs player. The lyrics qouted earlier also illustrate how easy it is to sing about something other than sex and still hit the charts if the song is beautifully written and arranged. Yes I know the lyrics are real simple. Put them to that music and you get undeniably a beautiful song.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-01T16:32:42-06:00
ID
71753
Comment

trusip, you're wrong. the "funk" was never bad. It lifted you without you having to be lifted. everybody didn't get high along with bootsy to go where he was taking us although I did.. :o). G.Clinton funked me out of my socks and I was still throwing the bird at the man and talking about "Flash light" ...these kids today don't know what that means..it's a metaphor..for spreading and shedding light on everything to bring about truth. non of the bands of the funk era had these all out public beefs and riffs to kill each other. It wasn't about jealosy and envy back then and it shsouldn't be now. kids today are just lazy, they don't use their brain power long enough to create songs on a level that doesn't include ice grills, popping pills and rims on the ride. it's more like fast food hip hop these days. in and out. the days of chuck D and intellect rappers are long gone no matter how much a new artist tries to bring that back. it's place is in history. that's it. Hip Hop is becoming the new Jazz.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-03-01T16:40:15-06:00
ID
71754
Comment

Interesting follow-up to the conversation The Smithsonian Institution on Tuesday began a search for hip-hop artifacts, for a future exhibit on the urban style best known for rap music, break dancing and baggy clothes. Rap stars and producers who contributed items to the exhibit, including Ice-T and Russell Simmons, said they were surprised to see the Smithsonian turn its attention to the three-decades-old art form. "It validates it," said Los Angeles-based rapper Ice-T. "It's a good feeling." Hip-hop music got its start in the South Bronx section of New York in the 1970s, when largely black and Puerto Rican youths began layering samples of sounds from existing records over driving, bass-heavy rhythm tracks. The initial contributions to the museum's collection include a pair of turntables used by disc jockey Grand Master Flash, known for the seminal 1982 hit "The Message," and a boom box owned by Fab Five Freddy, the original host of "Yo! MTV Raps," as well as pictures, album-cover artwork and recordings. Officials with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History said it could be three to five years before its exhibit on hip-hop was ready.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-01T16:57:59-06:00
ID
71755
Comment

I agree with Kamikaze's original comments about Spike. Too many people are trying to deposit the ills of society on rappers and poor black people. Spike and Bill Cosby and some of the people who have so much energy to expend attacking "thug rappers" might be more productive spending some of that energy attacking the corporate military prison industrial complex that sets the terms in this society. I was in church Sunday and a young (looked like he's in his thirties) minister was going on about the evil of hip hop and how it is degrading to women to have them dancing half naked on BET. Why don't you all blame the huge white-owned corporation, Viacom, and all the other large corporations that use sex to sell their products? why don't you boycott them? If sex did not sell, they would not use it as such. In all of this debate no one mentions the positive cuts that don't always get a lot of airplay. Obviously, someone made a conscious decision to promote Mike Jones' "Back then" but not "Five Years from Now". A lot of songs with positive messages get little or no spins. That's the truth Ruth.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-01T18:05:22-06:00
ID
71756
Comment

I agree with regards to hip-hop being intellectually destitute, not that any genre of music has ever really been that intellectually stimulating for me personally. I believe that hip-hop has become nothing more than a legal hustle, overpopulated with individuals whose best talents are that of illegal hustling.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2006-03-01T18:29:25-06:00
ID
71757
Comment

I don't think I'll be able to stay away, believe me....I've tried! I might be addicted to information. Go, girl! I think we should declare you the Blogger o' the Week, actually. Thanks for being here. But don't get fired. ;-D That's not a bad thing is it...because I have learned so much. ANd I think I'll start at the beginning and read all the way down because this started off about Spike Lee or something didn't it???? I hear you. I don't even know where to try to dip back in again, so I'm just focusing on your comments. This thread long ago gave up the need for me to be anywhere near it! Also, all, congratulations -- this is now officially the most-commented-on JFP thread ever. And that's an accomplishment in these parts. And, cheers all. I hope to see you all at the Friendship Ball Saturday. And any of you have problems with the cost (although it is to benefit a good cause, remember), let me know, and I'll see if I can come up with some special tickets for prized JFP bloggers. Queen, you comin'?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-01T20:02:56-06:00
ID
71758
Comment

Ladd and Queen- I can't make it. I'm stuck working in Mobile! Though I will be home in time for the Arts Alliance Oscar party on Sunday (shamless plug)... But I will donate my ticket to Queen as "Blogger of the Week"! If she can't make it, then some other deserving young person that'll shake up the establishment in my place. Or at least shake their boo-tay.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-03-01T20:22:00-06:00
ID
71759
Comment

"Why don't you all blame the huge white-owned corporation, Viacom, and all the other large corporations that use sex to sell their products? why don't you boycott them?" Now THAT sounds like a plan! And I want to coffee with the queen too someday. I have read her other posts (on Kamikaze's board no less). God, I love a passionate woman, especially when I need a kick in the butt to get my own back on track.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-03-01T20:57:51-06:00
ID
71760
Comment

I hate to rev this up again (it took me forever to get this long thread loaded), but this is so apropos to the discussion that I just have to post it. Civil Right group rips move to ban rap shows In the wake of a Las Vegas police officer's shooting death by a gangster rapper in February, Las Vegas Regent Stavros Anthony wants to ban groups that advocate violence against police and women from performing at campuses across the state. That would include the Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-03-01T21:32:44-06:00
ID
71761
Comment

Speaking of violence and hip hop... A cop was shot at a Kanye concert in England today or yesterday. Saw the headline but don't have time to reference at the moment.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-01T21:54:41-06:00
ID
71762
Comment

WHOA...WHAT HAPPENED IN HERE????! I can't believe I missed all the fun. :-) This thread is definitely one for the record books. Good job, everyone! I only have one comment to add: long live the funk! REAL Music JSU, how did you parents feel about funk music? Did the people in the generation before you complain about it at all? I suspect some of them did. Don't forget about those who preferred blues to rock and roll, hymns and spirituals to Gospel music, classical to jazz, etc. Generation gaps have existed since the beginning of civilization. Instead of frowning on a musical genre, try to understand why it exists. Here's another angle for y'all: I remember growing up in a church where if the song wasn't in the hymn book or written by Andrae Crouch, it probably wasn't sung. The church I belong to now has no problem playing the contemporary stuff in the sanctuary. Some of the music in the Christian circuit has hit mainstream because younger artists have learned not to be stuffy and avoid being too critical and depressing in order to get their message across. Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin, Stacie Orrico, Fred Hammond, Switchfoot, Tobymac and the like. At our las youth program, we weren't sitting down twiddling our thumbs singing "Bringing in the Sheaves" - we were JAMMIN! Fog machine included... But I'll leave that alone - not trying to hijack the thread. I just want you to see that generation gaps exists on so many levels.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-03-01T22:04:31-06:00
ID
71763
Comment

Wow, ladies, what can I say....Blogger of the week, coffee invitations, and donated tickets....Yall must really think I need a therapy session, huh???? No, just kidding. Donna I read about your honor last night actually and I thought, this young lady is really holding it down. I think I just might show up, I'm sure it'll be interesting. And emilyb, you have probably noticed that I haven't been as challenged on Kaze's board as I was over here, however, my homies over there do keep me in line when those feminine impulses get me going.... At any rate, where's the next hot topic. I'm looking for it....probably the Mayor, huh? I'm sure it would be interesting for me to share my thought about that dude. So, I'm going to try and find a spark in one of his blogs. Thanks again for the support I've found on this site. Keep up the dialogue. And Donna, I'm here, not going anywhere!!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-02T09:58:34-06:00
ID
71764
Comment

JSU mentioned Rappers or HipHoper acting like jazz musicians. Not totally true, I don't think. Jazz musicians weren't trying to kill other jazz musicians they were trying to kill themselves with drugs. Actually they weren't trying to do that either they were just trying to stay high. Check out Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, many more, and our homeboy from Woodville, MS, the late and great Dexter (Prez) Gordon who dated and added to the sadness of Billie Holiday. He was also an alcoholic. I have no problem with each generation having their own taste in music. Since I'm a true lover of music if it's good I will like some of it. I even like the bluegrass song "I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow." I like the music and vocal arrangements of that song.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-02T10:02:07-06:00
ID
71765
Comment

I have dealt with the idea that being a hip hop artist (from a non-hip hop artist stand point) takes very little talent. I mean if you can talk and rhyme, how difficult could it be to rap. Then, I thought, well, most rappers are just guys who use hip hop as a way to make fast money since they are used to fast money in the hood, this is just a way they can do it legally. However, in my recent past I have met Kamikaze, David Banner, Smoke D, Rachel Jamezz, Skip Coon, and many others and they have proven to me that rap is an art. Is is not just an easy way to make money. Now, don't get me wrong, I think Mike Jones is a definete exception to this and there are several other artists I feel the same way about. You know the ones who have no intellectual offering in their music at all. But that is a part of hip hop too. I will even venture out to say that rappers from this state will contribute more substance in their work because although their are areas of the state that may be considered "inner city" spots, but for the most part our struggles here are not necessary about fast money as much as it is about survival and thus, the music produced by OUR artists will have to have some substance. At at the tender age of 30 somthing, I can tell you I have very little input on jazz...it does absolutely nothing for me unless I'm on the elevator or sitting in a bubble bath. I have limited tolerance for jazz. Just not my thing. So, I'll leave that for those who can actually speak on that...I can't. I may be off subject a tad bit here, but something I read up there struck me to make that statement.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-02T10:23:06-06:00
ID
71766
Comment

Ray, I love jazz also... And, I agree with most of what you're saying. Never before has violence and division been so glorified in a musical genre. I've been an avid listener of jazz, blues, hip hop, trip hop, dance, electronica, pop, rock, etc... I have an overwhelming library of music that contains Bach to Bon Jovi to Billie to Basement Jaxx to Banner. I don't recall the machismo or rivalry that can be easily found in hip hop... Drugs and sex? Yes... In every one of the genres. Hell, art and artists tend to be orgiastic and gluttonous but you never read about the Surrealists getting into turf wars using guns and murder. From my own recollection, even the Old School hip hoppers used breakin' and dj battles to settle differences. I still like to see a "break off" or whatever you want to call it and a poetry slam! Something's shifted with this particular generation (notice I'm not pointing specifically to hip hop) post GenX. Could be too much stimuli... Shorter attention spans... Poor parental involvement... Video games... Hip hop... MTV... All of the above and more?!? I'm not sure. But, something has shifted. We're not talking about dropping out of school to become an anti-war protestor or a musician... We're talking about dropping out of school to go to jail for murder or whatever else you can conjure. Kids seem to be getting into trouble on more dangerous levels and at more frequent rates (at least if you trust the media). It'd actually be interesting to compare stats from the past (say hippie days) with the present and see if there's actually an increase in crimes committed by youth per capita between generations. Not sure whether it would help point to a problem or not but would make for interesting analysis.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-02T10:54:21-06:00
ID
71767
Comment

Queen, Jazz musicians are brillant. You got to be an excellent musician to play it. The Motown Studio Band made up of the members I named with Marvin Gaye yesterday were jazz musicians. There were many more I didn't name. That's why they made those sungs so effortlessly, quickly and perfectly. Jazz separate the real musicians from the pretenders. Give it a try someday. Take a look at Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, try some Jimmie Smith, listen to a little Coltrane and Parker. Try Sarah Vaugh, Ella Fitzerald, Diana Washington, Carmen McCrae. Try even Laura Jones. She's a great new one. You will like jazz more as you get older.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-02T10:58:58-06:00
ID
71768
Comment

Ray don't get me wrong, I complete respect Jazz artists and particularly for the reason you mentioned above. I have been moved by some of the artists I've been fortunate enough to see when going through channels and getting to the BET Jazz channel. I especially like Cassandra (something) I think she's from Mississippi. Maybe one the thing that this generation needs that differs from the past generations is words. I can tell you that for me, just listening to instruments is like torture. Maybe I could stand to mature a bit more in an effort to accept this form of music. I have found in my experience that the words sing out to the soul of the artists and I can't find that in music alone. This is just me. I know that instrumentals tell stories as well, I have not been fortunate enough to attach myself to those stories. It's almost kinda like we need things to be easy and effortless. Which probably explains the new generation being so attracted to rap. I mean it's not as hard to get rich rapping as it is to go to graduate school in hopes of making that same kind of money. We don't have the work ethic as our parents have. We just want to be rich by any means necessary. If it is not clear to us, we don't bother. If we have to work hard at it, there has to be another way to get it done. So in jazz when we have to search within ourselves to find the lesson or the story or just general enjoyment, we can't. We'd rather just turn the station and hear someone put it out there for us. Of course I am not speaking for everyone my age, but it could be possible.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-02T11:17:13-06:00
ID
71769
Comment

My personal stance: I don't like art that is handed to me... I like the introspection and the visceral experience. I like to ponder the intent and ponder my own meaning of a piece (regardless of the format). I like to THINK about what I'm experiencing and explore those thoughts and feelings. It's difficult to have a personal experience when the artist basically forces you to experience something in a particular way. The force can be part of the intent but most people I know prefer to have some level of interpretation and experience offered from art forms. I think that's why people enjoy art and often LOVE art in its many forms. Soul-less music, paintings, and expression is just that. I'd rather have to think about a piece (for instance Ursula Rucker had me completely re-thinking my position on feminism and stripping and the woes of females yesterday). She never once said "think about it this way"... Instead, she told a story that led me to be challenged and required me to interpret it from my own perspective. Never once did she suggest this is something I should think about with direct words. The thought was required simply to understand and better grasp the content -- to better empathize with the subject of the song. In other words, I feel we desperately need the intellectual stimulation and challenge. Maybe this McMusic (not just hip hop) that's being pumped out IS the problem with our kids and young adults these days. Is it that they aren't being challenged to think or experience art as art? We all know kids that are involved in the arts and math excel... Most likely because these "schools" require a level of introspection and abstraction as well as intellectual stimulation. These kids are less likely to be involved in crimes and more likely to be successful in their fields. So, Queen, I disagree that music or art should simply be "put out there." I personally would like to see MORE music and art challenge the viewer/listener more to stimulate discussion, the intellect, and to move the psyche/spirit/whatever you want to call it.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-02T11:33:57-06:00
ID
71770
Comment

A serious study of music history, will reveal that one is hard pressed to find any genre of music that exists TOTALLY independent of other genres. Arguably one of the first rappers was the jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron with pieces such as the Revolution Will Not Be Televised back in the early seventies. US3 put out some very jazzy hip hop (live at the blue note). Erikah Badu does a jazzy style of hip hop. Common's latest album BE has some very jazzy moments and The Corner pays homage to those jazz poetry roots of hip hop by featuring The Last Poets. Real knowledge, rather than bringing complete clarity, often leaves one with a greater awareness of just how blurred the lines may be.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-02T12:08:25-06:00
ID
71771
Comment

I agree with Knol. This why I like jazz. To get it, you have to listen, interpret, think and grow. This is also why I like so many other kinds of music now. Music, reading, studying, other art forms, can all stimulate learning and intellectual development which is good. Sooner or later we're all going to have to compete for a jobs and for survival. When I was with State Farm the big boss man in Houston would always seek me out and talk to me. Others couldn't understand why he liked me. Queen, the reason he liked me was because I knew who George Benson was and we both loved his music. John H. Johnson tells this great story about starting Ebony and Jet Magazines. He wanted to get this advertizing contract from Zenith or some other big company but didn't know how to get it. Lo and behold he figured out this rich white man adored Matthew Henson (first person at North Pole. Black, too). John did a story on Henson and when he finally got an interview with this powerful man he brought a copy of his magazine featuring Henson. Once this rich white man saw this the rest is history. I even have Mozart, Beethoven (probably misspelled), Bach and many more within my collection. I like some of it all.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-02T12:10:55-06:00
ID
71772
Comment

I think all of you are correct. I think it would be lovely if the massess of young people were encouraged to give this form of music a chance...maybe it would mellow us (and I say us just to keep this conversation general) out some. Look at the amount of people between 18 and 35 that show up at art shows/jazz shows (are there any in Jackson) around the Jackson area as opposed to those that show up for rap concerts. My point is this music has been lost on us.... I am personally intrigued and stimulated to try it. I love music and I feel like it can be healing to the soul as art can, as poetry can, as literature can, as any form of expression can. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to convince most of my generation to even give it a listening shot.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-02T12:24:45-06:00
ID
71773
Comment

Some rappers, such as Nas, have even experimented with integrating classical music into their sound (http://thecelebritycafe.com/cd/full_review/11698.html). Miri Ben-Ari, a classically trained violinist from Israel, has appeared on numerous hip-hop albums. There is a lot of diversity within the genre. Like some of the other responders, I have a little bit of everything in my collection -- jazz, classical, rock, hip-hop (probably everything but country).

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-02T12:38:39-06:00
ID
71774
Comment

I like Mri-Ben-Ari, too. Willie Nelson and Ray Charles caused me to like some country. I love "To all the Girls I loved Before" by Willie Nelson. Don't mention "I can't stopl Loving You" by Ray Charles. If you listen carefully you will see striking similarity in all of it. It all came from God. It's the universal language. I love me some African musicians. Nothing sounds better than those drums, guitars, bass and so on. I love the voices and dances, too. Makes me want to pack up my s___ and move back home to Africa. Give Hugh Masakela a listen. Try Ladysmith Black Mambaza (probably misspelled).

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-02T12:48:46-06:00
ID
71775
Comment

WHIT, that's actually why I like hip hop... Though many hip hoppers would never classify some of what I consider hip hop *as* hip hop. Portishead took hip hop to a very unique level using orchestration and live instrumentation. Trip hop was a spinoff and incorporates a lot of instrumentation and synth. You have the whole spoken word scene with people like Badu and Rucker... You have acid jazz which is basically hip hop fused with jazz and electronica. Hip hop and electronica have changed the way music is created and presented. They've also inspired a new level of fusion among the varieties of music genres. US3... I re-bought their album the other day from iTunes. Incredible grooves and a great, positive vibe!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-02T12:49:13-06:00
ID
71776
Comment

In speaking on levels of creativity, I feel as if a large amount of [widely-] known and up&coming artists are not putting in all of the creativity that they can. I will say that artists do labor at their trade, however. True, the results really present themselves to us. When thinking about rappers, we might mislead ourselves into thinking of them as musicians when that's not entirely the case. The producers and [insert other technical element here] are the musicians. Once again, the products really speak for the amount of work that goes into it. I remember a child-hood friend wanting to start a singing group at church (actually our church has had some names come out, Virtue for one). After the first day of going over notes, I knew that I was not going to help at his dream. I have known myself to be pretty lazy. Fast forward to today and this guy has put together some nice music and continues to work at his craft, as time allows (work and family). A different friend raps and is learning/perfecting his production skills. I've seen he and other friends sit down and write, then assimilate, react and repeat for hours. These guys still hold jobs and function as normal. To get the sound and effect that they want, they have to work at it. I know that these examples do not span across the board, but there are plenty folk who are putting in work. Of course, work ethic is laxed for the recording/production software, but we should evolve. I do not mean to leave the past behind, because it is all related (as WHIT stated) and can be drawn from to create even more beautiful music. I have to speak on the violence next.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-03-02T13:06:05-06:00
ID
71777
Comment

I am right with you Ray. I also dig Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mombazo and Miriam Makeba. Fela basically rapped to the "high life" West African funk sound. A classic is "ITT: International Thief". His son did some work on Common's "Like Water for Chocolate". It would be nice if we could get more diversity on the radio locally.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-02T13:26:45-06:00
ID
71778
Comment

Ladysmith Black Mambazo rocks. I wonder if y'all would like the Afro-Celt Sound System? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-02T13:35:13-06:00
ID
71779
Comment

[In the article referenced] It seems that gangsta rap is targeted because a rapper was in a shootout with the police. I think it may be unfair to blame rap. While I believe that people are influenced by what they see and/or hear, I do not feel that having a concert involving "gangsta" rappers would lead to more police being shot at. This issue I would say is related to what was referenced above as "a product of the environment." Personally, I cannot stand the police, but that is my lazy way of saying that I cannot stand being racially profiled, I dislike unfair practices within the legal system (not to mention some outrageous laws), and I dislike the false appearance of protection (when it could be better viewed as extraction). But this isn't about me is it? I understand fully that nobody is above the law and that taking matters into your own hands is not the best way to obtain justice. People do live this way and have lived that way for centuries (in different regions) and the results vary in satisfaction. I must stay on topic though. Gangsta rap is like a loudspeaker for the subject matter. I'm not sure if it's appropriate for it to be viewed strictly as an appeal for more 'gangsters' to wreak havoc on society.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-03-02T13:45:11-06:00
ID
71780
Comment

And I am moved by the number of artists/musicians that you guys are naming. Most all I have never heard about, and I know that I have a LONG way to go as it is. I am hoping that there would be a better way of promoting all of this music throughout. Accepting the status quo is very limiting. I can imagine the Afro-Celt being dynamic. When I was in Kuwait, some middle-aged co-workers helped me broaden my range of music and I won't remember the name of this Celtic singer, but the music was really nice to me.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-03-02T13:55:25-06:00
ID
71781
Comment

Usually, it is the police who commit the violence on poor African Americans and then its called justifiable homicide. Should we blame country music for their violence? Who remembers Amadou. The list of poor people who have been murdered by police all around this nation dwarfs the number of law officers victimized. I have friends who are police officers, I used to work for a police department, but things are too often viewed totally out of perspective. Drop kick that through the goal posts of reality.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-02T13:56:14-06:00
ID
71782
Comment

I really hate that when something happens at a hip hop event the club owners who'd probably rather not even bother with hip hop but have to in order to remain relevant, they always blame hip hop. When the fact of the matter is this happens at rock concerts and blues concerts (and others I'm sure). It's like they feel like "Thank goodness this happened because now I have an excuse not to allow this in my establishment". It was a usher who got shot after not allowing this guy in the concert. It had nothing to do with hip hop or Kanye. He could have been going to see a Madea play and got upset enough to do the same. That was this person's individual choice. He had not even been inside the concert and Kanye is NOT by any means a gangsta rapper. He's as Pop as rap can be. So, this excuse just does not fly with me. I understand the mentality that rap generates. I understand some being a bit stand offish by the lyrics and nature of some of the songs. But this incident clearly (as well as a lot of others) has nothing to do with this music. It was a frustrated patron who was upset that they would not let him in. That would be it.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-02T14:03:00-06:00
ID
71783
Comment

OFF TOPIC: I remember a child-hood friend wanting to start a singing group at church (actually our church has had some names come out, Virtue for one). Are you saying that you know the members of Virtue? I think they're awesome. They remind me of En Vogue.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-03-02T19:35:38-06:00
ID
71784
Comment

Miriam Makeba! A name from the past - I love Miriam's music. Did you know that she was once married to Stokely Carmichael (I can't remember the African name that he took).

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-03-02T21:50:26-06:00
ID
71785
Comment

Kwame Ture, but I think he more or less used both names because there are several books he had his name on, post-Kwame, where he identifies himself as Stokely Carmichael. Brilliant guy; my experience has been that black activists tend to recognize this and white liberals get creeped out by the Black Power stuff. But really, when I started looking at what Black Power really means, I realized it's not a racist idea at all--it's saying that as long as we have this segregated and disenfranchised community, as long as institutional racism and the big hand of the establishment are beating it down, let's make it more sustainable by supporting each other, and let's build its influence so we can fight social injustice. I don't see anything racist about that, and I really believe Carmichael/Ture would have been the first to lay an egg if whites were ever treated the way blacks were. Some conservatives compare Carmichael/Ture to the White Power movement, which looks at the same institutional racism, the same segregation, the same hand of the establishment, and says "they deserve it." That's racist. But anyone who throws that label at Carmichael/Ture in my presence is in for an argument. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-02T22:58:28-06:00
ID
71786
Comment

I think Lester Young was the great jazz musician from Woodville instead of Dexter Gordon. I want to correct that so we can brag on the right person. He made "Round Midnight." This article just won't die.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-03T09:36:03-06:00
ID
71787
Comment

TH is on target. In re the term "black power" as Stokely used it: the context is what clarifies the meaning of a word. Stokely had allied himself with the Black Panther Party by the time his book "Black Power" came out in 1967. Within the context of the Panthers ten point program they described the power that they aspired to in the first point of their ten point program: "We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community. We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny." This could be taken right out of the Declaration of Independence. This was also within the context of the COINTELPRO campaign to smear or physically eliminate a lot of progressive people all across the country -- including Martin Luther King. People need to think about what is in the so called "Patriot Act". You subvert the Bill of Rights and call it the "Patriot" Act? Is it 1984?

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-03-03T10:37:34-06:00
ID
71788
Comment

Wow, I'm impressed more and more by you all everyday....Stokley Carmicheal was my Godfather. I might be incriminating myself, so I'll just leave that one alone.... :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-03T11:50:45-06:00
ID
71789
Comment

L.W. those sisters are really doing their thing. Ray: I'm simply happy to learn of any great artist from my families' hometown. Checked wikipedia, it's Lester Young.

Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-03-03T12:12:15-06:00
ID
71790
Comment

After a lengthy discussion with my niece whose in love with a local "gangsta" rapper in Jackson (I won't call his name out as per request for my niece), I've now realized that through her talks of him and how well she knows him personally that it's all just entertainment. So I must allow for my mind to open up more and appreciate the "gangsta" rappers for their efforts, not to mention their creative moxie. Who knew that my Frank Sinatra collection, one of the biggest "gangsta" singers in history, would be used to make the connection with these rappers of today. kids these days, I tell ya'.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-03-08T09:53:37-06:00

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