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I'm Fed Up!!! Tired of folks blaming hip-hop for our ills: My response to Leonard Pitts' Column

Peace and Blessings, my name is Kamikaze. Im a nationally known hiphop artist from Jackson, MS and President of the Mississippi Artists and Producers Coalition. I also write a bi-weekly column for a publication called the Jackson Free Press here. jacksonfreepress.com.

I'm e-mailing you ro express my disgust and outrage at your most recent column. Mind you, my discomfort has been brewing for sometime now and your words have finally pushed me to the point where I must speak out in defense of an entire culture. One that should not need to be pushed on its heels everytime something goes wrong in the black community.

I have watched the Michael Richards incident with great interest. Moreso because I find it ironic that folks were soooo "shocked" with the words he used. Frankly, where Im from that word NEVER surprises me. Infact, Mr. Pitts Im glad Richards used it because it lets me know in no uncertain terms where he stands. He's a racist. Which is more than I can say for the majority of white folks that I come across who keep they're true feelings to themselves. I again felt disdain for our black "leaders" who oncce again used this incident as a platform to give themselves more press. As if the Richards incident was so earth-shattering that only NOW do we need to make sweeping changes and call for a nationwide boycott of the "N" word. PLEASE! What made it even worse, and what you were guilty of in your column, was using hiphop once again as the scapegoat for all that ills the black community. Using our demographic to explain away "our" problems. What were the first words Jesse Jackson uttered at the end of his press conference? "We're going to go talk to the "Rappers"". What did you say in your column? "20 years after hiphop made the word unavioidable" or "where was the outrage when black rappers began putting the words in the minds of black children?"

What's outrageous Mr Pitts is that you could put the historical use of the "N" word on the backs of rappers as if we somehow invented the word. As if we invented the "B" and all the other profane words that you say we LOVE to spew. It reckless and irresponsible to put the blame for the commercialization of that word on the backs of rappers and a genre of music that was formed well after that word was introduced into popular culture. Im sure you and others of your ilk will arbitrarily find a way to somehow blame rappers for crime, drugs, or maybe even soaring gas prices!

Fact is, rappers are no more to blame for that word that white people are for the introduction of mayonaise, or latinos riding 8 deep in a compact. To suggest that one has ANYTHING to do with the other is crazy! SEX, VIOLENCE, DRUGS, CRIME, and yes... the "N" word was here long before rappers began using it in their music. Todays rappers a those young kids who heard the word used in their households, in their schools, outside their churches, and by thier peers growing up. If they use the word it is because society embedded it in their psyche NOT rap music. Sorry. What you and those who criticize fail to realize is that our music is cause and effect. A response to the conditions that we came up in.

Were there any columns written in the late 70's (before Hiphop became the juggernaut it is today) when Moses Gunn used the word speaking to Sherman Hemsley on an epsiode of the Jeffersons? That was a massibvely popular hit with white AND black audiences and ceratainly had millions of folks watching when Gunn shouted "Whats wrong with you niggaaaa??" Don't thingk there was any outrage then. That wa TV! BEFORE HIPHOP WAS BIRTHED. Or how about the Raj character on Whats Happening. Another 70's sitcom. also popular and long-running. Remember when he said "Nigga please!" in aepisode speaking to Rerun? PRE-HIPHOP. But im sure you'll gather some excuse and say its not the same. Fact is. Hipho- is NOT the blame and its folks of your generation that find it easy to blame all of our generation's ills on those "damn rappers" Its just wrong. The blame simply lies with the parents (and I am one).

Richards was simply a white man saying wha alot of white men think. He got caught. Nothing groundbreaking about that. Paul Mooney's epiphany is nothing more to me and my demographic than an effort to jumpstart a stalling career because the Chapelle Show is no longer on. If Richards rant was so life-changing for him, he could have done nothing more than walk out of his front door if he wanted to hear something to motivate him to stop using the "N'" word.

Rappers didnt put the word in the mouths of black children...YOUR generation did along with society itself. Don't get mad now that its come back to bite you on your ass!

STOP GIVING POWER TO MERE WORDS!!!! WE THE HIPHOP NATION ARE TIRED OF YOU BLAMING US FOR SOCIETY'S ILLS!!!!

Previous Comments

ID
108771
Comment

SORRY, but this column pushed me over the edge. I was really trying not to rehash the Micheal Richards incident but another black columnist (who of course is OLDER) has pointed the finger for ALLLLLL this at us!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-06T13:14:11-06:00
ID
108772
Comment

I think it's time Kaze gets his own JFP blog. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-06T13:15:50-06:00
ID
108773
Comment

I love the line about the introduction of mayo.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-06T13:19:15-06:00
ID
108774
Comment

We invented mayo? Now I know who to blame. :) Kaze, you rock. Donna: I agree. He needs a blog. He has some awesome things to say that need to be heard!

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-12-06T13:25:20-06:00
ID
108775
Comment

I offered him one. Waiting for a response. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-06T13:26:52-06:00
ID
108776
Comment

Dont know if I can get riled up like this EVERYDAY Donna LOL...Afraid somedays may be a little boring :-) But hey...if ya didnt need something everyday...SURE I'd love to. If the folks would read what I have to say. Just fill me in on what I need to do. But THIS is something that really ticked me off. And no artist anywhere EVER gets a chance to rebut. We just constantly get bombarded with criticism!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-06T13:31:07-06:00
ID
108777
Comment

No, I only ask my JackBloggers to commit to one new original entry a week. You can do more, and you can comment as often, or as little, as you want. Let's e-mail about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-06T13:34:31-06:00
ID
108778
Comment

Donna I second that motion.....Kamikaze definetely deserves a blog.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-06T14:14:36-06:00
ID
108779
Comment

Are you talking about Leonard Pitts? Can you say with a straight face that Rappers haven't contributed in any way to re-popularizing, urging, or making fashionable and acceptable the N-word? I know Paul Mooney is a hypocrite and lunatic although he's often funny as hell like many of the people he wrote and writes for - Richard Pryor, Chapelle, and I believe Arsenio, and many more. I'm still waiting on my grandson to finally use it so I can pop him upside the head and explain it's former use. I'll be gone shortly for the rest of the week, but can you really say that anyone has done more in recent years to push the N-word than rappers? Rappers can still tell stories about brothers without using that word. If rappers and so many blacks are going to use it why can't Kramer and everyone else use it too? I agree Kramer didn't use it in a nice way. I'm not a hater of rap and hip-hop but I know y'all can't intelligently defend the use of that word. And I suspect that is the double truth, Ruth.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-06T14:15:48-06:00
ID
108780
Comment

It's happening! Give us a minute. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-06T14:16:05-06:00
ID
108781
Comment

I'm with Ray on this one. I just read that column, and I think Kamikaze may be over reacting a bit. Pitts didn't blame hip hop or rap for "all of societies ills." He merely pointed out that the "n word" is in highest circulation among certain african american entertainers, and that he's been wishing for a long time that they would stop. Because the word has a hate filled past. As Ray asks, can you really say that many rap and hip hop artists do NOT use the n-word, and that that use keeps it "in circulation."? And, as someone over 40, quit trying to make this about "young" vs. "old".

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-06T16:20:56-06:00
ID
108782
Comment

I'm also with Ray and Kate on this one. The n-word should have long been removed from the American vocabulary, white and black, and it's continued use in the hip-hop community is the reason the laserbeam of criticism keeps being focused there. I'm not suggesting that hip-hop is the cause or root of the problem, but I think the continued overuse of a word whose sole purpose was to demean and dehumanize black people, particularly by black entertainers who many kids look up to as role models, is something that shouldn't be tolerated in America and it is time for black "leaders" to take a more active stand against its use in music, literature, and everyday conversation. Would such a campaign work? Maybe not. But at least it would show all of America once and for all that it is not a word that we should condone.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-12-06T17:00:07-06:00
ID
108783
Comment

is there a link to the column?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-06T17:03:53-06:00
ID
108784
Comment

Kaze: Watch Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and his comments on the issue.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-06T17:18:21-06:00
ID
108785
Comment

Sorry..been away for a minute. But..Ray and others...I DO admit that that hiphop/rappers are guilty of using the word. Hell, I use it. I just denounce the idea that WE are solely responsible (or mainly responsible) for its commercialization. I refuse to assume that role. The term was not made "popular" in entertainment, the term was made "popular" in everday life in which entertainment reflects. The insinuation that rap made it worse is irresponsible. Again...I humbly say to all of you that hiphop is a reflection of popular culture. It is the manifestation of what these young men and women have experienced in their hoods good and bad. When they've grown up hearing the "N" word and other curse words for that matter with no buffer and no one to tell them better they are conditioned to continue to use that word. How can you expect a rapper who was conditioned as a child to use the "N" word when talking with his peers, when there was no one around to tell him the true meaning of the word and its history, to then create music and somehow NOT use it? Im offeneded that the first place Jesse Jackson said he would reach out to was the "rappers" as if talking to us would end the "N" wod forever. Does anyone here think that eliminating the "N" word from rap lyrics is going to erase the word from the language? Even better do you think no one in America will use it again. If Black folks somehow stopped altogether tomorrow you would STILL hear the word. The excuse that white folks use it and think its ok because they hear us use it is not solid either. Because if they DIDNT hear us use it...guess what...some of them would STILL use it. Period. Again we, use it, again, we do contribute but the root cause, NO. Overuse NO, highest circulation amongst Black entertainers, NO Im sorry. Don't pen that on us. Not defending the use of the word at all. Defending being accused of populariazing it. To me..and I will always maintain this..it is a word, history and connotation aside, I know its history and its meaning but I will NOT let it have power over me.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-06T17:46:38-06:00
ID
108786
Comment

"And, as someone over 40, quit trying to make this about "young" vs. "old"." Sorry Kate. LOL but usually when its someone criticizing hiphop and we get into pants sagging, earrings, risque lyrics, "N" word etc....its usually some old fogey who doesnt understand hiphop and thus goes on stereotypes and propaganda. You all must know I spend half my days fighting those stereotypes trying to get people to take us seriously and NOT look at ALL rappers as ignorant, non-educated thugs. It does at times Kate boil down to a young/old issue unfortunately.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-06T17:55:55-06:00
ID
108787
Comment

I view the word much like most words that have been used in hate. It's allll about intent. The English language is VERY complex and constantly evolving, so it's just not logical to me to want a word banned. I see Ray's point about young people, and I view that as a "respect for elders". I call my girlfriends bitch, slut, whore...all the words used against women all the time but I would NEVER in front of my mother. My students used it in my classroom and it drove me nuts. They were punished for using it there. But hey, I was an English teacher. I never called the French teacher a slut either, but when we when were on a personal level I could. (she was also my friend.) I called a girls momma once for saying one of my students was acting "niggerish" when he was just being a total ass that day. That was the MOST not cool of the times they used it. The intent there was to insult. It's all about intent and situation. I'm not going to blame hip hop for the vernacular it uses, and I do NOT think that Michael Richards in ANY way had been jaded to the use by hip hop artists or anyone for that matter. He obviously had thought those thoughts for a long time, and they came out in a rage. Intent was not, "Hey friend/brother/shout out..."

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-06T18:28:22-06:00
ID
108788
Comment

Something else I've thought about.... I've often heard moms call their KIDS that word. It seems almost as if they are training them to be jaded by it....to not get enraged by it...and while it stings me to hear it said to a child, it makes total sense to take away the power of the word...especially if that person is susceptible to it being used AGAINST him in rage/hate.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-06T18:31:19-06:00
ID
108789
Comment

It's an awful word. But hip hop artists aren't helping matters by using it in rhyme. That Kanye West "Gold Digger" song was one of the most popular hip hop songs to hit mainstream in a while. Not only is the word being used in rap, in that song it's given a nice little beat that sticks in anyone's head who hears it. If you don't want people to sing it or say it, giving it a nice little beat is probably a bad idea. Again, it's an awful word and no one should use it.

Author
someone
Date
2006-12-06T23:01:45-06:00
ID
108790
Comment

Kaze, I'm so glad you've got the world figured out, and have written off anyone over 40. Because, that *really* furthers the discussion. I'm so glad you don't stereotype older people.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-07T08:24:40-06:00
ID
108791
Comment

It's sad that too many parents are using language towards their kids (not just the n-word) that are negatively shaping their self-perception and self-esteem. Calling your kid a ni**a, motherf* or b!tch, how is that promoting a positive self-image for a child? I believe the n-word will never be eliminated from our society as long as there are white people who view blacks as second-class, inferior citizens, and as long as black America continues to view the word as harmless within our own community.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-12-07T09:24:47-06:00
ID
108792
Comment

"I humbly say to all of you that hiphop is a reflection of popular culture. It is the manifestation of what these young men and women have experienced in their hoods good and bad." - Kaze I see what you're saying but have a different perspective. I think music/art/entertainment makes popular culture. You can't tell me black kids in Minnesota were dropping the N-bomb like those in the South, Chicago, Detroit, LA and NYC where the word was used regularly by both whites and blacks as both positive and negative terms... Now, because of globalization and the impact of hip hop and mass media, you can hear Japanese kids saying "What up, my [email protected]#$!" The word isn't part of their culture in any way. It was exported by American rap. They certainly wouldn't be using it in that context if it was learned from a history book or documentary. Rap is responsible for the current manifestation and popularity of the word in both a racist and non-racist vernacular. I say that because it enables racists to use "they use it why can't I?" as a means to justify their usage. While it may reflect what a city, tribe or people are experiencing in a certain point in time, it, more than likely, is not what someone in small-town Iowa is experiencing. With globalization, MTV and the Internet, terminology and experience becomes a light-speed meme with the power to alter vocabulary, dialect, attitudes, demeanor and more with the click of a power button. So, at this point, what happens in LA doesn't stay in LA and the people receiving the output from LA might not grasp the concept, the use or its origins. For that matter, the probably don't care and are simply Jonesin'. In todays market, it is quickly becoming the artist's and the backers of the artists (read: labels, investors, marketing) responsibility to own what they release on the market (just as it is our leader's responsibility to own the mess they create). Art is all about ownership. If you use dark media to relay your message, don't complain when people call you a dark artist. You make it, you own it and you suffer for your art.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-12-07T09:27:24-06:00
ID
108793
Comment

I guess to simplify what I'm saying... You are responsible for your output. As adults, there's little excuse. Own it and have justifiable reasons or explanation for doing what you do (read: an artist's statement). Blaming the use of a word or the continuation of derogatory acts/works on pop/mass culture does not mean it should continue. That's an escuse. If that were the case, slavery would still be around... Better yet, history probably would not have unfolded to this extent on any level. Theoretically, we'd all be in caves if the excuses coming from the hip-hop scene are any indication of humanity's ability to evolve -- especially young people's ability to evolve or shift. Pop culture is dynamic and has potential to continuously evolve -- that's what it's all about. The probability for change is not only predictable, it is demanded. Unfortuntely, the artists and corporations making money are not pushing for change and the struggling artists, more often than not, are biting the ones making money. The snake chases its tail and that chase becomes dogmatic and cyclical. History repeats and becomes bastardized. And, by the way, Kaz, I'm not suggesting you or anyone else must bend to anyone's ideals. I'm simply saying that if it is your output or art, you should be able to provide a concise statement on the work and why it says what it says. Certainly if a painter is expected to produce a statement about his/her work, a musician should be as well. In the art world, that simple statement can make the difference between a classic piece and craptacular porn.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-12-07T10:01:39-06:00
ID
108794
Comment

Kaze: when Black music was motown and funk, you didn't hear its use among people as you do now. In fact, you didn't hear it as much among them until Rap took off. You don't reflect the culture, rappers help CREATE the culture. Turn it off if you don't like it some will say. Time to bear some responsibility. Kids will always have a natural inclination to go for things that are forbidden or disliked by adults.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T10:12:05-06:00
ID
108795
Comment

"You don't reflect the culture, rappers help CREATE the culture." ...SIGH....That simply reinforces my stance...Music has and always will be a reflection of the real world. Artists experiences and emotions put to music whatever that music is. When Marvin Gaye sang "Whats Goin On" he was writing about the Vietnam war that he saw manifest itself on TV everyday. When he created "Lets Get it On" he was speaking to experiences or conversations he had had with women. All of those were direct reactions to his life. The music was organic but the IDEA came from life, from experience...get it? AGAIN we simply report what we've seen, what we've heard, what we've experinced. Rap music did not CREATE the "N" word. What happened is that a lot of rappers heard that word used liberally when they were growing up and it became a part of their vernacular. With no entity around them to explain the infamous history of the word they will keep that word etched in their psyche. When they write raps...of course it will come out. But not Kingfish because we CREATED the word..hell!! We didnt even make it popular!!! We overuse it...probably..but we're faaaaar fromt he blame. The blame starts in evry individual household in America. It starts with educating at an early age about the word. Look at what has happened with Smoking in America. Kids no longer think its cool to smoke. Do some still end up doing it...YES. but they have been bombarded so with info from an early age that now they know the consequences..thus there's a change in young folks mentality toward smoking. Rappers smoke right? and alot. Its in videos. It looks cool. But smoking like the "N" word was a problem looong before rappers took it.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-07T12:07:46-06:00
ID
108796
Comment

"I'm simply saying that if it is your output or art, you should be able to provide a concise statement on the work and why it says what it says. Certainly if a painter is expected to produce a statement about his/her work," ...And thats EXACTLY what I do Knol, as fans of my music and those who have followed my career will attest. I always temper my more commercial work with more conscious offerings. Im still that same enemy to the establishment I just learned how to better infiltrate the system dig? I can stand by and stand up for ANYTHING that Ive ever done as an artist. I have explanations for every lyric and every idea. Whether you can agree or disagree. But some artists don't and thats where the problem comes in.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-07T12:13:18-06:00
ID
108797
Comment

"Kaze, I'm so glad you've got the world figured out, and have written off anyone over 40. Because, that *really* furthers the discussion. I'm so glad you don't stereotype older people." Kate..I truly apologize did I say something offensive because that was defintely not my intention. As those over "40" go..you are at least here trying to understand why we do what we do. It is those in your demographic who simply prefer to just dismiss us as vagrants without opening the lines of communications. THAT'S who I was referring to. And I would never stereotype my elders but you have to admit our elders "stereotype" the hell outta us. So i hope you see my frustration but it was not an "attack" on older people. Again, you are here trying to understand...being open minded...which is more than I can say for some.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-07T12:19:12-06:00
ID
108798
Comment

Music has and always will be a reflection of the real world. I agree with that, Kamikaze. But I suggest that you're selling yourself short if you do not believe that your music, and the way you do it, can in fact affect the culture, and help change it or create a new one, for better or worse. I mean, if the most popular music in America today was glorifying violence against black people, or denigrating your race, I suspect you might call for the musicians, and the record companies, to be more responsible. Of course, they might say: Well, our music is just reflecting all the racism in the country and, besides, it's the only way we can get rich. When we get rich enough, we'll start funding programs to change the culture. I say that, by the way, in complete agreement with Banner's comment on the radio earlier this week that a double standard is lodged toward rappers. I just *loved* his example about putting little girls out on football fields in little more than panties to jump around. What does that have to do with moving the football down the field, he asked. Good question. However, I've never believed that hypocrisy in any way negates the need for each of us take responsibility for our own little postage stamp of the world. If successful rappers (regionally or nationally) are not going to stand up and declare a moratorium of turning women into "ho's" in your music, who is going to? Y'all are leaders, and you have the power to affect your culture in a positive way by showing more respect toward women in general. It is truly sad if y'all think you're so enslaved to certain music that sells (and I used with word intentionally, and with respect) that you cannot reject negative messages in it. You really can't hide completely behind the cultural-reflection argument, and I am someone who understands and believes that popular music reflects the problems in society. But that also means that the people making it and getting successful off it must embrace the messages they're reflecting and then do everything they can to change them. If not, you're just a cog in the wheel.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T12:24:30-06:00
ID
108799
Comment

Besides, the pimp stuff is getting old and started to sound real dated; every industry needs to innovate and stay ahead of the curve, and I say that as someone who runs a business that has to stay cutting edge to survive. You can never rest on your laurels if you want to be a true success. I'd sure love to see southern rappers I know and really like as people lead the next great, compassionate hip-hop movement. It's only right that it come from Mississippi, IMHO. Also, it is sad to send such negative messages about black women (and men) into white America where so many rap records are purchased.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T12:26:22-06:00
ID
108800
Comment

Wasn't hip hop originally born within a multi-cultural environment? Brooklyn? Anyone know a good place to read more about the genre? thank you.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-07T12:38:58-06:00
ID
108801
Comment

Wikipedia may be a good initial start... Wiki-entry on Hip Hop. There are also documentaries galore and plenty of books that can be found on most mega-sites on the web.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-12-07T12:44:46-06:00
ID
108802
Comment

I don't personally care so much if black rappers drop the N-bomb or female rappers use the words "bitch" or "ho," any more than I care if a gay rapper uses anti-gay epithets, because the context is clearly not exclusionary. I get the fact that as a white heterosexual male, there are words that will sound prejudiced coming out of my mouth that might not sound prejudiced coming out of other people's mouths. I get that. It doesn't bother me, and I don't see why it bothers other white heterosexual males. "They do it, why can't I?" is rooted in the blackface disparity, where a white man can "go black" any time he wants but God have mercy on the black man who thinks he can "go white." So thank God that disparity is finally being recognized, and personally, my ethic is that the N-bomb is something that black people can say casually without coming across as racists that white people can't say casually without expecting to coming across as racist, and I think that's exactly the way it should be. Whites do not get to own the entire English vocabulary. There are certain words that we should not use. The N-bomb is one of them. That Leonard Pitts doesn't get this doesn't surprise me. I am losing patience with this whole novel idea of "older black men bash younger black men using the language of 'bootstrap' white conservatism." I read one column a couple of weeks ago from some old black dude about some purported epidemic of black men camping out at stores to buy PS3s. Sorry, but most young black men I know can't afford to blow a night or $600 on a fucking PS3, much less is there any kind of epidemic of that going on. And sorry, Bill Cosby, but if you have to spend 4 to 6 hours every night doing homework, then that means the kid is being homeschooled and has no reason to attend class. Seriously. Want to spend 4 to 6 hours a day doing homework? Go to www.k12.com and drop out of the public school system, because if you have to spend that amount of time being an autodidact, you may as well have your day free to do other things. Now, don't get me started on "pimp." I won't even use the MySpace "pimp your site" stuff because I refuse to have the "pimp" graphics or links on my page. As far as I'm concerned, pimp chic is just as bad as rapist chic--hell, they're basically the same thing, in practice. And that's really the main thing that keeps me away from most mainstream hip-hop. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-07T12:57:20-06:00
ID
108803
Comment

Let me be clear: "drop out" should read "transfer out." I'm not recommending dropping out. Everybody needs a high school diploma to be competitive in the workforce (except me--I went straight to college without one). All I'm saying is that if a kid has enough self discipline to spend 4 to 6 hours every night studying, that kid would do just fine in a distance learning program. And if a kid has to spend 4 to 6 hours every night studying, a distance learning program would probably be a much better choice. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-07T13:09:08-06:00
ID
108804
Comment

thanks, Knol for the wiki link. as for the N-word, I'm at a loss. In someways I feel that is a decision that ought to be made within the black community, rather than the community at large. To me there is power in the idea of "reappropriating" a word so that the word cannot be used anymore to harm you. Yet, does the power play out? Like, when a woman uses the b word...to me it seems that it galvanizes energy of the oppressed yet ultimately maybe doesn't serve the best end.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-07T13:40:35-06:00
ID
108805
Comment

"I am losing patience with this whole novel idea of "older black men bash younger black men using the language of 'bootstrap' white conservatism." " ...I am too TH! Thats basically where my response came from. Not to say that I or any other rappers don't use the "N" word...we do. But we are NOT the end all be all. Not even close. I think that bashing comes from a place of guilt. To a degree it is because THEY failed us and made this generation what it is. We were not born in a vacuum. You want to blame someone for kids listening to rappers more than they do teachers or preachers or parents...blame yourselves!!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-07T16:19:32-06:00
ID
108806
Comment

but what about reclaiming words to take away their power? I know the gay community has done it with some words that were originally used as insults.

Author
casey
Date
2006-12-07T17:08:20-06:00
ID
108807
Comment

So Bill Cosby getting mad over a 70 or so illegitimacy rate among Blacks, the coarsening of the culture, and saying men should work, have respect for their families and the kids they help create is white conservative values? That is a real good one.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T17:42:59-06:00
ID
108808
Comment

and young people griping about how older people gripe about them and how they don't follow certain standards is nothing new. Go read Bill Cosby's Playboy Interview from the 1960's. He was pretty damned edgy in his views back then and hmmm......... sounded somewhat like Kamikaze if you ever get a chance to read it. Go to the CLinton Library. They have a copy of it in the Collection of Playboy Interviews Book.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T17:45:04-06:00
ID
108809
Comment

Uh oh, a white guy just played the-Bill-Cosby-out-of-context card again. Cosby's still pretty edgy in his views, Kingfish—and he is quick to say that he doesn't give a damn white folks think.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T17:51:16-06:00
ID
108810
Comment

Nikki Giovanni can't stand him, and when she spoke at JSU, she was talking about not liking him then said, "Bill! What'd we ever do to you? (pause) 'sides quit buying Jello Pudding Pops?" (but I'll say I do love jello pudding pops and wish they'd come back) Only person Nikki dissed on more was Condi Rice. Third place went to Alice Walker. Growl. Love that fire.

Author
casey
Date
2006-12-07T17:55:04-06:00
ID
108811
Comment

I'm sure he does. Have no doubt whatsoever and never said otherwise. I've actually read his words and his long interviews are a pretty good indicater of how he thinks. How do you know I am white anyway? You've never met me. It is an interview worth reading by the way. That book has some gems in it. The Ali one is pretty damn good as well. Where else can you read G Gordon Liddy, Leary, Ali, Cosby and others in the same book?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T17:55:20-06:00
ID
108812
Comment

How do you know I haven't met you? Let's just say, Kingfish, that like so many, you are listening to the Cosby quotes you want to hear when you say this: So Bill Cosby getting mad over a 70 or so illegitimacy rate among Blacks, the coarsening of the culture, and saying men should work, have respect for their families and the kids they help create is white conservative values? That is a real good one. It is really offensive that you somehow think that you and Coz are the only ones who believe these things. You're not listening, per usual. Here's an interview Cosby did with Tavis after his speech that was twisted out of context: Cosby: It was the white man who got the word from somebody who was there, who called the white man, who put it in the white paper, which is called the Washington Post. And from that, they left out Mr. Cosby saying 50%. They left out the part about fathering, and they certainly left out “We've got to take back the neighborhood and the responsibility--take it back.” Then they added something that I think was incorrect, that the people came out stone-faced, stunned. I don't think they were. And I heard the audience a couple of times saying, “yes,” people applauding. Responsibility? No, a pain. I'm really in pain. And I want it stopped. I want people to get together, and I want people to take their neighborhood back. Hey, man, you know, to be--I've traveled around all the different cities, and to turn on the TV or the news at 5:00, and I read that some child, 12-year-old, shot. Whether it's Dayton, Ohio; Wilberforce, Ohio; Pennsylvania, Mississippi. And for me, it's painful. That's a life gone. And then when they catch the person that did it, that's another life gone. Where are we? Who are we? 50% dropout in school. 60 to 70% of our incarcerated are illiterate. Tavis: Cornel West says that your words come from a place and in a spirit of love. I accept that. There are others, as you well know, who have a different point of view. Some have called, have described what you said a week or so ago as classist, elitist, and rooted in generational warfare.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T18:12:26-06:00
ID
108813
Comment

Cosby: Might be generational warfare if they want war. If they want war which is from the words of my mouth without biting down. I think it's clear that I'm not talking about all people. And I think people who are looking at elitists have the wrong attitude, and they must be talking about themselves. Because I don't deal that way. But I am saying, “Stop it.” I mean, at what point do you stand up, after you've said it very nicely, “And I think this…” There are organizations in the lower economic neighborhood. Parents can take their kids, the kids can go to-- These people work very, very hard. But by the same token, if I'm a schoolteacher, I may have a problem, because 20 hours, what is spoken is not spoken in my classroom. And I'm not--somebody took issue and tried to say that I was excusing white people from what is supposed to be happening with fairness. I'm not. I'm saying, OK, Bill Cosby never said this. He never said a thing, OK? 2 years from now, wanna make a bet on 60%? Wanna make a bet on more deaths in the neighborhood than the police are doing? Let's weigh and measure how many the cops killed and how many our drug dealers killed. Let's weigh and measure the outrage, which is deserved, against the policeman and what happens when the drug dealer shoots a 12-year-old child? Where is it?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T18:12:47-06:00
ID
108814
Comment

Actually those quotes you pasted are what I expect from Cosby. Didn't take anything out of context, just disagreeing a little with what was said above about White Conservative Values. If I took it out of context, then the statement I was referring to did as well. As for what you posted I agree with what he is saying. Taken out of context or have words twisted or played with by a reporter? Imagine that happening.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T18:18:55-06:00
ID
108815
Comment

If I took it out of context, then the statement I was referring to did as well. Why don't you post the statement you're referring as a good little blogger would do? It's sure not clear from this posting of yours: getting mad over a 70 or so illegitimacy rate among Blacks, the coarsening of the culture, and saying men should work, have respect for their families and the kids they help create is white conservative values? For the life of me, I can't find anyone here who has even typed the word "conservative" on this thread other than you, 'Fish. And your statement that someone here, of all places, would even try to argue that getting mad over issues like work and respect are "white, conservative values." What the hell you talkin' about, Willis? Methinks you just committed a logical fallacy called Rewriting Someone's Words So You Can Attack Them With a Half-Baked Bill Cosby Reference.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T18:25:06-06:00
ID
108816
Comment

Here is what Tom wrote: That Leonard Pitts doesn't get this doesn't surprise me. I am losing patience with this whole novel idea of "older black men bash younger black men using the language of 'bootstrap' white conservatism." I read one column a couple of weeks ago from some old black dude about some purported epidemic of black men camping out at stores to buy PS3s. Sorry, but most young black men I know can't afford to blow a night or $600 on a f****** PS3, much less is there any kind of epidemic of that going on. And sorry, Bill Cosby, but if you have to spend 4 to 6 hours every night doing homework, then that means the kid is being homeschooled and has no reason to attend class. Seriously. Want to spend 4 to 6 hours a day doing homework? Go to www.k12.com and drop out of the public school system, because if you have to spend that amount of time being an autodidact, you may as well have your day free to do other things. forgive me. Conservatism he wrote, not conservative. ;-)

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-07T18:33:11-06:00
ID
108817
Comment

the language of 'bootstrap' white conservatism." Ah, so you're equating any and all white conservatism with "bootstrap white conservatism"? And you're translating Tom's comment there into: So Bill Cosby getting mad over a 70 or so illegitimacy rate among Blacks, the coarsening of the culture, and saying men should work, have respect for their families and the kids they help create is white conservative values? That is a real good one. I see. Indeed, that's a "real one." I'm out; Tom can fight off the duck-pecking attacks should he care to.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-07T18:39:23-06:00
ID
108818
Comment

Kingfish writes: So Bill Cosby getting mad over a 70 or so illegitimacy rate among Blacks, What the hell is "illegitimacy"? the coarsening of the culture, Relative to when? and saying men should work, have respect for their families and the kids they help create Okay, seriously, I am a MAJOR opponent of the whole MRA anti-paternity "fraud" movement, so I would just absolutely love it if you could find any post where I argued with the proposition that men should be held responsible for the kids they sire. Go ahead. Find the post. Or apologize for smearing me with some idiotic anti-feminist point of view that I don't actually hold. is white conservative values? What? You lost me after "So Bill Cosby..." Fact: Bill Cosby has every right to be angry. His son was murdered, for God's sake. Fact: Much of what Bill Cosby has said over the past 40 years has been true. Some of it has been pretty stupid. The same can be said of any public figure, no matter how sainted. Fact: There are some older conservative black writers who say almost nothing that doesn't disparage young black men. All I'm saying is that one of the stupid parts was his argument that kids should attend school all day, then go home and study like they're being homeschooled, too. You want to argue with that claim, go ahead. You want to argue with something I never actually said, then go Google around until you find someone who actually did say it and then argue with that person, but don't wank around with me. My position is that public schools shouldn't be treated like daytime penitentiaries for low-income youth. Kids are there to be educated. If you have to spend 4-6 hours every night studying, if you're working harder at home than you are at school, then you're basically homeschooling without the benefit of an organized homeschooling curriculum. I don't think that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. This is one of the reasons why I support expanding the GED Program. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-07T19:12:57-06:00
ID
108819
Comment

As far as I'm concerned, the 'n-word' was ugly when white racists used it in Mississippi years ago and it's ugly now when rappers use it. I don't buy into the 'it's okay for 'us' to use it but not whites' argument at all. Ugly is ugly. And call me an old fogey if you want, but any rap/hip hop I've ever heard has been racist, sexist, and violence-promoting in the name of 'just reflecting conditions as they are' whereas the truth is that the lyrics 'promote' racism, sexism, prostitution, and violence and it's absurd to argue otherwise. Additionally, what Bill Cosby says makes a lot of sense to me and I'm amazed that anyone would argue otherwise. What is there to disagree with in what he said? If you don't get an education in this society, you end up on welfare or in a dead-end job. If you have a kid as a teenager and don't get an education, you end up on welfare or in a dead-end job . There's no mystery about it; it's a clear relationship.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T01:44:30-06:00
ID
108820
Comment

Lucdix, I'd like to know how certain young blacks using the N-word different from current technologically-gifted people appropriating another N word: Nerd. Or for that matter, some gay men using the Q-word to describe themselves. After all, both "nerd" and "queer" were considerd insults not too long ago. Why can't "Ni****" also be a case of African Americans claiming the derogatory label in a spirit of "Yeah, I AM one! So F****** What? Why should I be ashamed to be a Ni****?" (said in the spirit of pride and self-respect). If this rule of thumb is good enough for gays and nerds, then why isn't it good enough for Blacks?

Author
Philip
Date
2006-12-08T04:10:45-06:00
ID
108821
Comment

Well, they're different words, different situations, different histories. Think about these two statements: "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud!" and "Say it loud, I'm a n**** and I'm proud to be one!. Which works better? I don't even like to write the 'n-word' with asterisks because it's a racist, derogatory, insulting word. It's not reclaimable - in my view - and I don't think anyone else, black or white, except a small segment of the rap/hip hop community buys it either. Neither does Bill Cosby, neither did Delores Tucker, q.v., [quote] Tucker made civil rights strides during the sixties and seventies, becoming the first black woman to be named vice chair of the state Democratic Party and the first woman vice president of the Pennsylvania NAACP. In 1965 she was the woman to the immediate right of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as they led a civil rights march in Selma, Alabama... In 1993, she incurred the wrath of free speech enthusiasts when she began a public protest of gangsta rap lyrics. She even picketed the NAACP in 1994 – despite being a member of the board of trustees – when it nominated Tupac Shakur for one of its Image Awards. [/quote] In addition to which, it's absurd to equate skin color with anything --- that's the definition of racism. There's not a reason in the world why a black person or a white person or anyone of any color has to buy into a certain culture just because a number of others with the same skin color do. It's also idiotic to maintain that words have no power or that entertainers have no influence. If the n-word had no power, rappers wouldn't use it. No one is blaming the hip hop community for all of the problems some segments of the black community face, but they're certainly contributing, and it's disingenuous to maintain otherwise. It starts with trying to redefine a word which will never have a positive meaning, continues with putting down women - calling them b*s or w*s, glorifying violence, glorifying drugs, glorifying crime - nothing which contributes to a positive self image or positive efforts to change lives. It's *all* about certain words and there any number of words these rappers could choose besides, just to take an example, m***f***r. And you're defending them on what grounds?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T05:39:08-06:00
ID
108822
Comment

Well said, Philip. I'd also like to point out that, in a vacuum, there would be nothing wrong with anybody using the N-word. Absent its history, it's just a charmingly folksy mispronunciation of "Negro"--nothing intrinsically ugly, or even derogatory, about it. Rolls right off the tongue. In another half-millennium or so, it might be part of everybody's vernacular, with no racial connotations. One can imagine Asuka Steinman-Jones, the 12.5% Euro, 25% black, 37.5% Asian, and 25% Jewish candidate for the 2408 presidential nomination, innocently greeting her VP nominee Krishna Rodriguez with a hearty "What's happening, my n___a!" But then there's the history, the very ugly history of whites grabbing that word and beating blacks over the head with it. I don't want to be part of that, I don't want to do anything to hurt people of color whom I love and respect, and I don't want to be mistaken for the kind of white bastard who would insensitively use that word, knowing the damage it can do. That's why I don't say it. If I were black, maybe I would. I've been known to use plenty of ugly words from time to time. The fact that folks consider the N-bomb an ugly word isn't the reason I don't use it. The fact that--coming from my big fat pink mouth--it's a hurtful word, an exclusionary word, a racist word, a prejudicial word, is why I don't use it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T05:49:55-06:00
ID
108823
Comment

lucdix writes: In addition to which, it's absurd to equate skin color with anything --- that's the definition of racism. No, the definition of racism is thinking and behaving in a way that benefits people of a certain "race" over people of another "race." Some of the nastiest racism our state has experienced over the past century has been committed in the name of "neutrality"--the so-called literacy tests that defined Jim Crow, for example, would have still been racist even if they were enforced in a completely race-neutral way (and we all know they weren't, but that's beside the point). Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T05:55:51-06:00
ID
108824
Comment

By the way, here's hoping that by 2408 we've finally ditched that scientifically worthless piece of crap we call "race." There is no such thing as a "race"; regional genetic variation within "races" far exceed genetic variations between "races." I use the word "race" because it's still part of our culture, but I use it to refer to a social construct with absolutely no legitimate basis in science. To put it another way: When I say "black," I'm talking about how society arbitrarily identifies a very genetically diverse group of people as part of a tidy category based on piss-poor 19th-century anthropology. I am not talking about a biological black "race." There is no such thing. We are all homo sapiens sapiens, with DNA that is essentially indistinguishable. So when we talk about "neutrality," what we're really talking about, nice as the idea sounds, is ignoring the way that these social constructed categories affect--harm, hurt, include, exclude, pay, rob, heal, murder--the human beings they so awkwardly force into these arbitrary groups. We are not, I hope, operating on a wink-wink-nudge-nudge belief that there really are biologically distinct races and that the facade of neutrality must be maintained at all cost in order to keep overt pseudoscientific racism at bay. I don't think anybody on this forum is that regressive. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T06:09:14-06:00
ID
108825
Comment

Regarding: Queer vs Nerd vs N-bomb Queer and nerd have never been part of institutionalized hatred, discrimination, slavery, segregation, lynching, etc. They may have been used as insults, in attacks, etc but they never had the same power and embraced by a society as a whole. Fag and dyke may be a better comparison but those are still new words compared to the historic N-bomb. They aren't used as frequently in the general population as the N-word is today and was in the past. Even today, fag is rarely a term of empowerment when used by a gay man or woman. It often is said with loathing, insult or sarcasm. It's hardly a term of endearment. Dyke, well, that's it's own word that many lesbians take as insult or use as insult. A few feel empowered by the word but they're generally fringe types (read: Dykes on Bikes) or "power-dykes" with strong personalities and wills. The term even has a "strong" sound when articulated compared to fag or the N-bomb. So, the only way to really get to the bottom is to question why other races don't attempt to empower themselves with racist terms that have been used against them. Why don't Latinos and Mexicans embrace the word "spic"? Why don't Asians use "gook" or "chink"? The list goes on... If ownership of hateful words empowers, why aren't other minorities that have been oppressed and/or loathed by the majority owning these words? I suspect it's because no matter how hard you try to own it, you simply can't erase its dark history or its rooted meaning. It still has the power to belittle regardless of the context. Even a mother can lovingly call her child an "unwanted pregnancy", an "oops" or a "cute little sh!t"... Still, it's probably not very healthy for the child or their relationship. While I agree on some level that the current use of the N-bomb has defused some of the negativity associated with the word (or maybe desensitized), it is a word I do not believe can be fully owned by the black community regardless of the context in which it is used. I say this because racists and those seeking to verbally assault a black person know the vitriolic nature of the word... As do all blacks I know. In other words, no matter how desensitized we become to the word, it will still hold its racist and hateful power.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-12-08T09:36:42-06:00
ID
108826
Comment

I agree with luc on this one. There's ugly words that are ugly, no matter who's using them. Language is a gift, and should be used with an appreciation of its scope, subtlety and power. Using hate filled, ugly words, should be done sparingly, if at all, and with a full awareness of what one is doing. It seems to me that Michael Richards meltdown and the reaction to it is proof enough that this word has not been reclaimed, and I personally don't think it should be. To me, its analogous to certain people "reclaiming" the confederate flag. Kaze, you wrote: It is those in your demographic who simply prefer to just dismiss us as vagrants without opening the lines of communications. THAT'S who I was referring to. To which I respond, "it is those in your demographic who simply prefer just to dismiss me as a slut and a whore without opening the lines of communciations." Or, "It is those in your demographic who simply prefer just to dismiss me as 'old' without opening the lines of communications." For someone who gets upset when *any* aspect of hip hop or rap is criticized, you're awfully quick to leap from individual to stereoptype, and dismiss whole groups of people with a very broad stroke. Pitts did not "blame all of societys ills" on rap, as your headline suggests, nor is he criticizing you because he's "old."

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T10:40:52-06:00
ID
108827
Comment

One of my favorite rappers, ever, is Eminem. He, to my knowledge, has never used the "n" word in his lyrics. But, then of course, he isn't black.... so maybe he can't say it. Question: If I'm singing along to a rap song, that uses that word, and I say it within the context of the song, is that... ok?

Author
LawClerk
Date
2006-12-08T11:02:09-06:00
ID
108828
Comment

Kate, your example of Michael Richards is a great example of how this word has not been reclaimed and how the word itself still grossly repulses and angers people.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-12-08T11:04:19-06:00
ID
108829
Comment

ok...now once again Kate you are attacking me for generalizing when it sis clear that I stated earlier that I acknowledge YOU being here trying to have a dialogue...unlike some others. Yes! I will forever defend my profession because with all its faults I still maintain we only speak on what we see. I don't understand how one cant see that IMO. ..If these kids grew up around scholars who taught them proper english and they lived in pristene meadows where dandelions grew and no one did drugs and everyone eats from a bounty of plentiful food everyday. Where crack didnt exist and every child ate and was adequately clothed everyday. a place where they learned the origins and meanings of the "N" word or the "b" word and had a figure or mentor who guided them the we would...not...be..having...this...discussion now PERIOD. You are asking these men and women to do something that is extremely difficult to do considering their environments and circumstances. It's simply easy for you or anyone to say it when you dont live it. Sure, there are many who have eclipsed those beginnings and gone on to do great things. It is not impossible. But more often than not...these kids are drowned in it. So I ask you, you expect a kid from the hood, who has never been taught better, who doesnt have even a frame of reference for anything better. Hasnt been schooled on the hate that the "N" word and the "B" word can create but has heard it constantly growing up. Who decides that perhaps his lyrics can get him out of that state, to be able to rap without using those words? You're not being realistic.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:13:04-06:00
ID
108830
Comment

Kamikaze, you're sending me into a land of hyperbole, in an attempt to make a point. Are you telling me that every rapper and comedian who uses ugly words comes from poverty, and has had no chance to learn the history of those words? Has had no opportunity to assess their creation in the light of present day culture along with history? I don't know much about rap, but I do know that not all of these guys grew up in such circumstances that they are entirely ignorant of the meaning of the words they use. These people are using words and music to create and express. Is it too much to ask that they use that power responsibly? I reject the notion that every rapper, or even most rappers, use the N-word without knowing it's history and association. And, Kamikaze, I'm aware that I seem to be some sort of "exception' to the notion that "old people" aren't worth listening to. What I'm trying to point out to you is that when you complain about "old people" as a group, you are stereotyping, in a huge way, which is one of the things that angers you when it happens to you.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T11:20:57-06:00
ID
108831
Comment

kate I will defend hiphop to the hilt..Why? Because it gets attacked unjustly too often...And that is primarily because society loves to point the finger instead of placing blame where it solely belongs. In each and every individual home in America! WE get bullied because most feel there are not enough articulate, intelligent, well-spoken brothers and sisters to adequately defend what we do so we are easy targets. I have foud Kate that young people are MUCH more open and much less likely to generalize that those of your generation. Some of these rappers are simply products of their environment. the results of households, parents, teachers, preachers,...a society at large that FAILED THEM. You act as if these people just arbitrarily get up everyday and choose to use those words, or choose to rap about drugs, or choose to even sell drugs in their communites it is a result of a cause kate.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:21:52-06:00
ID
108832
Comment

I don't use the word, and I've been known to front anyone and everyone (from family to people of color) for using the word, yet I understand the need to reclaim it. This is not an argument for whites, though, we just need to stay out of it. Somebody wants to argue about the use of honky, even though it's offensiveness is questionable, we can talk. Just using that for an example. Meantime, here's another interesting article on the subject if the online censor will let me post it: http://www.blackagendareport.com/007/007d_man_yr_nigga_problem.php "it's your *n* problem, not hip-hop's" Sorry, I can't remember how to do links in here.... That said, I love Leonard Pitts and can see both sides of this argument (being on the outside looking in).

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-12-08T11:24:14-06:00
ID
108833
Comment

Kamikaze, I'm not saying that rappers don't need to rap about drugs, about violence, etc. What I object to is your notion that rappers use the N word because they are too poor to know its history. And, I personally would like the whole world to quit using the N word for a decade or so, because I think it's hate-laden and is not presently a word that is 'recoverable.' Also, hip hop does attacked unjustly. But, from what I've seen, that genre leaves itself wide open to just attacks as well. We've been down this road before. Hell, society goes down this road about every 10 to 20 years from what I can tell. it's not new for the music of the young to be attacked. Get over it. It means you're doing something right. Enjoy and produce your music all you want. Just don't expect me to support your use of the N word. And by you, I mean the collective 'you' that includes any musician, of any race and any genre, who uses what I feel are hate filled lyrics.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T11:27:44-06:00
ID
108834
Comment

Great point kate...and by and large the rappers that exist that did not come from humble beginnings DO NOT use the word! You're right! Ironically, there is a contingent of artists who Ive never heard use the word and for the most part it is those who grew up in a an environment where they learned its meaning. Im talking about the OTHER end of the spectrum. You have some who didnt grow up like that, KNOW the meaning of the word and use it to show a transferrence of power in the word. Because again...if tomorrow all rappers stopped using the word do you think it would no longer be uttered? If all Black folks removed the word from their vocabulary TOMORROW do you think the word will disappear?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:27:52-06:00
ID
108835
Comment

You're both making interesting points. One thing to consider, Kamikaze, is that in your use of generalizations, you are are running the serious risk of making many rappers look like they are incapable of rising above what society has done to them. That kind of message to our young people concerns me mightily. It's one thing to defend *why* disturbing things show up in rap lyrics -- I do that, too -- but then to paint every rapper with such a broad brush, making it sound like they are incapable of not rapping about pimpin' and such seems rather insulting and degrading in its own right. And, for the record, you are closer in age to Kate than you are many of the young people that she is most concerned about. So the "your generation" thing doesn't work here, Kaze. Kamikaze, you are also not listening very closely to Kate's arguments; she's not saying what you think she is saying, but you're so busy being offended by any possible criticism about misogyny in rap that you are kneejerking your response. And in so doing, you yourself is the one who is selling rappers short.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T11:28:56-06:00
ID
108836
Comment

I think it would disappear alot more quickly if all black folks dropped it from their vocabulary. Because, to my knowledge, the *only* socially acceptable use of the term is from the mouth of a black person, either to other black people, or in song lyrics or a comedy routine. I'm not sure what that would mean for Chappelle's "The Nigga Family" sketch...

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T11:31:23-06:00
ID
108837
Comment

Tom and Donna: my point of the post was to ask what the concept of bootstrap white conservative values is as related above. Tom clarified what he meant for me.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-08T11:32:38-06:00
ID
108838
Comment

Kamikaze and I posted at the same time. His last post mitigates some of what I just said. Personally, by the way, I'm not nearly as concerned about "the word" as I am the images of women being marketed as prostitutes.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T11:32:51-06:00
ID
108839
Comment

and Luc...LOL Bill Cosby has degenerated into a senile old man. I love and respect what hes done and i only hope i can one day achieve what he has but...He's like this "eccentric" uncle that I have that just likes to hear himself talk. He sits in a corner and complains about everything. Everybody is wrong. 10 minutes later he's forgotten what he was ranting about and starts all over again. We listen but don't pay THAT much attention. That's where Bill Cosby is now with me. He's gone completely apes--t crazy! He's a maniac outta control and someone needs to give him a show so he can stay busy. LOL

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:34:57-06:00
ID
108840
Comment

Then 'Fish, you should have asked that, rather than make such a goofy statement. When are you going to learn? (Smile) And Kamikaze, you probably could be more convincing if you refrained from such personal insults of Cosby. I suspect you would be a bit offended if one of the white bloggers here called him "apesh!t crazy." I suggest you can argue his specific points without stooping to such depths.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T11:37:49-06:00
ID
108841
Comment

...And my question still remains... ..."if tomorrow all rappers stopped using the word do you think it would no longer be uttered? If all Black folks removed the word from their vocabulary TOMORROW do you think the word will disappear?"

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:39:21-06:00
ID
108842
Comment

Donna, the women being marketed thing gets my goat as well. But, I was trying to stay on topic. Kamikaze says he'll defend hip hop to the hilt, because it gets "unjustly attacked." I'll defend women to the hilt, because they get "unjustly attacked".

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T11:39:58-06:00
ID
108843
Comment

I'll defend women to the hilt, because they get "unjustly attacked". -Kate amen to that, Kate.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-08T11:42:46-06:00
ID
108844
Comment

"I suspect you would be a bit offended if one of the white bloggers here called him "apesh!t crazy."" ...Not at all Donna. That would be like saying I would automatically defend a "black" person against the criticisms of a "white" person...Cmon now Im actually not sure how to take that one. But... That's my opinion of Cosby as it stands today. If he decides to stop the finger pointing and listen for 5 minutes then we can get somewhere. I even wrote a column on this a whiiiiilllllle back. ... I call it like I see it. But I apologize.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:44:38-06:00
ID
108845
Comment

Kate and I have similar mindsets on this and many other things, which is why I like her. I'm beginning to think my frat brother is full of shat in his argument. Lots of words and very little real substance. Smile. No offense. Law Clerk I believe Em and Nem has used the n word many times. He's probably a white boy who all the rappers will give a pass because he's proven he's a real rapper and equal opportunity abuser. After all he is what he say he is, if he weren't, why would he say he is. I like him because he's a rebel, very creative and anti-establishment, but I also think he's near crazy.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T11:44:53-06:00
ID
108846
Comment

Not know what the word means? How can you grow up in Mississippi and not know what the word means? If you do know what the word means (and I'm sure you do) and know that young kids don't know what the word means, how can you use it in good conscience? It's never going to mean anything other than it does nor will the misogynistic words in rap lyrics mean anything other than they do. They're used intentionally and they put people down.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T11:48:32-06:00
ID
108847
Comment

Kamikaze, I'm not a moron. Words don't disappear from usage overnight.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T11:49:44-06:00
ID
108848
Comment

Actually, that's not what I was saying at all, Kamikaze. The issue isn't whether you should agree with Cosby—I do, and I don't, for instance—it's whether calling him "apesh!t crazy" hurts your credibility in these debates. Yes, Eminem does use the N-word, and has been offensive in many other ways. I still like him in some ways. Rap is a curious animal. I really don't think the argument should be about offensiveness—I think the bigger question is ask is where the line is between reflecting the culture and causing it further harm by propagating stereotypes and harmful beliefs (especially in young people about themselves). The reflection argument, without actual further reflection, is simply too simplistic and borders on irresponsible. This really comes down to choices—and rappers need to think seriously about the effects of their choices, just like the rest of us do. They don't get a pass, just as they are not responsible for all of society's ills.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T11:52:47-06:00
ID
108849
Comment

"Lots of words and very little real substance. Smile." ..What more substance could you possibly be looking for? Think Ive made my point clear...and actually we all will have to agree to disagree on this one. These hiphop discussions are fantastic but I doubt Ive ever really changed anyone's mind. But the discussion is good. ...My words may not hold weight for you but on my end all I ever hear is... hiphop is bad. the language is bad. They should just up and stop using the "N" word. and they should up and just stop using the "B"word. It has to be THAT easy right?...The rappers are misogynistic. Theyre violent. they are ignorant. They are thugs. Why don't they stop using this..and why dont they stop saying that..They can stop if they want to. or they do it for the money or even the far-reaching..its not real music(not used often anymore) ..But never any real solutions or real understanding for what some of them experience...

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T11:53:25-06:00
ID
108850
Comment

"Words don't disappear from usage overnight " ..Of course not..but my problem is..and will be..that the FIRST place you look is with the "rappers". That's it! thats the basis of my disgust! If we know that the word wont dispppear overnight it sure as hell wont disppear any quicker if the majority of the rappers who use it quit cold turkey. The problem is deeper than that. In fact..;.If all rappers AND balck folks in general stopped using the word as a rule, the word won't disappear...Kate...the word will NEVER disappear...thats my point. Its use is not exclusive to Black folks...thats why.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:00:01-06:00
ID
108851
Comment

To put people down? "What's up my n-word?" is a put down? And, we all know that words dont really mean anything in rap until real rappers like K-Fed use them in their artwork.

Author
colby
Date
2006-12-08T12:03:30-06:00
ID
108852
Comment

Why are we agreeing to disagree when we actually agree on much of this? What I'm challenging you to do is not to blanketly defend all rap content, and negate the potential effects of rappers' decisions, as you do not wish me and others to blanketly condemn all rap and tough rap lyrics. And, no, that's none all you ever hear, and you know it. Not here on this site, not in the popular culture, not even from all white people. You are being hyperbolic, and it's not helping your case. You're in the position to lead an important discussion on this topic, but if all you're after is to get people to lay down all arms against anything said in rap lyrics, and put aside their/our concerns about the potential negative effects on our culture, you're not going to lead that discussion. That's just defensiveness. I understand the money question; however, if y'all never think it can be different, and that less offensive rap lyrics will ever "sell," then they surely won't. Had the Freedom Riders believed that buses would never have been integrated, they never would have been. Consider this a challenge for you to lead on this one. That doesn't mean censoring all sensitive rap lyrics, but it does mean getting out in front and trying to influence the marketplace in every way you can. And you won't do that with blanket, defensive attacks on people who criticize rap lyrics.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T12:04:27-06:00
ID
108853
Comment

Kaze, I don't know how you can disagree with what Donna just said in the 10:52 am post. Kaze, we black folks have always been in trouble in this country. We have to fight to overcome odds, estrangement, stereotypes, hatred, racism, and being unwanted by so many, not limited to whites either. We can't afford to suffer from too much self-induced malady or harm. No one can really save us but us. Everybody is so busy trying to save themselves. The N-word can't be defended and rap is growing to a point where it can't be defended without some responsibility and modifications. Change (nickels, dimes, guarters, half-dollars, whole dollars, et al) is what's driving this machine, not a reflection of culture, any elucidation/illumination, or revelation. We're not blind without rappers. And the seeker/pursuers of this change don't give a damn who they hurt trying to get it. And that's the truth. Some rappers have become like Master - the end justifes the means. No matter how much Master said he meant no harm and liked/loved us. We knew Massa was full of shat because we saw the products and fruits to prove otherwise.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T12:20:15-06:00
ID
108854
Comment

Donna, honestly...It amounts to a freedom of speech issue for me. Im in tune with that even moreso after my run-in at Millsaps and the subsequent debate that stemmed from it. I will forever defend rappers right to say whatever they wish to say, however they wish to say it because its their right! whether I agree with it or not..thats not the issue. ..I don't agree with everything I hear in hiphop. I dont even like everything I hear in hiphop and I have strong opinions on those. I think some of it is just plain stupid and the "cocaine" rap genre has gone too far. There are some things being said that I would NEVER on my angriest day say..however, thats me. I can't condemn or chastize another of my peers because that is what THEY choose to do. But..what ive learned in networking with these folks and going to places where they came up and meeting the people that theyve met and experiencing what they've experienced i have a much better understanding of that content. That's an understanding that you can ONLY get by being there and coming up in it. And for the most part those who attack it do so from a safe place. Those who did live it and still attack it are not being fair to those who may not have been so lucky. ...My point is...until we change some of the conditions that these folks came up in then the rappers who speak it will always be popular. and quite honestly they are going to do what the consumer wants. When the majority of rap consumers say We no longer want to hear THOSE type songs or THOSE words in our music give us more...the will continue to get wha they get. And again i may not be doing it but I will forever defend their right to say what they want.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:20:43-06:00
ID
108855
Comment

Is "What's up my n-word?" a put down? You bet. You're calling someone one of the vilest, most racist words in the English language, whether you mean it 'affectionately' or not. What's wrong with saying, "What's up, my man?" "What's up, bro?" "What's up, friend?" It's even worse when you add the possessive "my". Think about the context in which the phrase "my n-word" was used historically by white racists - and not long ago - and I don't just mean slaveowners. "You need that roof fixed, ma'am - I'll get my n**** to do that for you." You don't seem to realize what Mississippi was like not even thirty years ago. Revitalizing/republicizing the word and trying to change its basic meaning/connotation hasn't worked and won't work.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T12:22:49-06:00
ID
108856
Comment

Kaze, that said I will still defend the good things about rap and rappers. I certainly agree there has been much unjustified castigation concerning rap and rappers. Not all of it is unjustified and unwarranted.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T12:28:39-06:00
ID
108857
Comment

What I want to know from Kamikaze is, what kind of recognition would make you feel that hip hop generation is not looked down upon? Do you mean jobs? social recognition? Or just general lack of criticizing and stereotyping? Because to me it seems that the general culture SUPPORTS this hip hop movement by buying the discs and the merch like crazy. But maybe it's a hypocritical support? Like, I'll buy your disc and love your music but look down on you if I see you hanging out in my town?

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-08T12:28:59-06:00
ID
108858
Comment

I will forever defend rappers right to say whatever they wish to say, Me, too. And you're right: That's not the issue. I will also defend private citizens' "right" to speak up against any speech—especially of the commercial nature—that they believe may be harming society. And as you know, only the government can take away your "right" to free speech, and that issue is not on the table here at all. I'll walk to the ends of the earth with you to stop that from happening. ...My point is...until we change some of the conditions that these folks came up in then the rappers who speak it will always be popular. and quite honestly they are going to do what the consumer wants. When the majority of rap consumers say We no longer want to hear THOSE type songs or THOSE words in our music give us more... With due respect, that's excuse-making. Reminds me a bit of the white newspaper editors back in the '50s and '60s who didn't approve of Jim Crow, but who said that it didn't make any sense to try to change it overnight and to just let conditions change as they would. They also were concerned about what sold—in their newspapers and to their advertisers. Rocking the boat harder would have cost them money. One of the most daring white editors of the time, Hazel Brannon Smith, died near broke because she persisted anyway, and even printed the Mississippi Free Press, the anti-Jim Crow paper here in Jackson. (The Jackson Advocate was segregationist then as well.) So, you have choices. Follow the market (which rappers help everyday to create). Use your music to help actually change the conditions. Or, do what most of the white newspaper editors did back then—just rake in the money and wait for the market to change itself. If it ever does. And those questions have nothing to do with defending free speech. I also defend the Klan's *right* to march wearing their hoods and their masks on public property while denigrating black people—but I do everything I can to change the conditions that allow their negatives to grow and harm others. And that includes putting out a newspaper that dares to not follow every easy commercial avenue. I will also continue to challenge rappers who use their talents to denigrate women (and their own race), even as I defend to the end their *right* to free speech and encourage them to make more great hip-hop music that doesn't stoop to the level of human denigration in order to profit.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T12:30:30-06:00
ID
108859
Comment

No Ray the "N" word cant be defended...Not trying to, but the reality is...to me...Its a WORD. Its not going anywhere, even if rappers and black folks as a whole eventually move away from it. IT will still exist and someone somewhere will have a "meltdown" and itll rear its head again. You hit the nail on the head...and that is where the discussion can begin and almost end...When the CONSUMER decides one day(and I do think it will come eventually) that they are tired and no longer entertained by the rap that society hates, the climate will change. It will shift when our dollars shift to other more positive artists. The day that Common comes out and sells 700,000 copies first week and debuts at number 1, the labels will tell those other guys to take a hike and the more negative music will be relegated back to the underground where it came from. But until then....a kid who grows up in the rougher part of town is going to gravitate to the harder edged music. music that sounds like what he hears in his hood. unitl that kid can overcome poverty and empower himself through education he won't know that there is better music out there. or better yet he'll prefer a Common over something else

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:33:09-06:00
ID
108860
Comment

Really, Nobody likes K-fed?

Author
colby
Date
2006-12-08T12:37:35-06:00
ID
108861
Comment

and Donna..funny thing. that kind of overlaps the discussion on casey's blog LOL. something me and skip always quibble over. And Again..I touched on this on the radio program the other day. Im gonna find it and cut and paste cuz I dont want to lose the punch of what I said. uno momento....

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:38:04-06:00
ID
108862
Comment

Here's part of it... ..Why does conviction mean you have to be broke? Is it wrong for anyone to want to be paid for their hard work. Do you love your job enough to do it everday even after hours and get no check? Ask yourself that? We're in the Bush era Queen and you cant fault man or woman for trying to make a dollar. Its what ya need to buy food, clothes, and water. the bare necessities. You're again asking SOMEONE ELSE...not yourself by the way to sacrifice themselves and their financial well-being. Martin should have got paid AND Malcolm deserved to get paid. As I told the caller on the morning show Monday. If anyone's prepared to clothe my kids for me. Buy my groceries and gas or pay my bills and the like then Ill denounce all that is crunk TODAY and bring some of the old "Crooked Lettaz" Kaze back. No prob.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:43:28-06:00
ID
108863
Comment

..Why does conviction mean you have to be broke? Is it wrong for anyone to want to be paid for their hard work. Do you love your job enough to do it everday even after hours and get no check? Yes, if it's meaningful enough. I did that here for about two years, I think, doing everything we could outside of here to make enough to make this thing work so that it would start paying off at some point. We could easily have sold out and started "selling" stories like some other publications do. Or, did an entertainment rag for Northeast Jackson that ignored the rest of the community. The bigger issues, though, is that you're making it sound like the only way you can feed your kids is by performing lyrics potentially harmful to other people's kids. I don't believe you—and I say that with full knowledge that I'm from a culture in which even poor white folks have more opportunities than AFrican Americans traditionally.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T12:48:15-06:00
ID
108864
Comment

Laurel. Hiphop is a billion dollar industry and I can go into a whole 'nother rant about how we as artists STILL dont see our fair share..Thats part of why the MAP coalition was formed. I realize that hiphop will always be looked down upon by some and loved by others. It comes with the territory and my skin is not as thin as it may seem. But when the attacks come form places or folks that truly don't understand whats happenin with some of our young people..and then dont even TRY to understand...that angers me. Yes folks are buying albums and merchandise(not as much these days because of internet..but that too is another blog altogether) but if you look at them (rap albums) across the board most of them are chocked full of the colorful language that you say we spew. Why is that? Obviously somewhere there is a market for it on a commercial level. Sure there's a market for skinhead rock too but you get the idea. Skinhead rock doesnt rake in the dollars rap albums do every week. Its about changing a mindset in our kids. NOw am I prepared to starve to change that climate, probably not. Am I prepared to watch my kids go hungry or unclothed to change it. HELL NO. Am I prepared to go bust my hump making a dollar for someone else because Im trying to make a change with my music? Nope. When those of us (and Im included) can put out our more thought-provoking, conscious, groundbreaking against-the-norm music (which I have) AND get your support the day the album drops AND get radioplay AND still eat off it...We'll do it!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T12:56:25-06:00
ID
108865
Comment

The problem is that you can use that same reasoning - well, I have to pay my bills and this is how I get money to do that - to justify anything - selling heroin, running a concentration camp, carjacking, murder to steal, defrauding pensioners, selling grain alcohol to the homeless - name a crime and someone will say, but I needed the money! If you feel fine using a word which denigrates others who have the same skin color you do, sure, it's your free speech right to do so, but I and many others - including many who have the same skin color you do - will continue to see the word as a vile, racist putdown.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T13:01:05-06:00
ID
108866
Comment

"The bigger issues, though, is that you're making it sound like the only way you can feed your kids is by performing lyrics potentially harmful to other people's kids. I don't believe you—" Donna, Im one of the tame ones as any fan of my music will attest. And Ive always made albums that appealed to different types. I always have those "conscious" songs on my albums. ITs where I come from and what I first started recording. I have all of the elements in my work, violence, drugs, sex, profanity. I don't hide that fact. The worst Ive probably done is tell folks to "bust they heads to the white meat" But... the mass consumers told me they loved that record. ITs been one of if not THE biggest record in the south in the past 3 years. ,,SURE, there's plenty I can do...Ive got a degree and a wealth of experiences and connections if thats what I WANTED to do. But my passion is hiphop. Its what I do its how I live and I love it. ITs provided me a living and given me the opportunity to be my own boss. Run my own business, and make an impact in my community. THIS has been and this is how I feed my young ones. So success in my field becomes mandatory. But actually that speaks to a personal issue. That's what "I" choose to do, others may choose another way. And thats cool.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T13:04:30-06:00
ID
108867
Comment

Luc I dont even wanna tread on THAT issue. Because, you're EXACTLY right. Right or wrong. That IS the explanation most folks have given doing some of those very same things you named. Cant argue with that. So you'll probably give me the old " they should go get a job like everybody else" answer or the " well you didnt have to break the law to do it" answer. Point is 100% of the kids, ex-dope dealers, addicts, and jackers I come in contact with on a daily said...if they had a chance to do something else they would...If they could have gotten a job or were offered jobs they would gladly take them. You're probably one of those who think folks get up and commit crimes just for the hell of it. Nope. theyre either sick (with some sort of drug addiction), cold, hungry, or broke(with no education and no job in sight).

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T13:12:30-06:00
ID
108868
Comment

I literally don't have time to get into this further right now, Kaze, not an excuse - I'm working - might have time later today, but this part of what you just wrote is true: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nope. theyre either sick (with some sort of drug addiction), cold, hungry, or broke(with no education and no job in sight). <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< And why do they have no education so that they have no job? Why are they on drugs? Were they forced to take drugs? In the latter case, don't you think that rap lyrics glorifying cocaine and other drugs just might just have something to do with that? Cold, hungry? Yeah, get an education first then get a job - plenty of people do exactly this all the time, whether they were born with silver spoons in their mouths or not. Education is ****free***** in this country and there are scholarships galore. There's no excuse for not getting an education in the US.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T13:24:04-06:00
ID
108869
Comment

Part of my frustration with this whole thing, is that folks are trying to side step the power of speech, of words, of music. I happened to read, over the weekend, in "The Splendor of Recognition", a chapter on the notion that the power of speech is a divine power, and one that connects us with the divine. And, therefore, speech is sacred and should be used with an awareness of its power. For example, one quote: "...the words we use have an effect - they have their own significant power of meaning and they also have the power we give them through our intent. I always used to think that as soon as I'd given voice to words, they dissolved in the air overhead. This may be true in terms of the sound itslef, but some aspect of the vibration of those words doesn't disappear. It leaves its mark on the environment - and, as we know, what we think matters even more than what we say." ' There's much more to the chapter, on the inherent power of speech. Examples from yogic texts and from the Old Testament that reminds us that speech creates the Universe (let there be light, and there was light, etc). So, my challenge for any artist who deals in words, is that they respect the power that they have. Words matter, music matters. It is a creation, that has an impact on culture, and lives, and lasts much longer than even the artist may believe. So, Kamikaze, if your passion is hip hop, and then I'm assuming part of your passion is for the words. Words help to create reality. They don't "just" "reflect" reality. There's responsibility inherent in being a public, performing artist. Which you can choose to be concsious of, and live into. Or you can sidestep that responsibility. It's a choice. like donna and others, I defend your right to choose, and to create albums that sell. But don't expect me to approve of the use of ugly and demeaning language, in your art or in anyone else's.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T13:24:17-06:00
ID
108870
Comment

Additionally, Kaze, as you know, music is a ubiquitous (found or located everywhere) and universal language. No wonder musicians are loved and emulated the world over. What we say and do matter. Musicians can touch people great writers never could because too few people read what writers say, not to mention agree with.I wish you well. I think it speaks volume that you listen and are trying to reconcile this music and the conditions of the people it effect/affect. I shows you care and are looking for answers.We need more of the ones making big money to care. If rappers can create rap and hip hop I know the creativity is there to find a good substitute for the N-word, B-word, W-word and many more. Anyway, I don't think I have heard anyone, including any rappers, claim these words automatically means money or more money. If they're not helping the artist financially or otherwise why are they needed or used so often?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T13:44:50-06:00
ID
108871
Comment

WOW Luc..you make it sound sooooo easy! The tone of your response lets me know you dont get it. How in the hell is someone on drugs or not priveleged enough to have some of the necessities that we take for granted be able to even listen to music at all? Better what the hell do they care what a "rapper" is aying anyway. They've got more pressing problems. Sure education is free, but as Im sure you've seen it doesnt always work out and those with access to it dont always get. Ever seen the documentary on HBO about the Woman in the Delta? Forget the name of it. Well there was a 12-year old I think...that one didnt have clothes to wear to the school, two her grandmother didnt have the money for supplies, and three she spent most of her time helping her ailing grandmother raise infant grandkids in a trailer. She barely had time of energy to get to school(that she had to walk to by the way). My point is..she had more life pressing issues to deal with. Your assumption that education is here and everyone can easily get to it..they're just not taking advantage....wrong. There are some...and im sure you've seen those too. that went to school for 12 years and STILL couldnt read. They were promoted each year though. who's fault is that? ..And you think drug addicts take drugs because rap songs tell them too? WOW!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T14:01:12-06:00
ID
108872
Comment

Kate..I in no way sidestep that responsibiltiy. To whom much is given..much is expected. I live by that. Consequently, I do all that I do with the young folks of our city. Therefore I go speak. I go mentor. I give of my time and of my talent so that others who are less fortunate can have the same chances. Get the same positive words that I got. There IS power in my words..thats why i go meet with students every week face to face so they can hear them. Let that never be disputed. Im not sidesteppin anything im embracing my responsibility..Im meeting it head on and my actions hopefully prove that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T14:07:20-06:00
ID
108873
Comment

"If they're not helping the artist financially or otherwise why are they needed or used so often?" OMG Ray...you brought it right back to what I said hours ago. They are used because most of these artists GREW UP hearing the word. It became a part of their speech, it became embedded in their vocabulary hence they use it. These folks arent using this word because it makes them more money.. No study would ever prove that. ITs simply ridiculous to think so. They use it because they have been conditioned to do so. But not educated to the history. they know what it means ..yes. but they don't know the history and that could make all the difference. I hope that no one here actually thinks that...Ill use "N" word or "B" word and make more money. Especially when radio versions(which is where you can make your most money) have to be clean to get played

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T14:13:43-06:00
ID
108874
Comment

Okay, Kaze, I can take a break and get to your last post. Yes, in the United States of America, in every single state, it *is* easy. Education is free or amazingly inexpensive in this country - at every level if you want it. You didn't make it through high school? You can go to community college. You can educate yourself on the Internet. How do you afford a computer and Internet access? You save, you don't buy drugs, you work two or three jobs. You can't get a job? That's impossible in the US. If you'd rather sit at home and get welfare, that's another story - and you'll get nowhere. No surprise there. I firmly believe that where there's a will there's a way and I'm not the only one who's proven this to be the case. Literally millions of others have. If there's no will, no, there's no way. Education's the key. If a kid can't read by 12th grade, he or she hasn't been trying. It's up to the individual to learn - that's called taking responsibility for your own life. If you get pregnant and drop out of school (does that happen by accident?), you don't get an education unless you want one. Yes, I saw the documentary about the woman in the Delta. No clothes to wear to school? I didn't see any naked children in the film. She had to walk? So did our ancestors. She had to help her grandmother raise infant kids in the trailer? Well, where did those kids come from? That's what birth control's for. Anyone who brings a child into the world who can't feed or clothe it acts irresponsibly. With few exceptions people create their own problems. An exception would be living your life peacefully when a foreign power decides to invade your land to satisfy someone's ego. I did not say that addicts take drugs because rap songs tell them too. I said that rap songs encourage the taking of drugs. It's still an indivual's responsibility and no one taking drugs has been forced to take them. But I do maintain that rap songs encourage the drug culture and drugs mean death to accomplishment. Plus addicts who want to quit *do* - it's called will power, it's called going cold turkey, it's called doing something with your life - for which that person and that person alone is responsible.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T14:31:27-06:00
ID
108875
Comment

Well..all I can say is...glad you find it to be easy. And thats EASY for you to say. And rap culture moreso promotes the SELLING of drugs..Taking drugs is still frowned upon(cocaine, heroin, meth)..sorrry. Save for marijuana and you can debate whether its a "drug" another time. (I don't smoke it..DID..but havent in years.). thats another issue. I actually could debate you on that point..but I won't because your post pretty much explains itself. Tom is this the "bootstrap conservatism" you were talking about earlier? Think I found some LOL

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T14:40:36-06:00
ID
108876
Comment

More excuses for why all these people are poor isn't going to change a thing. Institutionalized racism? One more excuse. Does it exist? Yes, but not the the degree that someone looking for an excuse to fail maintains it does. There are literally millions of examples of people of color (of all colors) being astonishingly successful in this country, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islanders - and coming from poor beginnings. Glass ceilings for women exist as well - but you find your way past them or you start your own business as Todd and Donna did, and you work intelligently like hell to make it a success; you don't look for excuses to 'prove' that the world's against you. The keys are will, education, hard, intelligent work - and dropping out of school to have babies, committing crimes so that you get sent to jail and have a record, are going to get you exactly nowhere in this society or any other.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T14:43:31-06:00
ID
108877
Comment

Lucdix it's just as arguable or more arguable that Rock Music encourages drug use. I'm yet to see the fallout to Rock that Rap has gotten. Lots of white kids abuse drugs. In fact, I have met very few whites in my life who hasn't used drugs at some point. I won't even mention alcohol as I don't know a single white person who hasn't consumed or abused alcohol. It's also arguable that touring in a band encourages alcohol and drug use. However, I can't totally disagree that Rap encourages smoking the chronic or marijuana. But I doubt Rap is correctly blamed for much of this.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T15:19:35-06:00
ID
108878
Comment

My post is referring to adult whites, not children.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T15:22:14-06:00
ID
108879
Comment

Hey, Ray, Well, as Kaze says above, 'rap culture moreso promotes the SELLING of drugs..Taking drugs is still frowned upon(cocaine, heroin, meth)..' Don't you see that as a basic disconnect? If someone wants to use or abuse drugs, including alcohol, that's his/her decision, but when the drugs get in the way (as they usually do) of making something of your life, they're destructive and all I'm saying in this context is that we are all responsible for our own lives, including *choosing* whether to take drugs or not. If you father or give birth to a child, for instance, but spend your money on drugs instead of providing for that child's education, you're helping the drug dealer and no one else. If you expect the state to fill in the gap and provide the child support that you don't, you're a parasite. In the unlikely event that someone was ever literally forced to take drugs, millions of people have proven that you can kick them, but the *will* has to be there. If rap (which is just a form of *music* - independent of the lyrics) is to be a constructive force in the world, one way this could happen would be to stop glorifying pimps and drug dealers and other criminals. There are many others. As long as it's considered 'cool' to be a pimp or a drug dealer or both because you can buy whatever you want with all that money, that's what kids are going to aspire to do, not get college degrees, learn constructive professions, make real contributions to our society.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T15:35:36-06:00
ID
108880
Comment

I agree Lucdix. And I might add that I know lots of lawyers, doctors, other professionals, and non-professionals who used drugs and was still focused enough to still reach their goals. Somehow they knew they had to work hard and smart or never acchieve. I agree that winners have to overcome whatever is before them and millions do it all the time.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T15:43:08-06:00
ID
108881
Comment

My apology for my errors but since I know I won't ever stop making them I won't apologize in the future.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T15:46:37-06:00
ID
108882
Comment

Ladd, If possible, can you post which song Eminem uses that word in? I've listened to most, if not all of his collection, even his underground bootlegs, and I have yet to hear him in any song say it. Now, if your'e saying he's said it in conversation, you're probably right. I can't imagine a rapper (or pretty much anyone nowadays) not having *ever* said the word. I know some of the black rappers he works with, will say it in his songs, but, I haven't heard Eminem say it. Also, I think it's curious why we take a word, that no one wants to say, and call it the "letter-word". Isn't that basically saying it anyways? If someone says "nword this... or nword that", isn't it the same thing? I agree with Kate's assessment of the "women of rap/hip hop". It's a shame. However, if we were to look at Madonna, Britney, Aguilera, et al., they pretty much do the same stuff. They are just doing it to themselves. I'm out for the weekend, have a great one ladies and gents!

Author
LawClerk
Date
2006-12-08T15:57:19-06:00
ID
108883
Comment

To whom much is given..much is expected. I live by that. I think we all know you do; that's why we're bothering to challenge you to be a leader of a movement to stem the more harmful aspects of rap. One way to do that is by not constantly excusing it, and pretending that there is no way possible that (some) rappers could actually be exacerbating the problems that they are ostensibly rapping about. Consequently, I do all that I do with the young folks of our city. Therefore I go speak. I go mentor. I give of my time and of my talent so that others who are less fortunate can have the same chances. Get the same positive words that I got. There IS power in my words..thats why i go meet with students every week face to face so they can hear them. Do you ever ponder that at least some of the problems that you may be talking to them about are the result of a culture that glorifies violence and disrespect of women that rappers help glorify? I mean, if a young man beats his "ho," is it possible that the music he loves helped convince him that disrespect for women is just par for the course? That said, I think it's great that you do what you do. I just think you're in a position to replace your blanket defensiveness of all-things-rap with some intelligence efforts at education and education of the marketplace. I mean, to paraphrase Medgar et al., if not you, who?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T16:05:01-06:00
ID
108884
Comment

Kate, I just wanted to say how much I agree with your post above about words. It's beautifully written and absolutely true. Among other things, words are how people identify themselves. Let's say you have enormous potential as an electrical engineer and come to this country from a third world country at age 16, knowing little or no English. Let's say someone calls you a 'dumb foreigner' because you're not initially fluent in the language of the country you now live in. Do you consider yourself a 'dumb foreigner'? If you do, you're crippling yourself. If you want to make something of yourself, you overcome the hurdles. This is not a random example. If you google for 'Anousheh Ansari', you'll read about her - born in Iran, a woman who founded a multimillion dollar telecommunications company inTexas - and, needless to say, didn't drop out of school at 16 to have kids she couldn't support. She defined herself from early on as a telecommunications engineer, and that's what she became. I'd say the same logic applies to an African-American US citizen who considers him- or herself to be a n*..... --- and I'm tired of referring to that truly evil word even with asterisks. What's your ambition if that's how you think of yourself because someone calls you that on a daily basis? Words are real. There's no such thing as 'just a word'.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T16:20:01-06:00
ID
108885
Comment

Great column on the next to last page of the A section of the C-L today...Im kicking myself for not reading the paper earlier. Its a response to Jesse Jackson and his call for a ban of the "N' word. If ya get a chance..read it. That writer voices my sentiments exactly. Dunno if i can post it cuz its not from a CL writer or columnist so they may not have it on the site.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T16:43:42-06:00
ID
108886
Comment

"I think we all know you do; that's why we're bothering to challenge you to be a leader of a movement to stem the more harmful aspects of rap." ...Ok and I see your point in that regard but...again..and thats what I continue to stress...to no avail..that once you eliminate or curb the negative aspects of SOCIETY. the negative aspects of everyday life, you will then curb or even wipe out the negative aspects of rap. I don't think Im a leader in a movement to stop anything in rap per se' Im a leader in the movement to stop poverty in our inner city, increase educational opportunities, and financially empowering our young men and women. THAT is what's going to eliminate those aspects in rap music. I choose to deal with the problem at its core. But in the end Donna, Im truly doing all I can. And will continue

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T16:51:27-06:00
ID
108887
Comment

As to Jessie Jackson I saw him at a Richard Pryor concert laughing as hard as anyone there despite Richard's continious use of the N-word over and over again.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T16:59:02-06:00
ID
108888
Comment

.that once you eliminate or curb the negative aspects of SOCIETY. the negative aspects of everyday life, you will then curb or even wipe out the negative aspects of rap. That's like The Clarion-Ledger's dumba$$ meme that you have to stop all the crime BEFORE you can do economic development, which will in turn help decrease crime. Of course, we're never going to do away with all the negative aspects of society—and I don't want anyone to not be able to create based on the problems they see in society. You're missing the point. Which is: that Nelly swiping a credit card through a woman's crack is not some reflection of a big societal problem that helps makes him a multi-millionaire while the rest of us work so hard to alleviate poverty. Yes, it's a reflection of a societal problem—misogyny—and it's one that we all need to speaking out about in order to help shift the marketplace away from rewarding such back-a$$ crap.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:10:10-06:00
ID
108889
Comment

... and a rapper who helps justify the credit-card swipe and then goes and tries to talk to little girls about self-respect is being hypocritical. If anything, Kaze, it seems to be y'all who are trying to stop "free speech" -- i.e. criticism of this kind of garbage under the guise of the reflection of societal problems. You can keep justifying all you want, and many of us of all races are going to keep pointing out the hypocrisy and that taking some actions to help young people is not going to reverse the potential far-reaching negative effects of turning black women into whores in order to make money for yourself. And that's true regardless of how much of it you give away. And, remember, this is coming from a hip-hop fan. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:14:32-06:00
ID
108890
Comment

..I agree..you will NEVER do away completely with the negative aspects of society. Thats why I added "curb". And thus you will never truly do away with the negative aspects of rap...only "curb" them. So I guess thats what we have to work toward. Because to say you can "eliminate" one and not the other is not realistic. And thats coming from a hhiphop fan, hiphop historian, and a hiphop artist

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T17:19:03-06:00
ID
108891
Comment

(Also, understand that I know what you're trying to do, and respect it. Thus, the challenge. It could be that I have more confidence in some of our southern rappers than you do in your ability to stand up and change the marketplace for the better if you decide to. You have the weight of Mississippi and its historical burden on your side; you can make people, young and old, listen if you choose to. That would be an incredible legacy, IMHO.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:20:39-06:00
ID
108892
Comment

..and Im not touching that Nelly thing again.. My mouth is closed on that LOL...

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T17:22:25-06:00
ID
108893
Comment

Now, you're playing a semantics game instead of engaging my point. Allow me to rephrase it slightly: Of course, we're never going to curb all the negative aspects of society—and I don't want anyone to not be able to create based on the problems they see in society. You're missing the point. Which is: that Nelly swiping a credit card through a woman's crack is not some reflection of a big societal problem that helps makes him a multi-millionaire while the rest of us work so hard to alleviate poverty. Yes, it's a reflection of a societal problem—misogyny—and it's one that we all need to speaking out about in order to help shift the marketplace away from rewarding such back-a$$ crap.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:23:21-06:00
ID
108894
Comment

..and Im not touching that Nelly thing again.. My mouth is closed on that LOL... I know. We've been down that road on a different thread, and I don't want to re-do that, either. ;-) However, it's relevant here as well. It's simply impossible to justify all the potential negative effects of rap by saying that it's just reflecting culture. The truth is, in many ways, it's helping create culture. In the same way, the people doing rap can speak out and help create better culture. But it might mean a fewer dollars in the bank in the short run, but isn't it worth it? I certainly don't want to get rich by doing harmful or unethical journalism. Wouldn't. Couldn't.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:27:57-06:00
ID
108895
Comment

..Oh Donna dont get me wrong..I have nothing but the uptmost confidence in my southern colleagues...There are some prepared to fight the good fight. Killer Mike, Banner, Me, even Skip and many others. What I dont have confidence in is the corporate machine and some consumers. Mike and Banner are both at odds with their labels, Skip lacks a bigger voice 'round here because folks here dont support him like they should, and adversly I refuse to have my lights cut off LOL so we all have trials.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T17:28:01-06:00
ID
108896
Comment

..well i defintely havent done any music that Im ashamed of. As I said in casey's thread I can stand behind everything Ive recorded so i dont personally feel like ive done harmful or unethical music. Didnt "sell out" as some old fans have cried LOL

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-08T17:30:43-06:00
ID
108897
Comment

I know it's hard, Kamikaze, but I'm not seeing how the alternative to fighting the problem is go around blanketly defending it—thus helping firm up the marketplace for the harmful stuff. I'm a big believer that doing the right thing will, and can, keep the lights on if you work hard enough at it. And you're nothing if not a hard worker.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:31:45-06:00
ID
108898
Comment

Oh, and I know we're not talking about your lyrics, per se. We're talking about your leadership ability. ;-) And Banner's.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T17:32:36-06:00
ID
108899
Comment

To whoever wrote that there was not a backlash against white folks' music that glorifies taking drugs. Um, where have you been for the past 40 years? People have been complaining and banning albums and slapping warning labels on them for a long time. It's not new, and it's not because of race. Kamikaze, I still say that you are sidestepping the power of your art, if you say that you and your fellow rappers, as artists, can *only* reflect the culture, not change it, or transcend it. If that's true, then I would argue that you/the are NOT artists. Because artists create, they don't just "reflect." Also, there are countless examples of oppressed societies that have used that experience to create positive art. hell, I think if the Jews had waited until the time was right, the Old Testament would never have been written. Either Rappers are Artists, with the power to create and transcend. Or they are just part of this corporate machine that you complain about so much, that's simply out to make money. Entirely victims of those around them. As Donna points out, your *blanket* defense of the entire genre is problematic. I personally believe that there are artists out there, who are truly creating and performing in this genre. However, I also believe many artists (in many musical genres) are hate filled hacks, out to make a buck.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-08T17:53:51-06:00
ID
108900
Comment

Whoever was saying the bashlash against white artists for glorifying drugs isn't comparable to the bashlash rap gets. In fact, it was so mild that didn't think much of it. Whoever was standing, walking, and laying around watching the whole thing.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T18:00:53-06:00
ID
108901
Comment

I meant whoever didn't think much of the backlash against white artists who glorifies drugs. Whoever wouldn't even call it real bashlash. Whoever could be wrong though.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T18:03:25-06:00
ID
108902
Comment

Whoever is out for the week. I love my new blog name. I will soon stop using my real name in deference to the gift from Kate.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-08T18:08:04-06:00
ID
108903
Comment

OMG! U-N-I-T-Y!!! You mean to tell me that I drop off cookies and Chex Mix that I BAKED like a woman in a hot kitchen and no one tells me that the Girls of the JFP have yet another oppotunity to refute mysogyny and issue a call for the real men to stand up! I mean really. If we've gotten the last word on Nelly and the Buttcrack, will someone hook us up with some "We Silenced Kamikaze and All We Got Was This T-Shirt" shirts? Can't wait to catch up on this thread....

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-08T18:40:22-06:00
ID
108904
Comment

A local feminist, someone I completely trust, told me that Banner's own lyrics on the new album get pretty misogynistic. I haven't had a chance to listen to it myself, but here again, she's never steered me wrong before. I'm in a very awkward situation here because on the one hand I completely agree with the point that is being made about the misogyny problem (it's the main reason I don't listen to much hip-hop), and on the other I can't disagree strongly enough with lucdix's argument that it's "easy" to succeed financially in this country, and I'm not comfortable with the fact that Kaze's getting hit from both sides. I am also concerned that certain outspoken whites, who see no difference between an African American using the N-word and a white using the N-word, have not really articulated why they don't, personally, use the word. It isn't a race-neutral word. It has a very specific history: It's a word whites have used against blacks. That's why I don't use it; not because it's an "ugly" word, which does not strike me as a rational way of looking at all this. If it weren't for its history, it'd be a perfectly acceptable word, and when blacks use it in a casual context, it isn't so clearly connected to that history as when a white uses it. What freaks me out most of all is the attitude I've seen by some whites--not in this thread, thank God--that if blacks use the word, whites should be "allowed" to use it, too, in the interest of fairness. Uh, why are whites clamoring to use this word to begin with? Are you saying you would use it if you were "allowed" to? Does its history, as a buzzword of white racism, not bother you? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T19:23:00-06:00
ID
108905
Comment

Uh, yeah, I just read the lyrics to "Play" and "Like a Pimp" (warning: this is some pretty harsh stuff, particularly the latter). As much as I like to see a rapper name-drop Tougaloo, as a feminist, I can't defend these lyrics. They're pretty nasty stuff, particularly the latter. I'd like to call attention, in particular, to this (even ignoring the Lil' Flip sections about how "Bitches ain't shit" and "most girls freaks / And dis is how they gotta / make their money every week," and dealing only with the Banner sections): We some south side pimps And we aint giving a fuck Poke yo gul up in the throat And make her swallow the nut (I won't even parse this. It speaks for itself.) And... And if yo boy trip Imma bust a clip Yall bitches can't fuck wit me (In other words, Banner's character is saying that if the girl has a boyfriend, he'll shoot him. Nice guy.) Bitch don't trip Aint a damn thang changed I still love my queen But bitches keep me to the game (Translation: "My girlfriend had better make regular trips to the Health Department.") I gotta ask: Is this the mouth he kisses his mother with? I'm just saying. This is some nasty shit. Kaze, what am I supposed to take away from this? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T19:32:26-06:00
ID
108906
Comment

I haven't seen "whites" (if I have to break this down) clamoring for the right to use it. If it's bad, don't say it. I don't see other ethnic groups calling each other by their derogatory nicknames.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-12-08T19:32:35-06:00
ID
108907
Comment

I pretty much agree with everything Tom just said. I'm torn, too—especially being friends with and admirers of both Kamikaze and Banner. But I just can't buy the argument that the misogyny sells; therefore, it's OK. I can't, and I won't. Somebody has to be willing to stop the buck in the name of the greater good. As for word "n!gger," only an idiot would argue that it's no different when a black person uses it than when a white person uses it. Does that mean black folks should use it? That's an argument that I will respectfully listen in on, and try to learn from.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-08T19:35:17-06:00
ID
108908
Comment

...and this is not to defend lucdix's posts (which are indeed a perfect example of the "'boostrap' white conservatism" I was talking about). I mean, those points I'd be more than happy to back you up on--and I'm really bummed that you're getting it from both sides. But you know, I do have a feminist commitment here. I have to take this seriously because it's getting pumped out into the culture and I have a hard time believing that doesn't contribute to the crap girls and women have to deal with in this country. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T19:36:46-06:00
ID
108909
Comment

Donna, I agree with every word of that. Well said. And I particularly agree that whites have absolutely no business definitively telling blacks they can or can't use the N-word. That's not their fight. If Jackson, Mooney, and Cosby want to get rid of the word, I say God bless 'em. If other folks want to keep the word, I say God bless 'em. I can understand both points of view, and as a white man, I have no right to dictate whether members of a minority group I don't belong to have the right to try and reclaim an "ugly" word. All I can do is promise not to use it myself. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T19:41:07-06:00
ID
108910
Comment

Hi, Tom, I did not say that it was easy to succeed financially in this country. To review: * I said that one of the most important routes to financial success in the US is education. * I said that education is free in this country and that if you don't get one, you're not trying. * I said that - and I quote: [quote] There are literally millions of examples of people of color (of all colors) being astonishingly successful in this country, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islanders - and coming from poor beginnings [/quote] Nowhere did I say that achieving this success was easy. To the contrary, it takes hard, dedicated, intelligent work such as, to take the closest example, Todd and Donna have put into the Jackson Free Press and that it all depends on will. Part of the will is self image. If as a black US citizen, you (in the generic sense) see yourself as the word I'm now tired of writing, a word in common currency in rap songs, I'd say you will have a harder time than if you have positive messages from the beginning such as you can do it - any field which is open to men is open to women. I just read Kamikaze's post in the thread about misogyny in rap that all women are either sluts, whores, or bitches. (I'm no longer sure what I have to put asterisks around, but Kamikaze's posts had all three of those words capitalized.) If that's the case, I'd say it's news to the women of my family who have worked hard to become nuclear engineers, architects, gardners, lawyers, teachers, librarians, journalists, pharmacists and motorcycle mechanics (ok, there's only one of those). And all of these women put themselves through school. I'm tired of this 'I was born in poverty so I'm never going to get anywhere in life' excuse - and that's what it is. Did you read about Anousheh Ansari? Do you realize that Aaron Spelling started from nothing and became one of Hollywood's most successful producers? This is a country where you *can* succeed if you have the will, a country in which excuses don't cut it. Education is free or inexpensive, libraries are free, resources to learn are everywhere, computers are cheap, Internet access is cheap, jobs are plentiful if you're willing to work.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T19:56:59-06:00
ID
108911
Comment

I don't see anyone here 'dictating' whether blacks can use a word or not, just expressing an opinion on its use and, in my view, whether you consider it idiotic or not, Donna, there's no difference in the essential demeaning nature of the word 'nigger' whether whites say it or blacks say it. But you can't have it both ways. It's racist to talk about skin color and it's racist to generalize about what 'blacks' see as 'their' culture. Rap/hiphop is a cultural movement which in no way is accepted by all blacks. Redneck lyrics are in no way accepted by all whites. And there are white rappers. We're talking about the words in the songs and what they mean as used by both black rappers and white rappers. Are you saying that all 'blacks' think alike, Tom? It's interesting to learn that I'm a 'bootstrap white conservative'. Do I believe that people are responsible for their own lives and shouldn't count on government handouts to lift them up if they're not willing to work to better themselves? Yes, I do. So if that's lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps, I accept the label. But that's not the way it is in the US and hasn't been for a very long time. Schools are open to everyone. You can learn in the US for free, you can visit a public library for free. Do you have to do the work of learning? You sure do, so if your excuse is that no one taught you how to read in my view, it's no excuse at all - it's incumbent upon *you* to learn what you need to get through life unless you want to live on welfare or from dead end laboring jobs all your life.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T20:25:54-06:00
ID
108912
Comment

lucdix writes: I just read Kamikaze's post in the thread about misogyny in rap that all women are either sluts, whores, or bitches. I don't remember seeing a post to this effect, and doubt that's exactly what he said or Donna and I would have raised 20 different kinds of hell. Could you provide a URL and direct citation? Do you realize that Aaron Spelling started from nothing and became one of Hollywood's most successful producers? Do you realize that for every Aaron Spelling, there are untold thousands of people who want to become one of Hollywood's most successful producers and can't pull it off? Some people can do well financially despite the problems in our society. Likewise, some people survive cancer--and some people don't, no matter how hard they fight. This is a country where you *can* succeed if you have the will, ...and if you're fortunate. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T20:30:47-06:00
ID
108913
Comment

lucdix, this is at least the second time you've accused me of saying something that doesn't even resemble what I said. I'm not talking about use in the N-bomb in all hip-hop. I believe that whites really shouldn't use the word, even if they're hip-hop artists, and that it isn't my business to say whether or not blacks should use the word, even if they're not hip-hop artists. Stop misrepresenting my point of view. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T20:35:10-06:00
ID
108914
Comment

Hi, Tom, First off, here's the thread: http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=8675_0_7_0_C February 24, 2006 - 11:54 a.m. As far as being 'fortunate' - as far as I'm concerned, you make your own luck - and yeah, that takes work. Does everyone succeed to the degree Aaron Spelling did? Of course not - but if you don't succeed, you're probably doing something you shouldn't be doing because if you love what you do, you'll succeed at it. My point in Aaron Spelling's case, though, was that he started from extremely humble beginnings and made it through sheer will. Cancer, however, is not an apt metaphor since you can't control the odds as you can with a career - and you *can* seriously affect the odds of success in any field by your own input - by, for instance, that word once again, studying - education. You can't succeed at becoming a lawyer if you don't go to law school - and study. You can't become a successful producer if you don't know what you're doing and think it's all going to be Easy Street. It's not and I've never maintained that it is - but Aaron Spelling didn't use his poor beginnings as an excuse - but that's what I hear time and again coming from people who drop out of school, get pregnant, get themselves addicted to drugs - I can't figure out why you're defending those excuses.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T20:41:45-06:00
ID
108915
Comment

This is what I was responding to, Tom: [quote] And I particularly agree that whites have absolutely no business definitively telling blacks they can or can't use the N-word. That's not their fight. If Jackson, Mooney, and Cosby want to get rid of the word, I say God bless 'em. If other folks want to keep the word, I say God bless 'em. I can understand both points of view, and as a white man, I have no right to dictate whether members of a minority group I don't belong to have the right to try and reclaim an "ugly" word. All I can do is promise not to use it myself. [/quote] I certainly didn't mean to misrepresent it, but don't you, in fact, say that whites have no business telling blacks they can or cannot use the N-word? I'm not saying that - I'm expressing my opinion on its use and, to me, it's as vile as it's ever been, no matter what the context.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T20:46:56-06:00
ID
108916
Comment

lucdix writes: Cancer, however, is not an apt metaphor since you can't control the odds as you can with a career Actually, you technically can affect the odds: By not smoking, by avoiding various substances, by regular medical checkups, and so forth. I think cancer is a perfect metaphor because while many cases might seem preventable on paper, it quite often strikes someone down out of the blue, no matter how hard they fight. Does this mean that we tell people not to study because it won't matter? No, and we shouldn't tell people not to get mammograms or not to get their prostates checked, either. But just as we shouldn't say that these texts will completely remove the possibility of cancer, we shouldn't say that working hard will completely remove the possibility of poverty. Personally, I'd like to live in a country where everybody graduates from college. I think universal free college tuition should be funded, for this reason. And I support the expansion of the GED Program because I'd like to see more high schoolers graduate, and if an extra alternate track will do that, then that's great. But you know what? The reason we're having this conversation is because of the multigenerational effects of institutional racism and class bias. I mean, what else is the difference between "blacks" and "whites"? The alternative is to say that there's something intrinsic--genetic--about being black that is creating a disproportionately high number of people living in poverty. I don't think you believe that, but if the problems creating all this aren't societal, isn't that basically where you're leaving it? I certainly didn't mean to misrepresent it, but don't you, in fact, say that whites have no business telling blacks they can or cannot use the N-word? Yes, and you inexplicably interpreted this to mean that I suggested that all blacks are hip-hop artists or that all whites aren't. First off, here's the thread: I remember that thread well, and what Kaze said there was reprehensible, as I said at the time (though it was not technically what you claimed he said--reread the post carefully). What he did, to his credit, was acknowledge that much of it was reprehensible, and express a willingness to try to do better. In other words, he actually seemed to change his mind--and that takes guts. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T21:04:32-06:00
ID
108917
Comment

Correction, Tom, my mistake. I just looked at the post again. Kaze does not say that *all* women are sluts, whores, or bitches, just those where he comes from. That negative view of women, also expressed in the David Banner lyrics referred to above, makes me wonder why anyone would let him into a school to talk to young girls about self respect.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T21:07:15-06:00
ID
108918
Comment

I said nothing about the problems of poverty being genetic nor do I believe they are, Tom. I say the problems are cultural or societal or however you'd like to phrase it but not genetic, not conencted to race. They are, however, cultural. I personally have seen a black teenager hassle his black girlfriend for studying her school textbooks at a bus stop, accusing her of trying to be 'white'. Contrast this with how well Asian immigrants from Vietnam have done in California schools. Is one group smarter than the other? I doubt it. The difference is cultural, the belief is in education as a route to get ahead in this society and it's the right route. It *is* in fact what will make a difference in a life. I also see no reason why a culture has to be inextricably bound to skin color which is why I object to generalizations about 'black culture' being this or that. That only reinforces stereotypes. Are there cultural differences? Yes, there are, but they need have no connection with ethnicity. Additionally, if you don't want to be treated as a stereotype just because you have a certain ethnicity, don't act so as to reinforce the stereotype - and I mean this statement not limited to any one ethnicity. And certain music provokes certain responses. Mozart produces a very different response than Eminem and salsa or gamelon music another response entirely. Rap music is aggressive and played at full volume. Why?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T21:23:52-06:00
ID
108919
Comment

Quickly re cancer. I know that you can control the odds of getting cancer or not. What I said was that 'you can't control the odds as you can with a career' - in other words, not to the same degree. You can definitely have a major influence of the odds in a career. You can move to a city where you have a chance in the profession, you can study what you need to succeed at the profession, you can read current professional journals, you can take jobs as interns so that you learn the ropes before applying somewhere blind and more. I also see nowhere where I 'inexplicably interpreted [what you said] to mean that [you] suggested that all blacks are hip-hop artists or that all whites aren't.' What specific passage are you referring to where you got that feeling from what I wrote?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-08T21:47:45-06:00
ID
108920
Comment

Those lyrics literally make me cry. The quickest way to make a buck is on the backs of others and that's ALL mysogynistic lyrics are. That has ZERO to do with sex sells...women know sexy and actually enjoy it...those lyrics have EVERYTHING to do with power over another person and essentially making the women another "thing". I'm VERY disappointed with Banner. VERY. Amazing what reading the lyrics in black and white will do. I'm still waiting for that panel discussion on this issue.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-08T22:50:20-06:00
ID
108921
Comment

I agree, Emily, and in a way I really had to think about it before I posted those links because it was brutal to look at. The psychology behind this is so obviously similar to the psychology behind rape. I find it hard to read, hard to stomach. And looking at this again, I have to say that I do not believe that Banner should ever be invited to an event to speak to youth. He is a disgusting panderer of violent, misogynistic filth, and if I had kids, I wouldn't want them within 100 yards of him. I defended the decision to invite him to another event only because I hadn't actually sat down and read his lyrics. Having read them, I completely understand why people don't want him speaking at schools. I don't want him speaking at schools, either. The man's a creep.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-08T23:00:55-06:00
ID
108922
Comment

This whole thing is depressing. I'm nervous about saying too much, because I don't want to lump my comments in with what lucdix is saying, most of which I completely disagree with. But reading Banner's lyrics, then turning around and reading Kaze's stuff in defense of hip-hop as a genre, suddenly I get Leonard Pitts' frustration. I don't agree with the whole of his argument, but I get the point. I can't speak for anyone else, but the way you can make me feel better about hip-hop is to say "Look at this artist, look at that artist, they don't say this stuff, and these other artists' offensive tracks don't get much radio play, and..." But to write in such a way as to imply that most hip-hop artists don't rant like misogynistic idiots, when the artist you're most closely associated with is making his living off it and laughing all the way to the bank, just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And don't give me the "playing a character" business. I buy that for a lot of tracks, but "Play" and "Like a Pimp" are obviously part of the David Banner character, also known as his public image. If that's not who he really is, then he's pandering and being inauthentic. If that is who he really is, the man scares me. (My money, based on what Donna and others have said and based on the interviews I've seen, is on door #1.) In no case is he in a position to express righteous indignation if a school doesn't want him talking to youth. What could his message possibly be worth if the kid can turn around and listen to his album and hear garbage like this? We live in a country where it is very likely that fewer than 10% of rapes are reported, where half or more of men are complicit in some way in violence against women (including sexual assault), where we couldn't even get women's equality written into the fucking Constitution, and David Banner is going around rapping about sexually assaulting women and destroying their lives and the lives of anyone who cares about them. Why the hell does anyone take this man seriously as a positive representative of Mississippi? And why the hell is all of this not seen as complicity in white institutional racism, just as Melton's "damn thug" remark was, since by taking on this "character" Banner is doing a glorified minstrel show--spreading exactly the same negative stereotypes of black men that white racists do? Lord.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T00:02:27-06:00
ID
108923
Comment

/* quote: */ I'm nervous about saying too much, because I don't want to lump my comments in with what lucdix is saying, most of which I completely disagree with. /* endquote */ lol, Tom. There's no reason you need to agree with me. That's what discussions are for - exchanging different views to see what commonality there might be. But David Banner's lyrics say it all in this case. I clicked on a link in the other thread to see if I could hear or read some of Kamikaze's lyrics but the URL was no longer working. Does anyone have one which is more current?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-09T00:12:51-06:00
ID
108924
Comment

lucdix, I've never seen anything from Kaze that approaches the level of the stuff in "Like a Pimp." I'd be shocked if I did. He does use some violent imagery involving confrontations between men, but nothing I've seen from him really hits me as overtly misogynistic.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T00:49:04-06:00
ID
108925
Comment

As a Black man who has a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, three aunts, four nieces,,,I find David Banner's lyrics absolutely appalling, inexcusable, indefensible, denigrating, and morbidly harmful to every living female and self-respecting Black person. Until I read them (thanks for the post, Tom), I had begun to feel that he got a bum rap from people who objected to the award he received from the national Black legislators last week. Right now, I think that the only thing he deserves is utter condemnation. Tom, your 10:00 p.m. post--for me--says it all! It's no wonder rappers are viewed with such disdain and repulsion. And I cannot help but wonder how Banner--or Kamikaze, for that matter--would feel or react if ANYONE used some of those words to refer to the females in their families and lives. This totally sickens me!

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-12-09T00:55:08-06:00
ID
108926
Comment

Kacy, thanks for this. I blamed all this on politics, too--assuming that this was run of the mill stuff, that the folks complaining didn't like any rappers. And some of them probably don't, but in the case of Banner... I get the "eww" factor. And it does make me wonder about the whole MAP defense of hip-hop. I'm not sure if the association with Banner doesn't hurt the Mississippi hip-hop community a lot more than it helps it, because I'm relatively familiar with most hip-hop acts, and Banner's lyrics read as much nastier than, say, Nelly's, and I don't really see the MAP saying "We condemn Banner's lyrics and want nothing to do with that, but most of the REST of the hip-hop community..." And that kind of hurts the overall message, you know? It's like if I collaborated with neo-Nazi skinhead punk, didn't condemn it, and then started a movement dedicated to defending punk rock as non-racist. I mean, everything the haters say about misogyny in hip-hop seems to be absolutely true of Banner's stuff, of his stage persona. And then somebody can read this interview and learn that Banner can be a gentle, intelligent, socially conscious guy, the sort of person who would actually bring his mother to an interview. I don't know. This weirds me out. Of course, all that was before his latest CD--I understand his old stuff wasn't quite as nasty. Certainly what I've heard of it isn't. So would it be fair to say that he sold out, that he put on a mask, that he picked up that social consciousness and put it on a shelf in his closet and decided to create this nasty, vicious persona to sell records? And then he has the audacity to complain when people don't want him to speak at schools, or to get an award from the black legislative caucus? Lord. Why isn't he ashamed of this stuff?

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T01:33:07-06:00
ID
108927
Comment

Um. Yeah. This bitch IS insulted, and what I have to say about it would get me in lots of trouble with my momma. The bigoted Jew references and the gay bashing is indefensible as well. David Banner presents "Ain't Got Nothing": Bitches get a boot, I ain't trickin all the loot Sick of lyin to them hoes, I'ma tell 'em all the truth A brother doin bad, buy your own fuckin drank Get yourself up in the club, stop reachin for my bank I'm a miser, that mean I'm tight as a jew So if you're, lookin for love bitch you know what to do Find a man, cause I ain't givin nuttin but dick If you insulted? Grab your fuckin pussy and split! Callin my phone, tryin to get in V.I.P. I'll get you in but my niggaz want some head for free If you're, wit it I'm wit it, if you're not get-the-fuck ho Thinkin a nigga get you treated like a buck ho [Chorus] [Verse Two: David Banner] "Let me hold somethin Banner - look you cain't hold shit Nigga buy your own drink, stop beggin like a bitch Get some motherfuckin nuts, be a motherfuckin man Y'all them same niggaz laughin when I step off in that van Bootlegger cocksuckers in my face, you a fan ho Get up off my nuts and start your own fuckin band ho Grab some fuckin chalm sticks, get off of a nigga dick Even if you had a pussy bitch I wouldn't splurge trick Man I'm comin down hard, pullin pussy niggaz cards If you don't like it KNUCKLE UP and take it to the yard Dead but you won't get a cent from me But you can get a good ass kickin for free, punk bitch!"

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T10:27:44-06:00
ID
108928
Comment

I remember hearing "Play" on the radio on couldn't believe it was getting radio play. Honestly, those lyrics are very erotic and don't bother me quite so much, but I'm pissed at the standards of our radio stations on that. Which is why I DON'T listen to Y101 anymore. And OMG, the line about "head for free". What I have to say would also shame my momma. Get yourself a GiGi Banner and lay off the ladies. That's big girl language for what you might could do to yourself if you are speaking of the moms, daughters and sisters of this world in that manner. I loved that Banner was real and here and committed to the state. I loved Banner when he signed an autograph for my pharmacist friend while waiting on his prescription. I hated that he didn't use this moment of fame empower ALL the folks of Mississippi....our girls included. Does he know that we're top of the line with domestic violence, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, etc.? Does he realize that he has just become another one to put us down more? No I wouldn't want him speaking at my kid's school, but I also think my kid could teach him a lesson about being male AND a respectful equal to women. Or let some of these kids tell you what it's like to see mom struggle in survival mode to support a family because she's not "knuckling up" to "take it in the yard". Kacy, I agree and are morbidly harmful to EVERY person. Thank you for the Katrina effort, and I'm not saying it doesn't impress me but it does not void those lyrics. And choosing to do philantropic work does not make one unaccountable for hate. And exactly whose Jesus was David speaking of on WLBT? David, come on. This isn't about nasty lyrics. This is about sexism and glorified prejudice.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T10:32:53-06:00
ID
108929
Comment

Kaze does not say that *all* women are sluts, whores, or bitches, just those where he comes from. lucdix, he didn't say that, either. However, anyone reading that thread carefully can see what he said—and why it outraged me. Needless to say, and as I've said many times, I can't excuse the misogyny in hip-hop and will not try. It is irresponsible. And if it is a "reflection" of these guys' reality, then they are telling the world that they are abusers of women. Nice reflection. The ball is in their court on this one. And this is coming from people who are more than ready to stand with them both on free-speech issues and the need to create gritty art about their experiences. But glorifying rape and violence against women isn't exactly a controversial anthem about police brutality in the 'hood. It's time for the men of hip-hop to speak out against the glorification of violence against women—even if it means being courageous against the corporate forces that are trying to get them to hurt their own people in order to get rich.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T10:38:41-06:00
ID
108930
Comment

After all, couldn't one argue that the main justification we're hearing—the belief that rapping about raping and assaulting black women is the only way to get rich in the music industry—is another form of enslavement? I think what you have here, Kaze, is a whole chorus of people who are actually backing y'all up—if you will stand up and do the right thing. The right thing is not, and cannot, include justifying rape and violence against women. There are times in our lives when we have to draw a line in the sand between right and wrong. And that is wrong.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T10:43:06-06:00
ID
108931
Comment

Right. And racists to not say that *all* blacks are n-words. Doesn't make them not racist. It's very much the abusive dynamic. Charming, loving, giving, self-less....until you step out of line. Then bitches get a boot.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T10:44:11-06:00
ID
108932
Comment

Also, lucdix, this statement of yours is false: It's racist to talk about skin color Yes, education is "free" in America, but there are children who are being kicked out of those institutions every day because they have "mental" conditions that go untreated, because they do something minor, or because they do not communicate with their white teachers in the same way as white kids. (Zero tolerance policies are dispirately used against kids of color, and for much more minor offenses.) Also, the conditions that lead to a good education are not in place in many of our poorest communities that have been devastated by the majority culture in terms of families being torn apart by minor drug laws, lack of jobs and public transportation to get to them, media habits that teach young people that they are little more than thugs, the inability to accumulate wealth (or confidence) due to systemic racism including redlining and re-segregation of schools, the politicizing of affirmative action, and the list goes on and on. The problem with "bootstrap conservatism" is that it tends to have little interest in whether children actually are wearing shoes with bootstraps in the first place. People can't pull themselves up with there are no bootstraps in the first place. Attitudes such as ones you've communicated, however well meaning, are part of the conversation because the lack of comprehension of the depth of problems of our minority cultures is not helping solve the crises that our rappers are rapping about—and that lead them to desperately seek big bucks by selling out their own people. This is complicated and important, and cheers to everyone for pressing ahead to have another important dialogue on this site.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T10:52:51-06:00
ID
108933
Comment

It's very much the abusive dynamic. Charming, loving, giving, self-less....until you step out of line. Then bitches get a boot. Well, all groups need to feel superior to someone else. Even—or especially—those who have been at the bottom of the ladder for so long. It wouldn't take a psychological genuis to figure out the cultural psychosis that awaits our young black men—considering that their group was the hunted for so long in this country, and especially in this state (which more lynchings than any other, which often included castration). There are serious and horribly deep wounds to be healed here—however, healing them cannot mean degrading another gender in their place.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T10:57:02-06:00
ID
108934
Comment

Well, Donna, this is the exact quote: [quote] Sorry but where I come from(and this is gonna be harsh for some so cover your eyes) there ARE SLUTS, WHORES, AND BITCHES!!! [/quote] How else do you interpret that? I see that as saying those are the only women where he comes from but if you want to give him a pass on a statement like that, be my guest. I see no defense for it whatsoever. And he only apologizes when he gets called on things like that - which in no way means he's changed his actual views. I'll get back to the schools later.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-09T11:02:17-06:00
ID
108935
Comment

... as saying that "there are" sluts, whores, bitches in his neighborhood. But very clearly, he is not saying that the "only women" there are these things. Now, that doesn't mean I liked his statement and gave him "a pass," which you can see from my response on that thread; however, he did not make the definitive statement you're quoting. Try it this way, hypothetically: Sorry but where I come from(and this is gonna be harsh for some so cover your eyes) there ARE RACISTS, BIGOTS, AND KLANSMEN!!! Am I saying that every Mississippi is a racist, bigot or Klansman? Clearly not. My problem with Kaze's statement was how he is using those words, not that he said that ALL women are those things. Big difference.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T11:46:05-06:00
ID
108936
Comment

lucdix writes: How else do you interpret that? If I said "Where I come from, THAR BE PIRATES! ARR!" then I would not be saying that everybody was a pirate, would I? I think Kaze's statement is clearly not that he would describe every woman from where he comes from using those terms--I mean, really, that's one hell of an interpretation of that sentence. Not that I'm defending what he did say, but don't cheapen this conversation by pulling stuff out of thin air. This is not a "hit the target and dunk Kamikaze" booth. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T11:47:23-06:00
ID
108937
Comment

Donna, we need to stop doing this or people might find out I'm just a figment of your imagination. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T11:48:25-06:00
ID
108938
Comment

Or I of yours. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T11:57:25-06:00
ID
108939
Comment

So Ladd keeps having Model Number 7 appear from time to time making very suggestive and stimulating comments to her? Just brought a batch of this egg nog up to Cups/Quarter. They are hooked.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T12:05:59-06:00
ID
108940
Comment

WOW! Ive missed a lot! But let me say this....To kate...Im an artist. never said that music cant change or transcend of course it can. I acknowledge its power. But I just feel that there are conditions in society that need to change before we can expect sweeping changes in lyrical content. We've got to better educate our young folks and our young rappers on these issues. IF shown the better way..I have no doubt the majority of them will modify what they do. But we are too a part of a corporate system that exploits. But they are businesses who are only concerned about the bottom line. That puts a lot of artists in compromising positions. I again will not starve, I will not go without providing a roof for my family. you can take that as you may. I make no apologies for supporting mine. No one here will jump to my defense or my rescue when the records stop selling and there are no more gigs. When the lights are off and the cupbaords bare..IT will instantly become "my" problem and those who so wished for "the old" kaze to re-emerge will disappear.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T12:18:21-06:00
ID
108941
Comment

Banner is my brother and i love and respect him dearly. We came into this business together and will forever be linked as one. and yes I've read the lyrics and yes I was THERE when some of those lyrics were written. But I cant sit idly by and watch the attacks. There is no man within this state that has done more to positively promote this state in the past two years than Banner like it or not...more than Oprah, faith hill, Morgan Freeman, Sela Ward, Duece Mcallister you name them. Granted we are different people, that is what made the dynamic of our group so appealing. He does things HIS way and I do them MINE. We can say the same thing two different ways. Yes those lyrics are harsh and in writing they are graphic but I STILL defend him, and myself for that matter, as two of the BEST persons to go out and reach these kids. Cuz like it or not we have theyre ear more than anyone in this state now. If youve met Banner, read an interview, or had the time to interact with him personally you will see the great leader that he is. He is a dynamic personality. He ahs been around to see my kids grow and there are few people on this planet that I would ever trust with watching over my kids and HE is one of them. There is no better example of a man and a role model for these students here to emulate than him. Lyrics notwithstanding. Neither one of us are hate mongers or woman haters and those that have met us know that. Thats a totally unfair assesment whether youve heard the lyrics or not. You just have to look at the kids we've reached and the teachers who've allowed us to come into their schools and ask them THEIR opinion...do the research. Our impact is overwhelming and we will keep reaching out. He deserved that award and many more many times over. He is our states biggest public figure now. like it or not. Some just hate the fact that its a rapper. Banner and I are NOT justifying anything! And these are the very discussions that may STOP these folks from letting us in to talk to these kids and I already have enough problems doing that now. ..Its gotten to a point, like Banner stated on WLBT that he's tired of apologizing for what he does...and I dont want to get to that point...but its almost there -

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T12:32:34-06:00
ID
108942
Comment

Kingfish, how long you gonna be at the Cups?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T12:40:15-06:00
ID
108943
Comment

a little while longer. am sitting right here by the counter where you get your sugar, cream. etc.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T12:43:13-06:00
ID
108944
Comment

...and MAP will never issue a statement saying that we CONDEMN Banner's lyrics. That to me would amount to treason to our members when we were created partially because we wanted to defend a rappers right to say wha they wish. We turned down a lucrative situation with the Alamo theater downtown because one of their stipulations meant us censoring our artists and whether good or bad we just couldnt do that. But heres what I propose and please READ because Id like to help resolve the issue: Part of your disgust comes from they lyrics which you say are misogynistic, violent, etc...I say the lyrics come part and parcel with the environment that some of these rappers come form SOME!! part of it is a mentality that hold. Donna, Tom, Kate, Luc I challenge to go into a school with me the next time I go speak and hear what these kids have to say. Hear their gripes, hear their suggestions. Hear the young ladies views on the "B" word. What these kids say about todays lyrics and how you're giving them no credit for being able to distinguish. Any speaking engagement wherever it might be I will post it in my new blog and ask that the four of you join me..sit back and listen. See, a lot of what you voice is because you havent walked in thes kids shoes and unfortunately some of you have no idea whats going on but I TODAY propose to show you instead of trying to explain it to you. What you hear will shock you, sadden you, but it will also give you some much needed insight to our side of things. whadya think?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T12:44:19-06:00
ID
108945
Comment

...And Donna, Kate, emily, this is what I propose for you ladies...IF you are truly willing to get an education. I'll set up a session with some women I know that work at Centerfold's. they know me and some of them I think woudl be willing to sit down and talk with all of you. They've been in area videos and a couple have been in some bigger videos. I want you to sit with them and ask all the questions you wish. Tell them how you feel...Again, the answers will shock you, but you will get an education...You'll see a little clearer where blame can be placed. You'll see its not as you paint it to be. Cuz some them dont agree with you. Point is, I can talk all day...but its not getting through to ya'll...now Im willing to go the extra step so I can REALLY educate you on what going on. Are you willing to face it is the question?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T12:49:40-06:00
ID
108946
Comment

Kaze, I wouldn't waste my time blogging about the lyrics if I didn't KNOW what a great person Banner is. He does have an intrinsic leadership ability and COULD use that to empower the women of this state and then by default empower the children of those women. Again, it's not that the lyrics are "dirty" which I equate with the word *racy*. I'm not attacking Banner. It's more like responding to that art. When you issue art that *is* commanding of women to serve for sex, don't be surprised when women say, go screw yourself! I love what he's done for our state. LOTS of us are sacrificing for our state. I don't think one award, while very significant and deserves congratulations, means that ONE person is the end-all, be-all of giving in this state. So please quit saying that if someone does good things that makes the person exempt from the dialogue that will start when one writes lyrics that damage women. And I do respect Banner, but I'd disagree with you as our state's biggest public leader. Lots of our state's best have done tons, especiall post-Katrina. I know of one who spent two monthes sleeping on a slab while helping rebuild. And it's not the discussions that anyone from serving as a role model/speaking at schools. Those lyrics stop y'all getting in those schools. I don't care who you BLAME for them, you are the images of them. Y'all are only shooting yourselves in the foot when you talk about forcing a woman to swallow a nut. I've been the *teacher* on the other end of those lyrics, being sexualized and not heard, ignored because I'm female when I had some of the tools that child needed. Sorry. It's true. Quit passing the buck on this one.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T12:53:31-06:00
ID
108947
Comment

Kingfish I lost your email. I NEED EGGNOG THOUGH!

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T12:57:34-06:00
ID
108948
Comment

Kamikaze, are y'all ready to REALLY take on what it means to be a woman in this state? Or are you going to pass it back onto women? We don't need Wife Swap. We need MOM-MOTHER/RAPPER-MAN Swap!

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:00:08-06:00
ID
108949
Comment

gave Ruth a quart of it. Ask her, she gets off at 2. She'll give you a sample.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T13:03:41-06:00
ID
108950
Comment

Not passing the buck emily..just giving my side...No way I can get that across, thus my last post...my challenge to you all...are you willing to do it is the question...it can be done and you can have alllll your questions answered. And IMO Banner is the biggest public figure in the state. Sure everyone's done their part and hes not he ONLY one who has acted emily but as far as what SOME of these "FIGURES" have done. Banner and I have done more than any of them..period. Thats why my frustaration comes in...Ill take the criticism no problem Im a big boy just allow us to present our case and I have made my challenge...I think itll be an eye-opener for you.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:04:28-06:00
ID
108951
Comment

You can come into these schools with me emily and talk to the kids yourself male AND female and them we can do part two of the lesson which I stated above..Because right now we're spinning wheels I want you all to see how my opinions and some of the opinions of my colleagues are shaped...first hand

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:07:43-06:00
ID
108952
Comment

Oh please :P I don't think *you* are considering another point. And some of these "figures" just don't get the press or go around telling everyone what they are doing. They just do it. Again. Sigh. It's not an attack. It's not criticism. Sure you can get more marketing mileage out of that, but you would be lying if you write me off as one who is unwilling to see an opposing view. I don't know what Centerfold's is. Are you asking us to meet with strippers so we can understand why it's okay to write lyrics saying you aren't providing women with "nothing but dick"?? I'm not seeling the correlation there I guess.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:10:21-06:00
ID
108953
Comment

I'd love that Kaze. Tell me when.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:16:53-06:00
ID
108954
Comment

..And Donna, Kate, emily, this is what I propose for you ladies...IF you are truly willing to get an education. Kamikaze, don't insult me or disrespect what I know already. Now your arrogance is reaching new heights. Do you think you're the only person who knows anything about what is going on in the world? Are you on the only person who has ever known a stripper? A woman who struggles to feed a children? A woman (or a man) who strips for a living? A person who has participated in degrading art for money or exposure? How it feels to get raped? How it feels to listen to men make fun of (and money off of) getting raped or beaten? Being called a bitch because you're willing to talk back? My patience has run out, Kaze. I know you like to paint a storybook narrative about your poor upbringing and how you know so much about stuff that all of us rich white folk can't know—but with due respect, I know a hell of a lot more than you will ever know about issues like rape and what a woman has to do in this world to make ends meet, much less be taken seriously. I also know more than you probably ever will about how many black women feel about the way they are treated by black men. Why do I know that? Because I am willing to listen and not stereotype them as "bitches, whores, sluts" and all those other words y'all boys think ain't so bad. I try to listen and understand where you're coming from, while challenging you—the whole time offering you respect. Don't pay me back by turning around and treating me like I have no idea what I'm talking about and that I need big ole smart Kaze to educate me and introduce me to realities of the world. That sh!t won't fly with me.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:18:44-06:00
ID
108955
Comment

Emily...you guys are passionate about this issue...as I am.and I wasnt even making a big deal about the public figures issue..I was stating my opinion..you have a conflicting one..cool calm down LOL. Im asking you to put yourself in MY shoes for one day..or maybe two days..and "listen" to these kids female AND female that i speak to. Hear what I say to them. Hear what they say to me. Hear "their" views AND hear the views of those women who society looks "down" on i.e strippers or the like and here what they have to say. Its a simple request. You see, the thing is..I agree with what most of you have to say on this issue(though it may not seem) however, Ive been able to view both sides and Ive formulated my opinion based on knowing other folks experiences. Giving you all the opportunity to do the same. Thats all.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:23:02-06:00
ID
108956
Comment

But I cant sit idly by and watch the attacks. There is no man within this state that has done more to positively promote this state in the past two years than Banner like it or not Therefore, that means that he should not be criticized for lyrics that promote rape and violence of women? You shouldn't be criticized for defending them? It sounds a bit like y'all want to have it both ways: You want to make lots of money doing whatever the market wants from you (and defend and promote it). And you want folks, young and old, to respect you for trying to help young people, despite any harmful messages for them contained in your music. Kamikaze, do you know how serious man-on-woman violence is in Mississippi? I like Banner, too, and I like you. I believe in both of your potential to do great things. If I didn't, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you about the dangers of being sell-outs or allowing yourselves to be used in nefarious ways that weaken the black community, not to mention the community at large. And there is no way to hide or justify selling out in trying to give a way a lot of money. Make no mistake: GLORIFYING RAPE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN YOUR ART IN ORDER TO SELL RECORDS IS SELLING OUT. That is, unless you really believe rape and violence against women is a cool thing. Also, Kamikaze, I don't have to go into these schools with you. I go myself. I listen. I hear. I watch. I do what I can. Stop this b.s. condescension. You don't know everything, and are demonstrating the fact well here by acting like you are the only one who can educate us po witta ignorant grrls. Screw that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:26:56-06:00
ID
108957
Comment

I can't believe he wants to bring strippers into it. Talk to enough of them and see what they think about violence and other cruel acts towards women. Not to mention how many of them are victims of child abuse, molestation, etc.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T13:31:42-06:00
ID
108958
Comment

Whoa...whoa...whoa...take it easy. I just presented a scenario.. You can take it or leave it...All of things you just stated are waaay out in left field. Im almost hurt. I never said i knew what it was to be a woman. don't know what it feels like to be raped. I DO know what its like to not be taken seriously, but no, not from a woman's point of view. And i have NEVER stereotyped women Donna, its simply not true...But I know what I know and the problem is to a certain degree I DO know and have HAVE had some experiences that you havent and cant have. Give me that. Taking NOTHING away from you. I see that you've gone through some things much respect but that tone isnt necessary. Really. breathe... breathe... If you DO have an idea then...you're halfway there but again Im not going to state my issue cuz I look like the bad guy..Like I said I learned my lesson but i would like for ya'll to go with me to see these kids next time I do...and the strippers. Because you're putting this all on the backs of men and "rappers".

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:32:42-06:00
ID
108959
Comment

It is also not cool to tell someone to "calm down" after you've insulted us because we dare to challenge you back. Men do that all the time to women, and it's offensive. You made this bed; you need to be prepared to roll around in it. And if you can't see that most people here are already seeing both sides, then you are a man blinded by his own defensiveness. You come across as if you don't want anyone to ever criticize rap lyrics and culture because y'all then turn around and do so much to help kids. Here, and in other threads, I have typed until I'm blue in the face in defense of rap and of you guys. I have set people straight on history, I have called people out on their privileged and naive responses, and I have held the line on free speech. However, when I and others then call you guys out on very specific problems—misogyny that cannot be justified—all of a sudden we are blind and have no idea how it frickin' feels to fall in your shoes. Meantime, you show no apparent interest in how it feels to walk in a woman's shoes. No, Kamikaze, we are not "blind" because we are not going to say, "Sure, no problem with glorifying rape in your music. After all, you then go to schools and talk to little boys and girls about their problems." Meantime, you seem to be clueless over the fact that many of those problems are coming directly out of low self-esteem propagated by both the white culture and popular culture that turns them into nothing bigger or better than pimps and hos. Every single ones of us must be willing to be part of the solution, Kamikaze. And part of the solution—although not all of it—is for people respected by young African Americans to stand up and tell them (in person and in their art) that there is nothing cool about degrading women. You're right about one thing: They will, and do, listen to you. That's why it is your responsibilty to be damn careful about what you're telling them.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:35:21-06:00
ID
108960
Comment

...And Donna if you REALLY go in and listen and watch i find it doubly hard to believe that you have NO idea where im coming from. If you've really listened to these kids then I don't see HOW what I say makes absolutely NO sense to you....Oh...well...then could it be that its easier for them to open and be candid with me then with you? I dunno. but if you've been anywhere near it Donna my words wouldnt sound so friggin foreign to you.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:39:51-06:00
ID
108961
Comment

would someone please link the pitts column? It would be nice if some of us could read what is being complained about. Thanks.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T13:41:18-06:00
ID
108962
Comment

I'm calm sweetie. Stating an opinion based on fact and life experience. You don't have to shush me :P I WOULD love to come and hear what you tell these kids that you speak to. I don't think I need to hear the views of strippers because I don't see what the hell that has to do with woman as a whole. Stippity do dah. Has nothing to do with what I as a woman and parent expect of grown men. So I'd challenge YOU to spend a week as a single mom. You aren't getting child support. You are working a "career" job but getting poverty pay even after a cum laude degree (very typical for women in this state) You have health issues. You have your child ALL THE TIME and he has emotional issues from an absent male role model. When you are at work you are called the "office babe" by someone who got the job that COULD have helped pay your bills. And you know you are more qualified, but they don't want you because you're a single mom having to juggle so much. How about that opportunity? Take some time off from marketing yourself and be a mom for a while. Then you might know other folks experiences besides what you see in the schools and in the club. Honey, I'm not putting down strippers. I've said that in this column: http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=5043_0_7_0_C You present yourself as a shot-caller. How specifically are you calling the shots for women? I think this rap-star-martyr is bullshit. You're profiting off being the victims of a dynamic you perpetuate with those lyrics. I'm not sure how you are defining this issue, but I am very much passionate about the degradation of women in our society. This ain't the "I'm a misunderstood rapper" issue. You want to be viewed as someone who is NOT those lyrics? Don't write a column condemning the women of Spelman. Don't do an either or view of women as bitches or queens. Don't turn a serious issue into another time to sell yourself.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:41:24-06:00
ID
108963
Comment

"You're right about one thing: They will, and do, listen to you. That's why it is your responsibilty to be damn careful about what you're telling them." ...and if you've heard what i or Banner say to them IN PERSON you will know better. And i don't get where you come form saying I dont want to be challenge. Obviously you have a big chip on your shoulder with the man/woman thing but i have NO problem being challenged. In fact, I welcome it. I knew a long time ago that folks would not always agree with what I do and what I say..being a rapper Im prepared for it on the daily. I enjoy stirring stuff up..Everybody knows that. Hell that one of my major points when I talk to kids is don't degrade women..and I hold a special place for young ladies because I have a daughter. A 12-year old whose very life I would trust with Banner. Even if she was 23 .we've been thru this on the previous thread. You're painting a picture of us that simply is not true.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:47:50-06:00
ID
108964
Comment

Can I quote MySpace? "Sometimes I see bitches...sometimes I see queens..." How is that not stereotyping?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:48:13-06:00
ID
108965
Comment

ecause you're putting this all on the backs of men and "rappers". NO, I'M NOT. Damn it, Kamikaze, can't you READ? Aren't you listening to a damn thing I've said, or are you too busy telling me how you need to educate me about the plight of poor women in America? I respectfully suggest that you need to start listening closer in order to comprehend what people are saying. You do the same thing on the topic of rap that others do on the topics of conservatism and race; you kneejerk and say something stupid like, "you're putting this all on the backs of men and 'rappers'" to someone who is one of hip-hop's biggest supporters. In so doing, you are telling me that if I criticize anything rappers do, then I'm putting it all on your back somehow. That's just silly. I spend much of my time on this planet talking about all the various ways that poor people and non-majority folks are shat upon by the powers-that-be, so that makes your statement even more absurd. I know y'all are in a tough corner (that rich white folks put you in): If you rap about topics that will hurt and weaken the black community, you make more money. You can then put that more of that money back into the community. If you don't rap about that kind of stuff, your row is tougher to hoe. It's a vicious cycle because many of the problems you strive to help fix are execerbated by the very art that enables you to help the community. But it's a vicious cycle, and one that the majority culture loves and will continue using against you until you yourselves do something about it (with the help of good outsiders). At some point, just like with the drug trade (that also use poor black men to make white folks mega-ric), you have to just say no to the parts that harm your community even as they're dangling lots of money to keep you doing it. Just like a rich drug dealer is not going to truly help his community by talking to kids and giving money back while he is selling drugs to them to keep them, a rich rapper who glorifies harmful images in his community cannot truly help that community by giving lots of money and showing up at schools to talk to kids about the stuff keeping them down.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:50:24-06:00
ID
108966
Comment

Kaze: I don't think she is criticizing what you say to these kids. I think she has a problem with what you say to the PUBLIC.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-09T13:50:46-06:00
ID
108967
Comment

Yes, it is your job (and mine, and anyone else's who will accept it) to continue doing everything else we can to change these conditions and educate people about them, but rappers are negating that kind of good work everytime they make money off turning the women in their communities into nothing more than pieces of meat. If you really are worried about the women in Centerfolds, you won't try to trot a bunch of folks in front of them to get them to say how much they love being in your videos; you will do everything in your power to help lift the level of self-esteem and belief in something beyond ho-dom among women around you. And I believe you have the power to do it. But not if you constantly exist in a state of defensiveness toward everyone who dares questions rap lyrics. Those folks aren't going to go away, or shut up just because you tell us to. So you might as well focus your efforts on fixing the problem rather than whine about the messingers who are trying to get y'all to hear something you'd rather not hear. The truth can hurt, but that doesn't mean it's not the truth.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:50:48-06:00
ID
108968
Comment

Yes Donna. You just have a big chip on your shoulder. It's because we're lesbians. Do what I say, not as I do. Did you know that 10% of kids learn from just hearing the word spoken. Add music and they'll remember more. Get them to teach someone else and they learn 90%. What are you teaching these kids to do to not degrade women? What is it specifically?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T13:51:28-06:00
ID
108969
Comment

but if you've been anywhere near it Donna my words wouldnt sound so friggin foreign to you. Which of your words do you think I find "foreign"? Actually, they are all very familiar. The ones you say about young people and their challenges I agree with. The ones you say about rappers not needing to be responsible for negative effects of their music are very familiar—I hear that from defensive rappers all the time. The ones you've said about knowing a "whore" when you see her are familiar and disgusting stereotypes. I haven't said anything you've said is "foreign." Your're making that up; it seems to be important to your justification scheme to say that anyone who doesn't support any and every lyric ever recorded is automatically someone who doesn't get it. Or hasn't seen it. Or hasn't experienced it. Or hasn't existed on the streets like you have. Remind us where you went to school, Kamikaze.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T13:57:33-06:00
ID
108970
Comment

Now now emily...you guys are really tearing into me :-( but again Im a big boy and i can take it. Im offended at your "marketing" yourself comment. Thats unfounded. not trying to be a martyr just trying to be the best ME I can be. I dont need this site, or my column, or anything to make me. Im well known in all the circles i need and dont need ANY extra press. In fact because of my mouth I think I get too much. Don't have to take the time to be a mom cuz Im a dad. Amd in a previous life I experienced all the things you just named at my former jobs. No that doesnt make me know what it means to be woman but I TOTALLY respect it. However, I wont back down just as you or Donna won't. This issue is obviously personal to YOU as well I can read it. HELL I can feel it. Well feel how personal it is for me. I sympatize with those things you experienced i truly do. And then you say what you "expect" of grown men which I take as you saying that WE are solely responsible and it just aint true.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T13:57:49-06:00
ID
108971
Comment

Boy..boy..boy...Donna whos gonna support every lyric wrote EVER? Hell "I" don't support every lyric ever written. Still, there are some that get it and some that don't. We i talk to these..if I must go ahead and ge into this...None of them say they are adversly influenced by anything we say on record. Ironically the majority of them say they can easily distinguish between "entertainment" and "reality". The white kids i talk to don't take MArilyn Manson seriously (while grown folks get in a tizzy) and subsequently black kids cas easily distinguish between a set of Banner lyrics or a set of Kamikaze lyrics or a set of Ludacris lyrics..or a Nelly video for that matter. The ones i see regularly are MUCH more concerned with their everday surroundings..whats going on in their own households. Even the elementary school kids i talk to know some of the bling they see in videos is "rented". they're not completely naive. When we get on the male/female issue youd be surprised. Most of these young ladies get it! They are chock full of self esteem. They know who they are. Thats just the surface but i ask that you go see for yourself when Im there. ..And Im a proud JSU alum...

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T14:13:07-06:00
ID
108972
Comment

Obviously you have a big chip on your shoulder with the man/woman thing I just noticed that one. Nice, Kamikaze. In your defensiveness, you are playing the "angry woman who hates men" card. Here's a hint: It won't work on me. I'm used to men I disagree with trying that, and it won't work any better for you with me than it does for some privileged jerk from North Jackson or a racism apologist from Neshoba County. Do you not realize that you are playing out every stereotype right now for men who don't want to be questioned, especially by women: 1. You are accusing women daring to disagree with you on an important topic of having "big man/woman chip." That is no quaint and hackneyed that it makes me giggle. (You and Wilson Carroll should get together; he said he was being "browbeaten by a liberal woman" when I was defending his attacks on hip-hop a few years back.) 2. Your response to women who passionately care about other women to "calm down" because, you know, we excitable girls just get the vapors, or something, and can't control ourselves when we don't get our way. 3. You are trying to shift the topic away from your own actions—and play the martyr, as Emily put it. I happen to think you are smarter and bigger than doing that, and challenge you to not resort to such a tired and unconvincing tactic. 4. With due respect, you may not be listening to these kids as closely as you think you are. Sounds like you're listening for signs that they aren't getting negative messages from your music. Do you have any sense how high the level of man-on-woman violence is in Mississippi, and in the black community in specific?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:16:14-06:00
ID
108973
Comment

Kamikaze, we are all smart people, and we have the ability to hold more than one thought at once. Thus, some of my thoughts are: 1. Rap artists are not responsible for all the ills in society, and they have the right to rap about those problems even when it makes people uncomfortable. 2. Rappers are victims of the society that has put them in a situation where they think they have to hurt their own people to make money. 3. Many good men, including Kamikaze and David Banner, are rappers and are caught up in a conficted situation. I am sympathetic to that. 4. Kamikaze, Banner and others are doing very much to help their community. 5. Kamikaze, Banner and others are overly defensive and, thus, unwilling to face the fact that they have a lot of power and can weild it in a harmful way by writing lyrics that degrade women and glorify rape and violence. 6. Kamikaze, Banner and others have more power than they would believe to change this situation. They can be leaders, not followers. 7. As do we all, Kamikaze, Banner and others need to challenge stereotypes about women (and others) that they've been taught by the culture to ensure that they are not hurting others by incorporating those stereotypes into their music. 8. Rappers have the responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that their art does not negatively impact their community. (I meant: Where did you go to elementary, middle and high school?)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:16:57-06:00
ID
108974
Comment

Look Sweet Cheeks, being a mom is a different ballgame than being a dad. No sure when I've ever been able to take an opportunity for a job that would require lots of travel, a free night to play at the club or hell DANCE at the club.... It's 24/7. Hours are different and investment is different. I agree on the everyday surrounding and whats going on in their households. I would imagine for a girl who has been sexually abused reading those lyrics are very hurtful. And then having the folks who write them to come and tell her how to live is even more insulting. In those lyrics, there is a first person voice. So don't blame it on the outside element. You know journalism and you know the difference of power between I, you and one/he/she. I don't idolize anyone who I can't support 100%. Seriously. Y'all can be sexy without being hurtful. Y'all are both smart enough to know the difference. I do love the Banner verse about the rims being God's footprints all along. That resonated with me. What are the footprints for these girls?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T14:23:51-06:00
ID
108975
Comment

Oh, and Kamikaze, when there isn't a "star" in these kids' midst, they often show a different side of themselves that's less confident and enamored with celebrity. You couldn't know that at this point because you're, well, a "star" for these kids. Which is fine. You have a role to play. But you don't know everything. Neither do I. But I'm not pretending to. I am, however, challenging you something I do know about: the plight of poor young women in our state. If you continue to refuse to entertain anything beyond what you've already decided is the truth, that's your choice. What I am trying very hard to do is to see the various sides and issues and hold several thoughts at once. And once thing I cannot do is pat you on the back like you're a helpless child and tell you that I agree that there is nothing you poor rappers can do to change misogyny in rap lyrics. Personally, I have more confidence in you than I think that you do. Therefore, I will continue to challenge you (the royal you), even if you sling condescension back my way and accuse me of having "man/woman" issues. I'm a big girl; I can take the predictable defensive shots. If I couldn't, I wouldn't do what I do. Here's a link to the Snoop thread with Wilson Carroll, by the way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:24:53-06:00
ID
108976
Comment

And for the last time, for crying out loud, I dont have a problem with folks questioning rap lyrics. Its happened to me loooong before you guys started tearing into me. Ive had these discussions on the phone, in clubs, on panels, in the grocery store, everywhere. Its not new. I Love to Debate issues. this is the one however that never really comes to a resolution. You guys feel your way and i feel mine. Challenge me to do whatever you wish, I absorb all comments, but in the meantime I will keep reaching out to these kids and keep trying to make an impact whether socially or politically on my community. And like it or not..my music has afforded me the chance to do that. I am not above reproach but i am worthy of love and respect for how I make my living. The same respect I pass on to each of you. You can choose not to like it..that is your right. fi you hear it change the channel or leave the venue. That is your right. But you guys are asking me to condemn a kind of lyric when I feel the problem is a deeper one than just the superficial answer of blaming "some" rap lyrics.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T14:24:59-06:00
ID
108977
Comment

I don't think it is any more superficial that blaming "some" rap lyrics. I do think if the genre would step up as a whole and draw the line, you wouldn't have the backlash. The last streak of mysoginy I've seen like this was the 80's hair bands. And look where they are now. I'm just saying....

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T14:29:28-06:00
ID
108978
Comment

And saying, "Look there's a stripper!" is NOT debate.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T14:32:19-06:00
ID
108979
Comment

...sure we can "change" the climate and believe it or not while you question or challenge me..I try to do that with my music...You take a couple of songs without having heard everything i or Banner put on an album. But that change can only include us after we help to ease the bigger root problems that these kids face. Thats all Ive ever said. Sure rappers play a part and can be a huge influence, but some of them have so deprogamming that they need to experience and the rest need to see some relief in their hoods before they can have something else to talk about. and i went to Boyd, chastain and St. Joe, but not getting your point.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T14:32:30-06:00
ID
108980
Comment

I don't really have time today to take part in this discussion, fascinating as it is - just dropped by my office to check on something, but Donna and Emily are covering the misogynistic part of this discussion very well. I wanted to say this briefly in reaction to what Emily wrote above: [quote] and some of these "figures" just don't get the press or go around telling everyone what they are doing. They just do it. [/quote] I personally know two Mississippians who've put a*lot* more money towards Katrina relief on the Gulf Coast than David Banner has (I'm going on the figure of $1 million I've read) but want *no* publicity, and, sorry, call me cynical, but I don't rule out that part of the reason he's being so public about his donation is to counteract the justified negative reaction against his misogynism - along the lines of 'see? I'm *really* a good guy in spite of how I make my living putting down women and Jews'. It's certainly been done before - take the major oil companies who cause environmental disasters then fund 'clean air' commercials. As far as sitting in a session with you in a public school in the inner city, Kaze, no thanks. What you've written is enough for me to know your true feelings. Additionally, if you're saying something different in the schools than you are otherwise, that's pure hypocrisy. And I already know what conditions in this nation's inner cities are like, worked in one for years on a positive community action project.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-09T14:37:34-06:00
ID
108981
Comment

for the last time, for crying out loud, I dont have a problem with folks questioning rap lyrics. Uh, Kamikaze, look at what you named this thread: "I'm Fed Up!!! Tired of folks blaming hip-hop for our ills" ;-) Sounds like you have a problem. I do, too, as I've said many times. I don't like blanket stereotypes. But you take it the opposite direction—trying to make it sound like it's wrong for people to question the lyrics at all, acting like y'all are victimized when you're questioned. You'll note that no one has asked you to stop doing positive things in your community. If anything, we're asking you to do a few more by stopping demonizing those you question the glorification of rape and violence in rap music. this is the one however that never really comes to a resolution. You guys feel your way and i feel mine. You might ponder that a bit. You are certainly right: You never seem to budge on this issue. Instead, you in turn belittle the women (and sometimes men) who are challenging you and/or other rap artists on this front. If that's all you ever do, it will never be resolved. Funny part is that the folks challenging you the loudest here are strong supporters of yours. But you guys are asking me to condemn a kind of lyric when I feel the problem is a deeper one than just the superficial answer of blaming "some" rap lyrics. That sentence doesn't make sense to me. The closest analogy I can come to in my own experiences, again, are the folks who would not speak out against individual acts of racism and segregation and Klan violence because the problem was so much bigger than what they could do. I think that's a very short-sighted, narrow-minded approach. Kamikaze, you can attack the larger problems and condemn harmful lyrics, thus helping change that market. Look what happened with diamonds and gold some years back with the movement to raise awareness about apartheid. Just because you can (rap about rape/buy gold chains) doesn't mean you should. That was one of the great movements in hip-hop's short, but mostly glorious history so far. The move against misogyny will be one of the next great ones; likewise, I hope some of our Mississippi artists will go down in history for helping change something harmful in their culture. I'm rooting for you. Now, I'm out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:39:01-06:00
ID
108982
Comment

And Luc..I respond to you as well by repeating... "Challenge me to do whatever you wish, I absorb all comments, but in the meantime I will keep reaching out to these kids and keep trying to make an impact whether socially or politically on my community. And like it or not..my music has afforded me the chance to do that. I am not above reproach but i am worthy of love and respect for how I make my living. The same respect I pass on to each of you" If you dont wish to come...fine..but don't ever question where my heart is buddy. you don't know me like that!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-09T14:41:26-06:00
ID
108983
Comment

Your comments about your double life—one image to the public (which includes kids) and another one-on-one with kids—is captured in Nelly's publicist's comment in this article about the Spelman controversy in Final Call: At Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., where being Black and female is something to celebrate, the students said "no" to rap artist Nelly’s bone marrow drive scheduled for April 2, after he said "no" to their demand that he come to a forum where students could question him about his latest video for his song, "Tip Drill." "We care about the cause and we understand that the need for bone marrow is so great within the minority community," explained Asha Jennings to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is president of the Spelman Student Government Association and coordinator of the drive. "However, we can’t continue to support artists and images that exploit our women and put us out there as oversexed, non-intelligent human beings." The cancellation of the bone marrow drive was a shock to members of Nelly’s management group and foundation 4Sho4Kids. The foundation was started to find bone marrow and stem cell donors for Blacks after Nelly’s sister, Jackie Donahue, was diagnosed with leukemia. Finding the right blood stem cell donor for her will greatly increase her chances for survival. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, only 23 percent of those registered are minorities. "To cancel it because of this issue is a shame," Juliette Harris told The Atlanta Journal Constitution. She is Nelly’s publicist with Alliance Management Group. "And to put him in this position is not right. There’s a work image and then there’s a human being who loves his sister and is trying to do a good thing."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:54:22-06:00
ID
108984
Comment

Certainly, it seems true that if you willing to present a false and negative image of yourself publicly, then it's hard to be taken seriously if you tell people not to question what's in your heart. That one reminds me of folks who say that politicians who use the southern race strategy to get votes, like Haley Barbour and Ronald Reagan, aren't racist "in their hearts." My question back is: So? It's it the public persona of public officials that matter to the public? Especially when they're in a position to influence public opinion in a negative way. I really think y'all are selling yourselves short, Kamikaze. You have so much power to do good—in public or in more private settings. I urge you to use all the avenues. OK, really must stop now. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-09T14:55:07-06:00
ID
108985
Comment

Me too. I did not realize that Nelly had been offered a panel discussion and turned it down. Interesting, that information was not as headlined when we were "woe-is-me'ing" him when the women of Spelman excercise their freedom of speech.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-09T15:03:41-06:00
ID
108986
Comment

Kamikaze writes: I again will not starve, I will not go without providing a roof for my family. you can take that as you may. I make no apologies for supporting mine. No one here will jump to my defense or my rescue when the records stop selling and there are no more gigs. When the lights are off and the cupbaords bare..IT will instantly become "my" problem and those who so wished for "the old" kaze to re-emerge will disappear. I don't even want to think about what journalism would be like in this state if people like Hazel Brannon Smith and Bill Minor had that attitude about things. What if they had said: "Well, I'm going to write segregationist op-eds all day to pay the bills, but you can tell where I really stand by how I treat the black folks in my life." Sorry, Kaze, but if I couldn't make it as a full-time writer without degrading women, gays, or members of other races, I'd get a job at Wal-Mart and write in my spare time. I mean, if something isn't you and you're producing it just to make money, that's the very definition of selling out. David Banner wrote some pretty misogynistic shit. It's true. You think he'd walk up to his mother and recite "Like a Pimp"? Can he hear a kid listen to that track and then look himself in the mirror? I don't get this. And how would you feel about a race-baiting white supremacist rapper? Would you be as happy to let him in MAP? I hope to God not. But why the hell is it any better to say those kinds of things about women? What makes women fair game? What makes sexism any better than racism? That's what I don't get. I mean, I read Banner's lyrics and it would be like if I saw the lyrics of a local white rocker's album and he was dropping the N-bomb and ranting about "racial purity" and shit. It's no different to me. No different at all. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-09T15:21:32-06:00
ID
108987
Comment

Kaze, Rather then restate what Donna, Emily, and Todd have eloquently said in the three posts above, I'll just say that I agree with all of them and particularly applaud Asha Jennings of Spelman College. I am curious as to why you think it would be interesting to meet with strippers. I've filmed in strip clubs, I lived above two strippers for years, I don't spend free time in them because I see no point; I know what a naked woman's body looks like. What do you think there would be there for any of us to learn? Do you think none of us has ever been in one? The schools are a different matter. Part of me is, in fact, curious to see what you have to say to these kids, particularly the young girls. If we go with you, do we get equal time?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-09T17:12:33-06:00
ID
108988
Comment

Sorry, Tom, not Todd - I was up late and up early

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-09T17:29:01-06:00
ID
108989
Comment

Here's my two cents: The n-word is for everyone and anyone. Anyone can be a n----r and be "lazy" or n---a and be stingy. But it's the history of the word where the word becomes hateful and ugly. However, I think Kamikaze is only saying that although rappers use it most often, they didn't create it. And now that the word continues to be used today than it was when The Jefferson's or What's Happening were on the air, people like the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other media-lovers will use it to their advantage to get on page 1. Who cares that Michael Richards used the word, no big deal. What they should have been outraged was not at the use of the word, but the words that followed. He said, what, we woulda hung n****rs like you 40 years ago, and continued to repeat himself. THAT'S WHERE THE OUTRAGE BELONGS. And to some extent, the continued use of the just the word has taken away the word's power. As for Bill Cosby, he is an ass. He has forgotten his own past in order to degrade others today. Dr. William Cosby didn't even earn some of his degrees, they were awarded to him because of his status. He dropped out of the Philadelphia school system. YES!!! HE DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. Why does he so carefully forget to mention that. He cheated on his wife and had a child out of wedlock, yet to continues to degrade single mothers and men who have children with multiple women. The black community needs real leaders ... NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.

Author
willwork4food
Date
2006-12-09T20:51:50-06:00
ID
108990
Comment

It seems like to me that this party turned ugly real quick. Now, I can not for the life of me understand how things got so ugly so fast. Let me just say that this is one of the issues that will never work itself out. Why? Because we can't solve the problem for pointing fingers on who is doing this and who is doing that. Now, Donna, Emily all the rest of yall are so quick to tell this man what he is doing wrong and why what he feels (individually) is unacceptable....but whether he uses the n-word or the b-word or whatever, this man is a treasure to my community. I have problems with the fact that Kamikaze could, as could Banner, make a bigger positive effect in the community but at the same time, he has to make a living. Now your choices and decisions may differ from him, but at the end of the day, this man will have to hold himself accountable for his decisions as we all do. And I don't see how any of you can find it in yourselves to be so judgemental. This guy is doing way more than most of you on this board for the young, black community. I say that because I hear about what he does and I don't know of anything that any one other than him on this board has done (of course aside from donna and this much needed media outlet). But the point is, I can see that you have great points and you've made them clear (I agree with some, not all), but why throw stones at this man just because of his decisisions. I know this may seem a little contradictory but it is in moments like this that I tend to feel like most of you are not even capable of understanding this and therefore this debate is a turning blend that will never become a digestable blend.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-11T12:05:09-06:00
ID
108991
Comment

Queen, I consider Kamikaze a treasure, too. That's why I publish him and now give him a blog; he has important things to say and vital conversations to stimulate (such as this one). However, we all have our blind spots. And the problem we have on this issue is that you have a bunch of people who do not lambaste all rap and rappers who are trying to challenge on a particular point (I'm actually not in the N-word discussion as I've said; I'm on the misogyny point). And Kamikaze will not budge on that point, and even condescends to us (as you just did a bit as well) because we dare criticize him on that one point. He doesn't have to budge, but we also don't have to back down, and shouldn't. Are you saying that his views on that point are above reproach or passionate discussion because he does good things for the community? With due respect, that's the attitude that got us Frank Melton, and I know that hasn't entirely pleased you. Let me ask you: At what point is it OK for women, of all races, to stand on this one point and challenge rappers and leaders such as Kamikaze to use his power to do something about it without us then being attacked for throwing stones at him? And don't dare play the "aren't capable of understanding" card. That's B.S. You can't want people to try to understand and help and criticize them for not trying to understand and help on the one hand, and then turn around and say we don't understand because we say something challenging on behalf of our gender. Does that same insult go to the young women of Spelman as well and all of the other black women (and men) who try to send that the message that is unacceptable to make money by joking about rape and violence toward women? I've said it before: Kamikaze is a strong man; why try to stymie an important discussion because he's getting challenged it in? This thread is no stronger than when it's happened here in the past, and he's still standing and still my friend. I'd challenge you, Queen, to consider if your quick defense here is condescending toward him (and potentially other black men) because you're assuming that they are going to wither under criticism.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T12:18:52-06:00
ID
108992
Comment

I love Kaze and am glad he's here and says what he says. Kaze and other rappers need to know how others feel. Otherwise, they may began to believe the hype of the rap they rap about too strongly. I say again, Rap and Hip-Hop ought to be about a game of music to express or reveal the terrible conditions many find themselves for a myriad of reason - not to create those conditions or others by hate, evil intent and callousness. When you argue it's a culture or way of life, people are going to realy, really challenge its damaging content, and rightfully so. We would be fools not to challenge the content of lyrics our children are drawn to! If one were to juxtapose or compare the goodness of rap v. the damage of it, how much goodness could really be argued. Other than making some rich and famous and revealing conditions we already or should see, what good has the music really done to advance or improve human conditions on any large or recognizable basis? Beyond Public Enemy and a few others, what rappers are offering solutions? I don't like the N-word but if brothers want to call themselves this, fine with me; but don't come to me when bigots of other races call you this too. I do have a problem with refusing to challenge another rapper regardless of what he says or does. And since rap and hip-hop is largely about the money, like most things in a capitalistic system, it must be held accountable by us and the government.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-11T12:47:02-06:00
ID
108993
Comment

..Again the point has never been to deny you the right to make your feelings known. Its a system of checks and balances that exist for everything. Don't have a problem with debate (despite what my heading says Donna LOL) and have NO problem being challenged. Rappers have always been challenged from Public Enemy to 2 Live Crew. This isnt a new argument. Luke was the king of the booty shake, sexually driven, "misogynistic" lyrics that everyone rails against but still he won his day in court, upheld free speech, and continues to do what he's known for...raunchy lyrics. Challenge me all you wish and I don't ever want it said that I don't welcome that challenge. But as Queen said when you argue your point and the other person doesnt budge or see your point thats when you all seem to get flustered. Ray there's plenty good in rap...just doesnt get the spotlight like the negative does. I KNOW there is bad, I acknowledge the negative..true I get your point, but when you turn that rock over...don't be surprised...or shocked for that matter, at what you see. Its ugly under there. And again...challenge away. Question me and my art, I welcome it. But my views are my views and respect them as I respect anyone else's.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-11T13:19:53-06:00
ID
108994
Comment

I agree Kaze it will be ugly under those rocks. I'm damn near scared to look! As to the women of Centerfolds and the interview tendered, will this be done at their work site? Will they be wearing work attire? Will there be blindfolds or masks provided? Or better yet, tipping money provided? I may come along for this work assignment as a blogger here. Hopefully, Kaze, a day will come when conscious and caring rappers can make good money, be better accepted and appreciated, and make changes politicans and policy makers can't or won't do.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-11T13:35:59-06:00
ID
108995
Comment

Kamikaze writes: Rappers have always been challenged from Public Enemy to 2 Live Crew. This isnt a new argument. Luke was the king of the booty shake, sexually driven, "misogynistic" lyrics that everyone rails against but still he won his day in court, upheld free speech, and continues to do what he's known for...raunchy lyrics. Kaze, when you read the lyrics to "Like a Pimp," do you really think anybody's main problem with it is that it's too "raunchy"? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T14:18:55-06:00
ID
108996
Comment

But as Queen said when you argue your point and the other person doesnt budge or see your point thats when you all seem to get flustered. Flustered? Kamikaze, don't mistake being passionate and strong in our arguments as "flustered." That's about as wrong as trying to tell us to pipe down. You will also notice that a lot of the passion actually comes in response to the way you choose to argue when people aren't agreeing with you. Hint: Don't incite controversy and then tell people who don't agree with you to calm down. That will inevitably have the opposite effect. Disagreeing with you is not disrespecting you, Kamikaze. Saying I think you have a blind spot is not disrespecting you. It's saying I think you have a blind spot. As for the good in rap, some of the very people arguing with you here spotlight the good in rap. That's why belittling the messinger, or playing the victim, won't get you far in this conversation. And I second the question Tom just asked you. I can deal with raunchy, and in fact have been at a listening party alongside David Banner where there was plenty of "raunchy." If you don't want people to lump all rap lyrics together, then you too need to be willing to make distinctions. Rape, for instance, is about much more than raunchy. I agree with Ray—I want the market to change, but it won't as long as rappers keep finding that kind of stuff. It's the same argument that we face in the media: Violence and sensationalism sells. Thus, many media owners will tell you that's what they have to put out there to stay in business. (What they're really saying is to maintain the highest profit margin for their shareholders, usually.) But if we keep putting sensationalism out there, then that creates the market for more sensationalism. So where does it stop? We all have the choice: Be part of the problem or be part of the solution. And unfortunately, choosing to try to supplement harmful actions with helpful actions and money doesn't do away with the initial harm (and might actually increase if it the helpful stuff brings more attention to the art that is harmful). I believe in: First, do no harm. Not: Do the harm, but then give away lots of money to try to make up for it. I have faith in y'all. If I didn't, I wouldn't bother spending so much time on this topic.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T14:31:50-06:00
ID
108997
Comment

May I add that as far as I'm concerned, I think we're just discussing Banner's lyrics here. I have yet to see anything from Kaze that raises these concerns, and I didn't see anything from Banner that raised these concerns until the new album came out. This is a new thing. I got no problem with "raunchy." I like "raunchy." Hell, to be honest, "Play" is not my major problem with the album--not quite my cup of tea (generally when I order people to masturbate in public, it doesn't work out very well), but my real issue is with those "Like a Pimp" lyrics. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T14:38:49-06:00
ID
108998
Comment

Are you saying that his views on that point are above reproach or passionate discussion because he does good things for the community? With due respect, that's the attitude that got us Frank Melton, and I know that hasn't entirely pleased you.>>>ladd Well Donna, that is a very good point. Let me ask you: At what point is it OK for women, of all races, to stand on this one point and challenge rappers and leaders such as Kamikaze to use his power to do something about it without us then being attacked for throwing stones at him? AGAIN, good point. I'd challenge you, Queen, to consider if your quick defense here is condescending toward him (and potentially other black men) because you're assuming that they are going to wither under criticism....Ladd AGAIN, very very good point. Allow me to retreat into myself for further evaluation...and I will get right back to topic. I can admit that my post was a bit of a defensive one on behalf of a fellow positive African American....therefore, in all fairness to myself as a woman, a black woman and to women alike, I will go back and reread and hopefully come up with a more detailed description of my thoughts. Gimme a minute.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-11T14:45:12-06:00
ID
108999
Comment

I can admit that my post was a bit of a defensive one on behalf of a fellow positive African American....therefore, in all fairness to myself as a woman, a black woman and to women alike, I will go back and reread and hopefully come up with a more detailed description of my thoughts. I respect that, Queen. And I can understand why you feel that way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T14:49:47-06:00
ID
109000
Comment

Queen601 writes: I can admit that my post was a bit of a defensive one on behalf of a fellow positive African American.... I can so get that. In fact, when people criticize hip-hop, I tune them out 99% of the time--and I'm white. I can't imagine what it must be like to hear "hip-hop culture" criticized as a euphemism for black youth culture, and I'm genuinely sorry if anything I said left the impression that this was what I trying to do. I'm not saying young men need to "pull their pants up"; unless there's something flapping in the breeze, it's none of my business how high or low other people wear their pants. I'm not saying "don't rap about bling"; nothing wrong with bling. I'm not saying "don't get fancy rims"; nothing wrong with rims. I'm not saying "don't get grills"; nothing wrong with grills. I'm not saying "don't say n___a"; if it's not being used in a context where it's racist or can be mistaken for racist, then I don't care. I'm not saying "don't rap dirty"; dirty lyrics are fine. I'm not saying "don't bump and grind"; bumping and grinding is fine. 90% of what people talk about when they're criticizing "hip-hop" is either white racist crap or "you young whippersnappers" crap. I accept this, and I accept that when I'm criticizing the other 10%, it's easy to sound like I'm part of the 90%. All I'm saying is "please, for the love of God, don't do anything that glamorizes violence against women." Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T15:32:12-06:00
ID
109001
Comment

Hi, Tom, I was just looking at your last post and noticed these two points in particular: ***************** 90% of what people talk about when they're criticizing "hip-hop" is either white racist crap or "you young whippersnappers" crap. ***************** and **************** All I'm saying is "please, for the love of God, don't do anything that glamorizes violence against women." **************** I just wanted to be sure about this. 1. If I, as a white man, object to anyone - black or white - using the word n******, a word with a racist history in the US South and everywhere else, that makes me a white racist? 2. Are you saying that rap's *not* okay if it glamorizes violence against women but it *is* okay if glamorizes violence against men?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T16:37:27-06:00
ID
109002
Comment

lucdix, I think you're reading too much in on both points: 1. He was talking about hip-hop in that quote, and he's right about that. He didn't call you out specifically in that statement. 2. How in the world do you draw that conclusion from what he said? That's not a logical deduction.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T16:45:04-06:00
ID
109003
Comment

"90% of what people talk about when they're criticizing "hip-hop" is either white racist crap or "you young whippersnappers" crap" So then I guess it can't just be that some people object to vulgar or raunchy lyrics because of their own sensibilities or how they were raised. There are even a few young people who prefer hip-hop without all of the cussin, which is why there are "clean" radio versions of most rap songs.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-12-11T17:02:39-06:00
ID
109004
Comment

All through this discussion, Donna, we've been discussing people in terms of their skin color - black or white - and apparently you see it otherwise, but I see that by itself as racist. I'm not describing someone in terms of his/her profession but only in terms of skin color - whether said person is an opera singer, an engineer, a doctor or a lawyer - when I (or anyone) add(s) the words 'black' or 'white' to the description, we're automatically adding the element of race. And I still object to the word n***** no matter who says it. I have not called for it to be 'banned' (the question is by whom or what agency) but I would see it as the right of any business owner to not sell CDs with lyrics which use it, for instance. Point 2 - what's illogical about that? One, I asked if Tom meant it that way, not you, but two, if you specifically say it's *not* okay to glamorize violence against women, well, there's only one other sex. Is it okay to glamorize violence against gays? Against Jews? Against any other ethnic group? Against animals? But again, the question was to Tom, not to you - though I'm interested in your opinion. Here's a question for you. Is it okay in your view to use the word n***** in hiphop but not anywhere else? Alternately, do you believe that it's okay for a black person to use the word but not a whilte person? I feel that's the tenor of what you're saying, may be wrong. If so, I find that a surprising view for someone from Philadelphia, MS.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T17:04:01-06:00
ID
109005
Comment

How can talking about someone's skin color in itself be "racist"? Are you sure you understand what racism is? And I ask that respectfully. Otherwise, if you don't see the logical fallacy in assuming that "don't glamorize violence against women" is equal to "glamorize violence against men," then I don't think I can explain it to you. As for blacks using the word "n!gger," I have already pointed out that I don't believe that is my argument. I actually see both sides of that issue. But I will say that there is a huge difference between it being used in a racist, degrading way (or for the sake of discussion, as we both just used it) by members of the majority culture than it being used by blacks in a way to negate its power over them—kind of like me using the word "chick," as I so often do. The original sexist use of that word has certainly been negated by its having been "taken back." However, that doesn't mean I think it's positive for the word to be populalized by the people it was used against. Again, that is not my debate, and I learn more by listening in on that one. Your last statement kind of shows your ignorance about what we're talking about here. You're trying to argue me into illogical corner by declaring that I am racist if I say it's OK for a black person to use the word "nigger." Of course, one would have to be buy your argument that simply talking about skin color is racist (which would mean that you're a racist, by your definintion, by the way). And I don't buy your argument, which has nothing to do with where I'm from. Nice, if feeble, attempt at an insult, however.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T17:18:32-06:00
ID
109006
Comment

When I define someone as a 'black engineer' I'm adding the element of skin color to my description of him/her. By definition I'm telling someone else what his/her race is. Using 'black' or 'white' in a definition has nothing to do with the profession or the proficiency of someone who practices it. I see the world in terms of librarians, garage mechanics, teachers - not black librarians, white garage mechanics, black teachers. Am I sure I understand what racism is? My family's been in Mississippi for over 200 years, Donna - I know how racist Mississippi used to be. I'm very happy it's no longer that way. That was the *only* way it used to be here. Continuing to describe people in terms of race and skin color continues that racial consciousness and contributes to racism - i.e., negative feelings about a person based on skin color. It also contributes to generalization, as if all people of a certain skin color had something in common besides the skin color. Violence - why does Tom not just say that he objects to Kaze glamorizing violence against anyone unless, by definition, it's worse if it's violence against women whereas violence against others can perhaps be tolerated? I don't see the logical jump you do there at all, so, no, I suppose you can't explain it to me. And, again, the question was for Tom, not you. I object to the word n*** no matter who uses it in whatever context. You and Kaze and others who have taken part in this discussion apparently don't - so there's nothing more to discuss in that regard. Regarding the last part of what I wrote regarding Phildelphia, MS, I didn't mean it as an insult at all, only that you can't maintain that you have no idea how the word has been used in Mississippi and the South for years as Kaze is maintaining that kids in the inner city don't know its real meaning. You covered the Edgar Ray Killen trial - we're both aware how racist Mississippi used to be and part of that racism is a description of another human being based on his or her skin color. The only reason I'm talking about skin color is because that's part of this discussion. I don't use it as a description of a person otherwise.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T17:49:41-06:00
ID
109007
Comment

"Donna - I know how racist Mississippi USED to be. I'm very happy it's no longer that way." ...Are you kidding me? When'd THAT memo go out? NOW I can understand where some of your responses come from.. "USED" to be.. try STILL IS! We've come a long way..true luc but we've got much to accomplish here. and the first part of that is realizing that the "black/"white issue still exists, here, and in America period. Its that taboo subject no one wants to talk about like they need to. "But I will say that there is a huge difference between it being used in a racist, degrading way (or for the sake of discussion, as we both just used it) by members of the majority culture than it being used by blacks in a way to negate its power over them—kind of like me using the word "chick," " ...Donna's got it..by george..she's got it.!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-11T18:35:55-06:00
ID
109008
Comment

(Just for clarity on Kaze's post—his first quote just now was said by Lucdix talking to me; don't want anybody to think I saw that Mississippi is no longer racist. Certainly, there has been improvement, and Jim Crow laws are no longer legal, but I wouldn't make that statement as quoted.) Also, Kaze, I was trying to stay out of the "n*gger" discussion and was drawn in. But I'm glad you approve of what I said. ;-) And it's good for other folks to see that we can disagree—although you and I know that we probably agree more than we disagree. Certainly, our mission is very similar, even if we get there in slightly different ways.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T18:40:35-06:00
ID
109009
Comment

"Saying I think you have a blind spot is not disrespecting you. It's saying I think you have a blind spot." ..So let me say..in a respectful manner..that I think YOU have a blind spot on this issue as well :-) fair enough? we agree to differ on that point.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-11T18:41:02-06:00
ID
109010
Comment

Oh, and Kaze is so right that NOT talking about race is certainly not the answer—even if that's what us white Mississippians are told our entire lives. Don't bring it up; leave it in the past. Screw that. That's why left us on the bottom of the barrel for so long. We are going to talk about race until the cows come home—or until we don't need to any longer. Right, Kaze?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T18:42:14-06:00
ID
109011
Comment

Sure, it's fair enough to say that. But it's not clear to me what you think my blind spot is. Can you be specific?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T18:42:53-06:00
ID
109012
Comment

Kaze, I said *how* racist it used to be - not that it's no longer racist. You're younger than I am, Kaze. You've never experienced segregated schools, buses, restaurants, water fountains, toilets, hotels, you name it. I have. The black/white issue still exists - no question - but it is *nothing* like it used to be - no way. If I'm not mistaken, I read that you're from Chicago. Is that right? I'm talking about Mississippi.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T18:42:56-06:00
ID
109013
Comment

Lucdix has a good point—except that the public schools have very nearly completely re-segregated due to white flight. There is a color line in the city that few white folks will cross (although black folks will coming this way). Certainly, with the force of the federal government telling us to, we ended de jure segregation in Mississippi. However, in too many ways, we replaced it with de facto segregation such as in much of the rest of the country—trading one evil for another. So it's better, but there is so much work to get done—that can't get done if we don't talk about race and keep pretending that the emperor is wearing a coat of many colors (to mix metaphors; sorry).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T18:46:00-06:00
ID
109014
Comment

Nope..bogus info I guess. I was born and raised right here in good ole Jackson! Got people there but Im Mississippi through and through. My mother is from Philadelphia, MS Stallo to more exact.. thats where my people on HER side are feom..spent many summers there and around Neshoba County. She was at JSU in the early sixties and had trash and water thrown on her and slurs hurled at her as white folks drove through the campus on lynch st. Ive been briefed. That still does not account for the fact that we as Mississippians STILL won't really talk about this issue. Its better sure...But what was once popular to make public has now gone underground which makes it harder to detect and smoke out! And hell if you happen upon the right spot..its STILL public LOL!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-11T18:55:45-06:00
ID
109015
Comment

Stallo?!? Get out of here; I didn't know that. (Wish we could say it out loud here; we say it "Stilo" for those who don't know.) Otherwise, what you said (this time).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T18:57:38-06:00
ID
109016
Comment

Yep my moms a wealth of knowledge on good ole neshoba county. She tries to not talk about those JSU days. She would rather forgete she says. But she was there. Im sure ya'll probably know some of the same landmarks.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-11T19:01:14-06:00
ID
109017
Comment

Combat vets tend not to talk about their experiences either. No surprise at your mom's reluctance.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-11T19:03:18-06:00
ID
109018
Comment

What Donna said.....except that I maintain that the more you talk of race or skin color the more you emphasize it - and, what continues to be part of this discussion, the more you use a word like n*****, the more power you give to it. You do not defuse it. Again, you and Donna and others apparently see this differently. Yes, there's white flight - but there's also black flight - and in both cases people are fleeing crime and rundown neighborhoods. The color line is not all through the city and it's not clearcut. Where it does exist, it's mostly an economic one. People like to live around others with their approximate socioeconomic status - always have, always will. So the solution to better (it will never be perfect) integration is to raise the socioeconomic status of more people and (here's one place Donna and I differ in a major way) to become as color blind as possible. And how do you raise the socioeconomic average? I maintain that it's through education and I still maintain that for all intents and purposes, it's free or amazingly inexpensive in this country - whereas Donna says, but, but, but... a basic philosophical difference between us it would seem. I maintain that if you have the will, you can make changes in your life and part of that will comes from having a good self image. I also maintain that if you expect the government to do things for you, you can wait a long time and it may never happen. So, yeah, I've now found a new term for myself as a bootstrap conservative. Fine with me if we're talking about changing your life. One way kids in the US don't have to use their bootstraps, though, is in getting an education or a library card. And yes, there's still plenty of work for us as a society to do but it starts with the individual and rap artists and other entertainers have a lot of influence over their audiences, one of the many places they can make positive moves towards change. To return to the misogyny part of this thread, you, Kaze, above put quotes around the word 'misogynistic' as if you were patronizing anyone who felt that certain rap lyrics were that way. As far as I'm concerned, the lyrics I've read *are* misogynistic - no quotes.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T19:09:36-06:00
ID
109019
Comment

lucdix writes: Violence - why does Tom not just say that he objects to Kaze glamorizing violence against anyone unless, by definition, it's worse if it's violence against women whereas violence against others can perhaps be tolerated? Let me turn the question on its ear for a moment: You ever watch Westerns? Action-adventure flicks with Seagal and Van Damme? Chuck Norris? Bruce Lee? Think it doesn't glamorize violence? Okay, now imagine if, in all those films, villains were the black folks and heroes were the white folks, invariably, and that our heroes used hateful, racially charged language directed against the black folks they were kicking the hell out of. If you complained and someone said "So violence against whites is okay?," how would you respond? Yeah. I'm pretty sure that'd be my answer to your question, too. As far as Mississippi no longer being racist is concerned: Talk to me when we have a black governor, and when the Mississippi CCC meetings have to shut down because they can't get enough people to show up, and when the neighborhoods in Belhaven, Eastover, and Fondren are all integrated in proportion to the cities, and when the projects are no more or less white than the rest of the population, and when little black children and little white children ride the same buses to the same integrated schools, and when our mayor can't get away with letting officers beat an 18-year-old black male by calling him a "damn thug." Then I might listen. Until then...yeah, I'm sure it was different in the segregation era, but in some ways not so much. I didn't grow up in your era, but then you didn't grow up in mine, either. I had a best friend growing up--he had a black father and white mother. And then one day, and it was almost as simple as just being one day, we were 13 or 14 and it dawned on him, and maybe on me, that he was black and I was white, and all of the sudden we were like strangers. It was only within the past year, year and a half that I reclaimed some of that innocence, but I'll probably never have all of it back. When there's a generation of kids that never has to have that experience, then I'll be a hell of a lot more amenable to the idea that racism is dead in Mississippi. But not until. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T19:12:21-06:00
ID
109020
Comment

lucdix writes: What Donna said.....except that I maintain that the more you talk of race or skin color the more you emphasize it Because otherwise I wouldn't notice Kaze was black and he wouldn't notice I was white, right? Sorry. Tried that. Besides, being white is part of who I am and being black is part of who he is, and I don't think that's something that should be politely overlooked, like a mole or a pimple, any more than our genders or our occupations or the language we speak should be overlooked. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T19:14:51-06:00
ID
109021
Comment

except that I maintain that the more you talk of race or skin color the more you emphasize it - and, what continues to be part of this discussion, the more you use a word like n*****, I'm sensing that we're giving it less power here as a mixed-race group of Mississippians have this level of discussion about its use, as well as our history of racism and what needs to happen next. We're certainly giving the need for "dialogue" more power, and that's a beautiful thing. I maintain that it's through education and I still maintain that for all intents and purposes, it's free or amazingly inexpensive in this country - whereas Donna says, but, but, but... a basic philosophical difference between us it would seem. Actually, I said a whole helluva more than "but, but, but"—what, are you trying to marginalize my comments now, too. At least you and Kaze have one thing in common. (smile) Public education is not free—it's actually quite expensive. And, unfortunately, that is at the heart of all these efforts to keep it unequally distributed. What you're saying is an ideal, but it's not one we're living up to very well just yet. Of course, I agree that public education is the way to raise the socioeconomic floor, and it's the way to reduce crime. Unfortunately, many people fight that reality every day, thus unleveling the playing field. But we fight on—and just won a major victory on Election Day locally. Getting an education and a library card helps one reach for their bootstraps, Lucdix. The bigger issue is whether they have bootstraps to grab onto. And yes, there's still plenty of work for us as a society to do but it starts with the individual and rap artists and other entertainers have a lot of influence over their audiences, one of the many places they can make positive moves towards change. "Starts with" the rap artists et al? Now, why would that be? They are the product of the society our forebearers built. Sure, they have responsibility, too—as we've discussed in detail—but no more than you or me, Lucdix, and maybe even a bit less. It's our people who created the problem in the first place. If you think that young black men are rapping about violence ONLY because they can't think of anything better to do with their time, then you're really naive on this question. I couldn't agree with Kamikaze more on the conditions that created the problems we're facing—our only disagreement here is on the level of responsibility he and other rappers have for rejecting the paradigm passed to them, which is sadly one in which black entertainers are forced to play out the stereotypes that were used, at one time, to justify lynching and terrorizing them. I believe strongly that they should stand up and refuse to act out those stereotypes—but I in no way blame them for the stereotypes existing in the first place. That's an important distinction before some folks start quoting me out of context, Bill Cosby style. Of course, it seems you'd rather pass the buck to the rappers by declaring that any discussion of race is somehow "racist." Yeah, that's really worked over the years. We're all in this together, like it or not.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T19:29:53-06:00
ID
109022
Comment

My question is: do cigarettes suddenly become less toxic if a Tobacco Company donates to cancer research? Hateful lyrics are hateful, no matter what the "real" stance of the performer is. If white men were writing songs about black men, the way black men are writing songs about women, there'd be rioting.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-11T19:46:10-06:00
ID
109023
Comment

Good ones, Kate. I am still curious about what my specific blind spot on this issue is. I look forward to Kaze's response when he returns.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-11T19:49:17-06:00
ID
109024
Comment

Responding to this thread is turning into a full-time job and I have another, so I'd like to wrap up my part in it. I've already said about everything on the topic which occurs to me. Have I watched Westerns? Sure, but not for a long time - and I don't watch VanDamme films or Steven Seagall films, etc. Yes, they glamorize violence. That's why I don't watch them. I think my point about your being against rappers glamorizing violence against women (and not mentioning anyone else) was clear. You don't. What else am I supposed to say? Yes, we're in this together, which is why I see no point in saying that we, whites are in it as are you, blacks (or vice versa). I say that we Mississippians are in this, regardless of race. I don't want better education and career possibilities for just whites or just blacks, I want them for Mississippians. Neighborhoods will integrate primarily in response to socioeconomic status and shared values. Once these conditions are met, you'll have greater integration, irrespective of skin color, including in Fondren, Belhaven, and Eastover. Yes, there's still racism in Mississippi, no, it's nowhere near as racist in this state as it once was. We've had two black mayors in this city and they were/are as different as could be. I would guess that Mississippi will have a black governor some day. Why not now? I'm not a politician. Is there a good candidate? I say a good candidate would have a serious chance, even here. Our state govenment overall is no longer completely white. It used to be. Not noticing that Kaze's black or his noticing that you're white? What am I supposed to say to that? But is it relevant? Does it automatically mean that you have other differences? What interests me when I go to the library is if they have my book, not whether the librarian's black or white. I didn't mean to marginalize your comments, Donna, but there are many and covered in your post above. I say that people can overcome obstacles and you seem to be saying that not everyone can, including poor black kids, but, in fact, they * can* and throughout US history they have - if they're encouraged. They get thrown out of school? I see plenty of black kids at Murrah and other high schools here, I see plenty of black students at JSU. If you get thrown out, you figure out a way to get back in - that's what I mean by will. If you think that I'm just talking about black rappers here, you're wrong. One of the stupidest songs on record was Pink Floyd's 'We don't need no education'. Public education is free or inexpensive for *students*. Yes, it costs taxpayers money -that's why we just passed a school bond issue here - but compared to trying to get an education is the third world, kids kids have it easy - and we'd have a lot more money for schools and our infrastructure in we were not destroying a country in the Middle East for no good reason. Responsibility? This is what I said - "it starts with the individual and rap artists and other entertainers have a lot of influence over their audiences" etc. I never said that it started with the rap artists. As far as 'our people who created the problem in the first place' - who, exactly, do you mean? Whites? That's oversimplification. Did you create the problem? Are you saying that I did? 'Black entertainers are forced to play out the stereotypes'? 'Forced' in what way? Is this another justification of the 'I'm only trying to put bread on my table' argument? Passing the buck to the rappers? They already have part of the buck. So do many others.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T20:06:20-06:00
ID
109025
Comment

KAZE! I want credit for getting the context too now. I said waaayyy up there the use is ALL about intent! Seriously! And that's the same way I feel about sexy, or "raunchy", music. I ADORE risque'....I HATE outright violent orders for women to perform or get off the bus.... Make sense? I actually like "Play", well could do without the threesome reference, but I'm a prude like that, but I do love that a man is recognizing how a woman can reach orgasm! Love that he's enjoying HER pleasure too. (Good lord my mom's gonna kill me!) I *don't* think it's appropriate, even edited, for mainstream radio. My kid's too smart for the "editing". He can fill in the blanks. But for grown-ups, I DON'T label those lyrics mysognistic. Now when you are demanding a woman to put out or get out (is that white terms....since we're talking about race....) THAT'S were the line gets drawn to me. And the use of women for ONLY sex is also troubling. Hey, we're smart too! I think we have more of a common ground here that is being acknowledged. I really, really do. Said that for a while! This white chick, suburban mom happens to LIKE sex. I just DON'T like the unbalance of power and the portrayal of women in ONLY sexual situations. We are so much more than our bodies, but our bodies are a part of us too! I'm going to pray to Jesus now that I posted on a public blog that I like sex. My Puritan ancestors are ROLLING in graves ;)

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-11T20:16:26-06:00
ID
109026
Comment

Kaze, are your lyrics online somewhere? We keep talking about 'rap music' but that's like talking about 'jazz' or 'bluegrass' or 'opera' or 'reggae' or 'soul'. I went to a link the other day - kamikaze601.com I believe it was - but it was a dead link. Is there something more current?

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T22:06:53-06:00
ID
109027
Comment

Kate writes: If white men were writing songs about black men, the way black men are writing songs about women, there'd be rioting. Well, in all fairness, there are white men writing songs like that...but nobody, except for a few Turner Diaries-reading dweebs, buys their records. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T22:28:23-06:00
ID
109028
Comment

...and in all fairness, part two, there are white men writing those kinds of songs about women, too. See Nickelback's "Figured You Out," for example, or Limp Bizkit's "Eat You Alive" (which is even scarier with the video, which features a woman, kidnapped and bound, getting threatened by Durst for the duration of the song). Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-11T22:50:06-06:00
ID
109029
Comment

I was thinking just now about how much racism there is or is not in Mississippi. Note that I've never denied it exists, have only said that it's *much* less racist here than it was thirty or forty or fifty years ago. One measure of racists attitudes would be the number of interracial couples in a city. In Jackson I personally know exactly one, whereas in other cities I've lived in, I've known many more. I'm curious as to whether other participants in this thread know of any interracial couples (African-American/European-American) here in Jackson or elsewhere in Mississippi.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-11T23:41:46-06:00
ID
109030
Comment

I can think of seven black-white interracial couples offhand (four straight, three gay); I probably know more, but it's late. Bear in mind though that I tend to run with folks who are (a) young and (b) liberal, so the sample group that makes up my circle of friends isn't exactly random. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T01:40:21-06:00
ID
109031
Comment

Here's a link to the Leonard Pitts column which Kaze started this thread in reaction to: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/leonard_pitts/16157920.htm Someone asked about this up above in this thread.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T01:42:43-06:00
ID
109032
Comment

Thanks, Tom. I know quite a few people in Jackson and, as I thought about it, only came up with the one I mentioned (and they're both young - 22 & 23 - 'straight'). I know of many interracial friendships, only of one actual couple.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T01:50:41-06:00
ID
109033
Comment

You know, this is an excellent point you bring up--if you ask most people if they think racism is still a problem in this country, they'd say no. Then you flip open the personals section: SWF seeks SWM, SWM seeks SWF, SBF seems SBM, SBM seeks SBF... Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T02:04:09-06:00
ID
109034
Comment

And by "most people ... in this country" I'm assuming general demographic information, nationally, which is skewed towards whites. Most black folks actually do say racism is still a serious problem in this country; most whites folks don't. I wish I could find some poll data on this, but a quick run through Google turns up nothing. Probably because I'm too whooped to think of effective keywords, but I remember reading this somewhere. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T02:08:56-06:00
ID
109035
Comment

Interracial dating? Two couples come to my mind...one of my sisters is engaged to a white guy, and my baby brother is dating a white/asian girl right now. I've seen several interracial couples/families in the Jackson area, but I encountered more on the Gulf Coast than up here.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-12-12T08:50:59-06:00
ID
109036
Comment

Back to my comment from yesterday.... Due to the high level of interest surrounding this topic, I took it upon myself to do a tad bit of investigating, just for my own knowledge. SO now I will share. Firstly allow me to tell you what my opinion on this matter is/was prior to my investigation. I feel like hip hop has a level of attachment to black culture and life styles that makes it difficult for those who are not black and who have not been heavily involved in the black experience to not be able to readily identify with the hip hop phenomenum. I am not talking about have two or three black people's numbers in your cell phone. I mean none blacks who have lived in areas that are heavily populated by blacks...gone to school with blacks, been pulled over by cops in a car full of blacks....you know, shared in the BLACK EXPERIENCE.... I took the lyrics to Banner's now extremely popular (even beyond it's initial release) song "PLAY". I printed the radio/clean version and I printed the parental advisory version of the album. I gave both copies of these lyrics to 12 women. Six were black and six were white. They were all ages from 16 to 52. Three of the white women were above 35 and didn't know who Banner was, had never heard the lyrics and were completely disgusted by reading it. One of these women had a 18 year old son whom she called after reading the lyrics, asked him if he had heard of Banner, to which he replied "Hell yeah, ma". (Notice how he spoke with his mom). Then she asked him if he heard the song "play". He said "UH, yes ma. Why?" She said " You listen to that garbage". He then replied..."Mom, how would you know....it's not garbage. Banner is the sh!t". Of the other two white women, one was 26 with three kids. This woman admited to being heavily involved in the church, she teaches Sunday school and is heavily involved in her children's lives. She said to me that she was not offended in any way to Banner's lyrics. She wouldn't play the non-radio version in front of her kids, but she listens to the radio version with them all the time (indicating that she owns a mixed cd with the clean version on it). She furthered her conversation by saying that her favorite song was from the Hustle and Flow soundtrack, "Hard out here for a pimp". The last white woman of the age of about 32, said to me that people are only offended by these lyrics because they are insecure about themselves. She says she didn't like the Nelly Tip Drill video, but she didn't have to look at it because it came on so late, so she didn't care. But she said that the Play lyrics did not offend her at all because "I am not a hoe or a b!tch...it's just a song".

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T10:25:12-06:00
ID
109037
Comment

Now on to the black women: The first was a 16 year old young lady who is a senior in high school. She said that she "loves Banner, dispite the lyrics to the song". She said that she doesn't think that he is refering to all women in a bad way. She said there are women out there who act like hoes and that's how they are treated....SHE IS 16. The next two women were between 29 and 32. One of them were in agreement with the white female who said that the only people offended are the ones who are not secure and strong enough to not be swayed by the words of others. The other said that she had PLAY on her ring tone and prefered the non-radio version to the clean version. She said it was a sexy song and it made her feel sexy when she was dancing to it in the club. She said that the song was complementary to women. One of the black women was 44, she has two teenage daughters. She said to me that she thought the song lyrics were outrageous. She was disgusted. She said that "its what they listen to now-a-days...there's nothing I can do about it. What am I gonna do, stop them from watching tv or listening to the radion. No, all I can do is make sure I teach my girls how to carry themselves in a respectable way and they will make their own decisions about what they listen to and what regard they will hold themselves to". THe last black woman was a teacher, she teaches 5th graders and she is about 49 years old. She says the kids come in singing rap songs all the time. She says she combats that by singing gospel songs to them while they're singing. She challenges to memory tests since it's easy for them to sing rap songs....to which they always know the rap lyrics better than anything she tries to teach them. She says as long as artists keep making it plain on their album covers that the album should be evaluated by parents prior to kids gettting them, and that it is enforced when the kids try to buy albums that are not for them, then parents would be left to parent instead of trying to make artists responsible for them not teaching their kids about the difference in entertainment and life. She said, and I quote, "Hip hop, although it dipicts parts of life for some, it is still merely entertainment. Some are not entertained and that's when the problem comes in. Others do still find it entertaining. So does that mean that it's garbage or is it just not what that person finds entertaining".

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T10:41:41-06:00
ID
109038
Comment

All of this to say....maybe some of you are blocked in your understanding. I am now even more convinced than I was when I started. If you can't relate to this, then you just can't. I am in no way offended by Banner's lyrics. It is NOT RAPE. It's RAP. He is not degrating women. He is speaking about those who identify with his lyrics and to be honest to you, what yall hear as B*tch and [email][email protected][/email] of us hear Lady or Chick or Broad....whatever. It is not offensive, unless you are not sure about whether it's you or not. And to be honest with you the days of B!tch being a term to insult, it has now become a term that women welcome. Why? Because it adds to their stregnth and power. Use to be that bi!ches were the ones not to be messed with. So, now to be called one means, I am free of accepting bullsh!t. NOw, I don't expect this to mean that some of you will still not have your opinon. However, I am hoping that you will get off of these and stop trying to make us feel bad because our music makes no sense to you. Because you "dont get it". I don't get blues. But that doesn't mean that everyone who listens to it is an idiot because they refuse to move on pass that drama that makes them listen to that boring azz music. Not my preference, but to each his/her own. That's all we are asking. don't be made at me because I'm not offended by Play. And don't be made at Banner for understanding that those who he made that song for would not be offended. If you don't like it, don't buy it, dont listen. Don't disregard the man or his fans.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T10:42:06-06:00
ID
109039
Comment

She said there are women out there who act like hoes and that's how they are treated....SHE IS 16. I can't read any further, Queen. That is a remarkable statement for a 16-year-old to make without a grown woman (or man) sitting her down and talking to her about it. And where did she get that idea? Act like a "ho" and, thus, get treated like a "ho." Act like a "thug" and get treated like a "thug." And with due respect, I will continue to question any lyrics, whether by black or white artists, that degrade women and make money by glorifying rape. Even if the 16-year-old who listens to it all the time doesn't understand why. You still didn't answer the question of why so many black women and men are also offended by these types of lyrics; do they not "get it," either? Are they just "acting white" by displaying our brand of ignorance? Or, just might they "get" something that you and the 16-year-old don't? Also, would you not listen to hip-hop should rappers decide to start defying the stereotypes that the white world has created for them with these kinds of lyrics? Is it the only option? You will note that I haven't disregarded anybody. And I do listen to hip-hop and will continue to. I won't let the stereotypical lyrics ruin the experience for me. I also will not turn my head and keep quiet when I see something harmful being promoted in the culture. I watched too many of my own people turn their heads in Neshoba County in the 1960s and '70s. They might have just said, "If you don't like what they say at Klan rallies, don't attend them." Many of them today say, "If you don't like our state flag, just leave the state." Nope, nope and nope. Responsible citizens don't turn our heads. And the story you told about the 16-year-old who doesn't understand the import of what she said makes me even more determined. Thank you for sharing that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T10:49:45-06:00
ID
109040
Comment

Here's a little perspective on racism in Mississippi - and please note, once again, that I am *not* saying that racism has disappeared here but these days are thankfully gone forever and the change was hard won. ************************* From 'Mississippi Politics' - Jere Nash and Andy Taggart - pp 12-13 [re the birth of the Dixiecrat Party in 1948] [quote]By the time Truman proposed his civil rights initiatives, the separation of black and white lives, and the near total subordination of blacks to whites, was the reality in Mississippi. For all practical purposes, blacks could not vote or serve on juries. Unless separate accomodations and entrances were provided, blacks were not allowed into public theaters, parks, circuses, restaurants, bowling alleys, roller rinks, swimming pools, tenniscourts, hotels, motels, and barbershops. Cities maintained three restrooms in train stations: one for white men, one for white women, and one for "colored." Taxi drivers could not carry a black passenger and a white passenger at the sametime. Blacks had to sit behind white passengers on buses. Railroad cars, railroad waiting rooms,and buses had separate accomodations for blacks and whites. Blacks in Mississippi went to separate schools, lived in separate neighborhoods,and were buried in separate cemeteries. Even in hospitals, black and white patients were treated in separate quarters and were prevented from using the same entrances. Anyone found guilty of publishing "arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or intermarriage" could be imprisoned. The manifestion of the relationship between blacks and whites was found everyday in the signs that hung over entrances and exits, water foundatins, waiting rooms, and ticket windows: "Whites Only" and "Colored." [/quote] And guess was the word generally used to describe black people at the time was.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T11:11:11-06:00
ID
109041
Comment

Donna, my point is that you have every right to your opinion, but don't expect that to be the end of it, just as you don't expect me to end the controversy with my opinion. You can attest whatever lyrics you wish. It's a personal choice. And the fact that you can understand the 16 year old's opinion is just another peice of evidence that this culture and lifestyle is beyond your understanding. I know that you like hiphop, you repeated that many times. I know you have rapper associates. You've repeated that as well. What you fail to realize is that not everyone finds this offensive. Therefore it can not be entirely labeled as offensive music. I talked to whites and blacks and although some agree with your opinion, some also agree with mine. So my thought is, if you are offended by it, fine, you don't have to endulge. But for those of us who are not, does that mean something is wrong with us? And to be honest with you, no I haven't spoken with all black women, or all white women, but I spoke with enough to have a even balance enough to proove that TO EACH IT'S OWN. It's just like being able to choose a religion. I am sure that you don't critisize those who don't believe as you do. So why do the same here. Why hold me accountable for what your opinion is based on when I don't share in that opinion. It's not like you HAVE to listen to Play or any other rap lyrics that you don't agree with. Just like if you are not a muslim, you don't HAVE to go to mosque. If you are not a catholic, you don't HAVE to go to mass. If you don't like certain kinds of hip hop, you don't have to listen and you don't have to disregard the artist. Someone out there (prooven by record sales) likes Banner's music. It doesn't make him or his fans' acceptance any more right or wrong than your unacceptance.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T11:21:27-06:00
ID
109042
Comment

Queen, I'm sure you're familiar with the work of black women intellectuals like bell hooks, but others here might not be. There is a lot of good writings out there that are both sympathetic and cognizant of the plight of the black man in America, while not abdicating them completely of responsibility for their own actions that result from white stereotypes and terrorism of them. For instance, this book. And lucdix, of course, the actions of whites in Mississippi and the South were abhorrent. You didn't mention a few very close to home, including JPD packing black teen protesters into the livestock pens at the state fair. Or the city of Greenwood cutting off commodities for blacks who tried to register—making them choose between voting and feeding their children. Or the Sovereignty Commission, paid for by taxpayers, that would go as far as helping sheriff departments terrorize and White Citizens Councilors boycott white business owners who let blacks use their bathroom, not to mention feeding the license plate number Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner to the sheriff/police/Klan (all the same then) in Neshoba County. Downtown here, we had read-ins because blacks couldn't use the frackin' public library. On the Coast, they had wade-ins on the beach because they too were reserved for white people. We could go on and on listing the horrors our state and city inflicted on our black citizens. However, that in no way negates racism that still exists. Sure, we've come a long way (because we were forced to by the federal government), and we have a long way to go. We sure won't be there until white people in the state at the very least understand *why* the state flag is so horrifying and sends the exact opposite message as that naive, dumbass "Mississippi Believe It" campaign. And with due respect, you're saying things people here already know, even as you're trying very hard not to listen to what people today are saying about things such as disempowering the n-word. I know you mean well, but even if your insistence that you have all the answers on that topic, without showing any understanding or desire to listen to the other arguments, you still seem like you're playing the privilege card in your stubborn refusal to listen and your repetition of textbook racial discrimination that we all already know about. I challenge you to listen a bit more, especially when these guys discuss the word "n!gger." That's the same tactic I've long taken on the hip-hop question, although of late I am now more emboldened and determined to speak out on the misogyny aspect of it. Why? In part because I'm a woman, and I've been a victim of male violence (and been called all sorts of names, simply because I was confident and outspoken). I've also taken time to study the origins of hip-hop and read all sorts of thinkers on the issue. That in no way makes me an expert on the topic, and I would never pretend to understand all the intricacies of the issue, but I have taken time to try to understand the various ways *black* people think on the issue before jumping in with both feet. And, of course, African Americans do not not think on one mind on hip-hop lyrics, or the n-word, nor would I expect them to. But I know I have more to learn from them than them from me. And my intellectual mentors on the topic are none other than black women. Does that mean I don't have the right to express my opinion on the topic? Hell, no. But it also means that I need to listen very carefully. The best I can do is try.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T11:34:56-06:00
ID
109043
Comment

I would like to repeat something that we need some common ground on. There is a HUGE difference between "dirty" lyrics and mysogyny. I think a huge block we have here is that there ARE white folks who have a huge issue with sexuality...period. And sexuality in women is very taboo. I applaud a man who can appreciate a woman for being a sexual being. ESPECIALLY if he has lyrics that acknowledge and appreciate the whole woman. So the lyrics to "Play" honestly don't bother me. I don't think it should be played on mainstream radio, but I appreciate Banner (and Kaze who was there) writing lyrics that are essentially erotic. Erotic does not equal mysogyny. The problem lies in lyrics that depict the pimp/ho dynamic. The ones that dismiss women as ONLY sexual beings, and if they are not there for sex, then they can "grab pussy and leave". Now THAT is where the problem lies for me. This is where I'm seeing a blind spot. I know I have MY blind spots, but I think there are some blinders there dismissing objections as "you just don't get it". Can we at least agree that there is a difference between erotic/sexual and mysognynistic?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T11:36:15-06:00
ID
109044
Comment

I appreciate you determination Donna. I too am determined. I am sick and tired (just as Kaze) of White America patronizing us. I don't need you to tell me how I should feel about being a woman. Who says how you feel is right? Why do you think you are so privy to the right perception of things. I am just as responsible as you are. That's why I respect individualism. You kill me with the "I know what's best for everyone" attitude that you display. You want a battle I'm ready. These folk have the same freedom to say what they wish as you do to listen. I'd think with this publication, you'd have some level of respect for free speech. And the difference in lifestyles that grants the 16 year old to have the attitude that she has could very well come from adult influence, but who says that's wrong. She may not feel that way when she is 45. But she is still worthy to have an opinion even if it is not shared by Donna Ladd. You are not the saving grace for black folks. As much as I am sure you'd like to think so. You can't save that which you can't even begin to understand. And as far as that flag statement....I am a black woman, I see rebel flags on the highways, attached to bumpers and even hanging off rooftops in the Fondren area. How do you think that makes me feel? I hate it. However, I know that those people can hang whatever they wish from their roof tops. I don't like it and I don't have to look at them. What are you doing about that? Is that offensive to you as well? Where's the article on that? Stop spending so much time trying to rectify the horrible existence of hip hop. Spend some of your time educating your white brethren on the fact that we are human beings (black folk). We are capable of making decisions. We are capable of deciding what we listen to. We are capable of makeing the distiction between what is offensive and what isn't and we DEMAND THAT WE ARE RESPECT FOR THAT CHOICE. Again, you have every right to your opinion, and so do those who agree with you and those who agree with me.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T11:37:22-06:00
ID
109045
Comment

Queen, when did I once say that my opinion was the "end of it"?!? I'm trying to provoke conversation and thought; I'm not exactly the one on this thread trying to *end* the dialogue about hip-hop lyrics. I will do everything I can to prolong it, in fact. ;-) If you don't like certain kinds of hip hop, you don't have to listen and you don't have to disregard the artist. Someone out there (prooven by record sales) likes Banner's music. It doesn't make him or his fans' acceptance any more right or wrong than your unacceptance. You're putting all sorts of words in my mouth, which aren't true. I've said once out right that I do not "disregard the artist." I've ridden in Banner's Viper with him speeding around Vicksburg, and he's sat in my office and discussed the city's attack on young "thugs" and what we can do about that together. I've helped him put on a voter education event at the Boys & Girls Club. I get a big sweaty hug from him whenever I can (usually after a show, although it's been too long). I've been to his house in Brookhaven and gotten to know his mama. I adore the man who now calls himself David Banner. He is one of my favorite people. The same goes for Kamikaze. I believe that both have the power to be two of the greatest forces this state has ever seen. All of that, Queen, is why I challenge them to be everything they can be. Because I believe in them. So, as I said, please don't put words in my mouth. You know what assuming does.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T11:42:46-06:00
ID
109046
Comment

So the lyrics to "Play" honestly don't bother me. I don't think it should be played on mainstream radio, but I appreciate Banner (and Kaze who was there) writing lyrics that are essentially erotic. Erotic does not equal mysogyny. The problem lies in lyrics that depict the pimp/ho dynamic. The ones that dismiss women as ONLY sexual beings, and if they are not there for sex, then they can "grab p**** and leave". Now THAT is where the problem lies for me.<<<<

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T11:45:18-06:00
ID
109047
Comment

Queen, I'm sorry if I've hurt your opinion by expressing my opinion on "your" music—that many white people are also listening to, by the way, not that that would change my reaction. I am not patronizing you. I find it sad that you think that a white person challenging rape lyrics and making money off calling black women "hoes" in music adored as well by white kids is somehow "patronizing." I believe it would be more patronizing to not say anything about that "black music" and assume that black rappers cannot make money by rapping about something other than white stereotypes of them. But I respect your disagreement; I suspect more than you respect the fact that I would dare disagree with you. I will also note that this is not only the opinion of Donna Ladd. You're giving me too much credit there.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T11:48:06-06:00
ID
109048
Comment

"Kaze, are your lyrics online somewhere?" Yep. shut the website down because myspace has taken over the world LOL. you can go to myspace.com/mrshonuff601 and hear some music. There's four songs posted that you can hear or download. ..or you can google 2 Broke 2 Ball and I think my last album is posted somewhere for listening...I think. or google kamikaze mississippi or kamikaze and david banner and that usually pulls some stuff up. but myspace should definitely be your first stop.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T11:49:00-06:00
ID
109049
Comment

[quote] And with due respect, you're saying things people here already know, even as you're trying very hard not to listen to what people today are saying about things such as disempowering the n-word. [/quote] According to Kaze from his post above [quote] How can you expect a rapper who was conditioned as a child to use the "N" word when talking with his peers, when there was no one around to tell him the true meaning of the word and its history, to then create music and somehow NOT use it? [/quote] young black kids do *not* know what the word means, Donna - and yes, I could have written of many more examples - thanks for adding those. I agree with Leonard Pitts that using the word 'nigger spelled with or without an 'r' is not going to disempower it. You and Kaze apparently do. No, regarding that word I will not listen and in my opinion neither should you, whether used by whites or blacks, particularly for someone from Philadelphia, MS - yes, I used that 'card' again.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T11:50:58-06:00
ID
109050
Comment

Yes Donna assuming can be a bad thing. It works two ways though. Again, I know you have affiliation with Kaze and Banner....great...as do I. That's why I know that neither of them make music to bring any discord to MY community. They both treat their mothers with respect and I am sure that they treat their women the same way. Now with you knowing them personally, I find it difficult to understand why it is escaping you that this music is simply entertainment and should he held to that regard. WHy are you so offended by Play when you know what kind of person Banner is. Did he treat you like those women when you were racing around in the Viper with him? Shouldn't he have grabbed your butt cheeks or something since he has no respect for women as apparent by his lyrics in Play? Isn't that the issue here that this is a negative display to women? How can you not accept it as just music when you know that this man can't disrespect a woman if he tried? This is what I don't understand?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T11:53:19-06:00
ID
109051
Comment

And, yes, I have seen women get "down on the flo'." Of course, there are women who make money off sex. There are also men who do that. And there are men who make money off women who make money off sex. Are they not just as golddigging as the women? We're not dealing with a double standard, are we?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T11:53:21-06:00
ID
109052
Comment

Thanks, Kaze - I'll do that.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T11:58:39-06:00
ID
109053
Comment

I liked your experiment Queen. However, my inclination is to try and make things as they ought to be (better) rather than merely settling or accepting them as they are or appear to be. A whore can change and should. She would probably be better off a non-whore. Where would we be without the many great efforts to make things better for all. Somebody told me this was the reason Jesus was sent here. There is good and bad in all of us. Whether we know it or not, we're admitting we like things that are good and bad. What's good to one is bad to another. Even devout Christians and religious people of all faiths and denominations are quite tempted and do evil or bad things. When we all set our own mark or lines of demacation of what is good or bad we can never agree. We have to look to something beyond us as the real mark, scale or measuring stick, or we will never agree. All of us have our own scale or measuring stick and we don't want anyone elses. Racism is not dead and it won't die completely, I don't believe. There is too much dedication to ensuring that it lives on forever in homes, churches, social clubs, colleges, universities, on jobs and so on. The rich and powerful know too well that they hold most of the cards. We can make them pause only because we're too divided to do more. In we I'm talking about people of similar beliefs and desires. In my case, I don't pretend to be all good, especially to adults. Yes, I will make a great effort to do only good around or before children just like my elders did. They didn't want to be responsible for running a youngster or unfinished person in the wrong direction. Although I figure God expects even better I would bet he aprreciated the effort to save the children. It seems people don't care anymore what they do or say before children.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T12:00:37-06:00
ID
109054
Comment

Whew! There's that blind spot I was referring to Donna. Queen just got to it and actually explained it better than I could because she is a woman. There are women young and old alike who have NO problem with those type lyrics. Thats what Ive been trying to say all along. This mantra of they "need to be saved" or " we need to talk to them" does not apply in every case. For every woman that has been raped or molested or discriminated against. for every woman with low to no self esteem, there is one who hasnt been molested and has plenty of self esteem THAT HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THESE TYPE LYRICS! The words bitch and hoe they feel dont apply to them and acknowledge that fact. You blind spot comes in the fact that there are MANY women who feel like that 16 year old. Are you saying they are wrong for their opinion? There are women who even acknowldge that there are women who "act" like bithches an hoes and feel it is up to the individual to decide on how they wish to carry themselves. are they wrong too. Queen's point and my point is that there are women who DON't agree with you. Banner's lyrics on Play or Like A Pimp DON'T offend them. you can find many black and white that ARE offended but you will find a contigent that ISNT.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T12:01:02-06:00
ID
109055
Comment

I also think we need more conversation about what puts a woman in a situation where she sells herself for money. Not enough good paying jobs for women? Do they feel that their sexuality is only value they have, and if so, where did that idea come from? Lots of women in the sex industry have a childhood of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect....

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T12:01:56-06:00
ID
109056
Comment

I am not patronizing you. I find it sad that you think that a white person challenging rape lyrics and making money off calling black women "hoes" in music adored as well by white kids is somehow "patronizing." I believe it would be more patronizing to not say anything about that "black music" and assume that black rappers cannot make money by rapping about something other than white stereotypes of them. YES YOU ARE PATRONIZING ME. YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO DISCREDIT THIS RAP FORM BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE IT AND YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. AND WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ARE CALLING "BLACK WOMEN" HOES? I HAVEN'T HEARD ANY RAPPERS MAKE THAT DISTINCTION. THEY USE THE WORD GENERALLY. THEY COULD BE TALKING ABOUT ASIAN WOMEN TOO. SO WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT IT'S BLACK WOMEN THEY ARE CALLING HOES? IS IT NOT JUST A BRANCH OF YOUR NEED TO SAVE BLACK FOLK FROM BLACK FOLK. YOU NEED NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT BLACK MEN CALLING BLACK WOMEN HOES. NOW WHEN THEY COME OUT WITH A SONG THAT SAYS "ALL WHITE WOMEN ARE HOES AND BIOTCHES" THEN YOU GET YOUR GROUP TOGETHER AND HEAD TO THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT. THEN YOU'LL HAVE A LIGITIMATE BEEF. But as for now, you are sending me the impression that you feel like i am not inclined to know when i should be offended and when i shouldn't. That is not your right.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:02:15-06:00
ID
109057
Comment

Interesting two-way conversation I have here. If there is anything to be said for being willing to be attacked from both ends ... ;-) Lucdix, I appreciate the thought behind the lecture you're giving me on why I should refuse to listen to the n-word. I do wonder why you keep using it—if you never think it should be used? Oh, for the sake of education and argument. Hmmm. Even an uppity white girl from Philadelphia, Miss., can comprehend that somehow. Queen, I know neither Kaze or Banner are trying to bring discord to their community. Just the opposite, in fact. Otherwise, your questions show that you're not listening to, or at least hearing, me. I know that, as men, these guys are not sexist pigs (at least that I know of, and I would be surprised if they are). But, the question here is what they are doing as entertainers and the potential effect of their most sell-out lyrics on young women and men who get the message that rape is something to joke around about, or be macho over. They have tremendous reach with their music; why risk doing harm with it? I know, as they say, because those lyrics sell best. I do not accept that argument, and believe strongly that these two wonderful Mississippians have the power to help change that fact. (I would even ask if part of the reason that is true is because all these white kids love hearing black folks talk about each other in such a way.) Likewise, I have known many racists (meaning that they were white) over the years who were perfectly nice to black people one on one. "One of my best friends is black" kind of thing. That doesn't mean that they were not participating in something harmful to society and people of all races. (Not making rappers the opposite of white supremacists, by the way; these are just the best analogies from white culture that I can think of.) Also, Emily is right: For me, this is NOT about the right to do dirty lyrics. As a club deejay, I've often played dirty versions to roomfuls of adults. I'm no prude. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:03:53-06:00
ID
109058
Comment

Okay, first of all....who said that being a hoe or a slut is wrong. Why should she change? Is that not your opinion? That again, is one's personal choice. It's not like we talking about being drug dealers or something that can affect a community. We are talking about people's sexual preferences. Now, who made the rules here. Is this based on what your mama said, or what the church said or what society says....what? How can you tell a woman who has sex for money that she is wrong? Why is she wrong....because you don't think she should do that? It's not morally acceptable? Who sets the standards for ones morals? You? God? What if they don't believe in the God you serve?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:06:10-06:00
ID
109059
Comment

Queen, I am expressing my opinion of misogynistic lyrics, and you don't like it. Thus, you are accusing me of patronizing you. That's an ad hominem and an emotional response to the fact that I disagree with you. I will also note that you chimed in on my conversation with someone else to challenge what I was saying, which was fine. Do you really not think this dialogue can flow two ways, Queen? Also, why is it that your status as an African American trumps my status as a woman in this debate? I've got just as many credentials as you do in this conversation—not more, but not less either. And don't tell me what "my right" is; I also will not do the same to you. I have just as much right to be concerned by the plight of young women in America.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:12:46-06:00
ID
109060
Comment

"Lots of women in the sex industry have a childhood of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect...." ..YES!..but there are plenty still that havent...no where near it emily..they do it because they WANT to. YES! because they want to! So then are they not entitled to THEIR opinion. You can't make a blanket statement saying that all these women need to be "saved" from the evil men who have objectified them. Some of them are strong women who simply do what they wish. Just has I have said that I cant make a blanket statement condemning other rappers for what they do. I choose not to be so graphic and if you listen to my lyrics you will see. Ive got a bigger vocabulary than most folks so I can find other ways to say what i say but for a rapper who doesnt..its not my place to judge. I do me and "they" do them. I choose to give back like I do because that is what "I" choose to do. Some rappers may not think so..and thats their perogative.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T12:13:14-06:00
ID
109061
Comment

I realize it's a long time ago, Donna, but Leonard Pitts's column about rappers using the word n***** is the subject of this thread - that's the only reason I'm discussing it - because I agree with him. [quote] Lucdix, I appreciate the thought behind the lecture you're giving me on why I should refuse to listen to the n-word. I do wonder why you keep using it—if you never think it should be used? Oh, for the sake of education and argument. Hmmm. Even an uppity white girl from Philadelphia, Miss., can comprehend that somehow. [/quote] I would not have brought it up otherwise. You're playing word games.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T12:15:08-06:00
ID
109062
Comment

who said that being a hoe or a s*** is wrong. Uh, I think the music sends that message. If we're defining whore or slut by personal sexual choices a woman makes, then I don't get the labels at all. They're just insults. I think you've completely missed the point. I'm not criticizing sexual freedom at all; I'm more concerned about women being called horrible names for the same kinds of choices that men make. That is a classic double standard in our country, and it's certainly not a practice just restricted to rappers, black or otherwise. I challenge that double standard across the board; I would be a hypocrite not to also challenge it in rap music. Why don't we take a breath here? I have an editor's note to write, and you seem so angry about my opinion that you are coming up with a lot of stuff that I haven't said, nor do I believe. That's a bit of a false rant that won't move this conversation forward; that's happens when people get emotional, which is fine. Let's revisit later.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:17:22-06:00
ID
109063
Comment

Donna I too think that Kaze and Banner have the power to offer the community a positive message. However, I don't like the fact that you want to make this seem as if I, as a fan, am wrong for not being offended. That was my concern. If all you want to say here is Kaze and Banner, yall need to offer us something more positive....great, I agree. But if you are saying stop doing the other kind of music because you are calling black women hoes, then that's not your call to make.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:20:37-06:00
ID
109064
Comment

Lucdix, I'm not playing word games. You're the one who said we should not use the word under any circumstance. Thus, you seem to be implying that you (and Leonard Pitts) can get a pass on this, but not a girl from Philadelphia, Miss., or a rapper from West Jackson. That is, I'm responding to what you're saying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:22:15-06:00
ID
109065
Comment

"rape is something to joke around about, or be macho over" Donna this is a serious issue for me. and thats a serious accusation. Rape is nothing to joke about, but I hear you talk about these lyrics that promote it. I for the life of me have not heard a lyric, especially in Banner's case that even implies Rape=Good. Ive been going through my collection mental and actual just to see. ...There are hundreds of thousands of men in jail for rape. hell inmates even frown upon rapists and child molesters. but I havent heard one lyric in my years of listening to rap where someone said "rape this woman" or "rape that woman". rape is cool, you guys go out and rape a woman. I find rape as NO JOKE! and youd be far fetched to find a rapper who would say to you that it is. There probably has to a level of misinterpretation here on that. The pimp/ho dynamic true..thats there but a culture of pro-rape rappers nahhh.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T12:24:53-06:00
ID
109066
Comment

Queen, I am expressing my opinion of misogynistic lyrics, and you don't like it. Thus, you are accusing me of patronizing you. That's an ad hominem and an emotional response to the fact that I disagree with you. I will also note that you chimed in on my conversation with someone else to challenge what I was saying, which was fine. Do you really not think this dialogue can flow two ways, Queen?<<<

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:25:36-06:00
ID
109067
Comment

But Queen and Kaze are you looking beyond your own understanding. Can you say you're righteous in your opinions and summations. Do your opinions and summations square with with a punishing and an all-knowing and all-loving Almighty? Would you feel comfortable facing the allmighty with those notions?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T12:27:56-06:00
ID
109068
Comment

Why don't we take a breath here? I have an editor's note to write, and you seem so angry about my opinion that you are coming up with a lot of stuff that I haven't said, nor do I believe. That's a bit of a false rant that won't move this conversation forward; that's happens when people get emotional, which is fine. Let's revisit later. ...wow I never thought I'd see this day! I've made up NOTHING. I've challenged you and you ran. WOW! I have missed no points whatsoever. I have caused you to think about what you spew out to folks on a regular basis and you need to take a break. That's fine. I've had to do that before too.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:28:38-06:00
ID
109069
Comment

I know you have a bigger vocabulary. I know your lyrics are different. I didn't say all women anything. I said lots. Again, I strongly feel that just because a few women have no problem with being degraded does not mean it's okay for all women, and it's especially not okay to put the "ho" presentation of women into the mainstream (although I know rappers are not personally responsible for that, but it's there) which then perpectuates a daily dynamic that all women must endure. To me, that's the same argument that racists use when they say that some blacks were happy with the status quo of slavery and Jim Crow. I don't see where that's me making a blanket statement. I see that's others making a blanket statement. If some women have no problem with it, then all women should have no problem with it. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm NOT all women. No woman I know is all women. But I do know that 1/4 of women are raped in their lifetime, and that's just those who report it.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T12:28:57-06:00
ID
109070
Comment

lots? from an ENGLISH teacher???? LOTS?????

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-12T12:32:09-06:00
ID
109071
Comment

I'm disappointed in you, Donna - you know exactly what I mean and yes, you're playing semantic games. You know the word's meaning and history, you know why Leonard Pitts wrote his column. I'm not looking for a 'pass' on using the word except in the context of discussing it in this column. Kamikaze wants a 'pass' on it because he maintains that young kids in the 'hood don't know its real meaning and he's black. You, hopefully, would not use the word except in defending its use by black rappers, but why you defend that use is beyond me. My opinion is that it will not disempower the word, yours is (I assume) or that you, as a white person, should not be criticizing its use by a black person - and I criticize its use in any context other than this thread.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T12:32:44-06:00
ID
109072
Comment

But Queen and Kaze are you looking beyond your own understanding. Can you say you're righteous in your opinions and summations. Do your opinions and summations square with with a punishing and an all-knowing and all-loving Almighty? Would you feel comfortable facing the allmighty with those notions? Ray, you are making an assumption that I believe that there is an Almighty? But I'll endulge with you. I personally do feel like it wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to be so sexually free, however, I don't knock people for their individual decisions. I feel like people do what they do. We are held accountable for our own decisions and practices....bottom line.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T12:32:48-06:00
ID
109073
Comment

Queen, in your accusatory haste, you are still misreading me. I don't mind that you "jumped in" on the blog; that's why we have it. My point was that you're making it sound like I came after your opinion, when I did not. You criticized mine, and I responded. There is nothing unfair or disrespectful happening in either direction here. You can't just play that card if someone disagrees with you. Your comment that my daring to have this real conversation is somehow what white people do is offensive—but I will take it in the spirit of lively debate. The truth is, not many white people are likely to have any of these conversations in a straightforward way, or provide a forum for them, and I am willing to be misunderstood (by either race) in my effort to do that. It is people's fear of being uncomfortable, or at being accused by the other race of being racist, that keeps so many of these conversations from happening. The fact that I express these opinions, and openly disagree with what you have said, does not denote disrespect. I would argue that it shows respect because I want to have the conversation with you. And I certainly respect the rappers we're talking about enough to believe that they know they are not above criticism.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:35:30-06:00
ID
109074
Comment

And luc to get back to you..You're right the Pitts column IS the basis of this thread but we do get off on tangets here LOL. Anyway. my point is...Rappers did not create this word so to come to us FIRST to stop it is wrong. To imply we popularized or promote the word is WRONG flat out!We have used the word because we came up in a society by and large that made that word what it is. I do feel like balck folks and rappers in general have empowered the word...because it is just that..a word. we've taken the strength from it. Donna gets it...ITs a "white issue" because whites created the word and gave it its sting. We have in turn taken it and relieved it of its power. I didnt need Micheal Richards to point out the stupidity in the word. He was just expresseing what many whites feel and won't say. But I stated all of this earlier. ...If rappers and the black population at large stopped using the word across the board TOMORROW..It will still be used. The word does not offend me period. That's me. I am comfortable in my skin. In fact, when I hear a white person use it, I usually laugh (before I kick their ass) I laugh because it doesnt offend me, and I kick their ass because they were TRYING to offend me by using the word. It's a "black issue" cuz I don't see white racists stopping its usage anytime soon. So it really doesnt matter what we do with the word anyway.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T12:38:51-06:00
ID
109075
Comment

Kamikaze, I absolutely agree with you on the use of THAT word. And the invention of mayo is still my favorite line of yours. Kingfish, I appoint you to go pull the statistics of abused strippers so I can use a more valid word than lots. I do need a percentage there. I'm just to ADHD to do it right now. :P

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T12:45:22-06:00
ID
109076
Comment

You're "disappointed" in me, Lucdix? So you're trying to push emotional buttons, too, huh? With due respect, Lucdix, I don't state opinions in order that you, or anyone else, not be "disappointed" in me. Don't insult my personal self-esteem by assuming that such a statement is going to wound me somehow. Way above, I stated very clearly that I don't consider the n-word debate (meaning whether blacks should "take back" the word) my discussion in the same way that I am qualified to tango in the misogyny debate. I stated clearly the reasons that I see both sides. I did not, as you seem to be be trying to twist it, ever say that I flat out disagree with Pitts or anyone else on the issue. It is a complex issue, and one that I am listening to learn on, and I am not taking a position, even as I am able to articulate the reasons that many African Americans disagree with you. (Do a search on the word "chick" to find my reasons up above.) Yet, because I don't automatically jump to your decidedly narrow view of the topic (although well meaning, I can see), you are "disappointed" in me. That's a cheap and silly trick to try to pull, Lucdix. But you've picked the wrong target. I really don't care that you are disappointed in me, especially for being willing to see two sides on a tough issue. I asssume you are less "disappointed" in my views on the misogyny question? You win some, and you lose some. (grin) I guess the simplist way to put it is to say that my biggest goal is not to keep people from being "disappointed" when I disagree with them in my own personal intellectual pursuit. All I can do is listen, study and express my opinions honestly, and change my mind as I feel the need to based on what I've learned. Rejecting easy dogma, inevitably, leads to attack. I'm up to it. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:47:26-06:00
ID
109077
Comment

..and emily "If some women have no problem with it, then all women should have no problem with it. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm NOT all women." Exactly..YOU have your opinion and thjose women that disagree with you have THEIRS. And thats cool I think its coming across that you feel like you do and the women who dont are wrong. But you have to understand that that dynamic exists. Some agree with your side and many women agree with the other side. "Would you feel comfortable facing the allmighty with those notions?" I think my notions will get me thru those pearly gates just fine. Fact is, me personally my lyrics dont ever really get that bad. I choose not to use them. But some rappers do and all Im saying is thats there right. IF thats THEIR experience...fine...I cant judge and Im definitely not the lyric police LOL. As Queen said. These are grown men and women who will have to be held accountable for their own words and actions. ...and we speak on men or male rappers what about Lil Kim? Trina? are they too the product of our misoginy? What role do they play in speaking what they feel?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T12:49:52-06:00
ID
109078
Comment

Donna wrote: Also, why is it that your status as an African American trumps my status as a woman in this debate? I'm not black, and I don't know squat about music of any genre, but I do know misogyny when I see it. Just because it's accepted by some women, doesn't make it right. If young girls are internalizing the "ho" dynamic, then, yes, I will call that wrong. Like Donna said, I'm not against sexual freedom and sexual expression. But, I am against women being valued ONLY for their sexuality.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-12T12:53:35-06:00
ID
109079
Comment

I've challenged you and you ran. Queen, I'm not running from your accusations. I'm telling you that you are putting words in my mouth about all sorts of stuff in your haste to attack someone who doesn't agree with you. I think you need to slow down and read more carefully because once you type it, it's here for everyone to see, and doesn't help your argument. And it's clear from a read-through of this that I am firm in my convictions and see no reason to back down. I will continue to challenge misogyny for the rest of my life, no matter who that makes uncomfortable. Get used to it. Again, I won't hold your mischaracterization of my statements against you. I know you're emotional on this topic, and I respect that fact. So am I. But the truth is, I really do have a deadline and am using up my words here. ;-) I will return.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:53:42-06:00
ID
109080
Comment

Yes, Donna - I'm disappointed that someone I see as an excellent journalist otherwise who's been responsible for bringing an excellent paper and website to Mississippi would start playing semantic games about my use of the word in a thread started by Kaze expressing his disappoint about Leonard Pitts's column on the use of the word. I have an opinion as to how you see the use of the word but to play semantic games about my using it in this context is absurd and not worthy of a good journalist. In any event, yes, I agree with you about your opinion of the misogyny in rap lyrics.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T12:53:49-06:00
ID
109081
Comment

Regarding the notion that "some women" think the lyrics (of one specific song, per Queen's limited experiment) are okay. "some women" think that women should be relegated to only being homemakers. "some women" believe that men are the natural head of the household. "some women" believe that black people are inferior. Hate is hate, narrow minded is narrow minded. I recognize misogyny when I see it.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-12T12:57:27-06:00
ID
109082
Comment

I see that I misspelled the word 'disappointment' above - wrote 'disappoint' instead - but since I'm posting again to correct that, my disappointment is about your playing semantic games, not about your opinion as to the use of the word.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T12:57:32-06:00
ID
109083
Comment

... or, Kate, devalued only for their sexuality—or perceived slutdom. Kaze: I think its coming across that you feel like you do and the women who dont are wrong. But you have to understand that that dynamic exists. Some agree with your side and many women agree with the other side. Kaze, that is flowing both ways, as it inevitably will. Obviously, people think they're right and the opposing view is wrong in any debate where they have strong convictions!?! Why is that OK for one side, and not for the other? You started this thread with the distinct idea that the other side is wrong; look at what you called it. Queen is determined that much of what I've said is wrong, and that I don't even have the right to say it. Lucdix is "disappointed" in me because I won't automatically jump to his side and say that every use of the word "n!gger" (except on this thread) is clearly unacceptable. This dialogue would get much further if folks would get past the idea that the other side doesn't have the "right" to disagree with them. Everyone here has that right. Get used to that, too.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T12:58:35-06:00
ID
109084
Comment

Lucdix, funny, I thought you were playing "semantic" games by saying that no use of the n-word is acceptable (except here). It seems that you're having a hard time getting past semantics and to what various people are saying on the topic. It's a very interesting discussion if you will be willing to *hear* the various sides before forming your opinion. And my statement about your "disappointment" in me applies, regardless of the reason. It's probably useful to know that it's not easy to push my emotional buttons by saying you're "disappointed" in me, or be accusing me of not "respecting" you because I dare disagree. We can't let tough conversations be derailed that easily. NOW I'M REALLY LEAVING, PEOPLE. Lata, gatas.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T13:02:07-06:00
ID
109085
Comment

I understand that too Kaze. But I never thought that the "some blacks have no problem with it" made slavery OR Jim Crow okay. I do agree that the dynamic exists, and I have a sense of responsibility as a woman, and a HUMAN with a soul, to say it's not okay to glamorize the dynamic. It's not okay to mainstream it, make it seem "cool" to listeners and ergo condone it. I don't think that being a man makes you exempt from responsibility. I'm not just going to blame women for being in a position where they're sexuality is their worth. When someone writes, raps, says, WHATEVER..."put out or get out"....I'm going to say that's NOT okay. The degradation of women in this society is not just on the shoulders of women. And it's especially not on the shoulders of women without power.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T13:02:24-06:00
ID
109086
Comment

I for one was disappointed in Lil Kim for taking jail time for a man. Or for anyone for that matter. I feel she was bullied into taking the fall for that. But that's just me. I also didn't like the video where she prided herself as a packaged thing, put herself in a box. How many licks does it take?

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T13:06:10-06:00
ID
109087
Comment

As an erudite and open-minded black person I can tell y'all for sure that lots of black people, especially old, and some young, totally agree with the opinions stated by the whites folks here. Some disagree, too; which is fine with me. What we cast out in the world will come back to us. I can't wait until rappers and blind supporters are paid back what they're casting out just for the money. While I don't hate rappers, rap or hip-hop I question the goodness or real benefit of all of it. Too many rappers don't have a soul. Too many are the heartless drug dealing type who only gives a damn about money and themselves. Many rappers are nothing but purveyors of fecal trash and garbage. You know it's true. They're not rapping because they care or to help black folks or society, they're doing it for money, recognition and fame only. Speaking to school and giving money to various causes don't disprove this fact either. Putting Mississippi on the map as a rap state is only ok in my view, nothing significant yet. I remember some of the same rap supporters disavowing or objecting to my notion that rap is entertainment or moments of pleasures only. I was told it's a way of life - a culture. Do y'all remember that? If it's a culture then it's a f-upped culture just like some aspects of rock, country, reggae, jazz and other genres of music that was only concerned about itself. Trust me people there is something greater than you, your opinions or mines. If you don't believe me wait until you get sick, depressed, or in a desperate need of something or anything you can provide. I've seen many people on their dying bed and I hear what they think and say. I hear the apologies, prayers and rquests for forgiveness that few can hear. I see the troubled, wasted and losted souls. I see the fear and futile desire for a chance to do it all over again. Yet we only get one life - one chance. I wish everyone the best despite not havong a great problem with people reaping what they sow.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T13:09:10-06:00
ID
109088
Comment

Donna, you called me on my using the word in the context of a column which began by discussing the use of the word. I said that in my opinion it is still a vile, racist word and the only reason I'm discussing it here is because Kaze brought it up. There's no semantic game involved in my saying that I find the use of the word elsewhere - by anyone - to be wrong - just my opinion. You don't feel this way, Kaze doesn't feel this way, and, in this case, I agree with Leonard Pitts. I've read every single post about its use and as with any topic listen to what others are saying and decide if I will change my opinion or not - no semantics involved. My 'disappointment' is that I expect a higher standard of journalistic thinking from you since you've already set the bar so high and I'm very happy that we have the Jackson Free Press here in Mississippi. I often link to it to say to friends in other states, look at what a great newspaper we have here now! But I find it childish to call me on using the word in the context of this thread when its use is the topic of this thread. Now I've added 'childish' to the opinion as well. It's not because it bothers me that you disagree with my thoughts about the use of the word.

Author
lucdix
Date
2006-12-12T13:14:09-06:00
ID
109089
Comment

Lucdix, if you will re-read the way this went, you will see that I don't care that you are using the word. I am using it, too, in this context (doh), and when I use it for discussion, I usually use the word straight on, as you're doing. My point was that you made such a blanket statement about its use in any circumstance, but yet you yourself were using it—and see no problem with that. Meantime, you refuse to consider the argument that many African Americans make—that their using it as they wish and "taking it back" negates its power. Again, I don't agree with that argument in the sense that I think it negates the negativity necessarily, but I do *understand* it. I also *understand* your argument, but I think your approach to making it is limited. But I respect that you feel that way. I also respect that others disagree with you. As I said, it's complicated and, to me, "higher journalistic thinking" requires being willing to really consider the other side in every argument even if you ultimately decide not to agree with it. So the point is I'm not calling you out for using it at all; I'm pointing out the small hypocrisy in the way you've framed your argument. There's a gaping difference. OK, Brian just walked in, and I have to finish that editor's note or my managing editor will skewer me. Peace.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T13:22:39-06:00
ID
109090
Comment

Lastly, I have kinfolks in Stallo too. I was just there about a month ago. It's located between Phialdelphia and Louisville, where I was born and lived until 14. Kaze, we may be kinfolks. I'm wondering whether my upcoming album is too racy now that I have castigated rappers, rap, and hip-hop. It seems the nastier it is, the better it is. An old man told me that about food. I lost all respect for him after those comments. Queen, you're still a queen in my view although we disagree on much of this column. I hope I can get your support on my upcoming album. I'm worried It's going to be rejected by the young folks for not having enough hoes, boaches and curse words. I forgot to tell y'all we plan to use blues music to accompany us and the album is entitlled" Putting Women Back in Thier Places." I realize the record label may object and reject our use of the word "Women' due to it's uncommonality in rap music these days. We're going to do more positive music once we make some money and get our name out there. Sho Nuff.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T13:43:51-06:00
ID
109091
Comment

Donna, I've said nothing that I don't feel is accurate. I'm not embarassed by my opinion. And thus, I feel that you should take heed to your own advise. I think you've become angered. Please understand that this is not a new debate for me. I've had it (as a matter of fact)with you before. I still feel the same way. I am not attacking you as you have attacked Banner and Kaze and rappers alike. I am merely trying to point out to you that you don't have a leg to stand on. That's all. You're opinion is just that. Yours. As is mine. I'm not trying to convince you that you should not be offended. By all means if these lyrics are a problem for you, then so be it. What I am though trying to get you to see is that....I too, just like you, have the right to my opinion and it seems like you are trying to tell me that my opinion is wrong. If I am not offended by the lyrics to Play then I am in some way not complete in my thinking process. I am fine with agreeing to disagree with you on this Donna. We've been through it before and I am sure this won't be the last time. Still, you have your thoughts, I have mine. Never have I been angry throughout this convo because you have said the same thing before....and I have responded the same way. We know your opinion well. So, why then would I be defensive now. Not the case. And Ray....I'm not getting into a religious battle. I believe in God brother. I just wanted to point out to you that people are so quick to make their opinions and beliefs and practices law. Not considering that you are an individual and everyone is not like you. My point to you was that you can't make me believe what you believe, even about the Almighty. I am sure that I probably do believe what you believe (although we've never discussed it) but everyone doesn't. My point in making that statement is the same as the point I've been trying to point out to Donna. We are not the same. You can't make your way the right way. You are not "the Almighty". And I am not wrong if I don't feel how you feel.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T13:49:57-06:00
ID
109092
Comment

I understand that too Kaze. But I never thought that the "some blacks have no problem with it" made slavery OR Jim Crow okay. <<<

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T13:53:03-06:00
ID
109093
Comment

Queen, you're still a queen in my view although we disagree on much of this column. I hope I can get your support on my upcoming album. I'm worried It's going to be rejected by the young folks for not having enough hoes, boaches and curse words. I forgot to tell y'all we plan to use blues music to accompany us and the album is entitlled" Putting Women Back in Thier Places." I realize the record label may object and reject our use of the word "Women' due to it's uncommonality in rap music these days. We're going to do more positive music once we make some money and get our name out there. Sho Nuff. Ray i think you are being condensending and I have nothing to offer you on that.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T13:54:55-06:00
ID
109094
Comment

I agree Queen. But don't you think some things are too bad to be indulged in or condoned. Are you and I the test of what's wrong or right. I know I'm not. And I know you're not. If rappers are wrong in much of what they're speaking then neither are rapists, murderers, thieves, liars, et al. If rappers aren't wrong, by and large, for the evil, hate and bad examples they're portraying/spreading then there is no right or wrong beyond individual definitions.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T13:59:15-06:00
ID
109095
Comment

Regarding the notion that "some women" think the lyrics (of one specific song, per Queen's limited experiment) are okay. "some women" think that women should be relegated to only being homemakers. "some women" believe that men are the natural head of the household. "some women" believe that black people are inferior. Kate...in my experiences its not just "some" women its a pretty large faction of women who are not offended by these lyrics. Because YOU feel they are misogynistic is fine..but they don't. I thought the point here was that every individual can feel like they wish. You can say YOU feel its wrong for those ladies to feel that way but you cant they ARE wrong, because thats their opinion. What would you say if you encountered a woman who wasnt offended by tose words? Would you say "Youre wrong!" and storm off in a huff or would try to listen and see why she feels that way?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:01:15-06:00
ID
109096
Comment

I was joking and trying to make you think, not purposely condescending. I have no superior thoughts of myself over you. I was also picking with Kaze in that post. Forgive me anyway.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T14:04:25-06:00
ID
109097
Comment

And emily... Lil Kim went to jail because she lied on the stand..perjury..Not because of a man. Woman OR man she chose not to give info that would incriminate someone else. but THAT is a whole other thread.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:06:27-06:00
ID
109098
Comment

Here was the original statement Queen: "Again, I strongly feel that just because a few women have no problem with being degraded does not mean it's okay for all women, and it's especially not okay to put the "ho" presentation of women into the mainstream (although I know rappers are not personally responsible for that, but it's there) which then perpectuates a daily dynamic that all women must endure. To me, that's the same argument that racists use when they say that some blacks were happy with the status quo of slavery and Jim Crow. I don't see where that's me making a blanket statement. I see that's others making a blanket statement. If some women have no problem with it, then all women should have no problem with it. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm NOT all women. No woman I know is all women. But I do know that 1/4 of women are raped in their lifetime, and that's just those who report it." Kaze pulled this out: ..and emily "If some women have no problem with it, then all women should have no problem with it. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm NOT all women." "Exactly..YOU have your opinion and thjose women that disagree with you have THEIRS. And thats cool I think its coming across that you feel like you do and the women who dont are wrong. But you have to understand that that dynamic exists. Some agree with your side and many women agree with the other side." That to say, that yes, I understand a dynamic of inequality exists in the mysogynist lyrics AND in real life. I understand that some women have no problem with that. That does not mean that since some women *do not* that *I* should not. Same applies to other inequalities in life, including the backwards argument during abolition, civil rights movement and hell, even today, that if some blacks don't have a problem with inequalities then we should all just let it be the status quo and walk away since we must not "understand."

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T14:07:23-06:00
ID
109099
Comment

Kaze, I've been that woman on the stand and I understand her dilemma more than you give me credit for. I wouldn't perjure myself for anyone. Period. Man or woman. Sorry. When I give my word, I mean it. I'm not going to devalue my word to save anyone.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T14:09:27-06:00
ID
109100
Comment

Queen, I'm not angry at you at all. I know you're reading into my comments because you're passionate. That happens. I do think your position on misogynistic lyrics, as stated, is wrong. You believe that my opinion on the same topic is wrong. We both have "the right" to say that, and I'm not accusing you (or anyone) of disrespect of me because you disagree with me. I have no problem with it, and you haven't said anything yet to make me reconsider my position. You may, still—but probably not if your strongest argument is that I as a white woman do not have "the right" to criticize black rappers for misogynistic lyrics. You're wrong about that part, too. And that's OK. ;-D We're kind of spending a lot of time on the point about who has the right to criticize whom. Let's just stipulate that we're all adults here and are entitled to our opinion, even if it's different from someone else's, and skip the personal stuff. Then you might say something that will convince me I'm wrong. Otherwise, we're wasting breath on defensiveness and response to it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T14:10:15-06:00
ID
109101
Comment

I'm unsure where the most proper statistics would come from to express that Kate, Donna and I are not the only women in the world being vocal about this issue. It's most certainly NOT just the few folks you know or talk to. I promise. I imagine that lots of times when anyone expresses that the mysongyny is wrong, they get dismissed as haters. I mean, we've seen that here.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T14:14:19-06:00
ID
109102
Comment

"just because a few women have no problem with being degraded does not mean it's okay for all women," SEE...thats what Im saying. we agree to disagree, respect another's opinion but then..."just because thy dont have a problem beng degraded". See. those women who disagree with you Emily DONT feel like they're being degraded!! They are secure in their womanhood brimming over with self-esteem and simply choose to dismiss it by sayiing "that doesnt apply to me because Im not one" Your response seems to imply "like those slaves" that women are ignorant and have NO idea that they are being "degraded" Thats not the case they simply arent offended and DONT feel degraded.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:14:26-06:00
ID
109103
Comment

I'm reading everything but I don't know what to say.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-12T14:17:51-06:00
ID
109104
Comment

"Kaze, I've been that woman on the stand and I understand her dilemma more than you give me credit for. I wouldn't perjure myself for anyone. Period. Man or woman. Sorry. When I give my word, I mean it. I'm not going to devalue my word to save anyone." Wasnt giving or taking credit emily. You said she went to jail for a man, when infact that wasnt the case thats all. I commend how YOU would have handled that situation or DID handle that situation (sorry :-)) but everyone handles it differently.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:19:42-06:00
ID
109105
Comment

Fine. They don't feel degraded. I don't think that was ever my argument to begin with. But you can't tell me that when I hear those lyrics, or read those lyrics, I have no right, as a woman, to feel degraded! You can't tell me that when I'm facing a society that views the "looks" and sexuality of women as their #1 commodity, that I have to support those ideas in any form from anywhere just because some other women do. Lots of women with TONS of self-esteem and security in their womanhood are offended by those lyrics. I'm secure in my womanhood on levels beyond having a nut in my mouth. I don't think "those slaves" were ignorant either. It's more complicated than that. And it is with women in sex industries to whether they personally tell YOU or not.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T14:23:22-06:00
ID
109106
Comment

So, Kamikaze, now you speak for all black women? Are you positive about that? And to return to earlier analogies, throughout our history, white supremacists have made similar statements about people being degraded. They are secure in their womanhood brimming over with self-esteem and simply choose to dismiss it by sayiing "that doesnt apply to me because Im not one" Fine, I do that, too. I have enough self-esteem not to be silenced when others try to silence me by calling me names or telling me they are "disapppointed" in me, or to "calm down." I calmly and passionately just keep stating my opinion. But not every woman is like me. Your argument dismisses every woman, of any race, who does NOT disagree with you, and who might find those kinds of lyrics harmful to them, their culture and the way men treat them. You can do that if you want, but the rest of us will keep criticizing you for it. Also, Kamikaze, I tend to think that you and Queen defining "respecting someone's opinion" very differently than, say, Emily, Ray and I do. You seem to define it as "respect my opinion by not disagreeing with me out loud." Speech flows two directions, Kamikaze. If you want to participate in debate, you must try to understand that. I don't for one second think that you've truly disrespected me on this thread, even when you've stated something in a "pipe down, girl" way. You're using the language society has taught you. But I don't see it is disrespect. I see it as you trying to express something important to you. Now, I happen to disagree with one point that you're making. Thus, somehow, I'm disrespecting you. Not gettin' it here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T14:25:48-06:00
ID
109107
Comment

In the end...cuz we'll go on forever. I have read everyone's opinions on the issue from the original issue of the "N" word all the way to the misogyny issue. I will take ALL these into consideration and will say that I pledge to continue to do all that Ive been doing and try to do better in some areas where I lack. Ive never used blatantly misogynistic lyrics and steer at all cost from hurtful material. I think i got lumped in for not calling others to task on it. what i will say is that i still wont be making any calls to any other grown men or women challenging them to "clean up their act"....At least not yet. I know what i do, what I give, and whats in my heart and i cant say whats in anyone else's. thats between them and their higher power. However, i will ALWAYS defend their right to say it regardless of if i agree or not. I acknowledge that we have different views and I respect that. In the end we each must stand firm in OUR OWN beliefs and sweep around our own front doors before we try to tell someone else they are "wrong". In the end I maintain that the issue goes beyond lyrics its MUCH MUCH deeper and thats where MY focus will go.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:28:44-06:00
ID
109108
Comment

I couldn't agree more with your statement that it goes much deeper than lyrics. Absolutely. And I know you will take everything into consideration; that's why you're one of my favorite Mississippians. You care. BTW, Kaze, I think it's many women's (and men's) belief that misogynistic lyrics *do* reflect something deeper that is so disturbing—whether it's actual misogynistic and violent tendencies among some men, the promulgation of self-respect among some women, or the willingness of other men who aren't violent or misogynistic in their real lives to profit off passing along white stereotypes of who they are into the larger culture. Certainly, it's the underlying issues that matter the most. But like with the Confederate flag, this discussion is an entre into those deeper issues. Otherwise, I really appreciate you starting this thread, kaze. This kind of discussion is not supposed to be easy or make everyone comfortable—but it is enlightening and provokes thought and further discussion. That is our primary goal here. Cheers (and respect) to all. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T14:31:10-06:00
ID
109109
Comment

"But you can't tell me that when I hear those lyrics, or read those lyrics, I have no right, as a woman, to feel degraded! " YOU DO EMILY, YOU DO!!!!!!! just know that some women DONT feel degraded...THATS ALL IM SAYING. Im perfectly fine with you feeling degraded! ..And cmooooooon donna not speaking for ALL Black women. I said those that disagree with you. And AGAIN for the 30th time...i have NO problem with you disagreeing with me. dont know about anyoone else but I dont. You keep pointing that out to me but Ive never said dont disagree with me where do you keep pulling that from. I said 20 posts back that we can agree to disagree.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:35:09-06:00
ID
109110
Comment

Im perfectly fine with you feeling degraded! Don't think you meant to say it just like that. ;-) Yes, but, Kamikaze you're supposedly speaking for all of them, while ignoring all the ones who don't. *That's* the part that concerns me. They should matter, too, being that they are the ones who believe that the work you promote is hurting them and your/our community. Actually, I know you don't have a problem with me disagreeing with you, so I apologize if that got mixed up with my comments to Queen. Mea culpa.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T14:37:58-06:00
ID
109111
Comment

"YOU DO EMILY, YOU DO!!!!!!! just know that some women DONT feel degraded...THATS ALL IM SAYING. Im perfectly fine with you feeling degraded!" BWWAAAHHHAAAA! I love it! That's as good as the mayo line! And I mean that sincerely. I think it's hilarious and poignant all at once. I want a t-shirt that says "I'm not a hater! I just feel degraded y'all!" I'm counting on you to give me a date for the schools :P

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-12T14:40:16-06:00
ID
109112
Comment

"Don't think you meant to say it just like that. ;-)" ..And of course I didnt :-) All of those opinions matter. The split on this issue exists in womankind as well as mankind. We'v just got to keep discussing it I guess.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T14:41:21-06:00
ID
109113
Comment

Cheers to you for that. You're a man of substance, Kaze. Now, do we have you warmed up enough for your radio chat today with Kim Wade? We know we're being used, and we don't mind. ;-) Remember: Plug the blog. It could get really interesting in here if some of Kim's folks show up on this topic! Bet Queen would dig me again then.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T14:46:00-06:00
ID
109114
Comment

Since I'm clairvoyant, I can tell y'all that Kaze has a heart and soul. He's not disagreeing with us very much and he listens. Snoop or 50 Cents would have cursed us out by now. He's trying to make a living at this game and still maintain who he is - a good god-fearing brother/human. To be totally honest, I do understand where Queeen is coming from. She's quite capable of speaking for herself and her experiences; and doesn't want others trying to speak for her. I bet Queen knows that historically others have spoken for her and us who were unqualified and condescending. Any smart women would have a problem with that, especially a smart sister. As for me, I plan to stay in the rap game and take it where it belongs. My group plans to use some fine, voluptuous, and willing (to dance) women in our videos too. No point in hiding that beauty and sexuality. Use it or lose it! I hope I can rap and look at them at the same time. We're holding auditions right now. If you're fine it doesn't matter to me whether you're old or young. We got a job for you. By the way, we want all kinds. We ain't discriminating. I'm personally doing the interviews. Whatever happens in the interviews stay in the interviews. I' out. I hope to see some of y'all. Just say you heard about it thru JFP.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T15:09:42-06:00
ID
109115
Comment

Ray, commo. So we are way back to the rappers are the root of all problems? That to say, that yes, I understand a dynamic of inequality exists in the mysogynist lyrics AND in real life. I understand that some women have no problem with that. That does not mean that since some women *do not* that *I* should not. <<

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T15:59:33-06:00
ID
109116
Comment

I for the life of me am failing to understand, Donna, how you can say this to me and Kaze..."Also, Kamikaze, I tend to think that you and Queen defining "respecting someone's opinion" very differently than, say, Emily, Ray and I do. You seem to define it as "respect my opinion by not disagreeing with me out loud." ----But what, this doesn't go for you too. You can say whatever your opinion is and when I say that I have a right to my own and I can speak just as passionately about mine; but I'm angry and I'm not accepting of your opinion. But when you do it, I am not hearing what you have to say. What is that? Is there a double standard here?

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T16:05:25-06:00
ID
109117
Comment

So we are way back to the rappers are the root of all problems? Who has said that here? That would be a really dumb and sweeping statement to make. Most people here, I think, believe that rappers have the power to solve a lot of problems—perhaps power they sell themselves short on. If anything, we're cheering them on to do the right thing and reach kids that not all of us have the same ability to get to as they do. Believing that, though, doesn't mean they are above reproach. But, now I'm officially repeating myself, so I will stop myself. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T16:05:52-06:00
ID
109118
Comment

I for the life of me am failing to understand, Donna, how you can say this to me and Kaze... I suggest that you re-read your posts to me, Queen, and mine to you. I have never once told you that you are not respecting me by having a different opinion, or that you don't have the right to disagree with me. Can you say the same? As the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum at this point, here's the answer to the riddle: We *both* have the right to have whatever opinion we want, and to tell the other one we think they're wrong. You've done it to me; I've done it to you. We're even. There are no victims between the two of us in this discussion. I'm not offended in any way that you don't agree with me. I'm not angry, or even remotely ticked off. I do not think you disrespect me, nor am I really concerned whether you do or not because I expressed my opinion. I prefer that you don't, but if you do, hey, that's the price for expressing my opinion. There are two strains going on here: the actual discussion, and the one where you say I'm disrespecting you and don't have the right to say the things I'm saying because I'm white. Don't get them cross-tangled here in the follow-up comments. And if we could perhaps stick to the first one and lose all the personal stuff about disagreement=disrespect (it doesn't, either direction), this might get a bit easier. In fact, I'm really going to try to stop defending your same accusation over and over again because it's feeling a bit repetitious at this point. I have no desire to fight with you; there are bigger issues for us to be concerned about. Peace.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T16:12:56-06:00
ID
109119
Comment

Yes sir Ray, I am quite an intellegent sister. I am smart enough to recognize that this thing is not going away. I am obviously the only black woman on here. And I think that may be one of the reasons why this is not sinking in. When you go back and read this entire column, you will see that Donna and I have made the same statements over and over again....however, it's funny that she seems to want to make me out to be the bad gal here when she is doing nothing any different than I. I have not disrespect your opinion Mrs. Ladd...never. I said waaaay back up there that I can understand some women not liking the lyrics. My issue was then, is now, and will forever be that just because you don't like them, doesn't mean that I am somehow WRONG because they don't offend me. I am strong in my womanhood. So strong that this banter back and forth between us, Donna, still has not changed my opinion either. You've said nothing new or profound here. And I still feel as I did when I posted first...as you seem to as well. So please by all means be vocal, scream as load as you want in protest of these lyrics and I swear to you I will stand right beside you screaming the contrary in a very calm, passionate, but respectful manner. Emilyb, I really appreciate your points. For some reason you shed a bit of light for me that was originally missing from the posts here. I can feel that you are genuinely trying to figure this out. I appreciate that. But what you should know is that we don't take issue with you feeling the way you do, the issue comes when you don't understand that I don't feel that way and there is NOTHING wrong with me feeling that way. And someone said something about it being wrong up there. TO that I just say that some of us understand this music as what it is. ENTERTAINMENT. It isn't a bible, nor a dictionary. Matter of fact that brings me to another point, how do you all feel about movies like The Skeleton Key, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, movies that celebrate evil. How many times have you paid to go in and see those movies....how many picket lines have you stood in to protest how these movies can affect young impressionable minds. My point here is that every element of ENTERTAINMENT may not appeal to the masses. However, society has deemed these movies (and tv shows, etc...) acceptable. But when it's about RAP, oh my goodness we must stop this!! People it's entertainment....that's it. NOt meant to be life changes music. Just meant to entertain and contrary to what the popular opinion here is, we understand AND accept this music as just that.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T16:23:20-06:00
ID
109120
Comment

There are two strains going on here: the actual discussion, and the one where you say I'm disrespecting you and don't have the right to say the things I'm saying because I'm white. Don't get them cross-tangled here in the follow-up comments. And if we could perhaps stick to the first one and lose all the personal stuff about disagreement=disrespect (it doesn't, either direction), this might get a bit easier. In fact, I'm really going to try to stop defending your same accusation over and over again because it's feeling a bit repetitious at this point. I have no desire to fight with you; there are bigger issues for us to be concerned about. Peace. LAWDD HAVE MURCY.....this is ridiculous. I can not believe the large gap in communication here. WOW!!! I'm just in disbelief. But okay Donna. It's a wrap. I shall let you feel as if you've made a good point and I'll let you make it cuz clearly you are set on me attacking you personally. Again, ridiculous. I don't even know what you're talking about any more. So, I think that should just be it from the Queen.... PEACE.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T16:27:24-06:00
ID
109121
Comment

Nall Queen rappers aren't the root of all evil, but some are clearly evil. I sho' nuff like how men and women dance these days. After work I'm going to look for the rap clubs of Jackson. I like how the young folks dance all up on each other now. Looks like a happy and friendly enviroment to me. We couldn't even touch each other in my primitive dancing days, and I always knew there was something wrong about that. Touching is good for us. What's wrong with the world is we're too far apart. I hope this ain't racist but I did notice that white folks were dancing closer to each other than we were for years. Does this mean they liked each other better? However, Queen, I don't believe the white folks here are racist or condescending in any way. Most of them are afraid to even get in this conversation. We shouldn't be afraid of each other. This is why I interact with so many of them. I say things they like and things they don't like. In the end, if they're watching closely they will eventually see I'm far beyond race, but still a proud brother. I happen to know that we have lots of intrigue, mystery, and questions about each other. I could shock y'all with some of the questions and things white men and white women have asked me about and said to me. I have also always asked them anything I was curious about. Being from Mississippi I was very distrustful of all of them for years. Now I just look for a good person irrespective of race. No, this doesn't mean I'm blind or sold out. Sorry for getting off the subject.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T16:37:05-06:00
ID
109122
Comment

Queen, I didn't *say* you've disrespected my opinion. That just hasn't been my obsession here. I'm only talking about you accusing me of disrespecting you because I disagreed with you. (And that I don't have "the right" on this topic.) I'm not trying to say anything particularly profound; I'm expressing my opinion, and challenging and supporting my friend Kamikaze in his quest to do good in Mississippi. I hate those violent movies you speak of. With a passion. And I haven't paid to go to see a cut-em-up movie at least since college—and then hated them. Rambo was probably the last of that genre I've seen in over 20 years. The only violent movies I watch are those where the violence is important to the lesson—like a film about the Holocaust, or Boys N the Hood, and other intelligent films that show reality. I do try to practice what I preach. My only other suggestion is to try not to be so offended when someone thinks you're wrong. I used to do the same thing, but I've expressed my opinion as part of my profession for so long that I've become used to it, realizing that the real discussion and thought only come after real disagreement is on the table. That's why it's so much better not to take it personally, so that we can really get at the heart of the issue without spending time wading through all the personal defensive stuff. BTW, I don't believe you're wrong not to be offended or degraded personally; if we could stay on that topic, it might become clear that I think you're wrong not to take the complaints of women concerned about the degradation more seriously. I think it's fabulous that you have the self-awareness not to be effected by such cultural messages; I try to do the same thing. And I also respect what Ray said. Women in this country have it bad when it comes to being heard; black women have it doubly bad, I'd guess. However, it doesn't help solve the silencing issue for another woman to withhold her opinion about, of all things, female degradation, because the other woman doesn't want someone to tell her she thinks she is wrong. There is nothing personal meant when I say I disagree with you. I simply disagree with you. That's all it means. And I love that we're having the conversation and showing other folks what two intelligent women sound like (and that it's not just alike). Cheers to you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T16:37:48-06:00
ID
109123
Comment

In the end, if they're watching closely they will eventually see I'm far beyond race, but still a proud brother. Ray, that sums up in a nutshell one of the many things I respect about you so much. I suspect many others here say the same thing. Also, it's a bit odd to divide this into a race discussion, considering that the much of the strongest criticism of misogynistic rap lyrics comes from within the black community. I've said already that I think that many racists like hearing black folks degrade each other, and that's one of the things I find saddest about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T16:41:15-06:00
ID
109124
Comment

Queen, I don't see that Donna is saying what you're saying she's saying. She's very openminded. I've read her writings for years and have been in her company many times. I don't think anyone can be any more openminded and accepting than she has been. I bet if you re-read her posts carefully and slowly tonight you would soon see a different person than the one you're arguing with. Trust me, Queen, she's much smarter and more learned than you're seeing right now.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T16:47:42-06:00
ID
109125
Comment

I must add that I'm going to buy Bell Hooks book this evening and read it. I've heard Cornell, Dyson and many other brothers and sisters of all races talk about her but have failed to buy any of her books thus far.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T17:01:58-06:00
ID
109126
Comment

Wait a minute. .... better yet....nevermind....it's just too much! I don't know what either of you see when you read my posts. NO IDEA AT ALL. Maybe Ray you know Donna so well since you've followed her writing, that you just might be a little bit biased on this issue. A little bit leaned towards her ideals and statements. Because I can't see how you'd argue that she is saying one thing to me and not applying it to herself. But you know what....Donna since you don't think I've disrespected you and you respect my opinion- just don't agree...then I say there is enough said here. Nothing more for me to say. You have been up to par this entire conversation. You've been completely within regard for my statements as well as Kaze and luc too. So since that's the case, great....nuff said.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-12T17:03:48-06:00
ID
109127
Comment

Ray...its 1180 am. And I must say I havent said "am"radio in 15 years LOL. The only am I know is before noon :-)

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-12T17:03:50-06:00
ID
109128
Comment

Cool, Queen. Break a leg and take no prisoners, Kaze. We'll be listening. And say hey to Kim for us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T17:08:01-06:00
ID
109129
Comment

I'm not bias, Queen. If I thought Donna was wrong there would have been 2 of us after her - you and me. Smile. She knows my support isn't blind, and I know hers isn't blind for me. I'm not saying you don't have a right to think what you're thinking or say what you're saying. I just disagree. I could be wrong too. I'm scared to lean only to my understanding. We human are limited. I might even be a little daring and crazy.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-12T17:16:49-06:00
ID
109130
Comment

Donna writes: I've said already that I think that many racists like hearing black folks degrade each other, Indeed. I visited a Klan web site at one point--I do this periodically, because I find it educational to read their explicit statements of implicit racist ideas that exist in the larger white culture--and saw an image capture of a WND editorial from an elderly black columnist lambasting the moral turpitude (or something) of young black men. So the Klan and the Kountry Klub Klan are probably sitting back eating popcorn and Raisinets and having a grand old time. And they love it when (in their view) white liberals "get it" and prove "they're one of us" by criticizing black folks for something, too, which is why I made a point of bringing up white offenders like Limp Bizkit and Nickelback. I have no doubt that, as productive as this conversation is and was--and I'm glad we had it, don't get me wrong--there are people sitting back and clapping at our criticism of Banner for all the wrong reasons, which is why I basically dropped out of the thread several times. Banner's "Like a Pimp" is definitely misogynistic, and it shocked me--even I know Banner's better than that. But for white critics of "hip-hop culture," it's probably very comforting to see a track like this because it reinforces their confirmation bias--that's the kind of track they expect Banner, indeed all black hip-hop artists, to produce, and so when they find something that reinforces that impression in such a forceful way, it's the Holy Grail. It doesn't matter if 1 out of every 1,000 hip-hop tracks sound like that. For them, that's enough--just as if 1 out of every 1,000 young black men are armed carjackers, then that's enough, too. And while we need to confront the 1 out of 1,000--I mean, I take Kaze and Banner seriously enough as human beings that I'm perfectly willing to go toe to toe with them on this topic, and I don't feel like I'm wasting my time at all--I think we also need to lash out at the confirmation bias problem. One more issue I see is that such a large percentage of the hip-hop demographic is white that I wonder sometimes if there isn't a confirmation bias dynamic there, too--where tracks like "Like a Pimp" do in fact perform better because it's an accurate description of how white listeners THINK black men act. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T18:43:55-06:00
ID
109131
Comment

I was saying that earlier, Tom. A primary reason—beyond the basic problems of degradation of women, especially AFrican Americans—that I am challenging on this front is precisely because I hate to see these smart young men play right into what white supremacists expect them to do. That is, I couldn't agree more on the "confirmation bias" problem.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-12T22:43:51-06:00
ID
109132
Comment

Right--and I said something similar earlier with the minstrel show comparison. There is definitely an element of that, particularly evident when you look at, say, Flavor Flav or Lil John. I can't recommend highly enough the web page for Ferris State University's Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. I particularly recommend the page on the "Brute" archetype. Disturbing stuff (seriously: this made my blood boil the first time I saw it), but then that's why I'm linking to it. Come to think of it, on a non sequitur note, you can find practically a visual history of the anti-natural hair movement on the "Tragic Mulatto" page. One of the reasons I make myself read stuff like this is because I believe most of this racist stuff hasn't really gone away; it's just become more subtle. Instead of hearing people talk about "n____ beasts," you hear people talk about "thugs"--but they're trying to evoke the same stereotypes, and it's still harmful. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T23:47:27-06:00
ID
109133
Comment

(Re the first paragraph: I've always lived, generally unintentionally, by the philosophy that anything worth saying is worth saying twelve times. Cheers, TH)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-12T23:48:12-06:00
ID
109134
Comment

To go back to my cigarette analogy... 1. They're still toxic, even when the tobacco company donates to cancer research. A toxic product is always toxic, no matter what is done to mitigate that impact. 2. Some people are not bothered by cigarette smoke, and yet it is still toxic. While I fully support people's rights to smoke, do not expect me to refrain from criticizing the makers of cigarettes. So, yes, people can write and perform and promote and not be offended by whatever they want. That doesn't make misogynistic lyrics less hateful. Also, Queen ran her 'experiment' on one David Banner song. I have no idea what the lyrics were. Tom (or someone) posted the lyrics of another song way up thread. Not sure what Queen and her friends would say about that song, what with it's comments about bitches, jews, etc. Which is to say, just because Queen and her friends find the lyrics to some random Banner song palatable, doesn't mean that everything that he produces is palatable. To repeat myself, when people in the industry and fans of rap and hip hop cannot even admit that there are elements of that industry that are insulting to the human spirit, then that smacks of denial, and makes me mistrust pretty much everything you have to say in defense of "real" hip hop and rap. For the record, the most often played artists on my iPod are Sweet Honey in the Rock and the Indigo Girls. Along with my audio book of Pride and Prejudice (if you want a master of an artist "reflecting" society while simultaneously profoundly criticizing society, especially the dependent role of women, go read some Austen). Most commercial music bugs me, because it is so blatantly commerical and materialistic and misogynistic. it's not just rap/hip hop.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-13T11:35:57-06:00
ID
109135
Comment

Excellent reference Tom, these are types of readings that I say will aid in changing a mindset amongst our young folks. I firmly believe that most of this information is NOT available to them and of course wont be offered in any of our schools where the focus is now only on standardized test scores. These kids have no idea what has preceeded them and not a lot of people willing to show them. One read of that piece on the Black man as Brute could possibly sway opinion. But it has to be more readily available for kids to see especially in the middle school and high schools. those kids wouldnt be so quick to support an artist who they can now RECOGNIZE is perpetuating those things. The graphic nature is shocking even though Im familiar with this work. But agaiin its about getting out the information in order to change musical climates.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T11:36:21-06:00
ID
109136
Comment

Its interesting that you use the "cigarette" analogy because I kind of alluded to that speaking to a colleague recently. Anyone notice how after the tobacco settlement how the airwaves are bombarded with anit-smoking commercials. they're slick, they're creative, give startling facts about ingredients, and the put in layman terms why smoking is bad. Kids say that they were inhaling tar and other toxins, some used to kill rodents!!! I dont know about any of you, but I have seen a tremendous decline in the number of people I encounter that smoke. Also, you would be surprised at how "uncool" smoking has become with young folks. They are shunning it! Sure you have those that are going to indulge due to peer pressure but smoking no longer holds the allure that it did even when I was high school a few years back. its all about education and the repetition of that education. I never thought Id see the day but those cigarette commercials have repulsed some of these kids completely away from ever thinking about smoking. NOW if we could apply that to the issue here...

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T11:45:53-06:00
ID
109137
Comment

Er, if only there were a creative artist, with some standing in the community, who could write good rap songs that weren't misogynistic, who would stand up and condemn those performers who glorify violence against women. But I guess that's just too much to ask for... Look at the backlash against Oprah when she had the temerity ask those questions. did you see Pitts today? In an interview in Elle magazine(!), he charges Winfrey with being not black enough. Winfrey, he says, ''started out with black women's views but has been catering to middle-aged white American women for so long that she's become one herself.'' He also calls her an ''Oreo,'' which, for those not fluent in black-on-black insult, means black on the outside, white on the inside. *** Which doesn't insult just Oprah Winfrey. It insults all of us because it denies a simple fact: Black is many things. That's something Mr. Cent should consider next time he's holed up in his mansion in Farmington, Conn. (median income $67,000, black population 1.5 percent), writing rhymes about how hard life is for poor black folks on mean streets.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-13T11:54:55-06:00
ID
109138
Comment

and kate...no one is saying that there are not harmful or even shameful elements to the music industry. Even I admit that. I even stated that on the radio show yesterday. "I" am not pleased with everything that is put out. Sure some of it could be deemed offensive. That's why I censor myself at times because although I wish to push the envelope, I dont want to take it too too far. However, I will always defend others to say what they wish. They themselves will have to be held accountable for that. So no, right now, I wont be making any phone calls to Banner or Nelly. I believe Queen's point is her survey showed that not all women agree with you, but in doing so you can't point the finger and tell them they are "WRONG" and they consequently cant say YOURE wrong. Its a difference of opinion, see? What Ive found is that one mans trash may be another's treasure. The music that I produce may not be liked by someone, they may like the way Nelly or Banner phrase their lyrics..and thats cool. ..What I ask is that instead of condeming the whole for the part that you see and are most disgusted with..dig deeper so that you can have a better understanding, cuz when I hear someone say "well, I listen to this...THESE are REAL aritsts and this is REAL music" you're discrediting the art that I do. And as an artist I listen to an repsect all genres past and present because it shapes all music.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T11:56:50-06:00
ID
109139
Comment

..And kate I read the Pitts article of course and will continue because I see that he likes to sneak a few hiphop jabs in when he can. Im convinced that he's not trying to raise questions or dialogue. Which is fine if thats what he's truly doing. That column would be a perfect place to start the communication going, but I just feel he has a blanket hate of hiphop and rap artists and wants to use his column as a platform to insult them. and thats a difference. ...Same way the column in Sunday's C-L written by Jamesetta Walker (dont have link) was a propoganda piece. It belittled the profession and even made a thinly veiled dis to a particular rapper here because of his age. (I guess in her opinion, he was past the "age" where he should be involved. dunno) Ive had my probelms with Oprah and Ive written a column about (Donna thinkI need a refresher on the link thing LOL) 50, who I dont always agree with by the way, was just stating his opinion. An opinion that many of us in the hiphop nation agree with.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T12:06:15-06:00
ID
109140
Comment

Pitts rule. Kate, he's right about Ms. Celi (Oprah). I've been in Kosciusko a lot lately. Going back tomorrow. That Boys and Girls Club ain't all it's cracked up to be. She didn't spend 5 million on that, maybe only a 100 thousands. If I wasn't broke I could have done it myself. What other things is black? Help a slow brother out. How did it insult other women too? How has Oprah not forgotten who she is? I've written her many times to see if she was available for various causes and some one-on-one. I haven't heard jacks yet. Why is she shunning a brother like that ? I even saw Stedman on Larry King and he was scared to even entertain any questions about her. Stedman should change his name to Lamb Graham, Dove Graham or maybe Mrs. Oprah Winfrey. I agree with Kate about insulting the human spirit and denial of some rap artists. Kaze wasn't in denial on radio yesterday. I would say Kate is doing some wonderful writing and thinking in those comments about rap, but I'm scared that would be patronizing and cause her go Pikersam on me.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T12:22:12-06:00
ID
109141
Comment

I still don't get insulting Oprah because she caters to "white women". What's so insulting about white women? I think we deserve some credit too, and a touch of humanity. Like I said on another thread, white women and the feminist movement have always included Civil Rights. I read somewhere that white women were in the heart of the Civil Rights movement, challenging man and husbands do to the right thing. I don't think she was shunning a brother. I think she was asking a challenging question of a man. Women do that. And if we want to delve, it's quite Biblical. Ecclesiates tells wives to be the heart of the home and to live in a way their values are shown to their men. And Stedman as Mrs. Winfrey. I'm okay with that. A real man doesn't have a hard time with his wife being successful.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T12:31:23-06:00
ID
109142
Comment

"What's so insulting about white women? I think we deserve some credit too, and a touch of humanity." ..NOTHING emily, nothing at all I dont think that was a stab at white women. I think 50 was saying that Oprah "started" on issues affecting black women but has begun focusing on issues that affect white women more. I think hes calling for a return to balance. And I agree, and Im not just focusing on the woman issue, I feel that all-around her subject matter should reflect some diversity, black women's issues, white women's issues, black mens issues, white mens issues, the black family etc....you see where im going?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T12:37:58-06:00
ID
109143
Comment

I indiscriminantly like women of all races, strong and weak. I was just joking to rile y'all up before continuing. I haven't read the article yet. Reading or knowing hasn't ever stopped me before. However, Oprah has forgotten us? When was the last time she gave a brother a date other than perpertrating Stedman. Oprah loves me as much as she does Stedman and we haven't met yet. I plan to leave a message for her at the Boys and Girl Club tomorrow when over there. Maybe she'll call this time. You can't love me if you make yourself completely off limits to me. I'll read the article then get back to y'all!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T12:39:02-06:00
ID
109144
Comment

I didn't know Pitts was so skilled at candor and humor. I love the part where he says "Mr. Cent, should it not be painfully obvious from the foregoing, is an idiot. Worse, he's an idiot with a painfully transparent need for approval from a woman he has spent so much energy denigrating. I'll leave it to the mental health community to explains what that means." 4 bits need to read these comments. Pitts has almost shut me up about our homegirl.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T12:50:14-06:00
ID
109145
Comment

Kamikaze, where did I 'condemn the whole for the part'? Other than being too lazy and generally non-musical to sort through any pop culture music to find the "real" stuff. Too much work for me. Plus, as a 40 something white lady, I'm really NOT the target audience for most of it, which is just fine by me. What I'm condemning here is mysogyny, hatred and glorification of violence. Not rap music. Great that you admitted on the radio that there are some less than stellar aspects of your industry. This is the first time I've seen you put it in writiing. What I'd like to see next is that you take a leadership stance on this issue, and be as vocal in your defense of women as you are in defense of your fellow performers. Ray, I'm assuming your kidding when you criticize Oprah for not calling you personally. Kamikaze, could you tell me what issues are *so* specific to black women only that Oprah is not addressing them? My favorite line in the column is when Pitts refers to Oprah as "the most powerful woman in America". She certainly has more influence (in some ways) on more lives than any other woman. Like it or not.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-13T12:54:06-06:00
ID
109146
Comment

Emily why isn't Oprah catering to all women instead of just the white one? Sisters got something to say too. Why is she mistreating brothers and sisters. I can see why she hates a few rappers. But what about broke brothers looking for a date or hookup? I bet she's in it for the money. "Money, money moonneeyy. Some people, they got to have it. Some people really need it, yeah. Dollar bills y'all. Don't let money fool ya. Do things, do things, good thing with it." The OJays.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T13:01:09-06:00
ID
109147
Comment

What, I ain't good enogh to get a call. Ok. Fine with me. She better hope our fortune/situation isn't reversed.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T13:10:17-06:00
ID
109148
Comment

I guess I just don't think Oprah is catering to just white women. Especially considering all the money and sweat equity she puts into educating young girls and women in Africa. I think it's just perception that her only audience is white women. I'm unsure how "white" and "black" is defined according to her topic choices. Especially with her Legacy Ball each year and all....

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T13:58:03-06:00
ID
109149
Comment

That's what I'm saying Emily, Kate, et al. You see if Oprah replaces Stedman with me or somebody like me we could point out to the sister how she can be more or better open to all. I bet she told Stedman before he went on Larry King that "if you say one thing to embarass, question, damage or cast asperions about me I will throw your broke, no-writing butt back on the streets before you can count to one." No wonder he kept saying despite Larry's insistence "it's negative, I don't deal in negative." What he meant was "I ain't about to blow this and open the door for Ray nem to have a shot." Oprah is doing a wonderful as a sister, woman and human being.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T14:13:38-06:00
ID
109150
Comment

Ray, you are a very odd man. emily wrote: I'm unsure how "white" and "black" is defined according to her topic choices. I don't get that either. My guess is that topics that are targeted at middle aged women just don't hit the radar screen of Mr. Cent, and so he assumes they are "white" topics, rather than "women's" topics.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-13T14:46:22-06:00
ID
109151
Comment

Sounds like sour-grapes from "Fifty".

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-12-13T15:01:24-06:00
ID
109152
Comment

I'm not that odd, Kate. I'm mostly kidding. I do wish Oprah would somehow be able to guage the black female community to see whether she's doing enough or all she can to uplift their self-esteem and address their specific needs too, should there be some separate and apart from white women. Maybe she has already done this or knows already because she's a sister. I'd be the first to admit that we humans are only slightly different, if at all. Frankly, I haven't heard but one ot two black females to ever question her role or focus, and it wasn't a strong or valid criticism. As for us guys, I bet many brothers have broken Oprah's heart already. And many are sad they can't get a shot at it. I'm not really physically attracted to her. She talks to much for my taste. And certainly on too many topics. I would have long stole all the money I could and left. He, he. Oprah is a wonderful human being that we all can be proud of. I concur with Pitts' summation/conclusin of the matters she has to juggle. 4 Bits (50 Cents) is clearly a nut with bullet holes to prove it. I'll try to act better in the future, but I just don't like to be good as my goddaughter once told me.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T15:20:16-06:00
ID
109153
Comment

I'm not sure what P. Diddy calls himself these days, but I've noticed that his commercials don't have any black women in it. That annoys me. I'm sure he could find beautiful, classy black women just as easily as any other beautiful, classy woman.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T15:36:38-06:00
ID
109154
Comment

Commercials. Emily, do you mean videos? I can't stand Combs. Even J-Lo couldn't make me like him any better. J-Lo can't sing and I don't like her either. I doubt there has ever been a person with less musical talents than Combs. I have always called him Pimp Daddy Combs because he has always used others to make money. For a while I was afraid he was going to exhume Biggie Smalls and make him do a dead man album. If you mean videos, perhaps he's tired of people saying rappers abuse black females only and he decided to use white ones instead. I think I saw him doing a skin commercial with Vanessa Williams. Now that Vanessa is something to behold. I think I might have watched on of the commercials just to see her.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T15:48:15-06:00
ID
109155
Comment

No, it's for his new fragrance. It's a regular old commercial.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T16:35:19-06:00
ID
109156
Comment

my parents are in their 50's now and they can get with hip hop. we listen to 3-6 mafia, young buck and lil wayne together all the time. they laugh at the lyrics because they know that "braggin" is a part of the youth experience. nobody in their right mind should judge hip hop so critically. maybe they should keep an eye on Sly Stallone and his new movie "Rocky Balboa". Watching an uneducated steroid abuser trying to act is as revolting as you can get and hip hop didn't birth THAT. Talk about insulting, degrading, retarded and perverse.

Author
laughter
Date
2006-12-13T17:10:02-06:00
ID
109157
Comment

I think in his case, as is the case with Oprah, as is the case with a lot of entertainers, sitcoms, movies, etc. In order to appeal to a crossover audience i.e. white America you have to make storylines, music, commercials that appeal to them. I think P Diddy was just continuing that tradition because he wants to sell his fragrance to everyone. Unfortunately that is what some feel they must do to maximize profits or ratings. Oprah, I think, does that. When's the last sitcom or drama that you've seen with an all-black or majority black cast on network TV since the Cosby Show/Different World? Not UPN, WB of even FOX but NETWORK TV? Oprah wants thre ratings so I guess she targets who she thinks her viewing audience will be at 4pm on weekdays. I dunno. Hell 50 believe it or not is kind of the pot calling the kettle black because you cant sell over 500,000 records in todays music climate without having white consumers buy your music. He did 4-5 mill on his first two albums. And guess what, Eminem would go platinum is NOT ONE balck person in America bought his record. Unfortunately if Diddy does a commercial with all black models his fragarance probably wouldnt sell that well.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T17:12:24-06:00
ID
109158
Comment

I don't like Rocky. You're right about network TV. It's been that way for a while and it sucks. I also miss just sitcom family shows. I'm loving Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock though. He really makes that show.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T17:18:32-06:00
ID
109159
Comment

"Kamikaze, could you tell me what issues are *so* specific to black women only that Oprah is not addressing them?" I hope you don't mind if I chime in on this one too...my answer to this question would be...sexual harrassment on the job. white women more or less don't get sexaully harrassed or even harrassed, for that matter, as much as black women do at the workplace. jokes, innuendo, etc..white women don't experience this much since white women are considered the jewel and face of the American woman and what a woman is suppose to be view as and treated as. America caters to the white woman. this is why Oprah gravitates to them and their needs more. Black women are considered second class anyway and they are treated that way too.

Author
laughter
Date
2006-12-13T17:21:18-06:00
ID
109160
Comment

Wow. If we don't get sexually harrassed or the innuendo as much, I'd hate to know what it's like for a black woman. Seriously.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T17:27:20-06:00
ID
109161
Comment

Interesting point Kaze about Combs. Laughter, after hearing Kaze on radio yesterday I actually thought about apologizing to him, not to rap or hip-hop. However, we wanted him to see another strong and mature side of the issue. An issue beyond the music. I'm sure he got the point and probably had it before talking to us. He acknowledged or accepted another view existed without selling out on his fellow rappers. I'll admit Combs is good at marketing. Master P said once he was targeting anyone with $18.95 to buy a cd. Rocky has long played out in my mind. I was even disappointed there was a statute of a fictional fighter (Rocky) in Philladelphia instead of Joe Frazier, a true fighter/boxer and Philadelphia gladiator. Joe is hurt about that too. I heard him say it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T17:29:50-06:00
ID
109162
Comment

Why wouldnt he be..Rocky is a damn ficticious character and he has a very real statue..hmmmm. Now what kind od statement does THAT make? And Joe was the heavyweight champion of the friggin world for pete's sake!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T17:36:18-06:00
ID
109163
Comment

..and how about a show on crack-addicted mothers or mothers of men/women lost to gang violence..OR BETTER YET how about a show on how African-American WOMEN make up the majority of new cases of HIV/AIDS in America. Hello? its some issues out there.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-12-13T17:40:23-06:00
ID
109164
Comment

I certainly don't treat black women like they're second class. I treat everybody the same. And I'm so conscious and paranoid of that allegation Laughter mentioned that I practically go out of my way to engage sisters and let them know that the white women I'm often with or around are co-workers. I do this to cut off some of the unnecessary and unjustified hate I see coming my way through the looks I get from sisters and white men. Many sisters even believe that as soon as a brothers start doing well financially they no longer want a sister. Race would never be a big consideration for me. All of my girlfriends have been black and so is my wife. But if I were single and looking for a wife or girlfriend I would date and marry whom I liked and loved regardless of race.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T17:51:05-06:00
ID
109165
Comment

I forgot to add I don't say or do anything for the sake of the white males. I kind of like pissing them off. Smile.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-13T17:58:48-06:00
ID
109166
Comment

I dunno. I kind of like the original Rocky (not so much the sequels), but it has always bugged me that in a sport where there hasn't really been a competitive white boxer for decades, we're supposed to be rooting for the one white guy. This is independent of the fact that the sequels have the most unrealistic sports scenes in the history of American film. I mean, seriously: If you're a heavyweight boxer and get pounded on for a round or two, YOU'RE DONE. That's what makes it heavyweight boxing. If you want to see a fight that isn't settled after a half dozen good punches, don't watch heavyweights; it's their upper body strength that adds a "one good punch and he wins" element to the fights, and that's what makes them dramatic. The standard Rocky sequel boxing scene is comparable to watching a drag race where one car never leaves the start line until the other car is 75% finished, and then zooms ahead to win anyway. It's just dumb. I understand the new fight scene is more like the original movie's fight scene and less like the sequels, and this and various other things leave me thinking that the new movie is better than any of the other sequels and much more like the original. But a really well-done remake, with a black or Latino Rocky and a more or less non-white cast, would be more interesting. Wouldn't be remotely surprised if that happens in another ten years or so. And Joe Frazier would have kicked Rocky's ass. Cheers,

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-13T18:21:12-06:00
ID
109167
Comment

...well, no really competitive white heavyweight boxers outside of Nikolai Valuev, I should have said. But then what do I know; I don't usually watch boxing anyway. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-13T18:24:44-06:00
ID
109168
Comment

I thought it was seperate but equal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi9KdEbQN1A

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-13T23:00:55-06:00
ID
109169
Comment

I love his use of Sweet Cakes ;P Sounds great over Erykah Badu's "Southern Gurl".

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-13T23:09:35-06:00
ID
109170
Comment

I always knew this color would come in handy some day.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-13T23:12:01-06:00
ID
109171
Comment

laugther, I'd say sexual harassment is a topic that all women can relate to. I wouldn't call it a 'black' topic, at all. Kamikaze, do you even know what kind of work Oprah does? I read her magazine occassionally, and it certainly touches on topics like HIV/AIDS, violence against women, etc. Not sure why Oprah can't represent *women*, and has to be criticized for not focusing exclusively on black** women *all the time*. I really find it ironic that folks that defend and create lyrics that celebrate violence against women are so up in arms about Oprah not doing enough to represent black women. Maybe some of rap artists could *set a good example* for Oprah, and show her what *respecting women* and bringing their issues to the table in constructive ways looks like. As for Rocky. With all the problems in jackson right now, at least we don't have a statue for a *fictional* boxer in our city.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-14T12:03:54-06:00
ID
109172
Comment

Also, Queen ran her 'experiment' on one David Banner song. I have no idea what the lyrics were. Tom (or someone) posted the lyrics of another song way up thread. Not sure what Queen and her friends would say about that song, what with it's comments about bitches, jews, etc. Which is to say, just because Queen and her friends find the lyrics to some random Banner song palatable, doesn't mean that everything that he produces is palatable. Look, I asked about the song that was being discussed. I only did it to show that everyone in the world is entitled to their opinion. THEY WERE NOT MY FRIENDS! I know already that MY friends don't feel like you all feel. I asked people who I didnt' already know their opinions. Since some of the women on here were SO disgusted by Banner that they didn't even know if they could listen to him anymore....THAT"S why I printed and handed out lyrics to THAT song.

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-12-14T12:04:42-06:00
ID
109173
Comment

Kate: they almost want integration and segregation at the same time. Being denied access to society is segregation. Get too integrated and you are acting white and ignoring your own community.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-14T12:32:25-06:00
ID
109174
Comment

Play wasn't the only Banner song discussed on the thread.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-12-14T12:41:21-06:00
ID
109175
Comment

King, not sure who "they" would be referring to in this case. You might want to clarify that, before you get clobbered for making sweeping generalizations about any group of people.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-14T13:22:00-06:00
ID
109176
Comment

"Like a Pimp" is very different from "Play". And we're not the only women, of any color, to blog about the portrayal of women in that song.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-14T13:22:07-06:00
ID
109177
Comment

They, kate? I really find it ironic that folks that defend and create lyrics that celebrate violence against women are so up in arms about Oprah not doing enough to represent black women. Last time I checked, folks was plural.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-14T13:48:44-06:00
ID
109178
Comment

I've misspelled misogyny through this entire thread. THAT is why I shouldn't be teaching your children! ;)

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-12-14T14:57:50-06:00
ID
109179
Comment

Kingfish if they refers to black folks. Let me say kindly, at least we're not annointed and deceived into thinking we're the rightful Kings of the whole world when everyone knows the so-called King had to steal, kill, deceive, use, abuse, and take most of what he has. But I'm just generalizing. He, he. Sho Nuff. The clarion ledger is reporting someone is about to write the unauthorized autobiography of Oprah. I forgot to go by the Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girl Club an hour ago when in Kosciusko. Oprah already has my number. I may not even pick up the phone when she finally calls back.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-14T15:06:12-06:00
ID
109180
Comment

King, I said "folks that defend...blah blah". As in, yes there are more than one, and they engage in a specific act ("defending misogyny, etc). I'm still not sure who "they" is in your posting. Are "they" rappers, white folks, old ladies, ?? Because your post could be construed in many different ways. As for me, I'd say "there are some people who want both integration and segregation" rather than "they want both". Because They is vague. And creates an 'us against them' vibe.

Author
kate
Date
2006-12-14T15:38:31-06:00
ID
109181
Comment

Ray, I'd definitely let the phone ring. You need to play hard to get with a woman like Oprah. I'd also recommend making her jealous by sending her a photo of you dancing cheek-to-cheek with another woman. "We were just thinking of you..." Ahem. "They" is one of my least favorite words sometimes. I hear it a lot from white women of a certain age who tap me on the shoulder and then make sure no people of color are standing around when they talk. What I always do is speak in a cheerful loud, booming voice and not say anything that I wouldn't broadcast on national television. "But I _LOVE_ African names! Heck, when some of the names become more common, they'll give us all more options when we're looking for names for our kids. And I really think the name discrimination angle will become less of an issue by the time they're grown, I really do..." Or "Yeah, and isn't it terrible that they're the FIRST black family on the block? I mean, it's been 50 years since Brown v. Board of Education, and..." They look humiliated when I do this, but then they insist on doing the exact same thing the next time they see me, so who knows. Whoops, there I go with "they" myself. Oh, well. C'est la vie... Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-14T16:35:20-06:00
ID
109182
Comment

Good idea,Tom. This kind of stuff works well with women, but on second thoughts, I ain't gonna do Stedman like that. Neither would I want Oprah trying to entice me to leave the wife. Or worse Oprah trying to kill me so no one else could have me. Women do some amazing things over love, most of them good but some bad things too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-14T16:51:41-06:00
ID
109183
Comment

Oh, good point. I would not want to be on Oprah's bad side. That woman's more powerful than the President. Oprah recommends a book, and it goes to the top of the New York Times list. Bush recommends a book--like, say, Natan Sharansky's The Case for Democracy--and nothing much happens. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-12-14T17:27:11-06:00
ID
109184
Comment

I want to let this column go but I can't overcome Laughter's comment about black women being second class or treated that way. What do you mean by that Laughter? One of the great things I liked about Malcolm X was his willingness to kill for his wife and family. He urged us to do the same. He knew well, just as I do, how white society had used and abused the black woman. He knew how black men had done it too because he had been somewhat guilty himself. I'm personally not guilty of it and have no intention of seeing the past revisited upon the black female. I believe this is the reason the women of Spelman and many other women of all races are attacking rap and hip-hop music. It's likewise the same reason many males of all races are attacking rap and hip-hop. Some rappers are more hateful and sadistic than master ever was toward the black female.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-12-15T10:03:32-06:00
ID
109185
Comment

Y'all see that The Clarion-Ledger asked Kamikaze to re-publish this blog posting as a column in their paper. I think that's great; it would have been cool to tell their readers that it was a reprint, of course.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-18T18:28:53-06:00
ID
109186
Comment

No hip hop is not to blame for ALL the ills but it sure has a lot to do with it. A "thug" image has been glorified by most of them. Even those with positive messages in their music still glorify being a thug. I even saw a picture of a religious rapper wearing a T-Shirt with a slogan...."Thugs for Jesus", or something like that. Just think about what a thug actually is. A thug is a criminal and the so-called music industry these days is promoting a criminal looking image. If a black man in a business suit had a hard time getting a taxi cab, what makes you think a cab driver is going to stop for someone that looks dangerous looking (even though that person may be as harmless as they come). Images can definately be deceiving and that thug image is setting people back, not helping them make progress. Also, a thug look is very easy to achieve. It doesn't take much money to look like a thug (even though some designers have attached a high price to it these days). So much of the thug look is different variations of jeans and T-Shirts. You can buy that at Walmart (just without the expensive label). And also, the thug looks takes no imagination or individuality whatsoever. It takes absolutely no guts whatsoever to simply wear what countless of other young people are wearing. Rappers brag about being down to earth and "keeping it real" but I see it as a bad thing, not a good thing. I grew up with stars loooking like stars and standing out in the crowd, not blending in with everyone else. Yeah, we had plenty of negative lyrics also but I guarantee that you did not turn on the news and see some local criminal dressed in thigh high boots like Rick James. It would take someone with major guts and individuality to dress like that to begin with. As for accusing people that don't like hip hop of being racist, from what I've seen, it has been the exact opposite. Look at who a large part of the hip hop buying public is. It's young white kids. I never saw all these thug images in rap in the 1980s when it was mainly black people listening to it. A lot of these white kids listen to it in the safety of their lilly white suburbs and have never been around or have no desire to be around black people. As for all the negative things in it such as the n-word and bitches and ho's, and all the so-called "keeping it real", they don't care. They hope you do "keep it real".....keep it real stupid. Also, as for white racists, they LOVE to hear black people call each other these names. As for all the violence in the videos, they love that too. Also, as for these major corporations, they are the worst. They are the ones that are keeping all this hip hop alive by seeing that it is the ONLY type of music that gets any airplay on radio and TV. Any other kind of R&B that comes along that might threaten it, they keep it out. Why...because it's cheap to make and a lot of the artists can be manipulated out of their fair share. From what I see the hip hop artists don't need to be complaining about people blaming hip hip for all the ills of the world. They have the major corporations backing them up. The people that need to be complaining are the real musicians that make REAL music and can't get record deals or airplay. If some of these rappers would spend their time learning to play real instruments instead of telling some boring story over a slow weak beat or a sampled record, they wouldn't have time to worry about people downing their music.

Author
Victor
Date
2006-12-27T17:25:01-06:00
ID
109187
Comment

"America is sick..." Music sales overall are down, but rap sales in particular have dropped 21 percent from 2005 to 2006. For the first time in 12 years, the top ten best-selling albums of the year did not include a rap album. A poll of black Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year revealed 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society. Certainly worth mentioning...

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-05T10:58:17-06:00

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