Wednesday, October 18, 2006
One of the most controversial rap groups of all time, Public Enemy, had a song called "Freedom of Speech … Watch What You Say" from the seminal late-'80s album "Fear of a Black Planet." It was a testament to the hypocrisy of the First Amendment as it relates to hip-hop. Frontman Chuck D. used his platform to let his million-plus listeners know how he felt about a number of social issues. Whether it was Hollywood, black-on-black crime, drugs or the government, Public Enemy always managed to put a message in their music. That was the golden era of hip-hop: when the lyrics had meaning, and a raunchy rapper out of Miami named Luke Skywalker went all the way to the Supreme Court to defend our right as artists to say what we want—even if you don't agree. That's the school I come from.
My music is a Bible with a Playboy cover on it, striving to educate as well as entertain. I know I can't simply preach to the choir and stimulate thought. That's why I pepper my performances with my own brand of social commentary. As was the case recently, my views don't always fall on supportive ears. Sometimes I piss people off. If they agree with me—whatever. If they don't agree with me—whatever. I've got my right to free speech.
The last place I would expect to be "censored" is a liberal-arts college where the best and brightest minds meet to take on the future. But sure enough, there I was at Millsaps, performing for a throng of students in "the bowl," when I went into my classic "George W." tirade between songs. It's no secret I think he's a complete buffoon, and my songs reflect it.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), there were a few young Republicans in the crowd—one of whom was the student body president. And as is the case with many Republicans, they lacked a sense of humor when it comes to folks who don't fall in step with the president. Long story short, I received a letter from the Student Body Association at Millsaps. The letter, from SBA Prez Brad Yakots, said, among other things, that the students should not have been treated to that "tacky," "senseless," "blasphemous" bashing of the president, and that Millsaps had no use for my "shameful," "adolescent" and "worthless" viewpoint of "our" leader. Consequently, they will not support any more of my appearances on that campus.
I sincerely hope this fanatic isn't speaking for the entire Millsaps student body. I haven't added anyone to my "you know what" list in a while, and I don't want to group the energetic, well-read students into the same boat as Yakots and his cronies. He's entitled to his opinion; apparently, I'm entitled to mine as long as it's the same as his. Must have been shocking for him to go to a hip-hop concert and hear social commentary from a "rapper."
But I'm not taking this one lying down. I've written a letter to Mr. Yakots challenging him and the Millsaps Young Republicans to an open debate. Now we'll see if these fellas with their weird man-crush on "W" are willing to meet me face to face. Keep ya posted.
And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.
Good luck with that one Kaze. I am sure it would be an interesting debate. It always seems to awe me that people still find something positive to say about the man who "leads" this country. Even after his constant displays of ignorance....even after this total devastation he is calling a "war on terror". I am amazed that people who consider themselves inclined and justified can offer any explanation other than greed for this man's displays and decisions. However, apparently they do exist. So, good luck at making them look just as idiotic as the man they so admire. By the way Bush is killing off our nation over there. Is anyone paying attention. What will he do when there is no one left, reinstate the draft and make our men fight HIS war? Someone has got to bring attention to these folk, like the young rebublicans at Milsaps. And who better than a young, black, rapper with a voice to shake them up some and make them think about what they and he represent. What is Bush saying to the American public??? What story is he writing? THINK ABOUT IT FOLKS....he is writing our demise.
Good luck, Kamikaze. That young fellow ain't got the balls to debate you. Please let us know what happens.
- Ray Carter
oh, if im in town, you better believe i will be there. right next to you kamikaze.