[eDebate] Hip Hop Debate Fusion-rd7
Wed Nov 7 18:15:23 CST 2001
Andy..While I find some of the responses to my post to be meaningful, I find yours to be interesting as well..
What special privledge do I hold? I work a 40 hour week, I pay my taxes, and I take care of a sick spouse. Why does this make me priveledged? The last I looked you were a white male too. Doesn't that, if I apply your logic, make you the recipient of the same? Or, is it just because you espouse radical beliefs, and are "down" with the current trends in culture and race, and because you espouse all the "right" things you are somehow different than I am? I come from a poor household, by today's standards, with an addicted father who was abusive - did that give me some time of special "in" in life??? Yeah - it gave me an "in" to lots of emergency rooms when I was getting the shit beat out me, but I can say that in the end I can say that I never asked anyone for shit in life and that the things I have are mine because I earned them and not because they were given to me. The only thing I ever took was a student loan and I pay that monthly. So, how am I special?????????????
You assume I don't listen to rap. I was listening to the Sugar Hill Gang, Curits Blow, and Fab Five Freddy when you were crawling around in pampers. (as a side note - don't forget that rap didn't really break through until Blondie mentioned Freddy in one of her songs, that moved rap out of the clubs and into the mainstream) I too went through my "I'm an oppressed, underpriveledged person who has life hard so I have to blare my NWA, Body Count, Big Daddy Kane, and Public Enemy tapes at full blast (when I wasn't blaring my Peter Tosh and/or Marley tapes at full blast) while I drive though my suburban neighborhood with the windows rolled down because I'm against the system" period. That would have been between 1989 and 1992 and then I grew up. So don't say I have an open mind. I've been mired, in the past, in the same mire of discontent and shit that you preceive to be in, it's natrual to say "life sucks" the thing that seperates people is when you say "yep, life sucks but I'm going to change it by working my ass off" it doesn't help to say "life sucks - but I'm just going to whine about it." If you want to change your lot in life, get up and work hard.
It's not that I don't like rap, or music. I do. I like all sorts of music. In my collection I have everything from rap, to gregorian chant, to countyr, to reggae to rock, to rockabilly, to classical. My favorite singer is Fish. He's a Scottish guy who sings about things like the liberation of Scotland and the oppressiveness of Capitalism and a lot of other social issues.
All I'm saying is that for someone to get up and state "I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope, taking out a cop or two, they can't cope..." and such..Why??? OK - you're angry, that I get. But why should that be the only message??? I think KRS-1 has some positive rhymes, for instance, but I know that in the rap universe he's not that popular. It's the groups like NWA and 2LIveCrew that get all the notice. Why, well they are the most outrageous.
Perhaps, if we can't agree on anything else, we can agree on the following: A message is only as good as the thought that goes into it's reception. For instance, if you try to convince me that Marxism is good, you'll fail. I've seen the failure and rejection of Marxism the world over. If you you like rap, good. But, you should be able to articulate the reasons for liking rap. Most of the people responding to the list have, and that I can respect. I think you are younga nd misguided, , but I respect that you can identify why rap is vital and needed (I'm not sure Martin Luther King would have dug it, but that's a different argument). But, look at rap's audience. It's not the primarily African American audience it was 30 years ago. Now, it's global. I've seen 13 year old kids running around mouthing lyrics from groups like NWA and they have no concept of what Dr. Dre and the group are talking about, much less where they are coming from. I would argue that rap has devolved from a powerful medium of the message of the opressed, to a one that is driven by capitalistic greed. I mean, the rappers aren't working for free, nor should they be. I would also argue that rap is a form of mental slavery (Much like the kind Marley exhorts us to "free our minds from..") It might express rage, but as long as the message is mostly coopted by white record executives who realize that violence and sexism bring in the dollars, it's a toothless tiger just roaring along looking for the next meal and doing what's necessary to get it.
So go on, support the cooption and the slavery - African American rappers working for white record execs, putting out the rhymes that whitey wants to here and, in some cases, not the ones the artists want to make. Remember, Death Row records was founded by a white man. Now, doesn't it strike you a bit strange that a white man started a record company called "Death Row" which employed mostly African American rappers??? Sends a hell of a message, doesn't it?
And for those who posted about how country music is racist and Arayan music is racist and so on. You' re right, it's no better when Johnny Cash get's up and sings about killing his wife, or lynching African Americans, or when Screwdriver sings about the "Zog Machine," than it is when Ice T brags about "smoked pork," or gang raping Tipper Gore and her daughters. It's all a bit out there. I think what you guys miss in your attacks against me is that I'm just as opposed to the KKK as I am to the Black Panthers, I want to see Arayan nation done away with as much as I want to see Luis Farakahn and the nation of Islam shut down. It's all crap to me.
In a way, I admire those of you who espouse your pro marxist and anti capitalist rhetoric, it shows me that there will be people who, if the system get too far out of whack, might rise up and stop another Reich from forming. I thin you confuse my love of Capitalism with a love of hatred - I can assure you, you should never confuse the two. As passionate as I am about Capitalism, I am just as passionate about stomping out every last vestige of racial hatred in this nation - be it white on black, black on white, christian on jew, jew on muslim, muslim on jew - whatever - hate can have no place.
And, I wish I could come to Wake Forest - I would like that very much. But, I'll be helping with the local High School Debate League next weekend as I do every weekend there is a tournament. I really hope to meet, someday, the lot of you on this list, to set down with y'all over a beer, or other beverage of your choice, and to talk. I think that would be great, and maybe someday we could do that. Duane
"Dead white males still matter, dammit!!" Richard Dreyfus, The Education of Max Bickford
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