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Posts from December 2006

You Are Not A Nigga . . .


(Lifted from Hopluv's Vox Blog)


I know I'm late on this . . . I just want to add my 25 cents to this bullshit.

I agree with Graham of Regulate the Voice, this whole Kramer "Nigga"-gate brouhaha is like a bad Seinfeld episode. I can't believe that when it's all said and done, the civil rights movement will have Kramer to thank for leading us in a discussion about the word, Nigger.

Man, fuck that.

Michael Richards is an unfunny scrub who decided to have a racial meltdown in a club after being heckled by two African-American patrons. And now civil rights activists want the word banned from the lexicon of hip-hop and popular culture? That's unlikely going to happen. Like journalist Adam Bernard writes in his post -- and I'm quoting him -- "Eliminating a word, any word, from people's vocabularies is nearly impossible, but even in a world where that could happen eliminating the word "nigger" and all of its variations still wouldn't eliminate the racism in the person that would utter the word."

Word to the mutha (all pun intended, my niggas).

Racism is so ingrained in our society that it will NEVER go away, ever.
Racism is here to stay, folks, sorry. So eliminating the N-word is not going to help race relations or make people respect one another.

And the absurdity of those two African-American patrons in announcing that they are going to sue Michael Richards for spewing the word "Nigger" at them. Hey fellas, **news flash** during the course of your lifetime, you will be called a "nigger" by way more bigoted dumb-asses than Michael Richards. TRUST ME. If you do get compensated, please give the money to charity or to a civil rights organization.

And if those guys do get paid, I want reparations. I've been called both a "nigger" and a "nigga" several times during my 36 years on earth. Fuck it, give me my reparations NOOOW!

Personally, I don't use "nigga" as a term of endearment. Much like my favorite writer John Ridley -- as he wrote in his controversial essay -- I used the word often to describe people who are "fucking up" in our society doing dumb shit.

John states in his essay:

"Let me tell you something about niggers, the oppressed minority within our minority. Always down. Always out. Always complaining that they can’t catch a break. Notoriously poor about doing for themselves. Constantly in need of a leader but unable to follow in any direction that’s navigated by hard work, self-reliance. And though they spliff and drink and procreate their way onto welfare doles and WIC lines, niggers will tell you their state of being is no fault of their own. They are not responsible for their nearly 5 percent incarceration rate and their 9.2 percent unemployment rate. Not responsible for the 11.8 percent rate at which they drop out of high school. For the 69.3 percent of births they create out of wedlock."
Although his statements above sound elitist (and class-ist), it doesn't stray too far from the truth. On the one hand, just because John is now a successful African-American writer, doesn't give him the right to degrade others who are trying to come up and be successful just like him. But on the other hand, there are way too many motherfucking niggers/niggas out here doing dumb shit.

He then goes on to say:

"Now, let me tell you something about my generation of black Americans. We are the inheritors of “the Deal” forced upon the entrenched white social, political, and legal establishment when my parents’ generation won the struggle for civil rights. The Deal: We (blacks) take what is rightfully ours and you (the afore-described establishment) get citizens who will invest the same energy and dedication into raising families and working hard and being all around good people as was invested in snapping the neck of Jim Crow."
John defends his usage of the N-word in his editorial for Time magazine, as well.


In the end, journalist Dan Chaneras is 100 percent on-point with his commentary about the Kramer-gate controversy. I agree what Dan assessment that "Seinfeld is the Ralph Ellison's argument made visual. We -- African-Americans -- are invisible to most people in this world."

Dan also adds:

"They're the white friends who giggle when hip-hop comes on, rather than bob their heads to it. It's not that we can’t be friends with them. It's just that we choose to live multiculturally and they don't . . . either because they don't know how, don't want to, don't have to, or they are afraid to. When white folks are brought out of this space, they can have a number of reactions. Some take kindly to reality. Others snap."
Case in point: Rosie O' Donnell. Her "ching-chong" rant probably reveals how she views Asian people in general. Texas A&M sociology professor Joe Feagin describes Michael's racial meltdown [and I'm adding Rosie's rant here, too] as displays of "the white racial frame" -- an extensive set of stereotypes, images and emotions that white people have used since the 1600s . . . [that's been] drilled into our heads from the time we're 1-year-olds, by friends, relatives, and, often by the media, by schoolteachers."

Feagin says Americans have learned it's unacceptable to make racist comments in public -- in what he calls a "frontstage" arena. Yet "backstage," in small groups of friends or family members, white people regularly use racist language and tell racist jokes.

I tend to believe that we all do this and also have hidden biases, as well. Just don't slip up and spew your racist thoughts in public.

In wrapping up this long rant, I give you . . .

Further reading material:

Dallas Penn gives us the history of the C-word "Cracker."

And blogger Hopluv asks, "Are You Comfortable With Your Self-Referential Term?" -- meaning, are you satisfy with being referred to as an African-American, Afro-American, Black, Negro or . . .?


And finally, in the words of Eddie Murphy (as Rev. Jesse Jackson), "Don't Let Me Down" . . .


We all must respect one another.

Holla!


I'm Busy . . .



I apologized for the lack of posts, but this is the busiest time for me as a journalist. This is the time where I have to write "Year-End" music recaps for the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop poll, for my full-time gig and for my own blog, as well. Plus, I have to get started on my Christmas shopping and get my finances in order for the new year. In 2007, I'm going to have to make major moves career-wise, relationship-wise and real estate-wise.

Career-wise I have to figure out what I want to do -- stay put where I'm at, or pursue an editorial gig at a magazine, or find work at the Post Office. (LOL! The journalism game is not the most secure job field in the world. Shit! It's hard out here for a writer.)

Relationship-wise I'm like Usher -- "I Need a Girl."

Real Estate-wise I need to get the fuck out of Camden, N.J. I'm too big for this ghetto; it's time for me to move to another ghetto. Brook'Nam here I come. (That's Brooklyn, NYC for you slow readers out there.)

So write-ups are coming! They are going to be brief and to the point. I don't have time to type long treatises on hip-pop culture. Plus, you guys can simply hit the links in my "Hip-Hop Blogs" list and/or "Writers" lists to read some insightful commentary from the 'Net's top bloggers.

So hold on for a second while I line these posts up.

Holla!


Dead . . . N


(photo from nahright.com)


A lot of rap heads -- particularly in the south -- are upset with Nas for titling his forthcoming disc, Hip-Hop Is Dead . . . the N. Cats are scratching their heads and wondering, "What is Nas talking about? -- hip-hop is alive and well. Well, poet/scholar/blogger hardCore has offered an excellent summation on the whole "hip-hop is dead" scenario and what Nas is bringing to the table. It's food for thought. Read it right HERE!

hardCore states in his commentary:

"The truth is, for years hip hop culture has been compromised. The artistry has taken a back seat to marketing the sensational -- east coast/west coast feuds and despicable displays of capitalism. Meanwhile women and the preservation of life have continued to be devalued on a street level. Hip hop isn't even rebellious youth culture anymore. It's what grown ass millionaires use as an excuse to be gaudy. Welcome to the hustle n' no flow era of the culture."
hardCore then lists 60 things that have killed hip-hop, among them video vixens, DJs, suburban america, diamonds, egos, double albums, weed, beef, moguls, the iPod (say what?!?!), money and more.

hardCore also asked this question:

"Now that [Nas] parted his lips to mumble hip hop is dead, will those same parted lips give us another classic album to stimulate the rebirth of the culture?"
There are a slew of new Nas' songs and videos floating around the Internets.

Here are a few joints that caught my eyes. Click on the links and check them out.

Nas has a eye-catching, mildy shocking video for "Shine On 'Em" from the upcoming movie Blood Diamonds.

Nas (featuring Jay-Z) -- "Hip-Hop Is Dead" (live performance)

Peep Nas' new video for "Hip-Hop Is Dead."

You know, I love Nas, but this video looks like a damn mess. I don't even like Nas' clothes in the clip. I guess it's an abstract video.

But I totally love this Nas track (featuring the Game) called "Hustlers." Click HERE to listen to it. I just love the camaraderie between these two MCs -- east and west coast brotherhood. Coastal unity . . . that's missing in hip-hop.


I'll leave you with this nugget from hardCore's post:

"On December 19th, "Hip Hop Is Dead...The N" will provide us with a ton of answers," he states. "We'll learn whether over 30 emcees will be relevant in 2006 and beyond. We'll learn if this album feels like a hip hop version of Revelations, or Genesis. And we'll learn if Nas is still lyrically capable of carrying an album that presumably features the top producers in the game. The countdown has begun."

. . . the N.


Holla!


I Luv It


I had to bring a little muscle for my BOTW (Booty of the Week) feature. Not only is she bringing the beauty, she is also bringing the brawn. This lovely twenty-something Venezuelan-Israeli cutie is a top-ranked fitness model and personal trainer. The Toronto native's career is getting a real big lift right now with the Zigga Zagga Productions' 2007 Calendar. You can see her flex her 5'6", 37-24-37 muscular frame in that collection. She's also in talks to appear in a reality show fitness series. So if you think you can keep up with her, check out her official website and MySpace blog. And fellas, if you need some help maintaining that flab during the pagan holidays (I see you hardCore. LOL!), she has some advice for ya. Read up!


You gotta luv it . . .


One more shot!


Holla!