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You Believe This Because You Are Rich

You wanna know what's really dragging Hip Hop down? Entitled Negroes that live in a box and have a little bit of paper and influence. We generally like Jay-Z, as he's consistently the least-embarrassing figure in modern Hip Hop, which may or may not have something to do with his advanced age. But sometimes, elucidating on the state of society through a skewed lens can be just as offensive and dangerous as all-out coonery. Take this quote for example, which we refrained from posting earlier because we wanted to determine if we'd be any less irritated if we waited a week. (Guess what? We weren't):

"[Hip-hop] has changed America immensely... Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations... Racism is taught in the home... and it's very hard to teach racism to a teenager who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It's hard to say, 'That guy is less than you.' The kid is like, 'I like that guy, he's cool. How is he less than me?' That's why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, enjoying the same music."

I love the part where he says "Racism is taught in the home," because if I was a racist and wanted my kid to follow in my footsteps, then I would show him modern rap videos. 

Powerful, rich cats in the industry love to overstate Hip Hop's healing properties, as if songs titled "Jigga My N***a," "Real N***az," "N***a What, N***a Who," "N***a Please" or "Jigga That N***a" are the proverbial glue bringing this country together. 
Newsflash: White people have been listening to Black music for years, and while several factors over the decades have contributed to some kind of racial tolerance or semblance of "getting along," please don't think a bunch of dudes tossing dollar bills in the air and showering each other with champagne to the tune of "Now go and roll up the Swisher / But don't drink all my liquor" had anything to do with it. You are way too smart for that.
Ron Mex breaks it down further:

Racism isn't just being called a n****r outright or waking up in the middle of the night to a flaming cross on your front lawn courtesy of the neighborhood welcome wagon. It's everything that goes into a systemic oppression of one group of people by another. Often times it's neither obvious nor intentional--and, despite the fact that a half-negro holds the keys to the so-called free world, it hasn't gone anywhere.

Hip-hop is a powerful tool that can be used for great things. However, as it stands, the culture has become little more than a cog in the faulty capitalist wheel that has caused wagon of our known world to crash and collapse onto itself.

Jegro--I refuse to call him "Jigga," since that's offensive to my people--also went on to extol how Hip Hop has encouraged respect towards women and gays. (Not really.)

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12 Responses

  1. Nova, you knocked it out the park!!!
    Jay is echoing the exact sentiments of Russell Simmons.
    I tend to believe that people like Jay, Oprah, Will Smith, Russell Simmons...once they achieve a certain level of "acceptance" by the white mainstream power structure and audience, tend to see life, racism, etc through a skewed lens. Jay now rubs elbows with Hollywood elite like Gwenyth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin.
    And it also bothers me to a degree when I hear people say that this is the "least racist generation ever". Or how this generation doesn't care about color. Are they less racist b/c they have been properly educated about racism and given the information to make the intelligent choice not to perpetuate racist attitudes and practices? Or are they less racist b/c they don't know the history/causes of racism and wouldn't recognize it to know if they were engaged in it in the first place?

  2. i would say i can't believe how ignorant my love sounds....but i can....
    this is not something new. there are millions of examples of people of color attaining some large amount of money, being let into certain circles, receiving praise, and then all of the sudden believing that race relations are doing fine
    nothing surprises me about this comment.
    but i am shocked to hear it coming from Shawn Carter. Someone who has touched upon the issues of race before, and actually made many valid points.

  3. To me it sounds like Jay has lost touch with reality. I think sometimes when ppl accumulate a massive amount of dough they tend to forget the struggle. He may not experience racism on the level that he once did, causing him to think it may not exist anymore. I think he's confusing the fact that hip hop has opened doors and taken him to a higher station in life with thinking hip hop has eliminated racism. It's possible to hit the club and mingle among different races and still harbor racist tendencies, knowingly or unknowingly.

  4. A quote from Mrs. Jiggaman,
    I asked her if she had ever experienced any of the racism in the music business that is depicted in that film, and she said, "In some ways but only slightly. My father had to fight those battles. I didn't. And now I'm large enough—I'm universal—that no one's paying attention to what race I am. I've kind of proven myself. I'm past that."
    Taken from this site: http://www.style.com/vogue/feature/2009_April_Beyonce_Knowles/?mbid=msn
    I think this goes in with the discussion as well. Race relations is just fine ya'll. Everybody...just be cool, alright? LOL

  5. I believe that Jay has a point, but what he is saying is exclusive to a certain age bracket. Your average white teen or college student absorbs hip hop images and idolizes them while the average middle aged white person sees the complete opposite. But then again that same dynamic exists for most young and old blacks as well. That comment on point for the MTV generation.. but for The Mclaughlin group audience... yea.

  6. "I love the part where he says "Racism is taught in the home," because if I was a racist and wanted my kid to follow in my footsteps, then I would show him modern rap videos."
    I had to post Taalam Acey's 'Market' again after reading your great post.

  7. I believe that Jay's statement was a lil too broad but it had some truth to it. Some truth not THE truth. Even y'all hafta to admit the fact that HipHop as a cultural phenomenon has connected people across the world. I believe the "NEWSFLASH" response was really only realitive to the current state of the music in HipHop,and not thentire spectrum of its music. HipHop is certainly not the cure...but what is?? I'm not a Jay fan, but I applaud him for making a bold enough statement to incite thought.

  8. Want to really prove how far we've come in the way of racial relations?
    Be in an interracial marriage where your husband or wife gets chided constantly by her co-workers over her choice to wed someone who's skin isn't the same "lightness", "darkness" or has the same imagined heritage as the rest of her "friends".
    Be the husband who's already been attacked by someone physically for "being in the wrong neighborhood" and have your wife tell you that you should be expecting that kind of reaction because you're going to be eyed suspiciously as THE ENEMY.
    Then go to work and have your coworkers eye you with suspicion after shaking hands with you and you turn and leave, only to hear them muttering about you.
    Watch your sister's kids grow up idolizing thugs who beat their wives while their father won't earn a dime to support them, or claim responsibility for them and beats their mother up for trying to do the right thing and make him take responsibility for his actions.
    The fact that our president is black, half-black, negro, or however you want to label him is inconsequential to the hard truth that in this country, people act in an un-democratic fashion. Fascism in the form of blatant racism and social elitism is still in style as long as Americans view their brothers and sisters with suspicion. Gangs are nothing more than machine-headed yes-men who have no more morals than the Nazi brownshirts of the 1940s who rove in packs like dogs looking to ostracize the weak and prey on the innocent.
    Musicians who speak intelligently about civil rights and seeing past the socioeconomic and racial barriers may open the ears of the young to reason, and they are the soldiers of social change and positive racial interaction. Unfortunately, they are few and far between, and they are outnumbered by "mercenaries" who are screaming in louder volumes about hatred and isolationism. Our children are tempted by the images they see on television and the internet of false hope and false promise of a future if they invest in hatred of themselves, their wives and sisters and each other.
    Smcity posted: I believe that Jay has a point, but what he is saying is exclusive to a certain age bracket. Your average white teen or college student absorbs hip hop images and idolizes them while the average middle aged white person sees the complete opposite.
    While I don't disagree with this statement completely, I'd like to address this, coming from a middle-aged white man. I happen to like Jay-Z. His mash-up with Linkin Park is one of the best collaborations I've heard since Public Enemy and Anthrax recorded "Bring The Noize". I even listen to Points of Authority/99 Problems with my nephews half my age. I'm not the run-of-the-mill mainstream middle-aged white man but I've got enough experience of the world under my belt that I'm not easily influenced by flash and hype. I don't idolize things that have no logical reason to...I'm not easily impressed with shiny stuff, large bills and sex anymore. I don't dress in hip-hop clothing, I don't subscribe to any notions that the clothes I wear reflect my self. Musicians are not my heroes, my father, who gave his life for his family and community and to help people all his life, is my hero. I grew up in a church that was interracial, my family is interracial, my wife's family is interracial, and I recognize how lucky I am that my family and friends are diverse in ethnicity as well as their lifestyle.
    Not all people are smart enough to look past the bullshit, or have good strong families that teach morals and the civil responsibility that we have toward making sure our children and siblings don't become the statistics of hatred and violence. When hip-hop has addressed the fact that it's more important to be loved than idolized, it will have achieved the success that Rap accomplished already.

  9. I agree with Jig...I mean Sean Carter to a certain point, hip hop does bring the races together. The only other time I remember music uniting races was disco, so yeah Jig...I mean Sean Carter does have a point but Nova your point trumps Jays in my opinion alot of cats like to overstate shit when it comes to their influence and place in rap, nice post big homey.................

  10. I never understand this rationale. Black folks have long been appreciated by whites for dancing, singing, running, dunking and so forth. Hip Hop is but the latest in a long line of entertainment forms that white folks enjoyed. That in no way however, has changed the inequalities built into so many of our social and economic structures. That, Mr. Z is the crux of the matter when we talk about race-why does the average black child, from the womb on, have such poorer odds by nearly every measure: health status, educational attainment, economic viability, accumulated wealth, etc. than white child. Further, even on the less structural matters, I don't believe for a moment that whites/others are less likely to have prejudice towards black because they enjoy some hip hop music. John Doe might bob his head to Jay Z but does he want him dating his daughter? working in his office? living next door?

  11. I see where Jay Z is comin from ... but high up there on his hip-hop throne he dosn't see/experience the day to day. The idea that black hip-hop icons encourage white youngsters to 'accept' black people is nonsense (i'm saying this as a white twenty-something).
    I have seen white youths walking round in their hip-hop clothing, listening to their hip-hop music who are still racist, or at least hold racial stereotypes as 'the truth'. Just because they appreciate the product, dosn't mean they respect the maker. It's the 'image' that is portrayed in hip-hop videos they idolize so much - the money, cars and naked women.
    Oh and LOL @ 'went on to extol how Hip Hop has encouraged respect towards women and gays. (Not really.)' ... That'll be the day!

  12. Well that "cultural ambassador" argument could have been applied any time over the last fifty years and yes, there's some truth to it.
    I suppose that when you move up to a more privileged class, life does become a little kinder and you can afford to breathe easier and be more generous, particularly to yourself!
    I hope that the chance to advance (for the rest of us), hasn't been quietly stolen along with all that missing bank money because this depression is going to be a testing time for tolerance and I don't anticipate seeing anyone claiming credit for the downside.



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