Saturday, October 13, 2007


It is a problem when CNN is faster on rap news than the people who cover rap. I have no idea what Cliff (or any person, for that matter) needs with an "arsenal" of weapons, but I know this is going to be ascribed to all of the hip hop community. Should T.I. take responsibility? Well, yeah, that's a lot of damn guns. But that is just T.I. No one else is responsible. Be very clear about that. Also:
Harris has dubbed himself the "King of the South." His music is built around the drug culture and is known as "trap music," or music to listen to while using drugs.
There are a couple things wrong with that piece of information. First of all, the title he has dubbed himself is not relevant to the discussion. It might be more relevant if the person writing the article had noted that some in the hip hop consider T.I. the "King of the South." As it stands, it is like any other nickname a rapper comes up with, something else a listener can remember him by. They could have also mentioned how many records he's sold (especially with King), the Grammy he won with Justin Timberlake, or the record company he is affiliated with. But, my first point is "outdated" by today's news standards, associating him with JT would put white people (overprotective parents especially) in a tizzy, and the last point is bad business. Heaven forbid a label be accountable for what an employee does. He won't get dropped, he brings in too much money, and Universal knows that. CNN doesn't care about real responsibility in terms of rap's relationship with the outside world (see previously), they only want to appeal to mainstream America's fears.

That brings me to the second part of what is wrong with the above quote: trap music is not primarily made to be listened to while using drugs. Trap music (or muzik), as I understand it anyway, is about detailing the life of a drug dealer and (hopefully) all the things that go along with that. Is it the most wholesome? No. Can it be offensive on many levels? Certainly. But that does not change the fact that for some people (T.I. included) this is or was a way of life. And it can be interesting. See The Wire, Clockers, The Corner, or Traffic for previous examples of the drug world captivating some audience. It's not music that you listen to only after lighting up an 8-ball or playing with heroin. But like I said, CNN and the general public won't be interested in getting their facts right. They want to scare parents so that no one buys rap anymore. It is poor journalism, nothing more. I was reading tonight one of Noz's best posts over at XXL, and I can't help but think how this instance will only fuel Stanley Crouch, John McWhorter, and others who are not interested in having productive discussions about images in the media of rappers/black men. They only seek to demonize so their world view is validated. It has to stop.

Between Twinkletoes and Tip, the hip hop police are really on their job.

In other news, the Rubberband Man's street cred is heavy like the 7 series Beamer right now. That topic will hopefully get addressed sometime soon now that I have a little bit of free time. Here's an idea of what I'll be saying in that authenticity post, if I ever get around to it.

No comments: