Imus: Don't Blame Hip-Hop!
Yes, there are rappers who use such terms as â€œbitchâ€? and or â€œniggerâ€? in their recordings. Yet, for every rapper that uses these terms their are 10 who don't! I'm asking the question: why is it that all 10 of the rappers we hear on mainstream radio, and see on mainstream video, ironically, are those who use such language? Why is the view represented by these 10 rappers made to be representative of the Hip-Hop community?
THE BIG STORY
Yes, I do believe that Don Imus and his buddies deserved to have their old asses kicked. Yet, I'm more concerned about the "Black" American "leaders," (Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton), "Black" TV/talk-radio personalities, etc. saying dumb shit like Hip-Hop is the reason for Imus using the term "Nappy-headed hos."
While driving my seed to school earlier this week I heard Steve Harvey, a very intelligent brother whom I admire, say, while addressing the "Imus-issue", that the Hip-Hop community has to stop disrespecting our women by calling them bitches, hos and the like.
This is an erroneous assumption—that Hip Hop is responsible for terms like "nigger", "bitch" and "Nappy-headed hos" being in the American vocabulary. Davey D (www.daveyd.com) has already written a must-read article entitled "Is Hip Hop Really the Blame for this Don Imus Thing?” dispelling this baseless idea.
Yes, there are rappers who use such terms as “bitch” and or “nigger” in their recordings. Yet, for every rapper that uses these terms their are 10 who don't! I'm asking the question: why is it that all 10 of the rappers we hear on mainstream radio, and see on mainstream video, ironically, are those who use such language? Why is the view represented by these 10 rappers made to be representative of the Hip-Hop community?
I challenge Steve Harvey, Michael Baisden, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Don Imus and anyone else on radio and/or television who subscribes to the idea that Hip Hop is to blame to do this: Take these 10 names, Little Brother, Wise Intelligent, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Public Enemy, Brother J, NYOIL, Talib Kweli, The Coup, and Paris, to the program directors of the stations that you work for and ask them why they don’t play any of these rappers with empowering messages. These rappers all oppose the nigger-bitch-gangster ideology that dominates mainstream music media outlets including but not limited to Radio and Video.
It was BET that unashamedly told us that Little Brother was “too intelligent” for BET's target market. The target market of Black Entertainment Television is, as far as I understand it to be, the Black community. So, in the opinion of BET, the Black community is not "intelligent" enough to understand the views of a group of young Black males who decided to go to college while pursuing their careers as rap artists simultaneously?
Yet, the Black community is ignorant enough to understand the story of a stripper named Diamond who dances at The Players Club to pay for her collegiate education, a movie where "bitch" and "ho" is the primary dialogue—This movie gets as much rotation as Young Jeezy on BET.
It was from white America that we get the word "Nigger", it is from white America that we also get the term "Nappy-headed wench." The terms have been kept alive by Hollywood in movies like "Mandingo", "Drum" and or "Farewell Uncle Tom." Suddenly, we are being told that Black rappers taught old-ass Don Imus these words? Don Imus' old ass got these words from his father's father; not Hip-Hop!
Hip-Hop is not responsible for the diffusion of negative portrayals of Black people in America. Hollywood, the Music Industry, Major Radio/Video Broadcast Stations have been, and continue to control the images responsible for shaping the attitudes and lifestyles of Americans for decades now.
We all know that the major media outlets for Hip-Hop art are not controlled by the Hip Hop Community. So, then, the Hip Hop community does not decide what does or does not get played, and therefore, cannot be responsible.
We have 10 rappers signed to and in rotation at any and all of the aforementioned Major Corporations and all of them represent the same view of the Black male in America; the drug-dealer-gangster-convict-turned-rapper. Never do we hear those views that represent the anti-thesis to this destructive image; views that are in great abundance in every "hood."
I challenge Steve Harvey, Michael Baisden, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and all to demand that the media corporations who write your checks balance their radio/video play-lists by adding 10 rappers into the rotation whose views are uplifting and motivate Black youth toward positive attitudes and lifestyles.
Until you find the balls to challenge this machine, your views on the symptoms created by the machine are not welcome. Failure to confront the root causes of the problems we face as a people is really the true failure! Please pick up the book “The Name Negro It's Origin And Evil Use” by Richard B. Moore.
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