The Critical Eye

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pass The Dutchie

Yesterday, two of my students were arrested in the parking lot of my school. Now if this is not dramatic enough, it's what they were arrested for that blows my mind...."Smoking marijuana". Okay so for some of you pot-heads you're saying, "That's why it needs to be legalized!" Well listen to what happened to these dolts. Well it appears that after class they chose to light up while standing and talking in the parking lot.

Because they assumed that the mall only has rent-a-cops, they felt obliged to light their wares and apparently dare someone to accost them. Little did they know that the mall also uses off-duty Baltimore County policemen to work security. Needless to say, they ended up being busted. Four police cars, and wait for this one........"They both had outstanding warrants". Dig that!

So this is what I want everyone to do; If you know that you have legal trouble and the police are looking for you; go to a public place and light one up for me. The likelihood that you may get caught is slim. Though if you do get caught, don't blame me or the fact that the school sucks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are you worth more than Barbaro?

Most people in America know the story of Barbaro. "An American thoroughbred that decisively won the 2006 Kentucky Derby but shattered his leg two weeks later, in the 2006 Preakness Stakes, ending his racing career and eventually leading to his death" (Wikipedia).

If my memory serves me correct, many a horse -with a far less critical injury- has met his demise from a bullet. What is interesting/dumbfounding or just plain insulting is the amount of money that went into trying to keep this horse alive. I wonder if many humans would get the same privilege. In a world with; people starving, critical health crisis', daily murders, cultural and social decadence. Can we really sleep comfortably as this horse has six to seven surgeries that probably cost the same as the GNP of a small country? I can't!

The profit from breeding this horse, far outweighed the monetary sacrifice of keeping him alive. We're supposed to live with that? I am not a moral barometer, but do find myself doubting societies myopia. At which point does it stop being okay to just plain do nonsensical things? I guess we're just showing what the roots of capitalism truly are. Where one can make a buck; do not spare any expense. Whereas, where people may be dying; run a feasibility study first to assess the impact of your investment. That's the American way?

Barbaro was on his way to make history, but he's a horse. Just a horse. Okay, he was a fast horse, I'll give him that. Better still a very fast horse. Now, he's just a dead horse, who had a few million dropped on his two legs. This is quite disgruntling, especially when I can't get my insurance company to cover my daughter's allergy medicine.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Russell Simmons is a Sellout

I apologize for calling Russell Simmons a sellout. After all, he has openly called for the banning of the words bitch, ho and nigger (pronounced niggah) in rap music. Remember this is the rap mogul guy. Yes, he of the Def Jam background. Yes, yes the one who made his fortune selling the stuff in the first place. He’s calling for a ban.

I can’t help but recall that not too long ago he spoke up about not rushing to quell the storm created by the Don Imus fiasco, inferring that we had to be careful about compromising poetic license. That’s right, there is some poetic factor in calling someone a bitch or saying “f@#$ the police” in music. I guess those of us that believe that “All mimsy were the borogroves” is true poetry have ourselves confused.

It’s quite evident that after hijacking our identity, Russell (he has been one of the more important rap figures since 1984) and his cronies have banded together to hold our culture and identity hostage and are now requesting a ransom (buy our records) for us to get it back. Just watch the lines of cars drive by you pumping some rap song or other on a summer day. Oh by the way, don’t be surprised if it’s some suburban white kid in their mom’s min-van. This is the big market for rappers, white America. You see everyone wants to be a gangster (pronounced gangstah). It’s the cultural in thing that has been spawned by hip hop. That’s the ransom being paid right there.

But in order to make this kidnapping legitimate, rappers have to live what they sell. The better you curse in a rhyme, the more likely you are to land a record contract. It helps tremendously if in your background, you’ve dealt drugs, been shot and have several babies with various women (baby mama’s). Now that’s street credibility. Don’t forget the ultimate badge of honor, not telling the police who shot your sister (That would make you a snitch). That one gets you serious street credibility (pronounced “cred” in short). You have to come from the ‘hood’ formerly known as the ghetto. I believe that someone wizened up and realized that the dictionary definition of ghetto didn’t quite fit in the rap songs. The dictionary defines it as a place where a minority people are forcibly housed or isolated within a residential area. Fancy that.

But back to this Kobe beef guy. Oh, I’m sorry you don’t get the reference. Let me explain. Russell is like a guy that has been eating Kobe beef (the best grade beef in the world – from Japan). After getting his fill for years, he suddenly decides to go vegetarian and now wants every one not to eat beef. Hypocrite! This is the same guy who couldn’t quite articulate himself when he was asked what he was doing to combat this degenerate lyrical barrage and attitude towards women on “Hip-Hop, Beyond Beats and Rhymes”. He stammered his was through, “I can only do what I can,” I remember him saying. At least Jadakiss gets some ‘cred’ for not being a hypocrite. He simply answered, “I’m trying to feed my family.” Said like a true ignorant man, but at least said honestly.

We must be careful because this foolishness reaches so far beyond the music that it has become a way of life. It’s become a way of interacting with each other establishing and re-affirming our identity. Kids want to act tough because they watch idiots in videos show no fear of dying. They don’t want to cooperate with the police because it’s being portrayed as not being cool in a video by some idot black rapper millionaire called Cameron. In the meantime Baltimore has 270 murders and counting because folks won’t snitch. How about if we change the term to “cooperate with the police in a capital murder case”; that’s a bit more eloquent.

Girls these days are attracted to wearing close to nothing and shaking their buttocks at men who throw cash at them in videos. In the meantime it has become a badge of honor to have a police record for boys. “He’s a gangstah,” I hear girls coo. Even Beyonce and them want a roughneck or soldier as they call it. So one needs tattoos, a foul mouth, a police record, and the ability to walk away from a crime in order to truly be considered as a mate these days. All this mentality has been spawned by a revolution Mr. Simmons helped to create. Maybe he didn’t anticipate it would become so depraved, so raw. It would be hard for anyone to imagine it would go this far. But when rapper’s beefs lead to death, and songs are used to talk about sleeping with each others wives, when rappers hang with criminals with evil motives, it’s likely the next song out will be about how I’m going to beat or kill you b@#$%.

Mr. Simmons, you’re like a father that doesn’t believe in spanking trying to control his totally delinquent kid in a grocery store, but feels that shouting, “Son stop!” will make the little tyrant stop. This is what you have given birth to Mr. Simmons, a m@#$%% f@#$%^& f^&*()-up b@#$% a#$ culture that you can’t control. How do you like that you b@#$%! How’s that for poetic license?



Soneka K Kamuhuza© 2007