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