(Start snitching, before it's too damn late.)
I finally managed to hold back the vomit long enough to watch the 60 Minutes Stop Snitching segment that is tearing up the Interwebs.
It was hard to sit down and watch this shit knowing how ignorant it would be.
Regardless, I'm glad that hip-hop is getting put up to the fire now.
To think that all this self-examinaton is coming from Don Imus' firing?
Shit, I wish more old white men would start insulting black people if that's what it takes to get the mirror up.
Meanwhile many of the most popular rappers have been snitches when it helped them out.
From Dallas Penn,
But here is Dead Prez skirting the issue and playing the favorite role of the modern Negro, hapless victim.
I always knew Dead Prez was into ridiculous conspiracy theories and anti-establishment, but they just lost all respect after that bullshit interview.
Despite the title of this blog, it's clear to anyone that the anti-snitching movement is a complex issue stemming from several issues:
- A deserved apprehension of the police by the black community.
- The failure of police protection.
- A misguided sense of anti-authoritarianism based on centuries of systematic oppression.
- The refusal to acknowledge hypocrisy.
- Sloppy group-think and the comfort of playing the victim.
- The denial of (c)rap music's power.
And most importantly,
- The slow assimilation of prison culture into hip-hop culture
The rapping ex-convicts who flooded the rap game in the 90's and the 00's and the studio gangsters who ride the coattails of their image would like you to believe that being a witness to a crime and not wanting crack addicts in your neighborhood is the same as someone who turns on their criminal associates to dodge a bid.
If they can get all the little jigs to soak up this ignorant code while doing a Chicken Noodle Lean With It, Pop Shake and Snap dance on BET, then they can murder a rival in broad daylight or firebomb a community advocate's house in Baltimore, (Remember when white people used to be the firebombers? Those were the good old days.) and have no one say a word.
Angela Dawson shouldn't have been snitching right? Then her, her five children and husband would all be alive if she just shut up right?
Kelefa Sanneh, the bitch-ass rap apologist who gets paid to make most disgusting hip-hop palatable for the Upper East Siders who read his reviews, chimed in on the issue:
- But it wouldn’t be surprising if the big record companies eventually decided that brash — and brilliant — rappers like Cam’ron were more trouble than they were worth. (Cam’ron’s last two albums haven’t sold well.)...
...What if hip-hop’s lyrics shifted from tough talk and crude jokes to playful club exhortations — and it didn’t much matter? What if the controversial lyrics quieted down, but the problems didn’t? What if hip-hop didn’t matter that much, after all?
I could and may write an entire post detailing why I despise his criticism, but i'll just focus on the fact that people like Kelefa and Tom Breihan extol the most despicable elements of hip-hop as "brilliant" but when the heat is on they are quick to deny the power of the institution that pays their bills.
That is dangerous cowardism.
Convenient statements by Hu$tle $immon$, fresh off of promoting blood diamonds and telephone psychics, and about banning the words, "bitch, ho and nigga/er" after he earned his millions pimping those very words mean nothing.
The power of rap needs to be acknowledged and addressed in a way that doesn't involve banning naughty words. I'm too much into that whole free speech thing to go down that line.
The solution is to get to a point where so many rappers aren't tripping over each other to be as fucking negative and nihilistic as possible. That's what I learned from the Top 25 Rap Album list.
It's about a balance of the images.
Mixing the light fluff of "This Is Why I'm Hot" and with "Kill a Nappy-Headed Snitch Ho" ain't quite balance.