Read My Lips: No More Ni**adry!

            “And all you

coon-a** rappers—ya’ll should all get lynched/

And all you

fake-a** gangsters—ya’ll should all get lynched/”

—NYOIL, “Ya’ll

Should All Get Lynched,” Hood Treason,

2007.

The stakes are higher than they’ve ever

been, and it seems some would hate nothing more than to see Ni**adry completely

blotted out from Hip-Hop music. After all, commercial Hip-Hop-sponsored buffoonery has helped make more millionaires than the Powerball and Bernard

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme combined. These are perilous times, but who’s paying

attention?

I’m more convinced now, more than I’ve

ever been, that many fans, artists, and executives would rather see Hip-Hop go

down the path of self-annihilation before they speak up against this spreading

tumor of tomfoolery currently making its way around the brow chakra of the

Hip-Hop body. 

Artists have a moral responsibility to

project themselves in a light worthy of the support fans have afforded, but who

says the fans themselves—predominantly White anyway—aren’t particularly titillated

by the shuckin’ and jivin’ of these Black modern-day minstrels. And, of course,

no one is, in 2009, still unsure of the true intentions most major label

executives have for this culture of ours. Turn on the radio or BET and the

evidence abounds. Like drug dealers, the efficacy of their products isn’t

necessarily measured by the number of people opposed to it, but rather by the

number of those whose weight is behind it—who have become dependent on it, even

if death is slowly creeping around the corner. 

In a recent satirical (but not so funny)

music skit, “Eat

that Watermelon,” spoof genius Affion Crockett enlists the assistance of

Nick Cannon and Queensbridge legend Nas, to drive home a sobering point—Hip-Hop

is inching closer to the totality of Ni**adry than it’s ever been. In the

intro, Nas delivers some poignant thoughts about the future Hip-Hop music is

prepared for if a critical intervention doesn’t take place sometime soon:

There is a period of great distress in the Rap

universe. There was a time when Hip-Hop was a form of empowerment. Now, the

corporate world is quickly diluting our culture for nothing more than profit.

With the ever-mounting forces of ridiculous dances,

ignorant behavior, and general buffoonery it’s only a matter of time before

Hip-Hop’s permanent annihilation.

Crockett and Cannon do their best to

portray an outlandish duo of coonish

rappers, but fail miserably—as their characters aren’t at all different from

what can be currently seen on music video channels:

They’re

blinged-out (chains, belt buckles, bracelets, etc.)—Check.

They’re laced-up

with doo-rags and sideways-flipped hats—Check.

They smile (on

cue) unnecessarily and almost uncomfortably—Check.

They dance as

wildly and uncoordinatedly as possible—Check.

They are

rewarded for their coonery with

cover-page features on Hip-Hop magazines—Check.

The video ends with

excessive running upon sight of Massa (the police)—Check.

At this, Nas reappears to give a final

warning: “Yo, check it ya’ll, this is Nas, and if that don’t stop—Hip-Hop is

dead.”

Well, with rappers nowadays making songs

like “Whip it Like a Slave,” how far are we really from that reality? And,

while on the topic, it was curious to read the many responses to last

week’s editorial on a popular Hip-Hop star disgracing the legacy of those

millions who died that he may live a life of freedom and prosperity.  

More appalling was the response by the

producer of the song, Maestro, self-described as a “Grammy Award Winning

Multi-Platinum Producer, Songwriter, Motivational Speaker, and Trendsetter,”

who dismissed all criticism lobbed at his reprehensible record with the pathetic

defense that he “thought it was hilarious at the time.” This “motivational

speaker” (God help the children!), in a Twitter argument with a disgruntled activist, contended

that his actions were warranted because “Police officers didn’t protest when

Wayne said ‘beat it like a cop,’ so whats the big fuss now? We want to own

slavery only when it’s convenient. We reference it for reparations, mention it

to justify affirmative action but vilify it for lack of a better discussion

piece.”

Imagine that: Nothing wrong with the

song because Black folks (proof?), as he sees it, have a history of holding

slavery at arm’s length—when not “convenient.” No mention that he just took

opportunism to a new low, by commercializing

the brutal, dehumanizing, and life-altering experience slavery was. 

Fellow readers, these are Hip-Hop’s

rising stars. These are the hope for the future; the ones our children are

listening to—fools like these who argue, against all laws of logic, that

Ni**adry can be excused under certain—undefined—clauses.

Of course, it needs no mention that the

same folks who would green-light a song titled, “Whip it Like a Slave,”

wouldn’t waste no time overwriting the release of others that made similar

references about Jews, White men, or related special interest groups protected

by the big wigs whose stranglehold on Hip-Hop music successfully brought about

the obliteration of social consciousness in the mainstream sector.    

Thanks to Young Buck, we

now know that Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Records, enforces upon

his artists’ creativity a “lyric committee” which is meant to censor and

censure all uncomplimentary remarks

made about certain groups, such as rogue police officers. According to Buck,

who was speaking to Hot 97’s Angie Martinez at the time (2007), “they wouldn’t

let me put that record on my album [because] they said it was too violent. … They

said… ‘you can’t put this out’.”

So, for instance, it’s very convenient

for Compton rapper The Game to go overseas and lead

a sea of White fans in chants like “Fuck Jay-Z… Old ass Ni**a,” and feel

good for doing so, but if he dared raise his voice against a Jewish rapper like

Asher Roth, complementing him with a racially equivalent invective, the results

wouldn’t be as rewarding. And even multi-platinum artists such as Kanye West

are constantly reminded that, in the music industry, the White man is not to be

f**ked with, as happened in the censoring of his verse on “All Falls Down” (The College Dropout, 2004), which went:

“Drug dealers buy Jordans, crackheads buy crack/ And the white man get paid off

all of that/.” Or with the phrase “White girl” being bleeped out in his popular

single, “Gold Digger” (Late Registration,

2005).

“Burning up the

branch and the root/

The empty

pursuits of every tree bearing the wrong fruit/”

But when these rappers sing gloriously

about the molestation of women, or brag out loud about the perpetuation of

social death in the communities that gave birth to them, or celebrate the crack

epidemic which has cut short millions of lives, they can always count on the

goodness and righteousness of their Christian-like

Masters.    

They—the Masters—know that the rap game

has become very much like the shock-jock world of terrestrial radio, where the

public, having over

time become accustomed to even the most repulsive ration of Ni**adry,

require coon rappers to up the ante on foolishness, even if it means digging

deep into the graves of history, just to achieve a high—much like the lifestyle

crack fiends live. They understand that it doesn’t take much to convince a

commercial rapper that everything, no matter how traitorous, can be—and will

be—defended by an unenlightened fan base which, today, functions as proxies for

the masks behind the minstrels. And they know that many of these slave/rappers are

much too willing to prostitute themselves for a gold chain and spinning

rims.       

But the tide is slightly turning, and

fans are increasingly feeling disgusted with the products being sold to them.

With this rise in consciousness, they want the artists to be aware of a few

facts:  

As a rapper, you are an ambassador of

Hip-Hop. You represent this culture, for good or bad. You determine how an

international audience of spectators, critics, fans, and antagonists perceives it.

Your actions, in their eyes, directly reflect the music and message of Hip-Hop.

With your help, Hip-Hop would either wither and die, or flower and blossom. It’s

up to you to decide how best to repay this culture that has fattened your

pockets and blessed you abundantly. Choose wisely. Judgment day is coming, and

no coons, no clowns, no Ni**as will be spared! 

“Read my lips:

It’s a new day running/

And it ain’t

coming/

‘Cuz it’s here

for the taking/

It’s been years

in the making/”

—John Forte, “Breaking

Of A ManStyleFree, 2009.

 Tolu Olorunda is a cultural critic and a Columnist for BlackCommentator.com. He can be reached at Tolu.Olorunda@gmail.com.

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