If you're a member of the Hip Hop Generation, three relentless fires have burned in your debate circle for the past two decades: the n-word, saggy pants, and ignorant ass rappers. For sure, you've been unable to escape the controversies surrounding these topics. Hours have been spent in heated arguments defending or deriding the virtues of each; verbal fisticuffs have led to intellectual brawls and oral shellackings. Chances are, if you're reading this blog you're sick and tired of having these discussions. Despite your mental exhaustion over these matters, they seem to make for persistent conversation with no end game in sight. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that these fires are only increasing in size, as the wrong tools to extinguish them are being employed.
Old heads and elitists have gone to great lengths to stifle the burn they feel when nigga(er) is verbalized. Recently I got into a social networking spat with CNN's Roland Martin about the issue on Twitter. Check the exchange (read from bottom to top):
Clearly Mr. Martin does not see the damage he's causing by attacking the issue in this fashion. Remember when the NAACP made a futile attempt to kill Massa's favorite noun with their N-word funeral in 2007? Their attempt to crucify the term and render it lifeless backfired, as it arose more powerful than ever with Hip Hop's abhorrence of this stunt. Indeed, Hip Hop culture read the headlines and scoffed "Nigga Please!" Thus, the Baby Boomers' public disdain for the word has only reinforced its significance in America's most fundamentally rebellious culture. Even more dangerous is the fact that making such a spectacle over how much pain remains at the root of the term empowers it in the eyes of true racists. Anybody that wants to push a Black person's crazy button is merely reminded that "nigger" remains the champion of getting under a Negro's skin.
Sadly, frustrated zealots approach the pants sagging "issue" in the same exacerbating fashion as the n-word. Let them see a Negroe's underwear exposed and oh boy... watch out... some preaching is finna go down! While I agree that showing your funky ass draws is not what's up, I know that seniors condescendingly ordering the Hip Hop community to cease and desist only add gasoline to the blaze.
Yet folks just don't get it. While browsing the NY Times the other day I came across an article titled "NY Politician Takes Up Cause - Sagging Pants." New York State Senator Eric Adams has decided to waste his time (and his constituents' tax dollars) by creating anti-sag billboards. [Ed Lover voice] Senator Adams, c'mon son... do you really think your efforts will do anything to combat the Hip Hop generation's right to freedom of expression? Do you think they'll find your crafty billboards cool and refreshing? Senator Adams... Senator Adams... GTFOH with that BS son! Everyone thank Senator Adams for another 4 years of stankin ass boxer observance.
On to the auto-coons. You wanna know why hot ignorance is seething through your airwaves? Remember when Hip Hop was in its Golden Age during the 90s? Well at the peak of the genre's most creative period, C. Delores Tucker, a band of Black preachers, and a host of politicians decided to pick a fight with the lyrics. They staged large scale CD demolitions and other outrageous stunts. The result: even more violent, misogynistic, and inflammatory rhymes were born to counteract the assault launched by the disillusioned elders. Now, the snowball is so large that ignorance has trumped intelligence and activism in rap music sales.
Older generations HAVE to stop waging war with Hip Hop culture. Like the crusade against terrorism, this is a fight that cannot be won by continuing to insult the Hip Hop resistance. Every publicity stunt and disapproving lecture will only be countered by a more extreme offensive. Instead of trying to battle youth in the trenches, preceding generations should use their wisdom to outsmart energetic, unruly insurgents in the Black community. Rather than heaping hot coals on the heads of heretics, they should pour support into the peers of the offenders who have the power to infiltrate the culture from within. dangerousNEGRO is one of many companies that come to mind in that regard... (and we're taking on investors folks)... :-) So think before you join your next n-word eradication committee, anti-sag coalition, or rap boycott. Don't provoke the behavior, promote the savior. ]]>