Posted tagged ‘recording industry’

Hip Hop and The N-Word

May 20, 2011

Many nights during my gigs, I am only the black person in the establishment.  Many times during these nights, patrons request hip hop.

I always get requests for Lil Wayne, a dude known for constantly using the n-word.

An old friend stopped by my gig last Wednesday, an African-born white guy named T-Bone.

“You know,” I told him. “I feel funny when I hear these rappers use the n-word.  It ain’t as if I’m offended.  It’s embarrassing.”

“You should be embarrassed,” said T-Bone.

“Listening to it with other black people, I thought nothing of it.  Now, when I hear it among a whole bunch of white people, I think different.”

“Sometimes people need to think about the image they project.”

Years ago, I remember Sean  (a black friend) constantly using the n-word around white people.  When it was just him and me present, I told Sean I didn’t think that was wise.  Months later, an incident involving him and one of our white friends proved me right.

“Me and him don’t hang out no more,” said Sean. “He called me a nigger.”

This was a guy I witnessed Sean using the n-word around.

I believe because he heard Sean using it, our friend thought he had a free pass to use the word himself. (Oh yea, I stopped hanging around that dude too.)

I viewed concert footage of Snoop letting the n-word fly in front of a predominately white audience.

I ain’t gong to front.  I’m guilty myself.  Back in the nineties, I’ve had plays produced in which black characters constantly used the n-word.  I always thought the usage appropriate for the characters, especially juvenile inmate characters.

Now, as I witness white people listening to rappers using the n-word, I wonder if including the usage in my plays was a wise choice.

I think most black rappers don’t even think about a white audience.  Most create music mainly for black consumers.  Yet, if they did thought about a white audience, I wonder if this would curb n-word usage.  I wonder how rappers feel when learning white kids repeat their lyrics word for word, including lyrics using the n-word.

Despite requests, it may be wise for me to quit playing music containing the n-word.  Who knows?  I just might be another uptight forty-something, sounding like someone’s dad instead of sounding like a cool and hip DJ.

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The Top Ten Most Overrated White Musicians

May 9, 2011

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t as if I think these artists suck. Most on this list I find to be very talented.

Also, if anyone requests their music during one of my deejay gigs, I’ll be more than happy to play it.

Yet, I am getting sick and tired of mainstream media always telling everyone how great these people are. Why do white musicians who perform “black music” receive more press than the folks who created it? When the all white Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill reached number one on the album charts, people made a big deal about it being the first rap album to do so. Yet, few folks wanted to admit The Beastie Boys’ skin color may have contributed to it.

Sometimes, it don’t even have to be about white musicians performing “black music”. Some white musicians are just plain over hyped.

So here I go. If this list offends, it wasn’t intended that way.

10. Aerosmith

If it wasn’t for Run-DMC covering one of their songs, you wouldn’t be seeing lead singer Steven Tyler on American Idol. Before Run-DMC remade “Walk This Way”, Aerosmith was considered has-beens. Run-DMC’s version pushed Aerosmith back into the public spotlight. Yet, some Aerosmith fans seem to ignore that important fact.

9. Eric Clapton

I don’t get it. Why are folks labeling him one of the best blues guitarists ever? What makes him stand out among B.B. King and Muddy Waters? A great guitarist Clapton may be, but a great BLUES guitarist?

8. Britney Spears

Since day one, never were there any intentions on presenting Britney as a true artist. All she had to do was shake her titties and sing.

7. Lady Gaga

When shock artist Marlyn Manson ripped from Alice Cooper, there was at least some originality to it. When I see Lady Gaga, I see a too obvious and unoriginal rip from Madonna.

6. George Michael

This pertains to an incident in the late eighties. The American Music Awards possessed the audacity to award George Michael the Favorite Soul/ R&B Male Artist. This over Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown, two dudes who created way more soulful albums than George Michael. And it wasn’t because they were black either.

5.Kurt Cobain

After Nirvana’s “Smells Like Team Spirit” became a hit, folks labeled front-man Kurt Cobain the voice of his generation. At this time, I was a few years younger than Kurt. Even though I liked the song, I resented folks saying this white man spoke for me. Public Enemy spoke more for me than Kurt ever did. After Kurt committed suicide, he instantly became more important than he should have been. Well, at least, white people aren’t going around saying he faked his death and moved to Paris.

4. Jim Morrison

For awhile, white people who grew up in the sixties kept going on and on about the man. Some still do. One time, I bought a book of Jim Morrison’s poetry. That shit sucked. It’s a bunch of ramblings that don’t make sense. I’ll take Charles Bukowski’s poetry over Jim Morrison’s.

3. Eminem

Back in the day, black rappers faced constant criticism for talking about bitches. Eminem raps about bitches and folks crown him an important poet. What’s artistically different about a black guy rapping about slapping hoes versus a white guy rapping about killing his baby’s mama? Yet, the baby mama killer is considered the true artist.

2. The Rolling Stones

These dudes borrowed heavily from American blues music. They even named themselves after a Muddy Water’s song. Yet, forgetting that the blues already existed in the States, white Americans sucked these British guys’ dicks and proclaimed them one of the best bands in the world.

1 Elvis Presley

There was nothing original about this man. He just happened to be a white man performing music created by black artists. Just like with Emimen, many white people were more comfortable with that versus appreciating the folks who created the music. How the hell do you name a Caucasian the king of music created by black people? I’ve been saying this for nearly twenty years, and I’ll say it again. Fuck Elvis.

UPDATE: After some Internet chatting, I’ve had second thoughts about Eric Clapton.  Several folks suggested I put Justin Timberlake on the list.  Seeing that Mr. Timberlake is another overrated white artist who sings black, it makes sense.  Okay, Justin Timberlake takes Eric Clapton’s place.

As for Lady Gaga, a white female friend pointed out she borrowed her fashion from Grace Jones.  Borrowing from a black woman makes Lady Gaga stay on the list.

Laptop DJ: MP3 Thief

May 8, 2011

You think you’re slick, don’t you? I know your past and currents deeds concerning MP3s.

First, you used to download music from YouTube. At one of your gigs, a bar patron showed you how to do it. Sometimes the downloaded music sounded nice. Other times crappy noise passing as music blasted from your laptop speakers.

Next, you moved on to the public library. Librarians knew what you were doing too, as if they didn’t know why you always checked out so many compact discs. One librarian even hipped you to checking out the newly returned area, the spot containing the better selections. They knew you were copying copyrighted music. Yet, they were probably more concerned with people checking out items versus what people were doing with the items. The more people checked out items, the more proof government money is being well spent.

Also, after talking to other laptop deejays, you remembered a friend hooking you up with a torrent account. Like some folks with heroin, torrents became your addiction. You even downloaded music you didn’t even like. And you’re still doing it.

Do you not know torrents are bad news? Did you not get the memo? The recording industry can rip off musicians but you can’t rip off the recording industry. Yea, I know. File-sharing copyrighted music has not been proven to hurt music sales. You and I both know this. Yet, this won’t shut up the recording industry.

Another thing, remember the gangsta rapper who turned shrewd business man when it came to file-sharing?

Writer Leonard Pitts pointed it out. On the records, he’s a thug. Yet, off the records, he’s far from that. All of a sudden, he wasn’t a thug when he thought file-sharing was taking food out of his kids’ mouths, a studio gangsta badmouthing real gangstas. Recently, you downloaded one of Studio Gangsta’s albums… and didn’t pay a penny for it. Oh well, fuck him.

You’re a thief. I know this. How do I know this? That’s none of your damned business.