"You love me, especially different, every time. You keep me on my feet, happy, excited by..." - Jill Scott, He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat) (Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds)
i'm feeling a lot of black bourgeoise up in here. but maybe i'm reading incorrectly. anyway, those kids do act out. but maybe that's why they were put on television in the first place. it's like on the news, when they go into the black neighborhood to report on something, and they always pick someone who can't complete a sentence to ask questions of. it's that kind of putting a lock on the stereotypes to keep folks in their place or in check. oddly enough, i can stomach MTBII. b/c there are a lot of kids like that out there. kids with limited education and a dream of being a rapper. this show is just exploiting that. ok...off my soap box now...and then in this month's XLR8R, they received this letter:
In your year-end issue there was a section of "Bests and Worsts" of 2003 where King Britt stated that one of the worst things about 2003 was Southern rap. He follows this by using African-American Southern vernacular as an example of something that is hindering the progress that black people have made. I know his views are not those of XLR8R, so it ain't really about y'all, but it is about how white supremacy and Eurocentric values have a lot of uppity, bougie black folks making snide comments about a culture they don't understand, despite being black themselves King Britt does not have to like SOuthern rap! But he does have to respect the fact that a lot of black people who do not come from Philadelphia don't speak like him. This does not set black people back, especially if that is the way that they learned to talk from their family and community! I read a lot of these "alternative" magazines 'cause I'm into the music they promte. It never fails that an artist or writer in some backwards way shows that they don't come from the same ethnicity, culture or class as I do. Maybe their parties and concerts are not filled with 24-year-old African American males from East Oakland, but y'all gotta know that you do have readers that are from the ghetto. They see some of the ways that black culture is being ridiculed through masked racism...So next time Britt's boosie ass (that's East Oakland for wack) writes something, he should think about how this language is not his black peoples' original language. Peace, WhizSo, my question is, as black folks, is it a requirement of cultural criticism that we must first give respect to all actions, styles, and trends before criticizing it? Do I have to say, "I love my southern black peoples and the way they talk" before saying "Damn this crunk shit is so wack!" That "Bourgie" term stings because it suggests, to me, that someone has lost touch with what's really going on in the black community. It's a class dis in the same way that "ghetto", in the way that I hear it, is a class dis. Are both terms acceptable? Is neither? And what does it say about how black folks think about themselves? Anyway, King Britt responds:
Most Southern Rap is very derogatory. I am from the streets of Southwest Philly. There is nothing uppity about me, and I know that certain language is used to communicate and it stays in our community as a code, so to speak. This dates back to slave days. But when you are selling millions of records, you have a responsibility to our people and history to represent yourself in a positive way. That means no degrading of women and showing our people in a positive light instead of emphasizing material things like rims, money, jewelry and alcohol. We have too many young black boys and girls who fall into the cycle of emaulating the bullshit they see in videos. It's not just Southern rap videos, but I chose that as an example because I haven't seen any positive ones...If you can touch that many people, say something! Don't perpetuate the Amos and Andy stereotype-change it!Yeah. So, I was watching MTB2 last night and as they go into the studio to record again, they are talking about guns and killing with regularity. When was the last time they rolled like that? And then I was watching MTV this morning and T.I.'s Rubberband Man came on which showcased his selling records like it was a drug dealer. But T.I. today invests in construction and his company rebuilds houses in the community. Why isn't he rapping about that? So, yeah. What King Britt said.