Monday, May 04, 2009

Re- All That Crack I Sold, I Lied.

TwitThis


Incarcerated Scarfaces Part 1 Of 6 - The funniest movie is here. Find it

"Can you just imagine going to jail in 1989 and them
telling you you
release date is February 2004? Its crazy."


Malice Video Blog 1 from Malice of the Clipse on Vimeo.


It has certainly been a week.

Saturday, I finally realized that I was going to have to publish
my work myself. Don't get it twisted, I am still going to pursue
other avenues, but the resistance that I received with regard to
criticizing art and capitalism confirmed that I was on to something,
and that I needed to create my own lane(s) instead of asking
for someone to let me ride in theirs.

Having had such a writing heavy load the last two
weeks, Gentrification
and Asher Roth I am both tired
and reinvigorated.


Asher Roth has provided a kind of needed fodder for me
to talk about race, capitalism and gender
Saturday, S.bot and I started talking about the resistance to my
critique of the white
consumption of black death and
corporate rap.
Like me, she is a survivor. The South
Bronx's Finest. She was like "Yo, peep Sylvia Rhone,
s
he came in with a Black face and changed the
the game with regard to boom bap. Oh and peep
Universals assets, Jay Z wasn't endorsing that Darfur
water for nothing." She went on to tell me that Universal's
parent company
has other holdings related to water and
purification.
I was like word are you trying to get me got"?
I dug around
on Wikipedia, and Rhone did play a role in
the elimination of Boom Bap from Elektra.
Then I turned
around and Robbie at
Unkut posted an interview with
Dante Ross, former A & R at Elektra. I felt like the arch of this

story was pulling me along.

When I received Gordon Gartrell's terse comments
I was like,
uhhh, why the anger?
I just couldn't figure out why folks were so resistant
to accepting the fact that corporations play a material role
in shaping our music. They play a material role in shaping
just about everything else in our culture, why should rap music
be exempt?

I asked S.bot, "Am I going to have to make a United Corporations
of Hip Hop chart?" She responded, you can but you might
wanna do it under your pseudonym. I got shook. You know
I'm paranoid. You can't be from Oakland and not be a little 'noid.
We got cointelproed in the 70's. Don't ever underestimate the
power of the Black communities historical memory.
Its our survival 101.

As I contemplated doing a Hip Hop Corporations chart
and essay,
I was like, dude, is this gonna be my Jim
Webb moment
?


S.bot then reminded me of the Incarcerated Scarface's video.
And we began to talk about
how when people get a taste
of violence, they develop a bloodthirst,
like bleeding in
sharkwater.


It's almost like the kids are running towards a fight.


Given the fact that both S.bot and I have lived on blocks that
had Black blood running running the street, the conversation
was both intense, intimate and informative.

After I got off the phone with her, I thought about how
many of the images in hip hop are rooted

in early American stereotypes that are extremely racist.
Black men as thugs, beasts, rapists, animals.

So I sat back and watched all of the Incarcerated Scarface's
videos on Saturday. And I came away thinking,
what do these men, these men who have been stabbed up,
wounded and shot at, these men who have spent , 10, 15,
20 years in prison, I wonder what they think about the
Thug/Pimp/Ho corporate rap music and how it may
influence the young bucks coming up behind them?

I told Birkhold about the resistance to my critique, he read the
comments and was like "yo Ne, you know
what you can do, you
can do a historical piece on Rap and Corporations.

Read Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop and S. Craig Watkin's
Hip Hop Matters."


I was like "dude first of all I am reading three books
for a post already.I have like four other pieces in the pipeline. A 'Lil Kim

piece I have been itchin' to write, this sustainable green economies
piece, a piece on my problem with white privilege, I'm backed up."

But see, that's the beauty of writing online, the feedback loop
has the capacity to force you to change your game up and be nimble.
The writing, the work, becomes a living breathing animal.

But back to Incarcerated Scarfaces. You see. I am a huge Clipse fan.
I like the Clipse as much as I like Mobb Deep. In my Asher Roth post
I wrote about how things haven't been the same since the "Tree huggin'
bitch" skit on their last mix tape.

Well, this past weekend the Clipse's former manager turned himself in
after having been charged with leading a 10 million dollar drug ring.

Malice of the Clipse, went on to make a video announcing that
how "he has been part of the problem [in rap], but he likes the
foolishness in his rhymes and his music."

Given my corporate rap/Asher Roth last week, I was
curious about how folks wold receive Malice's
statements about not having sold crack in a very long time.

Many people thought that he was coming clean.
Others felt that he was admitting to being a liar.

Personally, I was intrigued by the Don't Trust my Crack Raps
PSA tone
of the video. I was kind of ironic. Like an SNL skit.

"Hey kids. Do as I say. Wait, don't do as I say, do as I do. Wait,
just figure out how to separate the fact from fiction."

With the Clipse, Black male masculinity and questions of
humanity on my mind, I had an epiphany today.


I realized that the reason why I write about hip hop the way
that I do, is because I see the people behind the music.

A former supervisor, a lawyer from legal internship that
I had 3 years ago
,wrote me a recommendation recently.
He mentioned
that one of the reasons why he knew
that I would not be happy with "the law"
is that it would
require that I see people only as abstractions, and that
I have
a propensity to see the human dimension of
relationships, especially as it pertains to power,
addiction and violence.

I think this is an issue at hand when I write about
hip hop, the
white and Black consumption of Black death,
street harassment and Black men
and prison.

Where many folks see rappers, victims, kids and race,
I see human beings, humans with agency, humans who will
need to be accountable to one another,
if we are to live in
a sustainable
democracy.

So yeah. I am tired yet, I have a new perspective. Here's
to embracing
independence. Salud.

Thoughts?

How you been?

Why is it so hard to accept that our music thuggin'
and mean muggin' faux & real
for profit?

Do I have to do a corporations chart to make
this 'ish real? If so, imma need an intern or
some help.

13 comments:

M.Z. said...

Funny thing is that video along with their mixtape kind of restored my faith in the Clipse(like I told you before, that 20k/tree hugging bitch line rubbed me the wrong way too, for a different reason). It seemed like it was them pushing the reset button in a sense. The thought of distancing themselves from their former manager didn't really click until you mentioned it. Because his second one goes right back into the fantasy world.

I was just telling someone at work the reason he didn't like Notorious is because both the movie and music industry are fantasy places. Both allow people to assume whatever characteristics they want. So when one tries to capture the other, it seems surreal. Especially since he liked movies based on fact.

Lastly, the difference between now and when we were coming up is we know it's a charade. But back then it seemed so real. I think Malice did a good job of explaining that.

Enough of my early morning ramblings though.

Model Minority said...

Hey M.Z.

[Dude, can you pdf me that honey magazine w/ Kim? Where you the one who said you had it?]

"We" may know that its faker than a three dollar bill. But the young bucks, the ONES THAT HE CLAIMS TO BE RAPPING for are impressionable, special and need to be guided.

Fuck that. Either Rap about your cracks and say you sell crack or don't.

What if I wrote about Black women this, integrity that, white consumption of Black death,

But, the whole time Im working at a strip club manager, selling weed, recruiting teen prostitutes.

"One of these cats is doing they own thing..."
Where is my integrity?

Like I said, white consumption of Black death drives a large part of rap music.

Living proof, let the Clips start rapping about real shit.

1. Depression
2. Baby Mommas
3. Managers Catching cases
4. Having to rap about selling crack when you really don't sell crack, just to keep your name in the street.

Rap would be a different world.

ieishah said...

i thought they said malice was the meanest? he's like a powder puff in that video.

unfortunately, individuation is not valued in the black community. used to be for good reason, as the system we lived in treated black people like herds and separating ourselves from it meant death. now, the price of individuation, separating from the heard, is paid (in my opinion) more often than not, to the black community itself. dudes in the first video said it best; you sit where you not supposed to, you're in danger of, at least, an ass whooping. i think so many young'uns, as you said, don't know the difference between rap and real life. they accept the image as theirs, when really, it's ancestral memory clouding their vision.

the dopest rappers see this. play on it. what did you think malice was saying when he was like, 'you mistook me for a rapper, huh?/well that makes me and actor', some shit like that can be read two ways: i'm not a rapper, i'm a criminal' or what i think's more accurate: 'make no mistake: you and i, we are not the same', as in 'i'm my own man. i'm not your image'
okay. i'm gonna stop now.

Model Minority said...

@Ieisah,

Your avi Picture is awesome.

You know whats wierd, when I heard Malice speak I was like dang,
there is some subtext (wassup Jonzey) to this dude
that doesn't come across in his music.

I truly want to hear him rap about MORE than Crack now.

Tell me more about this individuation and negros. I am curious.

ieishah said...

re: pic, thanks. had to go all the way to serbia to achieve that level of gangster.

re: individuation... curious, huh? lol. not sure where to begin. i actually kinda free styled that one, it having been a seedling planted from a life lived between [at least] two worlds. i'll get back to you on that.

Model Minority said...

re: pic, thanks. had to go all the way to serbia to achieve that level of gangster.

Hell naw. Wasn't a Part of Crim and Punishment in Serbia..Hell naw. Where you @ now Ms. Traveln' bear?


re: individuation... curious, huh? lol. not sure where to begin. i actually kinda free styled that one, it having been a seedling planted from a life lived between [at least] two worlds. i'll get back to you on that.

====
Im saying. Im intrigued and want to hear more.

Brother OMi said...

just an FYI
I know both of the brothers from Clipse. I have known then since 1998 before they were big. Very good brothers who always supported our Zulu Nation chapter.

I will point out two things:

a. NEITHER of them ever sold drugs. they were good kids who got good grades.

b. they spent a portion of their childhood and all of their adolescence in Va Beach, VA. I recall their second album cover and hot it depicted Va Beach, Va as this ghetto neighborhood that looked like south central. TOTALLY fiction.

it's sad to see people you know PROMOTE very bad things that helped to destroy our community.

Just thought i put that in there

manaen said...

[still shuddering at "I have a propensity to see the human dimension of relationships," like this somehow is distinguishing -- are we all so removed from the awareness that relationships are human and those that appear otherwise are symptoms of deficiencies within the humans who form them?]

Model Minority said...

Manean,

[still shuddering at "I have a propensity to see the human dimension of relationships," like this somehow is distinguishing -- are we all so removed from the awareness that relationships are human and those that appear otherwise are symptoms of deficiencies within the humans who form them?]
=====
Yeah we are and Capitalism requires it. Birkhold was explaining some complicated theory that I will prolly be reading about (and blogging about) this summer about Marx's idea that Capitalism requires that we are alienated from our work, from each other, from ourselves.

This is why we have to walk in the light Love:)

manaen said...

This is the Achilles' heel in Capitalism and in the pricing/value essay that I sent you last year. Price does represent the equilibrium point of the values that the people in the market hold for something. This economy is based upon the exchange of goods and services among its members.
.
A key deficiency in a monetary economy is that votes (spendable dollars) on that equilibrium point are based upon each "voter’s" ability to produce goods and services which others in the economy value. This works fine for able people without external barriers like discrimination but it's why children, the disabled, true artists, the elderly, and other "non-productive" people are marginalized in a capitalistic society; they are dependent upon the producers to share their value/$ without returning saleable goods and services for it without exchanging material benefit for them.
.
Love by its nature tends to exist outside of this exchange. In fact, its capitalistic substitute, prostitution, in its many forms ranging from street walkers to trophy spouses is generally acknowledged as cheapened.
.
Capitalism is an efficient mechanism for allocating resources according to shared material values but this centering on material things/objects as the indicator of value is my main objection to it. Because capitalism works so efficiently, many people come to believe that objects actually are the measure of value and so they keep chasing material increase in the hope that they eventually will find satisfaction. They become walking demonstrations that you can't get enough of what you don't really need. I believe that this frenetic seeking what we sense does not satisfy truly is the root of the issues you've been discussing lately. "The love of money is the root of all evil."
.
In this sense, I question whether racism is the source of the damages you've been exploring most recently. I believe (having some familiarity with how this could work, speaking not as an MBA and CFO but as a person who paid a price to discover that he has an MBA and works as a CFO but who is not those things) that the corporate lever-pullers don’t hate black people but much worse, they objectified them in their minds and so don’t care about the effects of what has become a successful material-wealth-producing course of action. By making black people objects in their minds, they are able to increase their object-based value.
.
This has metastasized beyond the black community. Although the depictions are of blacks’ deaths, as you pointed out, there now are more white consumers than black ones in this market. I also believe that this problem isn’t as black-and-white as you suggested: one night last week, I heard some very foul language coming from behind our garage. When I checked on it, it turned out to be one of our teenage hispanic neighbors rapping to her ipod.
.
I agree that the words, images, and sounds have meaning and value. This isn’t some inconsequential entertainment because what we feed grows. The more our minds are occupied with this, the more our minds become this. There is an old saying that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” I like how one writer inverted it to by asking “how could you possibly become what you are not thinking?” Everyone who lets this into their minds experiences blacks’ death as entertainment, thus experiences the objectification of black people and this becomes part of their internal history unless they heal from it.
.
My own painful experience taught me that love of others, not love of material objects or objectifying people, is the one thing that truly satisfies, completes, heals us. It is "the most joyful to the soul" and that after reaching the level of material well-being that quells physical pains, further material increase does not increase happiness.
.
Love of others, and of God (others' Parent), re-orients our values away from objects and objectifying. Receiving love heals both us and the giver and growing in the direction that these experiences take us yields an increase in joy rather than in pleasure. Producers then joyfully share the fruits of our production with those who capitalism marginalizes and the marginalized persons just as joyfully receive those fruits.
.
So, what we value – where our treasure is – is determined by where is our heart and we discount the value of other things. I believe that the two greatest ways to have joy are through love of God and love of others, which leads to not valuing objects. Refusing to do that leads to loving objects and money and objectifying people and God. As you’ve been writing in you recent postings, the wages of this is death.

Jeremy R. Levine said...

@manean

Very deep stuff here.

ps. what school let a closet Marxist get an MBA???

manaen said...

@ Jeremy
.
Thanks for your assessment. I've been exploring and experiencing this for a while.
.
Brigham Young University, MBA (Finance), 1981
.
I don't consider myself much of a capitalist or a Marxist because those are points along the spectrum of object-value-based systems and I believe that's the critical flaw in each. This material-value basis fosters (what should be) the startling disregard for the value of human life, in either of those two systems, that this posting discusses.
.
Although the value of objects in each system is set by people -- market participants in capitalism and central planners in Marxism -- the value basis is in objects and not in people.

Model Minority said...

Manean,

Love, I love you. On mommas.
I never publicly said thank you for
your kind words in January re-
a. Me not being my wounds.
b. Practicing the discipline to be someone WHO knows how special I am.
c. To follow my heart.

You truly love people and it shows.

I have a homie who is in chemo, and we were talking about some relationship troubles last week and I was like, yo....You are not your wounds and she was Like DAMMINT I AM...and we laughed about it you know...it felt good to have the courage to say it to her. I wager that, at point or another we have ALL felt like our wounds :)

Thank you for tying together the ways in which
rap "feeds something inside of you."

A lot of folks don't want to get that,
I imagine that it is hard for white folks
to get it. Who wants to admit
that listening to The Trinity Doctrine is a racist act? In some ways, I am thinking of dealing with this from a public health perspective. I think that is the only way I am going to get some traction and build coalition type support.

If I can manage to get Michelle Obama's ear this fall, it is going to be a wrap:)

It has taking me a LONG TIME to be able to criticize rap publicly. I use to be scared.
But scared of what? I walk in the light, at least I try to, contradictions and all, becuase first and foremost I care about the children because someone cared about me when my family fell apart.

A key deficiency in a monetary economy is that votes (spendable dollars) on that equilibrium point are based upon each "voter’s" ability to produce goods and services which others in the economy value. This works fine for able people without external barriers like discrimination but it's why children, the disabled, true artists, the elderly, and other "non-productive" people are marginalized in a capitalistic society; they are dependent upon the producers to share their value/$ without returning saleable goods and services for it without exchanging material benefit for them.
==========
Gees Lawweese. I felt Like I was back in corporations.

Thank you for saying this. You have articulated it FAR better than I ever could.

speaking not as an MBA and CFO but as a person who paid a price to discover that he has an MBA and works as a CFO but who is not those things)
======
I love that.
Reminds me of one of my favorite questions:
If you are what you have, then who are you
when you have nothing?

I agree that the words, images, and sounds have meaning and value. This isn’t some inconsequential entertainment because what we feed grows. The more our minds are occupied with this, the more our minds become this. There is an old saying that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” I like how one writer inverted it to by asking “how could you possibly become what you are not thinking?” Everyone who lets this into their minds experiences blacks’ death as entertainment, thus experiences the objectification of black people and this becomes part of their internal history unless they heal from it.

So, what we value – where our treasure is – is determined by where is our heart and we discount the value of other things. I believe that the two greatest ways to have joy are through love of God and love of others, which leads to not valuing objects. Refusing to do that leads to loving objects and money and objectifying people and God. As you’ve been writing in you recent postings, the wages of this is death.
=======
Im done. You said it. Its a wrap.
Over.
Finito.

DONE DONE DONE DONE 'EFFFIN DONE.

~m.

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