Monday, July 14, 2014

POPULAR TRENDS IN MODERN AMERICAN MOVIES

Many people attribute American global dominance to political might or the economic power of the US Dollar, but perhaps equally as influential is the power of Hollywood.  Most of us as human beings love a good flick, and whereas India’s movie industry may be bigger than America’s you’d be hard-pressed to find an Indian movie (or any foreign movie for that matter) playing in American theatres.  In contrast American movies are shown the world over, from Russia to China, and these films and other forms of visual media (such as television shows and music videos) are one of the main reasons outsiders admire and want to migrate to the United States.

But what are these movies telling us?  For the record I enjoy a good action or superhero movie just as much as the next man, but movies can and do influence our thoughts, especially if ingested regularly as in the frequency certain images and ideas or portrayed in this all-popular form of media.  In other words our brains are processing messages, sometimes consciously but oft unconsciously, due to consistently being exposed to them through movies and other forms of media.

Thus I am presenting to you, the reader, common themes that I see in American (primarily action) movies these days.  The purpose of this article isn’t necessarily to interpret the impact these ideas have on viewers but rather just to expose the fact that these images are being presented so regularly that it seems like someone(s) is intentionally putting them in all of these films.  I won’t even try to list every movie that fall under these categories, but I’m sure if the reader is a regular movie watcher he will be able to recall and/or recognize these themes over and over again.  I will be updating this list as I come across more of these phenomena.

1.  BLACK SERVANTS - I didn’t want to began this article on a topic dealing with racism, but as a Blackman myself I can’t help but to notice that a large number of movies that feature Blacks (even an Indian movie I recently came across) has at least one scene when they are a servant or serving someone.  Indeed you might see the occasional Black professional or passerby or even the Black hero, but again practically every moive that has a Black person(s) has one as some type of servant or being given a direct order, which of course he hurriedly obeys.

This makes one wonder that despite the advances made in race relations in the United States the idea of Blacks being servants and even the propagation of this idea hasn’t stopped and seems to even be on the rise.  One movie that comes to mind in this regard is the first Die Hard.  Mind you, Die Hard is like my favorite action-movie series of all time, and the first Die Hard did feature a Black hero, but Die Hard 2 had a couple of scenes of Blacks in lackey positions working in the airport.  I’m sure this issue was even made public as in Die Hard 3 (which also featured a Black hero in Samuel L. Jackson) there was a memorable scene of Bruce Willis barking on Jackson, telling him that he’s not racist.  Ultimately it’s disturbing to see that American Society, which has a Blackman as its leader, is stuck on this idea of Black servitude, but sometimes I think the powers-that-be are intentionally pushing this idea because they have a hard time accepting a Black as their leader, and other times I can’t blame them when I think about the large number of Africans who would give anything to go to First World countries like the United States just to be the same type of doorman, porter, janitor and other menial, less-respected (not dissing anyone, as ultimately a job is a job) occupations that you see often represented in these movies.

2.  BLACK SCIENTISTS - The antithesis of the aforementioned, which Hollywood also seems to love, is the portrayal of Black scientists.

When I was in college for a semester or two I was part of an organization called the National Society of Black Engineers.  One year I accompanied the group to the Society’s national convention which that year was at the Boston Marriott, and during my three or four days there I was very surprised at how well-funded this gathering was.  I mean it was like all of the big, respected companies were there, recruiting employees.  The reason I thought this peculiar was because my general perception was that such entities didn’t really respect the intelligence of Blacks and would rather go to somebody like the Japanese for such jobs.

But that was until I started studying Hollywood.  If you look at virtually any movie with a computer-lab scene, you may notice at least one Black is there, often in a prominent role.  A movie that comes to mind off the top of my head is Bruce Willis’ Surrogates, but again there are countless others.  Of course Blacks are most often portrayed by Hollywood as criminals, sexually promiscuous and again lackeys, but apparently one of America’s best kept secrets is the proficiency of Blacks in science.

3.  WHITE WOMAN HAIR - Might as well keep the race themes rolling.  If you watch any popular movie from like anywhere in the world you may notice that the lead female character (if not all of them) have the same type of hair, which is peculiar being that different races (and indeed people within those races) have different hair types.  To me this is most alarming to women who simply do not have such hair but, due to popular media socialization, feel they have to or they won’t be beautiful.  As such it’s not only Black women who are doing all types of crazy things to their hair and getting artificial weaves to make it appear Hollywood, but when you study the history of women’s beauty throughout the world you’ll be treated to quite a few stories of what appears to be sheer lunacy (such as Japanese women breaking their feet in order to fit into small-ass shoes) in the name of beauty but was really in the name of fad, as future generations look back and be like ‘what dafluk?!’

4.  DECAPITATIONS - By far the most disturbing thing on this list is the large number of movies that have a character(s) getting their head chopped off.  This is happening with such frequency in movies now that I’m convinced, just like with Black servants, someone(s) is doing this on purpose, but for what reason one can only frightfully imagine, as in what’s the socialization goal of showing people getting their heads cut off but to desensitize the public to such acts?  A couple of movies that come to mind are the Expendables 2 and Kick Ass 2, and some, such as the recent Conan the Barbarian, even go as far as to show the severed heads.  In fact I’m sure if you’re watching a violent, bloody American action movie made within the last two to three years there’s someone who gets their head lobbed off.  Truly disturbing and perhaps the main reason I compiled this list in the first place.

5.  VENGEANCE KILLINGS - Back in the old days when an action-movie hero finally catches up with the villain at the end, he would do something altruistic like spare the villain’s life unless he was forced to take it because, after all, heroes aren’t murderers.  But these days it’s like when the villain is down on his knees begging for his life you better finish that bastard once and for all.  I became aware that this was something espoused by modern-day Hollywood after watching a movie (which title I can’t remember) starring Cuba Gooding Jr. where at the end he had the villain subdued but still put him out of his misery.  The espousement of vigilante justice (at least in Hollywood) and things of the such is what I see as part of the Third Worldization of American law enforcement.  It’s funny how Hollywood could portray actions that if viewers emulate would get them imprisoned for life, but when such crimes are committed the movie industry is never held liable, just like these stupid-ass rappers who encourage their followers to go out and engage in stupid, criminal acts but then when confronted about it say things like they were ‘just playing a role’ and have nothing to do with the case.

6.  STRIP JOINTS & OTHER FORMS OF NUDITY - As I’m sure I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I’m the type of person that when I watch an action movie I’m not doing so to see naked women.  However I’ve also come to realize that unfortunately female nudity is common in the action-movie genre, and these days you’d be hard-pressed to come across a movie without the infamous strip joint scene (including the increasingly-popular G-string view of a woman's ass with her bending over, i.e. Locked Down (2010))- which leaves one wondering is it true that all villains frequent strip joints, or does someone just get a kick out of flashing naked ass in our faces, as to my knowledge no one has ever patronized an action movie to see a naked girl?  In other words why does there seem to be such a conscientious effort on the part of popular American media to defile the public?

These days there is also the scenes of women wearing thongs and sometimes bending over - in other words the strip scenes are becoming increasingly explicit.  Another trend I’ve been noticing is naked male buttocks, as in the film Conan the Barbarian, and whereas in the early days of this phenomena (i.e. Virtuosity) I was wondering why such was being mainstreamed I’m now convinced that it is to appeal to homosexuals, not women, as you won’t often hear a woman express a desire to see a man’s ass.  Of course sexually-oriented nudity infiltrating mainstream media is something to be more or less expected in the country that by far produces the most pornography in the world, but innocently watching an action movie FOR ACTION and then having an ass flashed in your face, at least to me, is a turnoff.

CONCLUSION

Reportedly there are only seven major studios in Hollywood, which is evident when you see the same actors crossing over in like every film.  Thus when you see the same type of imagery being presented in almost every movie of a certain genre the implication is that either copycat children are writing these stories or someone is intentionally dispersing such imagery on a regular basis.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

STOP WAR BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES

It oft amazes me how, being born in the United States in the 1970s, I was born into the “Cold War” era where just some few short years before the US and Russia were seemingly on the verge of nuking each other, amazing not because of the reality of such conflict but moreso due to the fact that I went through my entire childhood without me or anyone visibly close to me even giving afuk.  By the time I got to college and started studying and understanding what’s really going on between these superpowers, I was like, ‘Oh shit, these niggas could really get vexed one day and just blow each other up’, and the most unfortunate thing is that this is still going on and sometimes even seems to be escalating.

The current major crisis between the two is in the Ukraine.  Just a couple of short months ago it was Syria.  And even if we get through the Ukrainian situation without there being any major conflict we can very much look forward, in confidence, that a future crisis with the same implications will also materialize.

At the end of the day I would venture that say that no one, not even tough-guys like Obama or Kerry or Putin or Kiselyov, would want a nuclear confrontation since, in the end, it’s likely that millions of people will die, on both ends, who really don’t give a flying fuk about what’s going on in the Ukraine and instead are just concerned about getting from one day to the next, as with the majority of humanity who aren’t privileged enough to have close access to a nuclear arsenal.  This isn’t to say that anyone wants to turn on the news or come across an article about people being killed in political uprisings anywhere in the world, but I would venture to say the general disposition among the masses is that we can’t really do anything about it but pray and hope for the best, whether such a sentiment is true or not.

When I think of this whole nuclear-superpower situation, the one movie that keeps coming to mind is the recent G.I. Joe 3 (fitly subtitled "Retaliation").  You can come across article upon article on the internet foretelling the fall of America due to a number of reasons, but no one spends more money depicting the actually destruction of the United States than Hollywood.  I mean we’ve had tidal waves, ice ages, meteors, zombies and of course the most realistic and frequently portrayed of all, nuclear holocaust.  How many popular, multi-million dollar movies has Hollywood made (i.e. Mad Max, the Book of Eli, Terminator) set in the aftermath of some type of nuclear holocaust in the United States?  I bet even the biggest movie buff couldn’t name them all, and these movies aren’t being produced in Russia or Iran or North Korea or nations where you would think large parts of the population would possibly desire such a fate for America.

The one thing that makes G.I. Joe 3 different is instead of just being entertaining it actually has an educational element to it.  The scene where the bad guys hack the US’s missile defense system, causing it to launch nuclear warheads at various superpowers, with these superpowers responding by launching similar weapons back, is what would likely happen in real life if such missiles were launched.  In other words the only military defense nations have against nuclear warheads that are actually fired at them is to fire warheads back, not with the intent of intercepting the missiles midair but rather to take the country that launched them down with you.  When I first became aware of this (via an article by two prominent American scholars which unfortunately I can’t find right now) it startled and greatly alarmed me, even though through logical deduction an average person may be able to figure such out.  So to put it all into summation, if nuclear missiles start flying left and right then we’re all assed out.

CONCLUSION

Is there any NGO like ‘Stop War Between Russia and the United States’?  I’d definitely donate to something like that.  But in the meantime we’re once again stuck in the situation of apparently being able to only pray and hope that these two bullies don’t actually start directly fighting each other.

UPDATE 20 MARCH 2014 - FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS!

If only all news was like this, the world would be a different place - "President Barack Obama ruled out U.S. military involvement in Ukraine on Wednesday, emphasizing diplomacy in the U.S. standoff with Russia over Crimea".  It's good to see that despite how callous the superpowers can be sometimes at least they're not eager to fukup the world with nuclear war.  Maybe President Obama read this article!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

WAS RAP MUSIC INTENTIONALLY DEBAUCHED BY THE POWERS-THAT-BE?


The embedded video is of conspiracy theorist Mark Dice reading a letter dubbed "the Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation".  In it, someone who claims to be a music industry insider alleges that, in the early 1990s, mainstream rap music was intentionally saturated with violence, criminal behavior and drug abuse (i.e. "gangsta rap") to inspire listeners (particularly in this case African-Americans) to commit more crime and consequently be incarcerated in private prisons that profit based on the amount of prisoners they hold.  Thus the people who are promoting the gangsta rap are the same ones who own shares in the private prisons - an outstanding yet plausible allegation.  Anyway for those who may have read what I've written about the impacts of mainstream rap music on listeners in the past, you would know that I also point out the late 80s / early 90s as a turning point in rap music, where songs of violence and sex took over what once was primarily a politically-conscious and party music.

If the abovementioned allegation is true then the following conclusions can be made:

1 - Encouraging masses of people to imprisoned in the name of personal profit has to be just about the closest modern-day America could get to legal slavery.

2 - Even if industry leaders did intentionally promote gangsta rap, there was definitely a "supply and demand" factor, especially amongst young African-American males, that  made the music wildly popular.  I know because I was there.  Things had reached a point where if rappers didn't come out talking about the cruel acts they can inflict on their enemies than they were a "punk" or some other negative appellation, which prompted many rappers who may be nonviolent to still take the gangsta route.

CONCLUSION

The idea of some entity encouraging criminal behavior to populate prisons for personal profit is a disturbing one but not far-fetched in a hardcore capitalist country like America.  After all this country was largely founded on the backs of the lowest paid labor a person can possibly get - slaves.  And honestly there does seem to be a long-standing "conspiracy" to keep mainstream rap music filled with images of violence and sex, but the question is who is perpetuating this conspiracy?  Is it the Industry, the masses or both?

Saturday, February 01, 2014

GROWING INFLUENCE OF SATANISM IN AMERICAN SOCIETY

Ever since the official establishment of Satanism as a recognized religion in the United States, this organized set of beliefs has been increasingly gaining popularity, especially it seems amongst Hollywood-based celebrities (and even reportedly politicians).  This is of course more or less common knowledge, but it isn’t until something really outstanding happens that the “masses” suddenly seem to give a fuk.  Well now Satanism is being internationally broadcast via the most popular music awards’ ceremony in the United States, the Grammys, and people are starting to shake.

Being that the United States is indeed a country where freedom of speech is legislated and furthermore idealized, at the end of the day there’s probably only so much you can say about a nationally-televised performance, even if it was shown during television’s “primetime”, when “kids” were watching, that featured dancers dressed as the Baphomet (amongst other disturbing imagery).  Indeed since the days of old, wise parents wouldn’t just let their children sit in front of a TV and gaze at it because, after all, you never really know what’s going to put into their minds next, especially when dealing with the popular American Music Industry, which has been saturated with debauch for at least the last 15 years.  Thus the real issue surrounding Katy Perry’s “satanic” performance is was it an actual witchcraft ceremony where she tried to summon the devil to the Staples Center?

Even though I haven’t watched the performance nor have any intentions to, based on the articles and opinions I’ve gathered about the incident thus far I would have to say that no, Katy Perry wasn’t trying to officially invite demons to the Grammys.  Rather I would have to concur with the frame of thought that suggests her risqué performance was more or less a publicity stunt - you know, stupid, destructive and self-abasing shit that popular musicians do in the name of increasing popularity and making more money.

DO THESE "SATANISTS" EVEN TRULY WORSHIP SATAN?

When dubbing a popular American music artists "satanist" or "luciferian" or "illuminati" or something of the such, no one seems to get accused of being so as much as Jay-Z, one of the most popular allegations against him being that he publicly wore a sweatshirt featuring the saying of a prominent Satanist, which stated "do what thou wilt".  Indeed even when visiting the homepage of the Church of Satan itself we see that, to them "Satan is the symbol that best suits the nature of we who are carnal by birth", and furthermore you may come across websites that claim modern-day Satanism is based in ancient "dionysiac" cults that practiced "orgiastic" behaviors.  So are the alleged Satanists truly people who love and follow Satan, or those looking for a religion that will allow them to do anything they want and having found it in Satanism?  After all one would be led to believe that anyone who actually knows what a demon is would never intentionally call one up.

CONCLUSION

Even though I don’t believe Katy Perry’s performance was an act of actual witchcraft but rather some sort of depiction of it, I do believe it is setting a precedence for things to come, as in don’t be surprised if in a future Grammy’s ceremony someone does perform outright witchcraft or Satanism.  When you consider Perry’s performance and other things that have occurred at this year’s Grammys than a person should now be cognizant of some of the forces that strongly influence the mainstream American Music Industry.

Friday, October 18, 2013

14 SEPTEMBER 2001 - THE SECOND MOST MEMORABLE DAY OF MY LIFE

I would presume that everyone, specifically in the United States, remembers where they were and what they were doing on 11 September 2001, the day the World Trade Center fell.  I was in Atlanta with a homey having breakfast at a small diner, everyone in attendance watching in amazement as pictures were being shown of a World Trade Center that just fell victim to a plane crash.  

Back in those days my favorite chillin' spot in all New York City was the Brooklyn Pier, and anyone familiar with the area knew that it was the Twin Towers that dominated the skyline.  While meditating there many a night I used to see how close some airplanes would come to a skyscraper and thought that it was only a matter of time before some idiot crashed into a building - then bam! - while watching live on television a second plane hit.  In other words while both Towers were still freshly smoking from being hit by airliners I was firmly under the impression that both crashes were accidents, and it wasn't until the news reported that they were actually terrorist attacks that I was like double-oh shit.

However this article is not about 11 September 2001.  Rather it's about 14 September 2001, three days after the infamous 9/11, when I visited NYC.

Actually I can't tell you what exactly drew me back up there, as I can't clearly remember.  I know for sure it wasn't to see the destroyed WTC, as I didn't even go anywhere particularly near the wreckage to view it.  I was at the time recovering from a breakup, and my ex-*****... I mean girl... was up in NY, and I'm sure that influenced my decision to go up there, being the last time I ever set eyes on her.  Moreover Mom Cheese was there, and at the time I hadn't seen her in a minute.  Moreover I was born and raised in NYC, and after being Down South for about a year maybe I was homesick.

While taking the Greyhound up to NY I did see the wreckage of the Pentagon.  It didn't look particularly awful, as in being irrepairable (in fact I later learned it was designed to survive such attacks), but it was still pretty fukedup.  It was in seeing this that a person clearly knew, even if not fully comprehending, that terrorism had hit homeland America.

What really made this trip memorable though is when I hooked up with my Brooklyn-based homey Drew, and we decided to head down to Times Square.  I mean I'm not trying to make it sound like I was a hardcore cityhead, but I had been to Times Square, on both work and leisure, on numerous occasions throughout the years.  Anyway I was with Drew, who knows the city like the back of his hand.

So what made this trip any different?  Well as aforementioned it was just three days after the biggest terrorist incident in American History, which happened just a few walkable miles away, but Times Square was on fire!  I mean I never saw that many people out before, and honestly it made me proud of New Yorkers in that they didn't let this mass-murderous incident frighten them into the shadows.

There were a bunch of sights and sounds out that day.  Drew even made a video, which I recently found out has been destroyed.  I'm not a big fan of imagery but wish more than any video on Earth that I had that one.  However I will go over my most vivid memories of the day:

1.  There were a helluva lot of street hawkers out that day, and I don't mean people selling products in particular but moreso ideas.  In fact the one street vendor, if you want to call her that, I remember the most was some lady (who was with a dude or two) right near the center of Times Square with graphic images of human fetuses aborted at different stages (months) during their development, of course the displayers themselves being anti-abortion advocates.  The images were of course graphically disgusting and appalled me to the point of not being able to really look at them, but I do remember the general gist of them to this day.

2.  There were a lot of 'missing' people poster up of those who perished in the World Trade Center, and I don't think any of those missing people have ever been recovered.  It was particularly sad to know that families were hoping beyond hope to find their irretrievable loved ones.  I remember even a few days later seeing such a flier in Rockaway Train Station, Brownsville posted by the family of a police officer who apparently died on the subway train passing under the Towers when they fell.  I mean seeing those poster just made a nigga want to cry.


3.  There was a big '999' (upside down 666) in the middle of Times Square.  At a time of spookiness and uncertainty this was definitely the most frightening thing I saw.  With the aforementioned video being destroyed I thought the image of this gigantic billboard was lost, until I recently saw it on a WNBA commercial (captured above) while watching the 2001 NBA All-Star Game.  Up until seeing this advert I thought that the '999' was posted closer to 11 September 2001 as opposed to as early as 11 February 2001, when the game was originally aired.

4.  While taking the 3 Train, which passes under the World Trade Center, into Manhattan from Brooklyn, the train stopped for a minute or two, and everyone got shook.  I mean that was the like the second scariest train ride I took in my life, next to the time I was riding Atlanta's MARTA train near the West End, and for a second or two the elevated train stopped and seemed as if it was going to fall off the track.  Whereas everyone was playing it cool on the 3 Train and in NYC in general, like they weren't worried about sh*t, when that train stopped for those long seconds that was like the quietest mass transport I had ever been on in my life.

5.  Drew and I visited his local fire station, which lost an entire shift of firefighters in the WTC.  Drew resided in Downtown Brooklyn, basically right across the Brooklyn Bridge from the Twin Towers, so of course when all hell broke loose firefighters from his area were called.  We visited his local fire station, Fire Company #1 on Union Street in Park Slope, where they had a small memorial (compared to the one that seems to up now) to the 12 of their brethren who died in the disaster.  Firefighters are civil servants who don't seem to get a lot of props, but we should all show our appreciation to them every once in awhile as they'll probably jump in a fire to save your loved ones before you do.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

THE DYNAMICS OF SELLING YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL

Even when I was growing up there were accusations of Satanism being present in some forms of popular American music, particularly heavy metal rock with bands like Kiss being the ones most often accused of such.  There were also accusations of some prominent companies, like Procter & Gamble, being involved in such.  I also remember hearing rumors of some Black entertainers, such as the band Earth, Wind and Fire, being satanists, but in all Satanism was seen as being a White (or more specifically rock & roll) thing.  Please don't take this as a racist comment as it's not intended as such and of course many more White people believe in God than Satan, but the point being, as aforementioned, it was generally some of the heavy metalists and rock stars who seemed to worship Satan outright, or it was believed that if you played their songs backwards (backmasking) you'll hear secret, satanic messages, and the idea of a performer that comes from an inner-city African-American community, which especially in those days was relatively religious, ultimately converting to a satanist was more or less unheard of.

But that was 30 years ago.  These days if you go to YouTube there are virtually limitless videos setting out to prove that prominent African-American performers, especially rappers, are involved in Satanism or other forms of the occult, with some of these theories actually being plausible, so things are now hitting closer to home.  Some of these same videos also allege that in fact many prominent Black entertainers have long been involved in Satanism even before the advent of rap, but now with rappers making statements like "love me like Satan" and the imagery you see on many videos these days we can at least conclude that if such has existed for awhile it is now becoming more public.

I'm no expert on rappers beings satanists or selling their souls, but I know such is happening, once again publicly, and the masses being who they are, who prefer to follow rich people with questionable morals as opposed to poor people with impeccable ones, are by all means going to be influenced by this and emulate.  Being that now, once again, this reality is hitting closer to home, I can't help but to be fascinated by this phenomena and to try to understand it.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF YOUR SOUL?

When most people think of a person selling their soul to Satan, they think of some poor man who makes such a deal and miraculously ends up rich.  However most of the rappers who have been accused of doing such had actually done so after they were already rich and successful, with the intent apparently being to increase in wealth and fame.  However this does not negate the fact that they were already established and in some cases multi-millionaires before outrightly selling their soul to Satan.

When the devil tempted Jesus, he offered him the whole world in exchange for his soul.  Why would Satan offer Jesus, a nigga who had just spent the last 40 days alone in the bush, such a hefty compensation?  Because Jesus already had the whole world, not in the sense of material possessions per se like having a fat bank account, but believe me Jesus wasn't lacking and could have accumulated anything - wealth, women, etc. - that he wanted if he were such a man, as people were literally throwing things (including themselves) at his feet, my point being that the compensation Satan offers you is based on the wealth you've already attained and/or his desire to turn you and/or your ability to gain wealth or, perhaps moreso than anything else, your ability/potential to influence people.

As such if you're a poor man in the ghetto wanting to become a famous rapper and sell your soul to Satan, you're only going to get a token of what he would offer to someone like Lil' Wayne who already has influence over millions of people, unless maybe he sees more potential in you.  Satan could probably buy your poor ass for $1million, but he can't offer that to Lil' Wayne who already has much more than that.  Instead he has to offer Wayne a lot more.

WHY WOULD A RICH MAN SELL HIS SOUL, ANYWAY?

For more money, of course.

Many of us feel that if we only had $1million we'd be cool.  After all having such dough will likely enable us to be able to afford our dream home, car, put our kids through school, dash money to loved ones, pay off our debts, donate to the poor, etc. - basically all of the things that we sweat and toil and pray to accomplish but never seem to be able to ultimately achieve.  But the reason most of us believe that having such money will make us content is likely because we never had the experience of having that type of money in the first place.

When analyzing this situation I like to think of a fictitious case of someone from the 'hood who has just been drafted into the NBA.  Here is someone who, due to his athletic aptitude, finds himself in a situation where in one year he's likely to make more money than all of his friends and family members have in their entire lives, and all of the things he and his fantasized about owning while growing up he can now afford.  In other words he is now officially the man - that is until he finds himself in  a room with Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and Chris Paul and others who make the same money he earns in three years in just a third of a season.  In other words there's always going to be that house or car or shorty or airplane or island you can't afford unless you make more dough, something that may not even really be evident to you or you even really care about until of course you're in the presence of people richer than yourself and around people that are sweating them while ignoring you, a person who's used to being the man.

Whereas athletes have recently been accused of selling their souls also, for the most part compensation in sports apparently is due more to athletic performance on the field than anything else, unlike the music industry where image and connections has a lot to do with how many records a person sells.  So in summation don't marvel when you see a man who is already rich selling his soul; just know that Satan likely offered him a lot more than he would offer you.

Once you become rich and famous you're more than likely going to find yourself surrounded by all types of strange, questionable and I would even say evil people, and if you want to go out and party and get drunk and coked up and don't know who you're dealing with and decide that it's all about the benjamins, thEn anything can happen, and you can find yourself in a situation where you're coerced into a questionable lifestyle.  This is why these days you can even hear seemingly plausible allegations of prominent male rappers having sex with rich, powerful homosexuals, something that definitely is not espoused in hip-hop culture.

DE FACTO SOUL SELLING

Many rappers never officially sell their soul to Satan (as in dealing with him or his representatives directly) but still do so informally long before they become famous (if they become famous at all).  For instance when you have a rapper making questionable comments and his conscience bothering him for such but he still does it to please the masses, then he's selling his soul.  In fact this is something that perhaps we all do - sacrifice our morals in the name of making dough or making people happy and comfortable.  But in the case of rappers, entertainers and public figures in general the consequences are more severe as they influence the masses.

Anyone familiar with the history of rap music know that it wasn't always about money, bitches and violence.  It wasn't until the early 1990s, with acts like 2 Live Crew and Onyx, that these ideologies began to take over.  When I saw the 2 Live Crew with half-naked strippers on their videos, even back then, I wondered if they knew or even cared what affect these images are having on viewers?  When Onyx dropped Throw Your Guns and niggas were running around shooting each other like crazy, I wondered  if they even cared what their music was encouraging people to do.  If Luke's or Onyx's conscience never bothered them about these things, then I'd say they're guiltless.  But if their hearts were telling them "you need to stop doing this, because people are looking at your videos and listening to your music and consequently destroying their lives and the lives of others" and yet they continued to do what they do, then indeed they sold their souls, even if, as aforementioned, it wasn't officially through Satan or one of his formal representatives.  Thus when you have someone like Eminem or DMX or even Kanye West make a statement like "I sold my soul to the devil", even though they may have never done so "officially", you know what they mean.

CONCLUSION

Who knows how difficult it must be to resist Satan once you become rich and popular and want to increase materially and not lose the popularity you've gained?  People can criticize Rihanna for having all types of esoteric imagery in her videos, but when approached by those forces how much can a small girl realistically resist anyway?  Does she even knows or cares what any of that shit is supposed to mean?  All of that being said it's apparent that these days a lot of questionable things are going on in industries like Popular American Music, and the option of selling your sell is becoming more open and popular than ever.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

7 TENETS OF HIP-HOP RELIGION

I was recently watching a video that featured a snippet of a Kanye West interview in which he stated something to the effect of “hip-hop is a relgion, and rappers are it’s preachers”.  Mr. West has never been the most upright person (though at the beginning of his career it seemed he tried to be) and in recent years has degenerated from the most popular family-oriented, Christian rapper in the world to more or less a humanist atheist, but one thing I will give him credit for is that he was always honest, and this statement, as controversial as it may be, is no different.

Rappers have been the religious leaders of populations where hip-hop is dominant - such as inner-city African-American communities - for at least the last 20 years, especially amongst the youth.  In other words people seem to prefer an open sinner as a leader (who can make a good track, of course) as opposed to a self-righteous, gluttonous, impotent pastor, and even multi-billion dollar industries like the NBA are heavily influenced by rap.

Kanye’s statement was truly a revelation to me - so much so that it has prompted me to write this post.    

1.  Fight violence with violence.  In hip-hop religion if someone (especially a person who isn’t law enforcement or your moms) fucks with you then you better fuck them up.  Being that hip-hop is primarily an inner-city African-American phenomenon, this ideology is one of the clear ways you can see the influence of the overall culture on the music.  It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a rapper be able to drop a whole album of non-volent party songs, i.e. a 20-years-ago Will Smith, and even way back then many people considered Will to be a “soft” and illegitimate rapper for doing such, and in the post-Tupac / 50 Cent rap world you’re not likely to find many a rapper who can get dissed and take it lying down (although Will did retaliate, saying he was "Microsoft", lol).

2.  Fuck as many bitches (or niggas) as you want (I guess until you get married?).  For the most part in the earlier days of hip-hop espousing fornication was relegated only to men, back in the day when a female being sexually expressive was still seen as more or less a whoredom, but since then we’ve had Lil’ Kim, Nikki Menage, etc., and all hell has broken loose.  I’m not saying that females shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves freely, but unfortunately what they’ve really done is just flip the questionable sexual ethics their male counterparts were relaying into female form.

On a more positive note I will say rappers like Jay-Z, T.I. and Nas have had widely-publicized marriages, two of which are still intact.  It’s ironic in that it seems out of the aforementioned that Nas was the one who did his moreso to portray a good image (not necessarily of himself but of marriage), but it was his that fell apart.  Meanwhile Jay-Z, one of the most popular lyrical-whoremongers in his pre-marriage days, seems to be in one of the happiest marriages in Hollywood.

3.  Don’t let anyone disrespect you.  This is very similar to the first tenet.  Sometimes it’s redundant and even bothersome to hear these multi-millionaire rappers bicker like little children, but if you understand that this is a basic part of inner-city African-American (and thus hip-hop) culture then you will understand why these things are likely to never stop so long as hip-hop is centered in the ever-violent West.  I mean why is it that you never seem to see White celebrities publicly threatening each other like this?

Some rappers, like Chuck D, will tell you that dissing has always been a part of hip-hop and it’s what the fans love and we should just laugh it off hahaha, but long gone are the days of Kool Moe Dee versus Curtis Blow.  Now it’s more like Tupac versus Biggie, where words can materialize into actual fatalities, and it doesn’t seem likely to end soon as even the main prophet of hip-hop, Jay-Z, often engages in dangerous verbal warfare himself.

4.  C.R.E.A.M.  Remember back in the days when rappers actually cared if their verses were good before dropping them, so that they wouldn’t be called whack by the community?  Now it seems that, especially amongst the established artists, they really don’t give a damn either way so long as they get paid.    They have come to the realization that whereas African-American men may be the originators and main critics of hip-hop they aren’t it’s main patrons.  I mean these days even the most popular rappers can drop some of the most unmemorable or even blatantly whack verses you’ll ever hear in your life.  This of course is due to the fact that the rap industry has now taken on more of a business nature than a “street” nature.  In other words if you know your album or verse is whack, if people are going to still buy it due to your popularity, then drop that shit anyway.  You know, niggas got bills to pay.  After all it’s not like you’re forcing them buy that corny-ass shit.

5.  Money is the ultimate God of hip-hop.  Even though most popular rappers come from families who are traditionally Christian or maybe Muslim, through their words you can see that they don’t particularly believe in Jesus, Mohammed or the deities they espouse.  Rather the god of hip-hop is money.  This is why, in the end, they can throw away all moral and religious belief if it deters them from making money.  Thus you can even have someone bragging about being a criminal, say a violent drug dealer or gangster or even a flat-out murderer, but as long as they’ve been able to cake some dollars in the end then all sins are washed away and it’s all good.

6.  If someone doesn’t like what you do, but it feels good to you, then fuck them.  Chris Brown recently came to Ghana and made a like statement in relation to people who may not like you smoking weed, right as he lit up a spliff onstage in this relatively ganja-intolerant country.  At first I was proud of Chris, but then as I pondered on the situation I realized that lighting the spliff alone would have been enough of a statement without the “fuck them” part.  After all what if it’s your moms or pops who doesn’t like you smoking; should you “fuck them” also?  I would say that this tenet, like many of the others listed here, is more a product of American Society in general than African-American culture in particular.

7.  Sky’s the limit.  I definitely didn’t want to end this on a negative note and give the impression that hip-hop is all bad, and many rappers, like the aforementioned Tupac, Nas and to a lesser extent Jay-Z and Biggie have made songs that have encouraged people, even those who needed to hear it most, to work hard and strive in the face adversity, but of course in the cold, cruel world Dear Mama isn’t going to sell more than Hit Em' Up.  Man, I really miss Tupac sometimes and feel that he’s one of the few people that if he were still alive the world might actually be somewhat different.

CONCLUSION


Of course if you search the internet you’ll find that there are many different types of rappers (even Barack and Michelle Obama!) who cover a wide range of topics, and thus not all of them are talking about fucking, shooting people and making money.  But of course mainstream international rap, coming out of America, is heavily influenced by these ideologies.  It’d be cool if nowadays rappers sprung up like (the pre-assassination attempt) Tupac who can be the main nigga in the industry while talking about love, compassion and upliftment of oppressed people, but everybody didn’t love Pac like they did until he went on his post-incarceration, vengeance rant against Bad Boy Records, which may have been justified to some extent but was still bad for the overall rap community and thus the world.  As such for the foreseeable future mainstream hip-hop is likely to continue to descend down the frivolous, destructive road that it’s been on for years.