Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ike Turner - A Lost Legacy

Ike Turner will always be remembered as the Wife Beater, and for the movie- What's Love Got To Do With It- for which he had no part in putting together. That's his legacy.

He won't be remembered for the important role he played in the pantheon of American music.

Hear NPR Report

It is true that he made his own bed.... he created his own situation. I just wish there was a way to separate these two parts of his life. Elvis had a drug habit....and was a womanizer, but he is worshipped to this day as an American hero. I'm not suggesting that Turner should be worshipped in any way. I am suggesting that the baby shouldn't be thrown out with the bathwater. Should his musical legacy be wiped away completely, as it surely will be? Turner's contribution to American music is culturally significant.... unfortunately most Americans, especially Black Americans, only remember him as sort of the Black male symbol for domestic abuse, and have no clue about his music.

My hometown of St. Louis, the city that set the stage for Ike and Tina's careers, was one of the only places where Ike Turner was not treated as a complete monster.... and where some folks actually knew who he was by name. But even in St. Louis, he couldn't completely escape his past.

Turner is not the only famous musician who was involved in abuse..... in fact a few big name African American musicians come to mind, but because of What's Love Got To Do With It, Ike Turner is the one who became synonymous with "wife beater".

I'm not defending Ike Turner... I am only pointing out that a little more perspective may be needed when examining his life. This is especially true for a culture, especially a degenerate Black/Rap culture, that today honors & worships people like R. Kelly, 50 cent, Ludacris, Nelly, Jarule, Tupac, and others...elements that represent cultural rot. In fact, unlike Ike Turner, who kept his personal matters private, the clowns today literally include their misogyny & abuse in their act...for the world to see & hear. That is a distinction worth mentioning. Yet, they are celebrated & honored by today's rotting Black culture...even by many Black women who, for some reason, fawn over them, and those like them. Go figure!

Here you have a man who had a musical career that actually meant something culturally...and he is disregarded out of hand....and in addition to that..."his people" don't even know who he was.

1 comment:

SheCodes said...

I'm a black former professional musician, and I'm fine with throwing the baby out with the bathwater in this instance.

Violence against women or children is a dealbreaker. Drugs, I can get over. Womanizing, can get over that too. But nobody who beats up on the weak should ever be revered in any way, shape or form. They have forfeited any idolization 'props'.

'Keeping his violence private' was not some sweet virtue that should get Ike Turner brownie points. He kept his violence private simply to escape detection and punishment... and not to 'protect public opinions of blacks'... duh!

The Nelly's and R Kelly's of the world were made possible by the Ike Turners of the world. And Christ knows who they will spawn in 10 years.

If anything, young black men should be told in no uncertain terms that their accomplishments and legacies will all be flushed down the toilet if they decide to beat/rape women.

There is no need to compartmentalize their behavior to 'salvage' anything of their reputations. It's precisely that kind of compartmentalization that produced the arrogant, malicious celebrities that we have today.