Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Leonard Pitts On Hip Hop's Attack On Oprah

Leonard Pitts is on target.... but I would have gone even further. Pitts didn't go far enough. He was way too nice to the Hip Hop industry.

(Commentary from the Miami Herald)


Rappers upset at Oprah snub? Let them cry!

Would somebody please tell the hip-hop community to stop whining?
Go drink some Cristal, buy some bling, pimp some hoes or do whatever it is you do for amusement, but please, cease, desist, shut up already about how Oprah Winfrey has hurt your feelings.

For those who came in late: Over the last month, a trio of high-profile rappers has leveled criticism at Winfrey for what they feel is her disrespect of their medium. The first blast came from a gentleman who calls himself Ludacris, but whose birth certificate identifies him as Christopher Brian Bridges. He said that when he appeared on Winfrey's show to promote the movie Crash, in which he co-starred, she treated him dismissively.

The complaint was echoed by 50 Cent (born Curtis James Jackson III) who complained to the Associated Press that Winfrey rarely features hip-hop on her talk show. ''Oprah's audience is my audience's parents, so I could care less about Oprah or her show,'' he said, sounding, of course, like a guy who cares way too much.

Then Ice Cube (nee O'Shea Jackson) got into the fray, complaining to FHM magazine that he's never been invited to sit on Winfrey's couch. ``She's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I'm not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?''


Not that anyone asked me, but I could answer all of this in words of one syllable: boo hoo.
Winfrey, though, evidently feeling these gentlemen deserved more response than that, went on a New York radio station and told DJ Ed Lover that rumors of her distaste for hip-hop are exaggerated. ''I've got a little 50 on my iPod,'' she said.''

Some of us chose to take that revelation with a box of salt. Some of us were left wondering when, how and why liking hip-hop came to be a litmus test for, well . . . anything. Winfrey went on to explain that her problem with hip-hop is that some of it offends her ''sensibilities.'' She will not, she said, support music that marginalizes women.

You think maybe she could have been referring to that rap video where a credit card is swiped through a woman's backside? Or to any of the hundreds of other videos where women are treated as props and accouterments? Or to the ones where they are addressed in terms normally reserved for prostitutes and canines?

Here's what amuses me: these guys actually think they have a point. They actually think they've been wronged. And never mind the thousand and one ways their music has wronged us all.


The lords of hip-hop made their fortunes and their fame by flipping the middle-finger salute to middle-American alarm and apprehension over their music, its rawness, its explicitness, its violence and its effects. They were outsiders, loud and profanely proud in their rejection of white picket fence mores and norms.
Fine. They have every right.

But now they're singing the blues because the ultimate arbiter of white picket fence mores and norms wants nothing to do with them? Now they're seeking sympathy because they are denied a stamp of approval from Middle America's main gatekeeper?
Cry me a river.

I mean, what do they expect? You can't have it both ways. You cannot curse people and expect them to support you, cannot offend them then ask them to welcome you. I'm reminded of what mama always said about respect: you got to give some to get some. Perhaps this is news to the hip-hop nation, populated as it is by people who routinely embrace values neutrality and moral relativism, who often duck responsibility for what they say and how they say it, who frequently refuse to recognize words have meaning and consequence.

But if it's new to them, it's validation to me. For the better part of 20 years, hip-hop's overriding message has been, ``Bleep the mainstream.''

Apparently, these guys are upset that they're being taken at their word.



denise lee said...

To All My Angry Black Men:

I am so sorry that you are highly upset with the women who are attracted or in love with the thugs. Let's get it straight Black Men, whether or not you categorize yourself as a Educated or a Thug, you are still a man. But from an educated and college graduate I will tell you why women are attracted to the thug like mentality. Remember there are men in suits and ties that are thugs too. Look at Gangsta Bush. Although none of us like him, he just takes what the hell he wants and think nothing of it. You don't have to go to prison just to be classified as a thug. So don't get it twisted to think that that is what a thug is. A thug represents strength, protection, aggressiveness, physicality, and a take charge mentality, etc.... Really, in all actuality that is a man. Many guys have not embraced that because they are afraid of the consequences that comes with those characteristics. So many of the street mentality men, do not fear the law and or out-laws, therefore, they do not worry about what the repercussions are. Unlike men who usually, are highly educated and very successful careers careers are concerned about the risk of loosing monetary and superficial values for the family rather than the physical and safety values for the family and the woman prefers the physical part more than the monetary. That is why when men go and work two and three jobs, you hear the classic case of the women infidelity outside of the relationship and the first thing the man says is "I gave you everything you wanted" but he was not there to fulfill her physical needs. Not saying we as women can have everything we want just like men can't have everything you want. Nonetheless, we have to decide what is most important to us and the majority of Black women like strength and sex. Especially if we are financially independent now. Only thing is lacking is protection and sex. Just like when men say the classic saying "I don't need a woman to do nothing for me because I can cook, wash etc...." All he needs that woman for is SEX. We all need companionship, whether we admit or not but DON'T HATE ON A THUG MENTALITY MAN, HE DIDN'T MAKE THE WOMAN CHOOSE HIM, the hormones in the woman is stimulated by him because of his strength. Some woman are turned when a man take charge. I am. It is very stimulated. That is why dominated men when over nice guys.


Anonymous said...

I understand where black women are coming from when they say that they want a "thug" in the since that they someone who exemplifies strength, courage and leadership. I think that "thug" is the wrong word to use because it is associated with alot of other negative attributes such as violence, disrespect, crime and abuse. No intelligent person wants that in their life. However here are some things that black women need to understand.
1. You get what you pay for so if you want a thug mentality guy understand that you will get alot more negative behavior than positive and is it really worth it.
2. I hear the phrase "I want a man who can fight and protect me". The ability to fight is not an attitude, its a skill. Im not a thug nor am i an overly aggressive guy. I am however a former golden gloves boxer, i have a black belt and currently study MMA combat. If a "thug" tries to attack me, I'll put im down with 3 moves not because i have a tough attitude but because im trained to. Besides most of these young wannabe thugs cant fight anyway, thats why they have to shoot everyone.
3. Understand that we all excercise strength in our own way. It take alot of strength and confidence to not take the easy route and sell drugs but to study, work hard and live a respectful life. Thats tougher than anythug can do.
4. finally, do you want your sons to be bad boys and thugs because if you do, dont raise them to be nice and respect women. dont raise them to be somthing that you yourself do not desire.

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