Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hip Hop Politics notes 9/18-9/21

I’m watching that show The Player, and is it me, or is that girl the guys trying to get with like totally yuck. I mean, she looks good but she just seems to be like beside herself. I really liked the show at first, but now, my interest is waning. Yesterday, I watched on CSPAN the panel for Hip Hop voter drive, it was something like that, and there was Russell Simmons, Harold Ford, the representative from Tennessee, and a couple of other politicians. What I liked best was Russell Simmons and his being so outspoken. Russell Simmons can talk intelligently about race, music and politics and he really gets that kind of love from the industry and the streets. Other cats are taking up Russell’s cause and starting up their own movements, and even though the issues are too boring to really compete with the loud beats and the rhymes. Russell and all the others have driven the idea that its most important to vote, to vote, to vote. However, the issues have not been given all that much attention, and that’s because you can’t mix C-SPAN and MTV. The politicians are the ones that have to really work that crowd once Russell or Puffy gets them hyped. Sad thing is, I don’t really think that John Kerry or Dick Cheney are really interested.

As for Russell Simmons, he said some interesting things about Eminem. He enthusiastically stated that Eminem has hosted 2 of his summits. Not only that, he said that Eminem is about to put out some “Bush bashing” records. I don’t really know what Eminem can add to any political dialogue, and despite the fact that I like Dead Prez, the Coup and Paris, I don’t even really base my political ideas on what they say. Speaking of Dead Prez, it’s sad that only because Eminem has turned into such the artistic powerhouse, his record will warrant the debate of Farenheit 9/11 but Dead Prez and Paris have been much more thorough I feel in bashing Bush, and they barely get any attention. Now, I’m not being a hater, but I really couldn’t care less what Eminem has to say about Bush, and I can’t stand Bush! I predict, however, that when Eminem puts out his album, everybody is going to be all over it and he will be praised as somebody who speaks his mind, and then all the media and hip hop press will address the black rappers and say “Shame on you. Why can’t you be more like Eminem instead of being trifling gangstas? Russell Simmons said “Eminems doing all he’s doing, and he’s coming from the trailer!” I don’t know, I’ll see all the hype, and everybody getting really excited about Eminem’s Bush bashing album; I wonder if right wingers will accuse Eminem of “aiding the enemy” like Michael Moore and John Kerry. I don’t like Eminem, but I guess I can give him credit for taking advantage of the opportunity to cash in on Bush-bashing. It’s funny how much weight that rich white guys like Michael Moore and Eminem carry, and how much they influence the people who actually take their opinions to heart. I guess he wont fall off after all, like his critics hoped.

The run-up to the election is totally intense. I don’t like these intense statements, and it totally pissed me off how with the expiration of the assault rifle ban, Kerry chose the Dick Cheney route and said that Bush was helping Al Queda. As much as I don’t like Bush, I like the aspect of Kerry that is more questioning of the government. One of these Swift Veteran commercials for me said it best; the one we’ve all seen were they show the “good people” at the beginning of the commercial; the clean cut soldiers (of course) and the other people who look like they belong in the “Happy Days” TV show set. Then, they show the “bad people”, the hippies with their long hair and their “disrespect” and Kerry is lumped in with them. It’s funny how its 2004, but now 9/11 and the war on terror has revived that kind of thinking; wars are sold as honorable, just and unquestionable, and who would have thought that “patriotism” would become a part of the cultural landscape. Along with this comes the dirty laundry of America; racism, prejudice, hatred, cultural conservatism and political division. No more is this apparent than in the forgettable gay marriage controversy and the rantings of right wing blowhards like Michelle Malkin, who wants to intensify racial profiling and endorses the idea of putting Middle Easterners in concentration camps. If John Kerry wins, I’m going to turn it around on all the Republicans that I possibly can and start saying, when they express their hatred towards him, “You know, its not really helpful to criticize YOUR president, and in doing so, you are aiding and abetting the terrorists!” I’m sure that will tickle them all over.

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