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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

Rap, Hip-Hop and All That Jazz

Look at Jay Z:

One can not deny this man is a genius in his own right.

Growing up in my family with soul music all around me, my family played classic R&B like Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Al Green and Sam Cooke. I grew up knowing all the words to “Kiss and Say Goodbye” by the time I was 8. When Michael Jackson broke down barriers on MTV, we went nuts. The hypnotic sounds of Billie Jean moonwalked across the TV sets of AmeriKlan and set it on fire! Suddenly everyone, black and white, wanted to be M.J. Jheri curls were found on the heads of New Kids on the Block as well as most of black AmeriKlan.

Black soul music, especially Motown, said all the things we couldn’t say. We knew how Marvin felt when he asked, “What’s Going On?” And when Jim Brown dared us to be “Black and Proud” we screamed, Hell yes, brother!! The difference between music back then and music now isn’t what you believe it to be. We didn’t get more violent and full of self-hatred over night. What changed is the PRODUCTION studios that paid us to bear our souls. Berry Gordy told his musicians, singers and songwriters to “be real”. Give the black audience what they want. Smooth sounds, raw sounds, honest sounds and sounds that reflected the times we were facing in AmeriKlan.

Black owned studios controlled black music. Therefore what was put out to the black population was for us, by us. Well…that all changed when whites wanted a piece of black music. Before you ask, How does Truthbetold know that? Well, let’s say that traveling around the United States has given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet ALL kinds of people. Artists, fashion designers, painters, poets, writers and musicians, especially when I was in downtown Chicago. I heard stories of how “good it was when WE controlled our shit” and how black artists are PAID to “ghetto-ize their shit for white audiences.”

I listened to X, an older Mississippi born musician, in downtown Chicago, in a blues club called Buddy Guy Legends ( it’s on Wabash Ave if you’re interested ) on how when his band was in its prime, they sold out tickets within 3 days. I heard tales of how he starved and sold his most prized possession, a black and white TV set, to buy a saxophone. He knew that blues music was his calling from God. When they finally found financing, it was a white gentleman, a Jew, who told him to “nigger-ize” his music. Sing about being poorer, more downtrodden, beaten up, say you’re a drinker( he wasn’t) give the audience a sense of your pain and suffering and they’ll “eat it up and we’ll grow rich.” Well he didn’t grow rich. The Jew did. Musicians back in the day were paid a whopping 3% for their talent. The PRODUCTIONS STUDIOS became rich. Musicians struggled to pay the rent.

Why am I telling you this?

Because rap, hip-hop and yes, jazz is very seldom being produced and financed by blacks anymore. It’s a white business now. It is geared towards reinforcing the nigger stereotype, cleverly hidden by good riffs and a harsh, raspy, sexy, black voice…(think Ja Rule) and of course…making money. Now, do I believe that all black owned studios are innocent? No. Of course not. They too play a big part in the “hood waiting to rape your (white)daughter” imagery. But how many black-owned production studios are there in comparison to white ones? ( Yes, I know Roc-A-Fella is huge. Bad Boy Records no longer counts as Lucian Grainge is CEO ). And ultimately who controls what is played, and how often it is played, and on what channel it is played? Answer?

1. Harvey Weinstein

2. Sumner Redstone

3. Phillipe Dauman

4. Warners Bros.

5. Walt Disney (his descendents)

6. MGM ( various siblings since they split up, like Tony Goldwyn, the bad guy from Ghost.)

7. Rupert Murdoch

I’m sure there are more…but they merge, split up and change names constantly.

What’s my point? Untill we blacks can take back the control over our music and our films, all we have to listen to are verbal and lyrical testimonies on how:

1. Cops need to be shot

2. All women are bitches

3. Black life sucks

4. I was raised in the ghetto

5. I smoke crack with my welfare money

6. I went to prison, like, 1000 times

7. I got shot by a rival gang

8. I love to rape girls

9. I can not speak proper English

10. The movie “Precious” is real. I hate that motherfucking film! Sorry, Mr. Daniels. And Gabby, if you are reading this…AmeriKlan will NEVER let you live this down.

The punchline to my post?….wait for it……………………..

The biggest consumers of the grimiest, nastiest, dirtiest rap music are white middle-class boys.

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40 thoughts on “Rap, Hip-Hop and All That Jazz

  1. ynotme on said:

    Sister,

    Because white middle-class boys are the biggest consumers of this type of music, they will further feed into the stereotype that blacks are the problem in this county which will only continue the vicious cycle of white supremacy.

  2. ynotme on said:

    meant to say in this country not county

  3. Forgive my profanity (and delete it if you wish, LOL) – but may I say, FUCK YES. EXACTLY. This is one of MANY reasons why I can’t stand corporate-owned radio! Only the EXPECTED is played, listened to, and bought. REAL ARTISTS ARE SHUNNED! It’s beyond pathetic.

    We definitely need to own our own media and NOT sell it away to whites the second it becomes popular with them! We need to be in charge of our own histories; our own stories, our own LIVES – not let some ‘other’ with a poisonous agenda steal and bastardize them! Period!!

    When will Oprah open her book club to people like me, and let me tell MY story?!? Why does some phony white asshole get to write a phony-ass book about drug use and his fake battle with addiction, when I have my own, REAL tale about being a ‘bought colored kid’? When will Whoopi get away from that nattering hen’s nest of white bitches and do HER OWN thing? When will Tyler Perry get over his hatred of women who share his skin color, and make positive, uplifting movies about REAL black families? If he was abused as a child himself, why doesn’t he make movies that will help abused children?

    I could go on and on…getting off my soapbox, now! 😎

  4. Preach it, sister!!!

  5. mary burrell on said:

    Well, Speak the truth! I don’t know what to Seputura13 said it all. May i add that whites just want to be in the mix with everything that concerns us. Yes Sister Percious was a horrible film. Why does Lee Daniels like making these kinds of films? I also hated Monster’s Ball. They just wanted to look at Halle Berry showing skin(rollin eyes) I can’t stand Jay-Z. All that mess about I got 99 problems and calling women b***hes. Really! I just don’t know what to make of the music scene where our people are concerned it’s in the toilet. India Arie is a beautiful positive artist but the music industry does’nt promote her. But you got crappy artist and this is just my opinion, but Rhianna and Beyonce suck. please stans don’t come after me. This just my opinion. Her music has substance. but all people want to hear is thugs talking about blunts, and hoes. I’m shaking my head. When will the madness stop? When will People of color let the white people know we are coming up and going to elevate ourselves to a higher level? no longer sell our souls to the devil. Did you see Cadilac Records? That’s exactly what that record label guy from Chess Records did. Beyonce is a terrible actress. well we have got to come up higher as a people or we will always be lost.

  6. Another masterfully done piece Sista, you got me.

    I can’t really speak on this “music” that’s being produced today because I don’t know it. I had a Billboard Magazine come in the mail the other day, right outta the blue. I sat down to see what I could see in this here magazine and all I could do was flip pages. I was lost. This coming from a person who produces music and works with excellent produces from all over this planet.

    Today’s music is aimed at a very specific crowd. Like you said, you little white boys, so that may live out their gangsta dreams. As an aside: gangsterism and thuggery came from white people, we just imitate it. And like most things we touch, we master.

    Music particularly hip hop was hijacked when Black folk started getting to wise on all this Afrikan self awareness. Can’t have that. I could go on but the sista already nailed it so again, very good.

  7. I never saw Cadillac Records but I’ve heard of it. Beyonce is a watered down version of Lauren Hill. Being mixed and pretty, she is acceptable to white folks.

  8. Did you ever see the movie Bring it on? Where the redhead would spy and videotape the black cheerleaders rountines? Art imitates life.

  9. Negress, a lot of this music and the performers are iterations of the old Minstrel shows. They have only changed to reflect today’s fashions and mores. Same shit, different toilet bowl. With that being said, there is probably rap/hip hop music that is uplifting. However, it is not being publicized along with other music such as jazz(black entertainers, not the proliferation of white ones being promoted), r&b etc. Since they don’t shuck and jive to the white man’s tune they ain’t promoted like the modern day Stepin Fetchit versions walking around.

  10. Kanye, you kerchief head can you hear me?

  11. Seems to me that Whoppie is bidding time until she CAN do her own thing. I mean really, its not like she can go to BET or TV One and say gimme a show right now. Besides she had her own show some years back that was NOT supported by us. IMHO, Tyler Perry shows ALL facets of Black life, including those we want to hide. I think folks are upset because he’s “airing our dirty laundry”.

    As for our image, WE DON’T SUPPORT POSITIVE SHOWS/MOVIES/MUSIC about us and there are far too many examples for me to list here. So WE can’t be mad about what sells and is popular.

  12. It’s like I’ve been saying and typing for years. Excellent post, as usual.

  13. However, all is not lost. There is a lot of good music at the independent/grassroots level.

  14. Dr. Reine:

    You are correct. We don’t support our own. It’s like we don’t believe in our own. Tyler Perry shows all aspects of black life, yes, but the Madea “mammy” character is tiresome now. He’s capable of so much more. Good response.

  15. Brothawolf:

    It is not being promoted…for a reason.

  16. Mickey on said:

    Don’t forget the Apollo Theatre in New York. That is no longer owned by Blacks. Neither is Essence magazine. All Black folks own now is Jet.

  17. Mickey on said:

    When I was growing up, I listened to socially-conscious rap & hip hop from the likes of Public Enemy and such. After so many years, I have witnessed the decline of that musical genre. Everything is about “bling” & “bitches & hoes”. Granted, people can rap about what they know, however, this shit lacks substance. I only listen to the old school stuff now.

  18. Otis Redding singing about Pain in his heart is my kinda music.

  19. I completely agree.

    Mainstream hip hop has become an audio video game mainly consumed by young white males.

  20. That’s why it’s so rank.

  21. Great post about the music industry. Its always been bad. Did you know the first record ever recorded was a jazz record, and, it was done by a white jazz group instead of the famous great jazz musicians we know today who were really the inventors of jazz back then.

    The leader of the white jazz group said that black people didnt have anything to do with jazz. The white man has been ripping off black culture from the beginning of recordings , and making the money.

    And it carried all over up into today with Eminem making the big money in hip hop. Hip hop started out as independent black culture from New York and the Bronx and Puerto Ricans had a lot to do with it also. It really started as a dance and some beats.

  22. Sounds like Elvis…

  23. We’re not so innocent. When Delores Tucker warned us about the damages hip hop could wrought; artists like Tupac and Snoop Dogg cursed her in their music and we have been unreasonably silent.

    How many of us comment on hip hop but never Delores Tucker? How many of us let the industry’s dismissal of our Elder go unchallenged? How many of us have truly stood up for our Sister when she was standing for us?

    These we need to think on.

    But Sister, I was a bit puzzled with the praise given Jay-Z. Can you clarify on that point?

  24. Everyone pretty much made points I would make. I would only add that without the willing minstrels, such as Jay Z, it would be much harder for the entertainment industry to continue to malign and stereotype us.

  25. Jay-z, in the beginning of his career was socially conscious, like a lot of rappers. Money wasn’t the only goal. Over time, he succumbed to the “gangster” stereotype, much to my disappointment but since the birth of his child he’s admitted to being wrong about many lyrics and phrases, especially the derogatory lyrics about women. Time will tell if he’ll keep his word as money is a powerful motivator.

    Even though I no longer listen to his music, I appreciate his ambition to create his own clothing line, RocaWear and his music label.

  26. I do not think of Jay-Z as socially conscious. You seem to be going WAAAAYYYYY back. But from what I understand, he’s been stealing B.I.G.’s rhymes, fighting with Nas, and singing “Money ain’t a thing.” “Money ain’t a thing” is another way of saying “I gets money.”

    This latest “Niggas in Paradise” got me pretty irked.

    Jay-Z seems like a social climber, and I think that his criminal history inside of his family is more symbolic than most think.

    I wouldn’t call him a ‘genius,’ because though he makes “Negro Wealth,” from the clothing line he used to own, from the basketball team he owns, from the record label he owns, as I set to ask “How is that the North Star?”

    If an African sells chains because chains are in demand they are just selling chains, in my point of view. And it’s just not smart to me if those chains are hurting other African people.

    But you know I’d be wary about looking at rappers as ‘socially conscious.’ Especially not rappers with a tip of the hat from Europeans. After all, Flava Flav was a part of Public Enemy, rappers who sang “Don’t Believe the Hype” among other tracks.

    Of course I can name some good rappers. But I wouldn’t say Jay-Z.

  27. Mickey on said:

    That’s part of destroying a group of people. One has to get some of their members involved in their own destruction. It is very sinister and calculated.

  28. Tyrone on said:

    sepultura13

    If we don’t own it and control it, It doesn’t belong to us. What we call “Urban Music” today is controlled by a bunch of middle-aged and elderly white guys in New York and Los Angeles. Hip-Hop ceased to be pro-black when white teenage boys in the burbs wanted to experience “hood life” without the bullets and bloodshed. They could experience blackness from a safe distance. Blackmen in hip-hop bent over for crumbs. Blackwomen became their source of commentary, and they have the nerve to talk about other blackmen being uncle toms in our race. Honestly, there are no real blackmen in sports and entertainment. To be in the club, blackmen have to be un-black to curry favor with whitemen in suits. Blackwomen are disrespected in both realms. I focus on sistas, because, both entities have made billions from black motherhood and sexuality equally. Jay-Z had no problem calling sistas bitches and hoes from the jump, all of a sudden he doesn’t wanna do that anymore because of his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. The damage is already done, he should have respected the code from the start. The music bizness is a mess right now…blackmen are impotent, whitemen are trying to take over hip-hop, whitewomen are trying to push sistas to the side, all of a sudden sistas can’t sing anymore, can’t dance anymore, etc. Remember, racial-theft is how whites operate…black people create it, whites obsess over it, control it, and eventually co-opt it and claim it as their own as they did with jazz and blues.

    Tyrone

  29. Tyrone on said:

    Truthbetold

    Acknowledgement is the first step. Blackmen in hip-hop should be man enuf to admit that they threw their black sisters under the bus for monetary gain, which is blasphemy in every sense of the word. Jay-Z’s mentor, Jaz, was a conscious rapper who influenced him greatly in his early years. But, Jay chose to walk with the devil. I don’t know how these so-called brothas can look their black mothers in the eyes, given that they promote disrespect of the women that birthed them just to make a dollar…Blackwomen!!!

    Tyrone

  30. It all comes from slavery when the white man gave the black man money to exploit his women.

    Nothing has changed….NOTHING!

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