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Do non-blacks in hiphop owe the Black community anything?
by Hadji Williams, DaveyD.com

Like hiphop, I came from the hood. What two or three non-blacks that lived in our community only lived there because they couldn't afford to be anywhere else"”and they were quick to remind you of that every chance they got. And with the exception of a black-owned car wash/restaurant all the businesses"”stores, gas stations, cleaners, fast food, car shops, currency exchanges, etc. were all owned by Middle Easterners, Asians, or Whites. (Even the black storefront churches were in spaces rented to us by outsiders.) Day in and day out, they overcharged us, condescended to us, underserved us, underrepresented us, disrespected us and profited off of us. Then at the end of the day, when they were done with us they went back to wherever they called home, back to the people they really loved and respected and saw as equals.

Today, not much has changed.

In 2005, hiphop remains a global juggernaut generating an estimated $11 billion a year from music, movies, clothing, cross-marketing and merchandising revenues, etc. And by now, it's common knowledge that 80% of Black music (i.e. Rap, R&B, Soul, Blues, Jazz, House, Gospel) is consumed by Whites and Non-Blacks domestically and globally. It's also common knowledge that despite the presence of big names like Russell Simmons, Cash Money, Diddy, Hov, LA Reid (CEO IDJ), Kedar Massenburg (President of Motown), et al, virtually 100% the major and mid-major record labels (Interscope, Sony BMG, Atlantic, Virgin, EMI, etc.) along with 100% of the distributors (Koch, Studio, Polygram, etc.) and major retail outlets are white-owned. And of course, 100% of the video channels, over 98% of the radio stations (sans Cathy Hughes' Radio One) and over 95% of the significant print outlets (Village Voice, SPIN, RollingStone, Details, URB, etc.) are white-owned. Meanwhile, the black artists, historians, innovators and community as a whole that birthed this and other artforms remains marginalized and at the mercy of outsiders.

Is it right that everyone outside our community continues to control and profit off of what we do and what we are more than us, all while doing nothing to help us overcome the negative conditions that they helped create and perpetuate? Is it right that hundreds of millions of whites and non-blacks co-opt whatever comes out of black communities and give nothing back besides condescending lip-service every February? Can you consume, commoditize and profit off of a people's culture as we've done with black folks for generations and have no responsibility to that community at all?

Consider Hot 97's Tsunami Song fiasco, in which America's Asian and non-black communities and Hot 97's corporate sponsors banded together to bring down a black morning show for insulting Tsunami victims and Asians. Yet these same individuals and entities who've co-opted and profited off of hiphop and black culture for years, including Minya Oh aka Miss Info, rapper Jin, along with others in the various Asian, White, and non-black communities at large have openly cosigned, ignored, or excused similar antics when the targets were black men and women. (Think: Hot 97's "Slapfest," in which young black women were brought in to slap each other as hard as possible with the winner getting $500, the countless degrading slurs and jokes made at the expense of black folks by on-air talents such as Wendy Williams, and those at other stations such as Star and BucWild, Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, etc.)

Furthermore, when Eminem's "black women are bitches/niggers" song was unearthed in 2004, white and non-black hiphoppers and black culture consumers either ignored the black community's outrage or defended Em outright. (Russell Simmons, was among his most vocal defenders, as I recall.) No. And when Justin ripped Janet's top off during the ˜04 Super Bowl then pulled his "I'm just an innocent white boy who got suckered by the mean black lady" act, the white and non-black communities defended and forgave him. And as BET (lead by its UNCUT show) along with MTV and MTV2 continue to take the misogyny and degradation of black women to new lows in videos and new heights in ratings and profitability the white and non-black communities, most of who watch and support this stuff in disproportionately high numbers, continue to remain sheepishly quiet.

Contrast this reaction with Eminem's other music, which draws consistent fire from GLAAD, NOW and others mainstreamers boycotted due to the popularity of his lyrics among white teens. Consider the scrutiny and criticism that rap artists have come under ever since hiphop became popular among whites youth. There's the underlying notion that as long as black artists degrade black women and black men, they'll be left alone to "do what niggers do," but the moment they begin influencing white teens"”or god forbid"”disrespect a white female, out come the feminists and culture critics.

It should also be noted that for all the hell folks (myself included) give Stanley Crouch, Dionne Warwick, C. Delores Tucker for their slightly-misguided anti-rap crusades, at least they stand up to the music industry forces that profit off the portrayal of black men as pimps, niggers, and thugs and black women as little more than bitches, strippers, babymammas, etc. And save for Essence Magazine, Chuck D., Davey D., and a few other people of color, everyone else, especially those in non-black communities who profit most off this mental poison have stood silent and supportive. Speaking of which...

And as much as I despise Bill O'Reilly and the conservative biased media cabal that is FoxNews Channel, I'm hard-pressed to name a single non-black person of any stature other than O'Reilly who even pretends to question the stereotypical and mysognistic crap most of these white-run record labels churn out at the expense of many equally deserving black artists whose music is about uplifting black folks and making quality music. But then again, why should they? Why should white America and non-black America make a big deal about the mental poison the industry churns out? After all, it's not their women or children being put out there in such negative light.

Today 80% of America's prison system is made up of black and brown men and women including over 1 million black men locked down right now; yet even according to Department of Justice studies, whites are more likely to commit crimes such as drug use and trafficking, rape, murder, etc. Yet when it comes to fighting these injustices, our 80% white and non-black consumer base that claims to love black folks so much is consistently nowhere to be found. When missing black girls and boys are consistently ignored to focus on missing white girls, white men and white women, all those too-hip-for-the-suburbs white and non-black females who brag about their love of Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, etc. are deafeningly silent. (Once again, it's called the "'Amber' Alert" and "'Megan's' Law" for a reason.) As more and more inner-city schools continue to be closed, under-funded and mismanaged at the expense of black and brown youth, all the white kids who love black music and slang so much remain quiet. (After all, their schools are doing just fine.) And when our nation's leaders ignore genocide, AIDS epidemics, catastrophic natural disasters and geopolitical unrest in Haiti, the Congo, El Salvador, the Sudan and other places and nations of color in the name of building alliances with and supporting Anglo-western nations, black culture's 80% white culture vultures cosign that hypocrisy, too. When mainstreamers like Ken Burns, VH-1, PBS, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and others shackle black history and events by their narrow-minded and often-biased perspectives, that 80% white and non-black consumer base embraces their vision while simultaneously ignoring and marginalizing voices of Black Documentarians and those who would expose the truth. And when Hollywood, Madison Ave. and Corporate America at large continues to enforce standards of beauty, humor, style, femininity that elevate whites above all others or cater to white sensibilities at the expense of people of color, hiphop and black culture's 80% white/non-black culture vultures do nothing to challenge this. But why should they? They're just following the traditions of their parents, grandparents and ancestors, all whom did the same thing in generations past.

America has always believed that no matter what creation is borne of black folks' souls the highest validation blacks can ever achieve is to have it defined, co-opted and commoditized by whites and non-blacks. Before Benny Goodman and the Dorsey Brothers and Bing Crosby, the Andrew Sisters, etc. bogarded their way into Jazz and made it "America's classical music," Jazz was widely degraded as worthless "race music." Rock & Roll and Rhythm and Blues had little value or acceptance until Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and others cosigned, co-opted and consumed ˜em. Even Hiphop was marginalized as non-music and "niggers talking" until Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice, MTV, 3rd Bass (and of course, Em) showed up and made it "viable". (In fact, older heads can still remember most white Americans including Jay Leno and Joan Rivers regularly noting, "You can't spell ˜crap' without ˜r-a-p'.") And keep in mind, while all of this cultural co-option was going on Blacks were still suffering thru lynchings, Jim Crow, redlining, segregation and institutionalized racism and injustice in every aspect of society.

But maybe this is how it's supposed to be. After all, once a culture or artform becomes a product, is anyone obligated to do anything more than define it and consume it as they see fit? Isn't that the purpose of a product? People are not product. Heritage and culture is not product. You don't connect with product. You don't empathize with product. You don't respect product. You consume product and throw it away once you're done with it. And maybe all we're doing with hiphop and black culture is just being good consumers. And at the end of the day haven't black people always been America's favorite cultural product anyway?
Original Post
quote:
Like hiphop, I came from the hood. What two or three non-blacks that lived in our community only lived there because they couldn't afford to be anywhere else"”and they were quick to remind you of that every chance they got. And with the exception of a black-owned car wash/restaurant all the businesses"”stores, gas stations, cleaners, fast food, car shops, currency exchanges, etc. were all owned by Middle Easterners, Asians, or Whites. (Even the black storefront churches were in spaces rented to us by outsiders.) Day in and day out, they overcharged us, condescended to us, underserved us, underrepresented us, disrespected us and profited off of us. Then at the end of the day, when they were done with us they went back to wherever they called home, back to the people they really loved and respected and saw as equals.


Did somebody put a gun to your head and make you shop there?

I am sorry, but some of us (black folks) is just plain old dumb!
Mike Jones - "Back Then"

Lyrics: http://www.dapslyrics.com/display.php?sid=14689

I am currently debating an "ametuer rapper" on another forum concerning these offensive lyrics.

To be brief Mike Jones is talking about all of the Black women who "want them to pull down their panties" now that he has money in his pocket, rims on his car and ice in his mouth.

Since profit is such a big portion of your article I think that you should also focus on the motiviations of the people who are invovled in the rap game - ALL OF THEM regardless of their color.

The Black Nationalistic message, being so infused within rap as the downtrodden seek answers for the conditions that they live in IS BEING VIOLATED EVERY DAY by individuals who propagate messages into our community that have no value. In their view they believe that it is important to "keep it real" and tell of real life representations of what is going on in their communities.

In the song above the rapper is basically damning the lack of character in these Black women for being so clearly motivated for his money. In my debate the other rapper JUST DOES NOT GET IT. Rather than echo the NEGATIVE and lack of character within our community (something that I am wrongly accused of at times) we need to have MESSENGERS who have been through a state of transformation as Brother Malcolm X had gone through. Malcolm X upon seeing these backslidden women acting in such a way would have had presence of character to tell them to come to his mosque and CLEAN THEMSELVES UP so that they would no longer lay with a man because of the perceived power and money that he has - both of which are fleeting.

We have yielded the most direct line that is present between our children's minds and the course for transformation of us as a people to PEOPLE WHO ONLY SEEK TO MAKE A PROFIT and use these funds for self.

We as a people can no longer look outside for something to struggle against. It is time to actively promote a different type of messenger that AFFIRMS were we are going and NOT JUST the desperate condition of his community.

In both cases, however - BOTH ARE LEADERS, just in different directions.
CF posted:
quote:
We as a people can no longer look outside for something to struggle against. It is time to actively promote a different type of messenger that AFFIRMS were we are going and NOT JUST the desperate condition of his community.



Noah posted in another thread:

You are hell bent on internalizing the black condition. You want the focus and burden placed exclusively upon black folks backs, granting deference to the external effects of institutional and systematic racism.



**CF,you speak as if black people struggle against outside forces because we really want to have to deal with such bullschit, or because we are not willing to face up to the real cause of our problems...so to look for an outside source of oppression creates an excuse to not handle inside problems.....you tend to be very monolithic about most things in that respect.....whereas you tell black people to deal with problems which is fine, but not to acknowledge others when they systematically and intentionally created..unless you think that is a figment of my imagination......
quote:
unless you think that is a figment of my imagination......


Partially your imagination.

Partially due to your bias.

I am not sure where drugs might fit in to this, however.

At no point have I made this a MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE venture.

I have made the point that there are TWO FRONTS in the movement for TRANSFORMATION of African Americans.

The first front is to change America. The Civil Rights Movement changed America where no one can act with impunity against another as they violate the laws and the US Constitution. This clearly was not the case in the past.

The second front that I argue needs to be dealt with in more of a priority is the struggle to CHANGE BLACK PEOPLE, having more of our time, efforts and culture being devoted toward GOALS AND OBJECTIVES that are beneficial in the long run, casting aside actions and beliefs that are known to be a threat to this forward movement

These two components are seperate but interrelated.

At the same time DIFFERENT LEADERS ARE NEEDED FOR THE BATTLE AT EACH FRONT.
The spin off opportunities created from rap are immense and of course, disproportionately held by whites. Black people were held back for centuries, while America Inc. game of monopoly was getting started. Consequently, our entering the game late, as is the case with the at home board game, means that were ever we land, we are ultimately a source of income and profit for the established players. Of course the real life board is dynamic and not static, but that does not change the fact that the elites are in the best position to take advantage and do. Its also rather akin to a pyramid scheme in which those at the top get a percentage of everything those beneath them earn, without doing a darn thing.

Here in Minneapolis where I know reside, I cannot stomach the popular B-93 Hip hop market leader. They have these white DJ's attempting to speak with a Black English vernacular, often time parroting a stereotypical black mannerism and value system. This cat named "Tony Fly" is always talking about pimping some byches or talking about his hooes.

My thing is why you need white folks who try to "act black" as opposed to those jobs going to black folks? Maybe it's because it's hard to find real black folks who act like their stereotypes. I don't know. What I do know is that there is another Hip Hop R&B black owned station in the market that has existed long before the recent B-93, but trails immensely in market ratings. Part of the reason is because they don't have the watts to hit the entire metro area clearly as they are a community based radio broadcasting out of a housing project.

The black station, KMOJ, has a lot of social commentary, which of course, when dealing with black folks, will cover racism and history. White folks might want Hip Hop, but they don't want the commentary. Thus, since they are by far the largest demographic consumer market, their patronage is what makes for the success of the station, especially in a market like this with a small black population.

What white folks want are assets and profit without liabilities and expenses. They either want to make money off a profitable black phenomenon or they want to gain "cool" by being connected to popular black culture. However, they don't want to deal with the history and problems of black people that is part and parcel to what they are attempting to profit from in the black culture. Again, they want to inherit the benefits, while refusing the liabilities that the benefits are born from.
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:


I have made the point that there are TWO FRONTS in the movement for TRANSFORMATION of African Americans.

The first front is to change America. The Civil Rights Movement changed America where no one can act with impunity against another as they violate the laws and the US Constitution. This clearly was not the case in the past.

The second front that I argue needs to be dealt with in more of a priority is the struggle to CHANGE BLACK PEOPLE, having more of our time, efforts and culture being devoted toward GOALS AND OBJECTIVES that are beneficial in the long run, casting aside actions and beliefs that are known to be a threat to this forward movement

These two components are seperate but interrelated.

At the same time DIFFERENT LEADERS ARE NEEDED FOR THE BATTLE AT EACH FRONT.


**When did you include the first front....as a non-supporter of AA, which stemmed from the Civil Rights Movement is kind of contradictory on your part....I would also say the way you tend to rail on blacks for being majority Dems....which stemmed from that same Civil Rights Movement....is also contradictory.....you support the second because it is easy to do so from a rhetorical as opposed to a literal standpoint....the "what" is easy to espouse...the "how" includes a whole different level of difficulty in doing so......
quote:
as a non-supporter of AA, which stemmed from the Civil Rights Movement is kind of contradictory on your part..


Interesting.

I told you that I supported OTHER EFFORTS that, in my view are SUPERIOR to the results that Affirmative Action as the centerpiece of the "Black Transformation Movement" could ever hope to accomplish. I told you that MORE African-American students would benefit by a focus on quality education in middle/high schools. This would benefit students that Affirmative Action does not assist today because they TOO would become "College Material", seeing an advanced education as a necessary component to achieve their life goals and their PURPOSE that they have in society. Please find me where I have stated that I "OPPOSE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION". I guess you support a "triple by-pass" to a progressive program to make the patient more conscious of his exercise, eating habits and other lifestyle choices?

Secondly I told you that I support Affirmative Action in government contracts because the government has a greater obligation to have it's procurement of services to meet a social mandate to it's citizens more than a private, for-profit business does.
yes you did....but you continuosly overlook addressing the detrement to black ADULTS in the present...and to flip the script and come out and look for you to say it specifically is a schitty azz way to divert from your previous posts decrying AA as something I thought was the only way black people could make it.....read your previous posts....hell Lofton has not used the exact words I HATE BLACK people.....but I am sure I could gather a large consensus to agree with the interpretation of his postings as a sign that he does hate black people...and not that stupid "all black people" thing either......
We must stop handing over our gifts for nothing, it is stoopid and doofus on our part to do so, no one else would hear of it, lets say for fun that Arabs invented hip hop, most of the revenue and the glory would be with Arabs. We gave away Rock and Roll, Jazz and even the Blues no less, and now Hip -Hop? Hell, we are the music industry, we (are) popular culture, EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE BLACK! Which is all well and good, but I think we need to borrow a page from the rest of the other groups and that is: A degree of XENOPHOBIA and selfishness, and why not? It seems to be working to their advantage; not to the point where we become racist monsters like "you know who", but we need to do business with Blacks only, and if we must go else where, then lets do business with whites, at least we are used to doing business with them, ask yourself how many Black businesses do you see in nonBlack neighborhoods raking in their cash and pocketing it? Then ask yourself how many nonblack businesses do you see in Black neighborhoods draining it dry? Lets stop being used and laughed at for it behind our backs and sometimes in our faces, many of these nonblacks that are draining our nieghborhoods dry would starve to death if it were not for Blacks giving our money to them and our creativity, lets stop it right now and borrow a page from their book, and start looking out for ourselves instead of looking out for everyone else and getting nothing back in return but racial profiling, second class citizenship and scorn. We have only ourselves to blame for nonblacks controlling so much of Hip-Hop, sooner or later Blacks are going invent something else that will shakeup the world, whom will reap most of the benefits, control and the glory next time, Blacks, or someone else?
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Kashir 8:
We must stop handing over our gifts for nothing, it is stoopid and doofus on our part to do so, no one else would hear of it, lets say for fun that Arabs invented hip hop, most of the revenue and the glory would be with Arabs. We gave away Rock and Roll, Jazz and even the Blues no less, and now Hip -Hop? Hell, we are the music industry, we (are) popular culture, EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE BLACK! Which is all well and good, but I think we need to borrow a page from the rest of the other groups and that is: A degree of ZENOPHOBIA and selfishness, and why not? It seems to be working to their advantage; not to the point where we become racist monsters like "you know who", but we need to do business with Blacks only, and if we must go else where, then lets do business with whites, at least we are used to doing business with them, ask yourself how many Black businesses do you see in nonBlack nieghborhoods raking in their cash and pocketing it? Then ask yourself how many nonblack businesses do you see in Black nieghborhoods draining it dry? Lets stop being used and laughed at for it behind our backs and sometimes in our faces, many of these nonblacks that are draining our nieghborhoods dry would starve to death if it were not for Blacks giving our money to them and our creativity, lets stop it right now and borrow a page from their book, and start looking out for ourselves instead of looking out for everyone else and getting nothing back in return but racial profiling second class citizenship and scorn. We have only ourselves to blame for nonblacks controlling so much of Hip-Hop, sooner or later Blacks are going invent something else that will shakeup the world, whom will reap most of the benefits, control and the glory next time, Blacks, or someone else?


Amen!!!!!!!!! thanks thanks
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
The spin off opportunities created from rap are immense and of course, disproportionately held by whites. Black people were held back for centuries, while America Inc. game of monopoly was getting started. Consequently, our entering the game late, as is the case with the at home board game, means that were ever we land, we are ultimately a source of income and profit for the established players. Of course the real life board is dynamic and not static, but that does not change the fact that the elites are in the best position to take advantage and do. Its also rather akin to a pyramid scheme in which those at the top get a percentage of everything those beneath them earn, without doing a darn thing.

Here in Minneapolis where I know reside, I cannot stomach the popular B-93 Hip hop market leader. They have these white DJ's attempting to speak with a Black English vernacular, often time parroting a stereotypical black mannerism and value system. This cat named "Tony Fly" is always talking about pimping some byches or talking about his hooes.

My thing is why you need white folks who try to "act black" as opposed to those jobs going to black folks? Maybe it's because it's hard to find real black folks who act like their stereotypes. I don't know. What I do know is that there is another Hip Hop R&B black owned station in the market that has existed long before the recent B-93, but trails immensely in market ratings. Part of the reason is because they don't have the watts to hit the entire metro area clearly as they are a community based radio broadcasting out of a housing project.

The black station, KMOJ, has a lot of social commentary, which of course, when dealing with black folks, will cover racism and history. White folks might want Hip Hop, but they don't want the commentary. Thus, since they are by far the largest demographic consumer market, their patronage is what makes for the success of the station, especially in a market like this with a small black population.

What white folks want are assets and profit without liabilities and expenses. They either want to make money off a profitable black phenomenon or they want to gain "cool" by being connected to popular black culture. However, they don't want to deal with the history and problems of black people that is part and parcel to what they are attempting to profit from in the black culture. Again, they want to inherit the benefits, while refusing the liabilities that the benefits are born from.


"Tony Fly" is probably the most annoying DJ in on the planet, but he's alright up close and personal. (Our kids go to school together.) It is kind of humorous knowing that he is pretty much a laid back, suburban white guy. (Although, his speech patterns in person are pretty much the same as on the Radio, albeit not nearly so colorful.) But I agree- his radio character is just plain foul at times.

The rest of the talent is a mix, but I was a little taken aback when I saw the sales staff.
quote:
we need to have MESSENGERS who have been through a state of transformation as Brother Malcolm X had gone through


Malcolm X a rapper lol
I see your point, but hopefully you see mine as well.


Eventually rap will be taken away as well. It's inevitable(Matrix) bump. Fortunately for us everytime they take one genre, we just create another. As a matter of fact someone is probably in the basement cooking up a new genre right now. Fortunately we'll always have R&B and Gospel. Justin Timberlake Eek what a scare.

My main gripe these days is the CD stores nowadays. Why do they lump R&B into the Pop/Rock section? Mad It's a serious pet peeve. It's akin to politicians drawing new lines. Where do they get off renaming the genres?


o.k. o.k. Do Non-blacks in Rap owe blacks???

Owe what? Money? Copy-writes?

IMO opinion they don't owe anything. I think we owe them, a serious lyrical beatdown/initiation. If we keep letting them skate under the radar, they'll just grow in numbers. And then... well... they'll just have numbers... Razz

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