Monday, August 4, 2008

Rapper Nas targets politics



From The American Spectator comes a piece by Why You're Wrong About The Right co-author Brett Joshpe:

NEW YORK -- On July 23, the popular rapper, Nas, attempted to deliver to Fox News Channel several boxes full of petitions containing more than 600,000 signatures protesting what he claims are Fox's racist attacks against blacks and Barack Obama. Nas, who had planned to use the "N-word" in his new album title before succumbing to pressure to change it, then appeared on Comedy Central's "Colbert Report," where he performed "Sly Fox," essentially his accusations set to music. In this rap song, Nas denounced President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Fox host Bill O'Reilly as part of what he calls Fox's "racist propaganda machine." Of course, Nas only attacks conservatives, fueling the grossly offensive and inaccurate myth among his followers that right-wingers and Republicans are bigots.

Nas has made no secret of his support for Obama -- the fresh, hip, change candidate running against the less-charismatic, older John McCain. And because of Obama's youthful appeal and a difficult political environment for Republicans, many on the Left are convinced that Obama cannot lose this election. In the seemingly unlikely event that McCain does defeat Obama, Nas and others may argue that such an Obama loss would represent a last-minute surge of latent racism.

How about we bring up some petitions protesting the blatant calls for violence by Nas in songs like "Got yourself a gun" and "Shoot 'em up?" It seems apparent that Nas is trying to redefine himself as a leftist conscious rapper in the mold of Chuck D., Common or Talib Kweli, but he can't hide from the fact that the bulk of his work is comprised of mindless rants glorifying guns, drugs, violence, meaningless sex and picking fights with other rappers. Songs like "Got yourself a gun" didn't seek to show violence and problems in inner city communities, but instead called for more violence. Read the chorus of that song for yourself:

Yo I'm livin' in this time behind enemy lines
so I got mine, I hope you ("got yourself a gun")
You from the hood, I hope you ("got yourself a gun"
you want beef I hope ya ("got yourself a gun")
And when I see you I'ma take what I want
so you tried to front, hope ya ("got yourself a gun")
You ain't real, hope ya ("got yourself a gun")


I saw Nas live back in 2004 and was enthusiastic about his music for most of my teenage years. Now that I'm in my twenties, I see his garbage for what it really is. Violence and darkness are not new to music, and musicians like Johnny Cash, Rammstein and Gary Numan have explored the darkness of humanity through their careers. Unlike Cash, however, musicians like Nas and 50 Cent glorify violence with no sense of responsibility or focus on the consequences of violence. They're nihilists.

Obama has alot of celebrities behind his campaign, and I'd assume that him and his staff are competent enough not to bring Nas aboard in any way.

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