Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Spittin' Hatred of America or Spittin' Hatred of Injustice and Racism?

Right wingers just don't get rap do they? Or come to think of it reality. The following is a piece written by an Alex Harper claiming that Kanye West is a white hater, that he is biting the white hand that feeds him and suggesting that if he doesn't like it (and I assume that includes watching poor black families caught up in the hurricane dying) he can get out. This article wouldn't be out of place on Stormfront or the KKK's website. Absolutely disgusting but absolutely predictable. If Alex thinks the poor black communities have it so good then perhaps he should put his money where his mouth is by joining them on the bottom rung of society and see how hard it is.

Rapper Kanye West has made a big name for himself lately. He’s recorded a double platinum album; he’s ubiquitous on television – at least music television – and he was recently on the cover of Time magazine, which can’t be said for many rappers. Kanye West is quite possibly the biggest thing to come out of hip-pop since Eminem.

Here’s why: For one thing, his music is good. West has a knack for turning old songs into great samples – like Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever” in his song “Diamonds (from Sierra Leone)” – and writing relatively intelligent and sharply delivered lyrics around them. But other of rappers’ music is good – that is, if you happen to like that sort of thing. The real key to Kanye’s success is the way he packages himself. He dresses like a college student: Polo shirts, sweaters, and jeans that actually fit. Indeed, the titles to both of his albums are college-themed: College Dropout and Late Registration.

The college garb and parlance make West more appealing and more digestible to the audience that purchases the most hip-hop: middle-class white kids. Kanye West, more than any other rapper, is taking the fullest advantage of the fact that white kids love hip-hop.

Yet underneath his similar-to-you veneer – that Josh Tyrangiel of Time Magazine was recently so enamored by – lies the same hatred of white people and America that is commonly found among gangsta rappers. And Kanye is cocky enough that he doesn’t think twice about throwing it all up in white Americans’ faces. Witness the NBC special this past weekend for the victims of hurricane Katrina. During that special, Kanye launched into a tirade against America, which he claims is set up “to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible” (He then, amazingly, admitted that he went shopping before donating to the relief effort).

West, referring to the federal government, said, “They’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us.” As for President Bush, he “doesn’t care about black people.” Kanye, like a true victicrat, failed to appreciate the irony of his spectacle. West, a black man who has made a fortune in the very same America, is complaining that this country is, in fact, set up to hold black people down.

The same hatred can also be found in his music. In “Crack Music”, off his most recent album, Kanye says that he writes addictive music to sell to whites in order to “repo everything they ever took from grammy / Now the former slaves trade hooks for grammies.” And the song “Diamonds (from Sierra Leone)”, while not offensive itself, has a video that attempts to place the blame for the civil war in that country squarely on whites.

It shows a young African boy searching for diamonds under the watchful eyes of an African soldier while a voice over tells us that the people of Sierra Leone are forced by the diamond dealers to kill their own families. The video goes directly from that to a white man inspecting a diamond, as if he is in charge of all of this. Then, interspersed with Kanye driving around Prague, comes images of people putting diamond rings on their fingers and blood flowing out from underneath the rings – as in “blood diamonds”. The video was shot to resemble a DeBeers commercial, and all the diamond wearers are white (Kanye apparently doesn’t know much about his fellow rappers).

The main thrust of the video seems to be that white people’s rapacious demand for diamonds is causing the civil war in Sierra Leone. Strangely, though, West apparently never stopped to investigate the source of the world’s diamonds, or he would have noticed that a large portion of them come from Australia, a place that doesn’t seem to be having any trouble exporting its diamonds and maintaining order at the same time.

That, of course, might have forced him to question the situation in Sierra Leone, which would have revealed, not the preferred answer, “white greed”, but the corruption and mismanagement that has plagued Sierra Leone for years.

If America really is such a terrible place for black people, as Kanye West claims, maybe it would be best if he picked up and left this most greedy and oppressive of countries. But, of course, America is not a bad place for blacks, it is the best place for them – witness Atlanta, and West himself. So Kanye, like many leftists, is going to stay right where he is and take advantage of this country’s opportunity and tolerance, bitterly biting the hand that feeds him all the while.

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