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Friday, April 25, 2008

Alicia Keys, The Guv'ment and T.I.---Why The Guv'ment is Neither "Cool" or "Smart"

Alicia Keys apparently thinks the guv'ment conspired to write, produce, and disseminate gangsta' rap.

We’ve been talking about Keys’s early jones for the Notorious B.I.G. “My favorite Biggie song is ‘Me & My Bitch,’” she says, licking a stray globule of jam off her finger. “That title doesn’t make you think he’s speaking about the love of his life, but he is. She throws his shit out the window, she flushes his drugs down the toilet—she’s crazy! But if you grew up like that, then you understood, that was love in that world.”

We ask what other gangsta rappers she liked. And that’s when Keys drives a steamroller through the wall.

“‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other,” she says, putting down the sandwich. “‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”

Come again? A ploy by whom?

She looks at us like it’s the dumbest question in the world. “The government.” BLENDER
Well the great philosopher "Half-a- Dolla'" offered the following response. Hat Tip Mo' Kelly Report

“I don’t like Alicia Keys no more.“If you don’t like the content that I write because of my experiences; I am being who I am when I am writing it.

“If she don’t like that, I don’t like that classical music s**t she be doing. At some point she’s playing some s**t that don’t relate to me. We listen to it and try to figure out why people actually enjoy it.” SUN

I think they both are wrong. The guv'ment had nothing to do with the promulgation of gansta' rap other than deregulating telecom and other media in order to allow a handful of people to control radio, television, magazines and newspapers/ This means a small group of people get to decide what we hear, and more importantly, what we do not hear.

The reason all we hear is about B*tches, Bullets, and Bling is because that fits the stereotypes large corporate interests have of us. I was on a panel recently with a record executive and they said "we're giving the people what they want." Really? Is that all we want or are you telling us what to want. I don't know if it is intentional or a conspiracy , but I do think that the people who fund the foolishness are most comfortable when Black people are acting a fool-- when we're shooting each other, or being depicted as sexually promiscuous, criminal , violent. I mean they might as well take "Birth of a Nation" and set it to a beat.

If you really want to be RADICAL in 2008, start talking about excess and opulence and the modern say slavery of being so far up in debt to maintain the bling bling lifestyle that you're one cell phone bill with some overage charges away from financial crisis.

If you really want to be radical, stop talking about shooting up people as if that is some heroic act. YOU aren't doing anything, the gun is doing all the work. Talk about the fact that half of the people who die in this country are Black while we make up less than a quarter of the population.

If you really want to be radical, talk about some woman other than yo' Mama, yo Baby Mama, and strippers.

We always want to blame the guv'ment for EVERYTHING while letting large corporations skate away.

The Guv'ment Overstepping Its Bounds
Now if you want to criticize the guv'ment for tis role in promulgating gangsta' rap, look to Georgia. Recently in Georgia, the United States Attorney declared that we are so bereft of role models in the Black community that he went light on gangsta rapper T.I. who was charged with some serious gun-related crimes. Why? Well because T.I. and his lawyers concocted what they sold as a "crime prevention" plan whereby T.I. would speak to young "at risk" kids about

Now in this case, I believe that the guv'ment is imposing gangsta culture on our community, in particular showing reckless disregard for young "at risk" kids. Who i the federal government to declare who black folks role models ought to be . Second how paternalistic to say that T.I. is good enough for us. I seriously doubt TI will be speaking in some rural white exburb, the parents would raise a fit. However some in our community are lining up to introduce Mr. Harris into the lives if Black children.

The Rev. Daniel L. Edwards III, president of NAACP's Henry County branch, said he will invite Harris.
"We want to come up with a way to use his celebrity status and use him as a spokesman to reach the masses," Edwards said. "They need to hear: Gangs are not cool, jails are not cool, guns and violence are not cool."
According to court records, actress Journee Smollett, who starred in "The Great Debators," wants Harris to speak to her "Catch Me Before I Fall Initiative," which taps celebrities to speak about the dangers of gangs and drugs. Harris has also agreed to do public service announcements and teach classes for "It's Cool To Be Smart," a component of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, court records said. AJC

Boys and Girls Club, is it really "Cool" to be "Smart"? If so, why are you inviting someone who was so dumb?
Well apparently the Boys and Girls Clubs and the recording industry are "conspiring" to keep T.I. out of jail because local districts in Atlanta are backing away from offers to have T.I. speak to their students. My question is, what fool scheduled him to speak in the first place:
The rapper's upcoming visit at Pebblebrook in Cobb County was canceled due to recent gang activity involving students, as well as the recent death of a pupil. The Fulton County school district has banned T.I. from ever making appearances due to his gun conviction. EURweb
Cobb County went through the trouble of making a clarification because they don't want to leave the impression that a convicted felon is banned from their district:
A school district spokesman clarified that T.I. hasn't been banned in the county overall, just that with recent gang problems and the death of one student, it's not a good time. SOHH
When is a good time Cobb County?

But back to the Boys and Girls Clubs, I Googled Its Cool 2 B Smart hoping that this was some type of error in judgement on the part of the Boys and Girls Club, NOPE apparently this is systemic within the Boys and Girls Club...they are partnering/partnered with BET and it all is a creation of Atlantic Records. This is such a scam and the guv'ment fell for it. How is it community service when your record label has already had the program in place for years?:
In 2005-2006 the Atlantic Records “Single Parent Initiative” has collaborated with BET 106 & Park to pay tribute to teens girls of the Boys & Girls Clubs from the Gulf Coast regions. Beginning in October-2005, the Single Parent Initiative will select Artist from the music industry to sponsor teen girls to come on BET 106 & Park whom are currently residing at the Boys & Girls Clubs from in Los Angeles, Houston, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Dallas, Atlanta and Baton Rouge. To support the efforts of BET 106 & Park, the “Single Parent Initiative” has partnered with other Artist which has included in September, T.I., PSC; October, Paul Wall; November, Song Writer Sean Garrett, whose credits list includes Usher “Yeah”, Destiny Child “Loose my Breath” & “Soldier” and Ciara “My Goodies” just to name a few; in December, Olivia with G-Unit; to kick off in 2006 January, Eve; February, Young Bloodz. The Audience Coordinator of BET 106 & Park/ BET Specials; Alicia M. Allen, has organized these sponsored events since October. Its Cool 2 Be smart
According to the website, the sponsors of Its Cool 2 B Smart are Bad Boy Records, Def Jam Records, Jive Records, J Records Columbia, Universal...The US Attorney has been hustled. I am looking for the initiative on the Boys and Girls Club website and I can't find any links so I am wondering if this is still operable or whether it was resurrected for TI's benefit. The web site hasn't been updated since 2006. Is Its Cool 2 B Smart the community service agency of choice for the Entertainment Industrial complex? Y'all let me know

You can contact the Boys and Girls Clubs of America with this contact form. Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the industry that has launched a concerted effort to promote values which destroy the Black family and place children in increasing peril in their neighborhoods, to the point that a Boys and Girls Club may be their only refuge, is partnering with the organization? Again, should TI, Paul Wall, and Olivia be the standard bearers and impart lessons about values and character to young Black children? I say "NO!". When the guv'ment is the one directing the foolishness, we all ought to scream from the tops of our lungs "NO! "