Friday, March 20, 2009

Plato And A Platypus.....

Here's a review of a book that I'm currently reading. The book is entitled "Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar". Great book! -Papa Robbie

Pop Matters - by Rachel Balik

There’s a concept in Metaphysics called “emergence”. It is used to discuss, among other things, a mysterious process that make a collection of meaningless parts join together to become a being we recognize. For example, if arms, kidneys, fingernails, and even brains do not constitute a person without each other, what is the element that definitively unites them as human being.

Similarly, in Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar, some kind of dorky jokes and some shallowly explicated philosophy emerge to become a rather charming and engaging collection that feels a bit like a warm fuzzy blanket for nerds, or anyone else who needs an excuse to laugh at relatively tame jokes. The philosophy of the book is easily understood in the small chunks, and in turn, it brings a bit of gravitas to a collection of delectable but completely cheesy jokes.
The philosophical concepts are neatly and lightly juxtaposed with jokes that successfully illustrate them. Part of the fun of the book is realizing just how much philosophy contributes to jokes we’ve already heard, but also makes a subtler point about how both philosophy and jokes attack the meaning of what it is to be human. Most people know that’s philosophy’s goal, but they may believe that fully grasping it is impossible. Many who feel that philosophy is not for them, or is incredibly esoteric, will be eased into by the realization that in fact, it’s as natural a commentary on our lives as humans as jokes about boobs are.

Perhaps what’s most essential about the book is not that it proves that philosophy is the impetus behind jokes, but that it proves that philosophy is like humor. The authors tend to match each paragraph or few paragraphs of philosophical inquiry with a joke that illustrates it. To borrow some formal logic, this seems to imply a causal relationships: If philosophy, then Jokes. But the truer explanation of what’s at work here is: If alive, then philosophy and/or jokes.

Even those of us who don’t consider ourselves great ponderers of the human condition may realize that in telling jokes, we’re subtly teasing ourselves into testing what it is we truly know. To be Buddhist-minded about it: life is tough. We need to find ways of getting ourselves through it, and for some that’s philosophy while for others, it’s humor. For readers of this book, it may likely be both.

To be fair (and state the obvious), it’s stronger as a book of jokes than it is as a collection of philosophy. You may find yourself reading and think, “Kant is easy! Everyone said Kant was hard to understand, but this is simple, cute and funny.” Well, caveat emptor: that joke about the doctor who can’t see the invisible man only touches the tip of the a priori ice berg.

The real genius revealed here lies not that which is in the mind of the German philosophers, but rather in the minds of the authors. Anyone with a rigorous understanding of the philosophical theories discussed will inevitably be impressed that Cathcart and Klein so adeptly made these fascinating and nearly abstract connections and juxtapositions. (Someone less educated might incorrectly assume that she now understands Kant.)

That being said, a philosopher (with a robust sense of humor) will probably get a good healthy laugh and even some food for thought based on their interesting method of tying together these two disparate methods of enquiry. In addition to some good jokes, there are a few legitimately engaging questions raised. For example, is a joke about a man who marries a woman based on the size of her breasts alone an anti-feminist joke, or an anti-chauvanist joke? Would new age philosophers be embarrassed or annoyed if they heard the joke about aliens stopping on earth to discover bagels—and recommending cream cheese?
In other words, the book, like philosophy and like most jokes, vacillates between sincerity and complete irreverence. However, it never feels irrelevant, and given that it’s sole topics are philosophy and jokes, that’s quite an achievement. The jokes become more important when couched in terms of philosophy, and the philosophy grows more contemporary because it’s described as the father of humor. Jokes feel smarter and philosophy feels easier.
Ultimately, humor, not philosophy, is the take home message. It’s obviously funny (almost giggle out loud funny) to imagine philosophy and jokes smushed together in the same book. It’s a philosophical idea as well, and as the authors are both philosophy majors, they no doubt recognize that humor can provide insight to philosophers.
But at the end of the day, while I wanted to retell all the jokes I read, even as a philosophy major myself, I was hard-pressed to remember any of the concrete ideologies. I half-jokingly said that I decided to read it because I thought it would prepare for me graduate school in the fall. While it did prepare me for school in that it affirmed my incredibly quirky tastes, it also reminded me of just how cavernous and complex philosophy can be. Ha.Ha.Ha.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roy C.

Today I had the opportunity to speak with a legendary rhythm & blues artist who hasn't received the respect that I think he deserves. We spoke for 45 minutes about various things...religion, politics & of course music. The brother is deep & I LOVE his music. He is one of the last of the real SOUL singers. GIVE HIM HIS PROPS!

Roy C (alternatively Roy-C or Roy "C") (born Roy Charles Hammond, 1939, Newington, Georgia), is an American southern soul singer, songwriter and record executive, best known for his 1965 hit, "Shotgun Wedding".

He began singing tenor with The Genies, a vocal group in Long Beach, Long Island, who were offered a recording contract by the record producer, Bob Shad. Their first single, "Who's That Knockin'", reached #72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958,[1] with Claude Johnson (later of the duo Don and Juan) on lead vocal. The group then moved to Atlantic Records, with Hammond taking over as lead singer, but their recordings were not released, and he was drafted into the Air Force.

When he returned to New York in 1965, Hammond organised a studio session to record his own song, "Shotgun Wedding", and released it under the name of Roy Hammond on his own Hammond label, before leasing it to the larger Black Hawk Records under the name Roy C. The record, with its novelty ricochet opening and relatively risqué subject matter for the time, reached #14 on the national R&B chart.[1] It had even greater success when issued in the UK, reaching #6 on the UK Singles Chart in 1966 and #8 when reissued in 1972.[2] His first album was That Shotgun Wedding Man (1966) on Ember Records.[1]

After some unsuccessful follow-ups on the Shout label, Hammond started another new label, Alaga. Working with guitarist J. Hines, he had more success with "Got To Get Enough (Of Your Sweet Love Stuff)" making the R&B charts in 1971. Two years later he signed for Mercury Records, and had another R&B hit with "Don't Blame The Man". He also released an album, Sex and Soul, and several more minor hit singles. He stayed with Mercury for several years, until label bosses took exception to his outspoken political stance in songs, like "Great Great Grandson of A Slave".[citation needed]

Since 1979 he has continued to release a string of soul singles and albums, on his own Three Gems record label, initially based in New York and later in Allendale, South Carolina. Hammond composed most of his recordings and has more than 125 titles to his credit.[1] He recorded an album by ex-Temptation Dennis Edwards entitled Talk to Me, and also worked on a CD by Bobby Stringer.[1] Hammond also runs his own record shop in Allendale, called Carolina Record Distributors.

In 1998, Shaggy sampled Roy C's "Love Me, Love Me" on the soundtrack of the movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back.[1] Equally, Hammond released an album entitled Stella Lost Her Groove in March 1999.[3]

There is currently a documentary being made about Roy C. It is titled Roy C. Forever. For more information on the film visit:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Study Says Hip-Hop Dumbs Listeners Down

Truth & Substance
Study Says Hip-Hop Dumbs Listeners Down
Tolu Olorunda

"Those who are esteemed umpires of taste, are often persons who have acquired some knowledge of admired pictures or sculptures, and have an inclination for whatever is elegant; but if you inquire whether they are beautiful souls, and whether their own acts are like fair pictures, you learn that they are selfish and sensual. Their cultivation is local, as if you should rub a log of dry wood in one spot to produce fire, all the rest remaining cold. Their knowledge of the fine arts is some study of rules and particulars, or some limited judgment of color or form which is exercised for amusement or for show."
--Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Selected Essays. New York: Peoples Book Club, 1949, pp. 253.

In a recent study conducted by Virgil Griffiths, a PhD student in California, Hip-Hop music listeners are portrayed as unintelligent and intellectually deficient. The independent study, titled "Music That Makes You Dumb," found that those who listen to Lil’ Wayne, T.I., Kanye West, Jay-z and Ludacris (the usual suspects) are, essentially, dumb. On the contrary, listening to Beethoven, U2, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows and Sufjan Stevens displays intellectual sophistication. Excuse my coarseness: BULLS**T! We’ve been through this before. We need not pretend otherwise. For how long do we entertain these barrages of insults, before responding back?

From the early days of Hip-Hop’s christening, to this very moment, there have been those—and they are certainly in no short supply—who have tried to diminish its cultural value, and render it unworthy of critical evaluation. Their primary aim is to discredit Rap music as an art-form, by focusing squarely, and disproportionately, on the more negative elements it produces. Those detractors claim that Hip-Hop culture/music cannot be celebrated with the kind of scholarly discipline other music genres enjoy, because of its unorthodoxy and irreverence. Every conscientious musicologist is aware of this trend, as it concerns Black music. For those who think this uncritical obsession with Black art began with Hip-Hop, think again.

As far back as the early 20th century, critics of Jazz music were questioning its validity. An article dating back to August 1921, published in Ladies Home Journal, asked the question: "Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?" It began with the eerie suggestion that "an entirely different type of music might invoke savage instincts." The writer sought to qualify her argument, with claims that Jazz "disorganizes all regular laws and order; it stimulates to extreme deeds, to a breaking away from all rules and conventions; it is harmful and dangerous, and its influence is wholly bad." Sound familiar? Deriding it as "an influence for evil," the article went as far as laying some unfound scientific foundation for its indictment on Jazz: "A number of scientific men who have been working on experiments in musico-therapy with the insane, declare that while regular rhythms and simple tones produce a quieting effect on the brain of even a violent patient, the effect of jazz on the normal brain produces an atrophied condition on the brain cells of conception, until very frequently those under the demoralizing influence of the persistent use of syncopation, combined with inharmonic partial tones, are actually incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, right and wrong." It is imperative that Hip-Hop listeners are aware of this history, for it helps provide some context to the endless excuses given by those who regard Hip-Hop as musically insolvent.

Hip-Hop, since its inception, has worn a cloak of suspicion, and this makes it even more challenging to accept the sudden interest it has accumulated over the last decade. Those who, three decades earlier, characterized it as another variation of “Jungle music,” are the same suits who, today, sign the checks of many successful Hip-Hop artists. More than the question of legitimacy, however, Hip-Hop has been heavily criticized for its alleged anti-intellectualism stance. It is said to covet ignorance, unlimitedly. It’s most vocal antagonists are skillful in examining the extreme elements in the culture, and using those unfortunate seeds as the general evaluation of the fruits it bears.

What I hope to ask these esteemed scholars is if they ever heard of a Rapper by the name of Canibus. If they haven’t, it might help to familiarize themselves with him. They might be surprised to hear Canibus draw, without so much as breaking a sweat, on the essays of philosophers ranging from David Hume, to Socrates, to Michel Montaigne, to Descartes. They might find it curious to hear him mention the names of renowned physicists, such as Leó Szilárd and Niels Bohr. They might be dumbfounded by his of knowledge of historical landmarks, all the way from the Rose Line, to Mount Hermon, to the Library of Alexandria. Perhaps they might be amazed to hear his incorporation of Elizabethan poetry in his songs. I’m wondering if they might be astounded by his hypothesis that, "if you take a glass of water then add two cubes of ice," because "you should see the cup’s water level slightly rise," it begs the question: "if you remove every living animal out of the sea, then wouldn’t the world’s ocean water level decrease?" His theory that "this means the planet wasn’t three-quarters of water," should invalidate all studies suggesting an intelligence-deficit in Hip-Hop listeners/artists. More important, is the reality that Canibus is but a sea in the vast ocean of Hip-Hop artistry, which, as KRS-One repeatedly contends, "reign supreme" in their philosophical depth and poetic proficiency.

What intentional/unintentional critics like Virgil Griffiths fail to realize, is that their inability to celebrate the educational contributions of Hip-Hop lies in the inherent assumption that Hip-Hop’s uniqueness is a bad thing. They fail to recognize that, as Dr. Janice Hale put it succinctly, "different DOES NOT mean deficient." Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay on "The Poet," dated 1844, makes a similar point, asserting that "the same man, or society of men, may wear one aspect to themselves and their companions, and a different aspect to higher intelligences." These "higher intelligences" have, unfortunately, convinced themselves, that Hip-Hop’s refusal to adapt to the rigid mechanical standards of organized rhythm is a signifier of its inferiority. This tragic and misleading concept, is what inspires the kind of study Mr. Griffiths conducted.

The easiest thing to do, as Griffiths proudly did, is reduce Hip-Hop to the stereotypical representations and dialogical presentations seen on entertainment TV channels, and heard on radio stations. It’s convenient to summarize Hip-Hop by the loose antics of Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris or Kanye West. It’s effortless to see Hip-Hop through the prism of the one-sided, mono-syllabic, unilateral content entertained on mainstream channels. Alongside being convenient and effortless, however, it’s also a cowardly deed, and, according to a Hip-Hop scholar, an indicator of unfettered ignorance. Wake up Griffiths, the bells are calling!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Keeping Them Dumbed Down?

The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

By Patrick Grimm
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It’s no secret that the US educational system doesn’t do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America’s schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can’t find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don’t know who Abraham Lincoln was.

Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system—overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can’t pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America’s public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America’s formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.

Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools—the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America’s educational system.

In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee’s report stated, “We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes.”

By the turn of the century, America’s new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn’t to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.

In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories “in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products…manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry.”

The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:

In our dreams…people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple…we will organize children…and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places…. It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.

Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Writes Gatto: “Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about ‘the perfect organization of the hive.’”

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by “certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process.”

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren’t often publicly expressed, they’re apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:

I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn’t have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, “They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world…that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world.”

John Taylor Gatto’s book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto’s Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.

The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine’s excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Barack History Month VS Sleep RAPnea?

Barack History Month VS Sleep RAPnea?

February 11, 2009
Will the Election of President Barack Obama raise the Standard of Black People in America, while Erasing the Hip Hop version of SLEEP RAPNEA?

Writing this days before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of The United States, it struck me we had a double remembrance day of sorts coming up. Dr Martin Luther King's birthday holiday is nationally recognized on January 19th this year, and the inauguration is the next day, January 20th. These two days ring special to me, though this ring has been tainted.

Some years I don't make resolutions: rather, I opt to make a plan. Entering 2009 has led me to reposition myself in regard to the notion of dealing with the 'truth'. Saying and telling the truth seems to have been this thing that many of my black American-born people have side-stepped these past 15 or 20 years, for the sake of maybe not being accepted into white American mainstream society - which translates into simply not being popular. I would say that the 'truth' in many cases simply is the truth and not subject to interpretation. It belongs to everybody and not just anybody. Here's my take, as a black man nearing the half-century mark next year, who's seen and heard much in his time, and who's been fortunate to have listened to many who have told me their experiences before my time.

Just on the man tip alone, my father, grandfathers, uncles, fathers of friends, father-in-law and many a male voice that has reflected their lives, opinions and times have all bent my ear and thus brain in a way that has prepared me for being twisted by the lies, hype, and myths that corrupt and damage the masses of people who look like me. That part of me ain't never changed, and is never gonna change. There's been times that I've been silent because I've been taught to let others speak, as if recognizing we are all in this together. But sometimes I forget that not everyone comes from the same dynamic that molded my senses in the first damn place, and thus that is the time to speak: to put the nonsense in check before it becomes 'common nonsense' - something that those that knew better would endorse to wipe out what was left of 'common sense' in the Clinton '90s.

I have been asked my opinion by many media across the planet about what I think regarding BARACK OBAMA, just like they're asking droves of people across the board in sports, entertainment, life itself. Some even connect some of the hysteria to some degree of separation, like Barack and Michelle's first date seeing SPIKE LEE's Do The Right Thing. OK. Or some people say that the impact of Public Enemy was a possible inspiration any black person in the late '80s and early '90s could not avoid, like maybe the Jordan Bulls or something. Again, OK. While half-agreeing to some of this pop culture residue PE left in our impression, the fact is that our music was manifold, including the fighting for equal legitimacy for rap music and hip hop, rebelling against one-sided government policies whether it was R&B (Reagan and Bush), Margaret Thatcher, an imprisoned South African - Nelson Mandela - the Berlin wall, a world history of black diaspora slavery and oppression, the local New York one-sided racist coverage and policies, and many things that required a mind and brain to go with some voices on top of some funky James Brown shit.

I know President BARACK OBAMA remembers that standard being inspirational in rap music. As a grown man meeting his future wife, Fight The Power could've meant many things, but we know this for sure: it wasn't an embarrassing aspect of culture for this grown man to take inside of himself for possible mental, maybe physical, energy. This was'nt for kids: although, unlike today's hip hop, you have the stupidity of 40 being the next 30 being the next 20, feeding and pimping off young audiences like a virtual paedophile. Even though he might say JAY Z and KANYE are on his iPod, and THE FUGEES and LAURYN HILL are in his rap heart, he doesn't have to say, nor state, that Public Enemy is somewhere in the back of his mind or even in his soul. He doesn't have to mention it. It would be redundant. He doesn't ever have to mention that he was inspired by Minister FARRAKHAN's inspirational MILION MAN MARCH in 1995. Doesn't even have to say he was there. His STANDARD does all the talking in the world. He is entering the terrordome, and he is ready to deal.

Yes, the terrordome, for real: a hot seat that no other black man in the universe can relate to. The pressure will be either coal-crushing or diamond-making. He can handle it. He's made for it. And ready for it. But who is ready for him? The STANDARD is high because the STAKES are, like DE LA said.

I was commissioned by HIPHOP.COM to write my opinion as an international voice. I figure both my experience and standard in the rap music end, and my being a black man near 50, would rank as qualification here. Older than BARACK by a hair, I would understand his timeline. Knowing those places he's been - from Chicago, Hawaii and Wichita to Africa – would give me a sense as well. Having integrated hip hop in my soul from 1975 to right now allows me to speak here. With all that said, like I've pointed out in other pieces and interviews, for the first time if I was ever to meet the man I would salute him proudly and call him MR PRESIDENT sir, and not feel an ounce of disappointment saying it - all the while knowing he is in a position to make decisions that will batter some black individualism. Who said that the individual needs to stand out beyond the team anyway, other than self-accountability and responsibility? This is a test and a chance for the black community to use this collective to connect and unite and look within - the chance for the black and the brown to connect, then the like-minded to come together and truly figure how, starting from a possible new America, the human can finally be 'in'.

Knowing that this is an opportunity to liquidate 'inspiration', I know that PRESIDENT OBAMA is not the messiah nor savior for a 'race'. He is the President of The United States. For The United States. A United States taking a desperation hurl to place itself up as being the TIGER WOODS of nations. He will make decisions that will both make me clap and wince, some of it at the same time. So this is a time to pay attention, and hang on to the 'truth' as much as possible. This also means telling the truth amid the blizzard of lies, and against the hyping that drives the intelligent and the knowing to the point of silence. We are entering a time where talk will be very cheap and no excuses will or should be the rule.

I understand I might be called a hater here: I will wear the badge then, because it's easy to hate something that shows the people no love. I would rather be hated for what I am instead of loved for what I'm not. But in this case, if you don't stand for something you fall for anything: and hip hop has fallen because of negligence and somebody kicking its class down a corporate American staircase.

What does the arrival of Obama do for hip hop? What do I think? Well, no more excuses for the lies and the liars who have deceived the public into believing much of the negative stigma and hype that gets attached to black people. Hip hop's standards in integrity, respect and truth took a wrong road. It followed the downward spiral of entertainment, or maybe entertainment followed it in marketing sense, where you can always market negative aspects of a people who have been downtrodden. In the early rules of hip hop, the participants' collective thinking always meant that you knew that there were taboo areas to trek into, thus cats always wanted the tree to grow and the branches to spread when they were fed. This individual-centered greed was prevalent in the 'get mine' 1990s, aka the terrordome. Forget a standard, it was said.

It could've started when rap still didn't have the black industry or the social backing in the '80s as being legitimate. The collective silence and inability to say anything in the music could've happened after watching an anti-Semitic attachment being applied to PE in 1989-1990, thus scattering anyone black from that point approaching any truths or debatable facts about white folks and their business or social/historical behaviors toward black people. It has been hysterical to witness the amount of "bitch", "ho", "nigger" uses, drug gaming, gang shootings in the last 15 years promoted in rap, as opposed to any rapper saying the words "white", "cracker", "kike", "Jew", while at the same time being contracted and working under corporations dominated by members of those constituencies. At the very same span the individual money rose on the bloodshed through a Clive or an Iovine, into the Spooks of the negro hands to eventually bling the culture out, and to say little of redeeming worth and value. Damned be the negro intellectuals and journalists who co-signed a lifestyle of downwardness in their one-sided biased coverage that they judged as hip and mistakenly added hop to it. I remember certain writers from different cities falsely locking into a New York state of mind or a California Love and calling it by the standards that those cities' corporations set. Black radio has failed terribly just chasing the falling dollar. EmpTy V, Viabomb and BET has been a joke, a Booty En Thug fish-tank that would be made more telling by turning the volume down and just flashing the images: images transmitted across to OBAMA's KENYA, only to have somebody in Nairobi scream out 'Yo My Nigga' in sick so-called love.

The President BARACK OBAMA and his family will hopefully set a precedent because many like myself are tired of rap fronting and not saying what it really believes. God, family, seeds, love, hood, moms, and loyalty is always coming out of the mouths of many until the mixing of money. I remember cats in London and Philadelphia being transformed into a '90s New York mentality, only because the culture was falsely magnified from major labels there who worked to squash all other voices, styles and forms of hip hop from other places. The woman voice and opinion in rap was diminished, although the body was used and abused with collective silence amongst the violence.

With all of this said, even today, in the shadow of a dual day for black inspiration, we have groupings of people flocking to the theatres to catch the Notorious B.I.G story: a story of the tragic result of a brilliant kid that was raised in a supportive West Indian protective way, who gets social props for being the black nigger America wanted. A loss of a great potential, but at the same time, very little inspiration other than to stay far away from the radiation that lifestyle emits.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA is an inspiration to the rest of the planet, especially to those feeling disenfranchised in their second and so-called third world situations. But to the black diaspora this is really B.I.G. - beyond the movie and the rapper. This is reality. A new standard can be recognized here.

The excuses are over. Those in this human race who are not considered black that say they love hip hop should recognize the legacy of the people largely exploited through the negative portals of this music. We will soon see if all this support at hip hop's magnified worst will be backed up when it takes the positive route. When the standard of black people is raised it's interesting how the western world gets nervous. This has held true about the continent of Africa and its independence. What attitude will come with the standard being raised with black folk in America, as they act upon PRESIDENT OBAMA's inspiration? And so to the last question: will the black American rap and hip hop world re-emerge with the knowledge, wisdom, understanding, class and respect of its President and awake from its 'sleep rapnea'?

We will see.

We will hear.

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