Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kids Today....

So I was planning to write a blog on contrived rap beefs and my plans to start a business that would connect rappers and start beefs for them... or on Jim Jones, but then I saw something that hurt me deep and decided that I would get some what serious. This particular thing hurt me as a teacher, a person with common sense, and a fan of a culture that is extremely misogynistic and superficial (not sure if this is superficial, but I had to find a way to get that link in there, cause its ridiculously amazing). Now what does any of this have to do with the title of this blog you ask? Well after having just watched Byron Hurt's 'Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes' (if you haven't seen this, you need to asap), I've been particularly aware of how hip-hop affects the chilluns. And this is the basis for my rant...

In the picture above (that I lifted from Bossip), is young Justin Combs... the son of the uhh, talented Diddy Combs... And yes, he is receiving what appears to be a lapdance. Just to put things in perspective, he is 12 yrs old. Yes I know what you're thinking, a little late to get your first lapdance, but that's neither here nor there. This kid and his friends are the prime example of what hip-hop has done to the kiddies. Now this kid is obviously, extremely privileged, as his father has prostituted the hell out of hip-hop, and he may not be your typical kid, but in many ways he is. If youtube has shown us anything, it's that the chilluns love to put themselves in the music videos, and imagine that they're the new hottest pseudo thug, homo-erotic, rap star, performing a bevy of dances that are usually not even close to being age appropriate. But when watching the following video, I would like you to consider a couple of things: Where do these kids learn this, why do they think it's ok to do it, and what does this say about the music industry and on a larger scale, our society, today?

Just to preface this video: Justin is in green, and the tall kid is the son of Al B. Sure, which for some reason, I find hilarious. And the last 25 seconds or so are shocking to say the least.



After watching this, you will probably realize a couple of things. Justin Combs is nothing if not the son of his father. This applies in a couple of different respects. First off, the little bugger can dance a bit. Secondly, he sure does love that camera as he pushes other kids out of the way to make sure he's getting his shine. And lastly, when R. Kelly's 'Bump and Grind' comes on, you'll see a young Justin showing some of the moves that his father has prolly used on all the young women artists in Bad Boy.

This particular showing of the youth of today, has furthered my resolve to never let my kids watch BET or MTV, or listen to the radio, or watch movies, or use the internet... or go out at all. But seriously, isn't this a bit disheartening? As much as the 'Chicken Noodle Soup' (yes there is a Wikipedia entry for it) bothers me, there is just something about 12 year old kids doing a gun dance, singing R. Kelly lyrics about bumping and grinding, and simulating eating a girl out that really makes me worry...

One last thing... if you actually watch the video on youtube and read some of the comments, the one thing that people apparently find most "interesting" about the video is that Justin and his friends are so cute...

Anyway, I'm just gonna go back to that little place called denial and hang out there for a while...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Black People Like "Kumbaya" Right?

So does that make a bad person if I loathe it? I mean, I really despise the song. Like to the point where if it is sung, the look on my face is similar to this. And the sad thing is that it's not because the song is bad or anything. It's just because all that sing-songy pseudo unity crap makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little... and apparently, it's not Black History Month unless someone sings it and everyone starts singing and swaying along with them. Plus there's the whole thing where White people sing it and think they're speaking 'African' or something. (FYI: The song is actually Gullah... but thats neither here nor there) Or that by singing the song with some Black folks during February, they've safely reached their Black History quota. They've succeeded in making it another year, without offending a black person, and look what they've got to show for it... a group hug, some chai tea, and a little race barrier breaking. And thats really the most important thing right?

In addition, the song has essentially become a punchline anyway. It's lost any panache it may have ever had, and is now used to describe any slightly humorous situation where people won't really get along. America, I think it's time to find a new 'African' song to show how much you actually appreciate Black folks.

I'm sorry, what was that? "Someone's laughing?" Yea, at your trite ass "Kumbaya". I say they just play "Chicken Noodle Soup" from now on... you'd be guaranteed to get kids dancing at least... and that's obivously more socially significant right?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hip Hop Really Is Dead....

And that my friends, in all his furry glory, is the sumbitch that killed him. Nas was right. Get out your dark suits and pour out some liks. I mean its really on some deader than a doornail type shit. (Dickens) It pains me to say it, but it's quite true.

So on my day off today (only as a teacher do you truly appreciate snow days), I stumbled upon what might be the most ignant and just weird children's show I have ever seen. The show/character is called Hip-Hop Harry (click the link at your own peril). According to CD Baby:
"Hip Hop Harry is a live action, educational, music & dance based children’s television series that airs weekday mornings on Discovery Kids & TLC’s Ready Set Learn Block!"

(Yes this bastard child of hip-hop and Barney has a CD)

Now, besides the obviously odd concept of using breakdancing and rapping to "teach" kids (the episode I watched was on the colors of the rainbow... eh), it just seems like a real life representation of all those fantastic stereotypes that people have about rap and rappers. Don't get me wrong, I think educational programming is great, and if the show was decently done I would have no problem with it. But when kids break out in a concert style call and response with this shucking and jiving, arm waving, chain wearing, overgrown muppet, and it is supposed to be educational, then I start to have a problem, as a teacher and a person with common sense.

Plus he reminds me of those creepy animatronic Chuck E. Cheese robots that freaked us all out...

Anyway... here is Hip-Hop Harry and his musical stylings. Enjoy.



This should clear up some of the reason why kids were in love with this garbage.

I'm gonna go start listening to country music or something...