Monday, January 2, 2012

Maybe the Apocalypse is Coming After All

I’m not one for end of the world prophecies, but I’ve seen some things in the past few weeks that have shaken my faith in the human race's ability to endure for years to come. Watch if you dare:

Now, there's nothing inherently offensive in this video. White people have been appropriating black culture and music for a long time. Mainstream America loves black music, they just want to hear it coming from a nice, white face. Pat Boone, Elvis Presley, and Eminem made thriving careers and created enduring legacies by ripping off black musicians. And the term "wigger" has been around for a while, too, so again, this is nothing new. Now, I believe that the term wigger is offensive to both white and black people, and I disagree with the overall implication that a person can “act” a certain color; however, people who can truly be described as wiggers are really basing their “behavior” on certain stereotypes that they believe define black culture, and if put in certain situations, these wiggers would act differently. But what you will see in the following videos is something so far past all that has come before, I cannot stop thinking about them and watching them.

Nattassia “Kreayshawn” Zolot, of the, I kid you not, White Girl Mob, hails from Oakland, CA. She had a major hit with, “Gucci Gucci.” The song overall is objectively awful, but it is undeniably catchy, and the beat is actually decent. And almost in spite of herself, she is kinda cute. To see how bad her rapping can be, here’s a “freestyle”:

Yeah. Ok, so what’s happening here? She clearly can’t rap. So how did she get on? Well, with a mother in a punk band, she had an early introduction to music. She went to film school, filmed a few videos for little pay for some local rappers, put out a mixtape, then decided to really make that paper by simply referencing (and then dissing) a bunch of popular fashion brands and wearing some wild, tacky outfits in her video. “Gucci, Gucci” got 3 million hits in 3 weeks! The White Girl Mob (honestly!) was on to something here, and Kreayshawn was getting offered record deals and touring gigs. She even took the route of similar white musicians who got rich off of black artists: For “Gucci, Gucci” she hired a black ghostwriter and never payed him! Well, this is America, so that worked, and people wanted more. And they got it. Please. Watch. This. Entire. Video.

That’s Kreayshawn’s cousin, Vanessa “V-Nasty” Reece. Yes she is white. And yes she said the line, “Have a nigga disappear…”. Now, V-Nasty, and the White Girl Mob, have received much deserved criticism for their use of the n-word and for what some call their complete disregard for, and appropriation of, black music and culture. But V-Nasty vehemently defends her use of the word, claiming, “Ya’ll niggas ain’t live how I live, ya’ll ain’t been through what I been through,” and that ended the discussion. How can you argue with that? No seriously, how do you argue with a mentally-disabled, embalming-fluid addict? Here’s another verse(?) where she takes aim at “Barbie hoes” like Nikki Minaj:

I would never, ever defend Nikki Minaj, but she is Jay-Z compared to this tripped-out-troll. Not to mention, V-Nasty's girl Kreayshawn is clearly aping Nikki Minaj's entire style. And then there’s the constant boasts of being “real” and the prolific use of the n-word. I’m not going to get into an entire debate about the appropriate use of the word, if there is an appropriate use of the word. However, I listen to a lot of hip-hop and it’s simply common-place, and there’s always the situation of wanting to repeat lyrics, but what do you do when that word comes on? It’s the classic white-guy-as-hip-hop-fan-dilemma. I don’t really stress it because I think it’s all about the intent of the word; all my friends like hip-hop, and if the word is used, our intent is nothing negative. All that being said, watching V-Nasty say it so naturally just feels wrong. And I don’t mean like when Tarantino uses it in Pulp Fiction, where he wants you to feel uncomfortable. This feels wrong for entirely other reasons. She is just so perfectly at ease saying it. And when she defends herself, she gives every lame nature-vs-nurture excuse, and acts as if anybody who is offended just isn’t “real” enough to understand. Then there’s the fact that she’s with a bunch of black dudes. So are her boasts of being “too real for ya’ll” actually true? Or are these guys so desperate for a  white bajingo and high off leak that they put up with this retarded act and relinquish any sense of dignity?

Now, to be fair, not all people are putting up with this. This dude absolutely slays the White Girl Mob, and especially V-Nasty, but he puts black people on blast, too. It’s worth hearing the whole thing. Other rappers have also come out against these she-goblins, but the fact remains that they are still popular enough to warrant record deals and concerts.

So who is listening to this stuff? Well, apparently, the White Girl Mob draws mobs…of…white girls. Which is cool. Nikki Minaj has mostly white, teenage, female fans. DMX was a God to every white frat boy when he came out. Hip-hop reached mainstream a long time ago. And pop music has always been bad (to everyone besides the millions of white girls who buy it). I wouldn’t even be upset if it was just Kreayshawn making music.White people don't need to be stealing black names now, too, but I would just shrug her off as an amusing oddity. But then the devil-monchichi V-Nasty arrives and poses entirely other questions about mainstream America. How did we get here? I watch V-Nasty and know she is offensive, but what about the young white girl in Montana who sees the video? Does she think this is acceptable? V-Nasty seems awfully comfortable saying it, and the black guys with her don’t seem to mind. And if you are the slightest bit mentally incapacitated, or just never met a black person in your life, her defense may make some sense. And I’m not for censorship in the slightest. Not government censorship anyway. I think there needs to be some self-censorship at times, though. And if not, then there should be some community censorship, meaning, if this bitch doesn’t shut herself up, her community should do it for her (just a beat-down, nothing extreme). The problem is that these white "mob" girls are clearly banking off their caucasian nature and using racial undertones to gain popularity/notoriety (it's not even subtle, it's right in the name!). They are appealing to the masses with their cute get-ups and blonde hair, and appealing to the hip-hop crowd by claiming to be "real", which apparently means ignorant, criminal, and constantly high. It is so obviously an act to anybody over 25 years old...but plenty of other people buy into this act.

As Hater Azzi said in the link above, we can’t just be mad at V-Nasty, though. This is the culture we have become. And I'm not blaming hip-hop by any means. In American culture overall, there is a complete disregard for our history as a country and as a people. In fact, many take ignorance of the past as a sign of true patriotism and an independent spiritWhite people, how did you get to this point? And black people, how did you let these bitches survive for this long?

Maybe nobody cares about the n-word anymore. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe we’ve finally overcome our history of bigotry and hate. Maybe the only thing we should be offended by when we watch these videos is the horrible, horrible music they pass off as hip-hop. Maybe we've reached an era of "post-racism" where these words don't contain much meaning. 

Unfortunately, I lean towards the other side. The side where that old cliche, "if you forget about the past, you are doomed to repeat it" rings true now more than ever, and where words hold more power than actual WMDs. Hell, words make wars happen, WMDs are just an excuse. Hopefully, more people will call out the bullshit when they see it, instead of just shrugging and accepting it as part of the game. Hopefully, people are watching these videos to laugh or stare in horror, and not to enjoy, or even worse, emulate.

Either way, I’m just kinda disappointed in the entire human race.

Happy New Year!
I Love You All…Class Dismissed.


Zach Potter said...

Tribe sums it up for...I don't agree with the word but the power it can make you feel..."I start to flinch, as I try not to say it
But my lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it"

See, ***** first was used back in the Deep South
Falling out between the dome of the white man's mouth
It means that we will never grow, you know the word dummy
Other *****s in the community think it's crummy
But I don't, neither does the youth cause we
Em-brace adversity it goes right with the race
And being that we use it as a term of endearment
*****s start to bug to the dome is where the fear went
Now the little shorties say it all of the time
And a whole bunch of *****s throw the word in they rhyme
Yo I start to flinch, as I try not to say it
But my lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it
My lips is like a oowop as I start to spray it
My lips is like a oowop as I start to spray the

Sucka *****, ***** *****
I throw the sucka in the front for the ones that front
The sucka *****s, ***** *****
I throw the sucka in the front for the ones that front
The sucka *****s, ***** *****
I throw the sucka in the front for the ones that front
It's the neo-***** of the nineties, c'mon

Prof.Thug. said...

I always loved the song...but found Tip's reasoning a little weak. He simplifies a very complex issue, but he does highlight the dilemma facing hip hop fans. I do love the power of words, and this is one of the most powerful words in history, but I just really don't think Tip had this bitch in mind when he made the song. Between her and the Good Charlotte guys claiming they "kill niggas" in their new "rap" song, Tip might have a change of heart.

Zach Potter said...

I agree completely that good charlotte and the above chick are out of line. Although overall it is a ambiguous issue for me. Part of me says words are words and people should not be so fucking sensitive, bunch of uptight cunts. But then again I'm a straight white male living in a very white part of the country, closer to being considered middle age then young. So I have jack shit to be offended by in terms of being discriminated against. It's a pretty sweet gig.

Lisa: It's awful being a kid. No one listens to you.
Abe: It's rotten being old. No one listens to you.
Homer: {I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me -- no
matter how dumb my suggestions are.}
{[pulls out a "nuts and gum" mixture, starts chomping]}

As I get older I am starting to change my tune on the "words are just words" thing and am attempting to cut "retard, nigger, and fag" completely out of the vocabulary. They are cary a certain venom that I don't intend when I say them so I determined there is no reason to do so. All have been favorites of mine at one point or another in my life. It's hard, but the more I self sensor the easier it is becoming.

Prof.Thug. said...

Well said. I feel the same about the words you mentioned, and even the word "gay" when used in a negative way. But there is certainly a lot of ambiguity considering how much I love the power of words. People need to be more worried about the intent, but oftentimes the intent is unclear. I also believe words can influence intent, meaning those words carry so much weight, the user's intent can't help but be affected/influenced by the associations of that word.