Tag Archives: Lil Wayne

Reebok Dropping Rick Ross Isn’t Enough

30 Apr

Image

After Reebok terminated their endorsement deal with Rick Ross following his lyrics that supported rape, Emmitt Till’s family began to pressure Mountain Dew to stop sponsoring Lil’ Wayne, in response to his lyrics “beat that pussy up like Emmit Till.”

They mimic women’s activist group UltraViolet* and their strategy, which pressured Reebok to cancel their deal Rick Ross.

Kudos to UltraViolet. They protested (real protests, not the lazy and trendy internet protests) outside of the Reebok flagship store in New York with anti-rape signs, and eventually impelled Reebok to make a move.

They demonstrated that real activism does make a difference. They found a way to target rapper’s wallets (since money replaces morals in commercial hip hop). They teach rappers to watch what they say. Their actions are inspirational and should be celebrated.

Yet, dropping Rick Ross is not enough.

Please don’t believe that all rape-promoting lyrics will henceforth be banished from hip hop. Another line like Rick Ross’ will spring up from another source (I’d bet within a year). Ross is only a widget in a well-oiled, money-making machine.

Apologies are also not enough. Prior to Reebok’s decision, several groups demanded Rick Ross to apologize. The Till family and others have been waiting for Wayne to apologize for two months now. But why are we demanding apologies from rappers? They’re not sincere—clearly, since Wayne doesn’t give a damn and Rick Ross didn’t apologize until after he lost the endorsement.  I don’t want a forced, half-assed apology. I want punishment.

Rick Ross loosing Reebok was a good slap on the wrist. But why not make the punishment more severe, and light up the pockets of those wealthy CEOs at record labels and distribution companies, like Epic Records and Sony Music, who produced and distributed the violent lyrics in the first place? If they suffer—everyone in the business suffers. When losing money is an incentive for them to correct their ways, we will see more satisfying changes.

I understand this is more difficult, as no one has found a way to target those that sit high up in the industry, not yet anyways. But there are organizations that are advancing in the right direction, like UltraViolet and FAAN Mail.  In addition, there are a few radio stations that have banned Rick Ross and Lil Wayne.

In the meantime, can we at least get Wayne and all those rappers that stood behind his words to watch Eyes on the Prize? Maybe then they’ll understand why everyone is so upset.

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*UltraViolet is an equality-demanding activist group. I’m just familiarizing myself with the organization, but so far, I am a fan. You can get more information about them from their website weareultraviolet.org. I signed their thank you letter to Reebok. If you want to sign as well, click here.

P.S.: I apologize for my April break. I had to finish my thesis, study for finals, and graduate. But I’m back to my weekly post routine and aim to bring meaningful ideas to A Womyn’s Worth each week. Hope you enjoy.

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Lil Wayne and Black History Month

26 Feb

At the close of Black History Month, I want share 2 images I found on the internet that display why this month is so crucial. (they’re tiny so you may have to click on them).

21st century Venus Hottentot

I found this image on Facebook yesterday, but  I’d first learned of Saartjie Baartman (Sarah is her English name) at the very beginning of this month while doing some research for my thesis*. Saartijie was put display in London as a human freak show, and called the Venus Hottentot. During my research, I read “How Not to be a 21st Century Venus Hottentot,” where writer Fatima N. Muhammad compares video girls and hyper-sexed female rappers to Venus Hottentot, as they too are examined and put on display for their body parts.  She explains that mainstream hip hop has adopted racist 19th century ideas.

I don’t think anyone could argue with that after Lil Wayne’s offensive comment about Emmit Till in his song “Karate Chop Remix.”

Lil Wayne Emmit Till

I found this picture on Faanmail’s site (Thanks FAANMAIL! I love your posts).

Since the song leaked, the line “beat that pussy up like Emmit Til,” has been pulled from the song, and Till’s family has asked the rapper for an apology. Wayne has yet to respond. I’m not holding my breath. Anyone who thought putting that line in a song was ok has no respect for the Civil Rights Movement and isn’t real enough to own up to their mistakes.

Someone needs to strap him to a chair and make him watch all 14 hours of Eyes on the Prize.

But I’m not one bit in shock that Wanye would say something like that. It’s not the first racist thing to come out of a rappers mouth.

And it’s hardly different from his song “Mrs. Officer,” when he says, “Rodney King baby yeah I beat it like a cop.”

Once again he managed to disrespect women and diminish the importance of a tragic event in black history in just a few short words.

This line from Lil Wayne and the image of Saartijie Baartman portray the necessity for Black History Month and year-round community education, as history has already began to repeat itself.

Further Reading

Muhammad, Fatimah. “How NOT to Be a 21st Century Venus Hottentots.” Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology. Ed. Gwendolyn D. Pough, Elaine Richardson, Aisha Durham, and Rachel Raimist. Mira Loma: Parker, LLC, 2007. 115-140. Print.

http://faanmail.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/talk-back-lil-wayne-epic-records-and-sony-entertainment/

*My thesis is on the image of black women in hip hop. I explore how male rappers talk about vaginas in comparison to how woman rappers do. In addition, I look at how a rapper’s ethos is built on a racist and sexist ideology. It has to be at least 25 pages due in early April. Clocks Ticking!

Are we taking the Volkswagen commercial too seriously?

5 Feb

VW Comercial pic

There has been much commotion about the new Volkswagen commercial, where a white guy speaks with a Jamaican accent.

Many say the commercial is mocking black people; New York Times’ Charles Blow called it  “blackface with voices.”

Though I personally wasn’t offended, my islander friends might have a problem with it.

My thing is: People quickly become outraged when the teeniest bit of insensitivity occurs from outside sources, but what about when one of our own is shamelessly racist?

Why is Kanye allowed to say, “You know white people—get money don’t spend it. Or maybe they get money, buy a business. I’d rather buy 80 gold chains and go ignant…blame it on the pigment.”

Why can A$AP Rocky say, “They say money make a nigga act niggerish. At last a nigga nigga-rich.”

Why is Lil Wayne entitled to decide, “Beautiful Black woman, I bet that bitch look better red.”

Sure, maybe the commercial was mocking a Jamaican accent. Sure, maybe it was a little insensitive. But when Kanye declares the pigment of his skin makes him ignorant— when Lil Wayne decides a woman lighter complexion is more beautiful than a dark skin woman —when A$AP Rocky says Black people act niggerish when they become wealthy, but it’s justified because they’re rich—suddenly, that commercial doesn’t seem so significant.

Perspective people—that’s all I’m asking for.

Is it because theses rappers are Black that they are allowed to say racist things? Is it not racist or less hurtful because they are Black?

I don’t think so. If anything it’s worse.

But the absolute worst part, though, is that they get away with it. We don’t call them out. How can we criticize companies for being insensitive when we do not shame people of color for their own blatantly racist remarks?

It’s hypocritical—don’t you think?

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