|Did Hip Hop Fall for the Okie Dokie in the Imus Matter|
|Written by Robert ID3583|
|Sunday, 15 April 2007 00:17|
Did the hip hop community, and others, really do more good for Imus than they thought?
When Don Imus first uttered his ‘Nappy Headed’ comment against the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Basketball Females, the giant firestorm that followed brought many topics to the forefront; hip hop and rap music being one of them.
Don Imus has been around for awhile and has a good fan base, for what reason I don’t understand, but he still has fans after all of this. He still has people who feel that his way of thinking is ‘ok’ and thru this ‘advertising campaign’ for open racism, he has certainly gained more same minded fans. The world is not short on bigots, those who are race intolerant and just ignorant people.
So what will Don Imus do now; what new path will he seek out as an outlet for his rhetoric. My guess would be satellite radio. XM or Sirius would be glad to have another ‘cash cow’ on their staff.
Although it was awesome to see not only the hip hop community but many come to the forefront and speak out against the Imus comments, maybe the hip hop community fell for the ‘Okie Dokie’ on this one.
The mainstream media ‘flipped’ the Imus comments and put it all back on hip hop and rap, after all if hip hop and rap songs can refer to black women in that context so can the entire world.
What an idiotic statement. Yes in this world there are some women who are ‘hoes’ and ya call them the way you see them. But to refer to beautiful black athletes and collage students as such is just unfair to the women and it is unfair to blame ignorance on hip hop. These women have grade point averages that are higher than Don Imus’ IQ.
Certain words are used in hip hop and rap that are understood by those in the hip hop culture. Their use and meaning varies; just as there are words in Don Imus’ world that have certain meaning and are only understood by that world. An example is when he and others say it is really sarcasm. To them it is innocent mockery but to some of us it shows ones true spirit and hidden feelings. Who would feel comfortable speaking like that; much less in front of millions of people to get a laugh?
We have to remember Imus was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2002 Imus as one of the greatest radio talk show hosts of all time. And NewsMax.com Magazine's "Top Talk Radio Host" list selected Imus as one of the most influential hosts in the nation. Influential why; because he spouts what the mainstream believes. He may be an ‘american legend’ in the broadcasting field but he also shows the legend of thought process in mainstream America.
Remember Don Imus was also one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985; of course that was before they played ‘black’ hip hop videos.
Don Imus was born in 1940 so really he has no idea of what is harmful or unacceptable in 2007. His generation grew up with a distain for Black Americans and for anyone who was not like them, and to them it was ok. It was how that generation was raised.
Not only Black Americans are looked on or treated with this ill spirit of some but Latino’s and anyone who is not ‘euro white’ is a target for such hate speech or ‘sarcasm’ as they would say.
The hip hop community knows there are some mixed messages being put out in the hip hop and rap music and videos, and we are trying to bring that to light. But the major labels do not see the cultures view, conscious hip hop and rap doesn’t sell so the majors ignore many artists who could change the mind set of the newer members to the hip hop culture.
By promoting artists like 50 cent, Tony Yayo and others in hip hop who do nothing for the culture except make headlines with their ill actions, the mainstream major labels show they are just out to get theirs – by any means necessary.
There are good hip hop and rap artists around. Artists who take their craft and their position to speak out seriously, but we don’t hear them or see them because major labels are just interested in sales.
Hip hop and rappers like Immortal Technique, Kemo the Blaxican, NYOIL, dead prez, Talib Kweli, X-Clan, Chuck D, Wize Fool, and the list could go on, speak volumes in their rhymes – never to be heard by the masses – thanks to the major labels holding them down.
There has been a ‘shift’ toward more conscious hip hop and rap but sales make it ‘unimportant’ to the majors.
Recently west coast rap artist Binky Mack released a EP that did not need to have a ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker added, because it was totally ‘clean’. (You can get info on that EP release HERE).
Many artists understand that at this rate hip hop is cutting its own throat. But the major record labels are to blame as well as the artists who are just out to get theirs and the hell with the culture.
As unacceptable and mean spirited as the Imus comments may be, hopefully hip hop and the major record labels will see this as a catalyst to change hip hop and give it back to the people and remove the corporate greed that has influenced it lately.
Everyone who stood up and spoke out against Don Imus’ comments only helped to further his career, I think. He will resurface on satellite radio, free to carry on his so called ‘sarcastic’ way of looking at the world.
We only helped to build his future not to really hold him accountable for his speech.