Andrew’s comments on Imus (and my response)

Andrew’s post on Imus and his firing prompted a response from me. I decided that since I hold a dim view that other sites may exist in the future, that I will post select bits from his post and my full response. By clicking on that link you can see his whole post and my response.

…Sharpton and Jackson were both like piranhas when Imus made his offensive statement. But Imus’ comments were outright tame compared to what the average top 40 rap song has in it. Why aren’t they going after rappers more vehemently? Because they’re black, or are they afraid 50 cent’s homies are going to cap them for it?

The argument has been made that rap is a part of black heritage and should be immune to scrutiny over the statements it makes….

My response:
Imus – first all I knew was that he prevented me from watching the news on MSNBC in the morning. So I switched to CNN a few years ago. (At least for news in the morning) Then I saw part of the (semi?) biographical Howard Stern film when it was on network tv (or cable – I forget). I learned that Imus was originally his hero, but a real jerk.

Apparently, this isn’t even Imus’ first time doing this BS. There’s a [white] senator married to a black woman and he called the white guy Mandingo and played the song “Jungle Fever”. I’m surprised he hasn’t called Condi a “house n——”.

Anyway, Sharpton, when asked about rap, claims that he has been hard on them too. I’m not 100% sure about that, but I know there are others who don’t like it. Bill Cosby has been very vocal about it and, strangely, has been criticized for his stance.

While rap originated from the streets and was a way (like jazz and blues) to express the feelings of a people who couldn’t express themselves through the traditional outlets of rock, grunge, etc I think it’s time to outgrow this. I’ve heard a lot of “positive” rap including DCTalk’s cheesy (by today’s rap standards – think MC Hammer-type stuff) early albums and I could groove to it. Also, in the Christian realm, there are Gotee artists GRITS (they may have dropped the acronym and it might be Grits now) who has music with such good beats that I routinely hear their music sampled on Mtv and VH1 tv shows. (Including strange shows that have nothing to do with their positive image) There’s also John Reuban, another Gotee artist.

Anyway, I kinda started ramble in that paragraph, but my point is that rap does not inherently have to be about negative things. It can be about positive things. Or it can be indifferent – there’s plenty (ok, maybe plenty is stretching it) of secular rap music out there that is a ton of fun to listen to and doesn’t have too much bad stuff (other than perhaps some profanity). For some secular examples see Taleb Kwali, Nas (most of the time), and some of the other “underground” artists who are always rallying against the objectification of women.