Sunday, February 25, 2007

A few thoughts.

I was wrong last weekend when I proclaimed "winter is over". It came back today. Hard.


A question: Say you know a kid at school, and this kid is a bit socially inept (I avoided awkward because bsto hates the word). This kid is planning on running for student president, and you know full well that he is not the best man for the job and not going to win, but he is unaware of these facts because he is a bit out of touch with public opinion (what politician isn't, though?).

You know that he won't win, but you're also one of his only friends. He will be told how many votes he received, and you can count the number of people that will vote for him on one hand.

Do you vote for him, knowing that he is NOT THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THE JOB? Or do you vote for the person who you think is best, knowing full well that this candidate is going to win in a landslide?

In Dead Prez's "Hip Hop", the line:
"This real hip-hop; and it don't stop 'til we get the po-po off the block"
is rapped.

This bothered me. Of course, there are the economics of crime and all of that, but it bothers me because Dead Prez talks about justice and the truth very frequently. I understand that the government has a lot of underhanded, sticky dealings and programs, but to say that the state is the entire reason for all problems is just ludicrous.

I know that racial profiling exists and that minorities are very frequently targeted very unfairly, and this is clearly wrong. But hip-hop should not just be about getting the "po-po off the block."

I know things are never as easy as we'd like to make them, and Dead Prez and Immortal Technique and other rappers and rap groups make sure we know this. Nothing is ever simple. But, saying "real hip hop" won't stop until the "po-po" are "off the block" is just overly simplistic and don't accomplish anything.

It's easy for Nas to say that "hip-hop is dead", but is he doing anything other than just saying it? Let's see something that produces results. When Jay-Z admits to having to dumb things down so that the masses get it...well, is that his fault or ours? If he was concerned about the struggle and about the game, he wouldn't dumb it down. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

That's my real point of contention with the world, I've come to realize: I'm sick of people who are willing to say that there are so many problems and that all the methods used to try and fix these problems are wrong and asinine, but when it comes for them to step up an offer a solution, they have absolutely nothing.

It reminds me of that joke "how many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

"Twenty. One to call an electrician and nineteen to sit around and critique how terrible of a job the electrician did."

Sure. Twenty is an arbitrary number, but I'm sure a lot of people want to argue over it--which is typical. People are willing to fight over trivial matters while the big issues are left unresolved.