There's an episode of the cartoon South Park that parodies the film "The Day After Tomorrow" and hysteria over Global Warming where the citizens of South Park run around fleeing the "warming" while screaming, "We didn't listen!" While this was simply a delicious Hollywood film cliche satire, I couldn't help but think of it when I read Darth Kriss' recent post on Insanity Report about the advent of Kreayshawn and some person called V-Nasty in the world of hip hop.
Kreayshawn, a woman of European origin who obviously grew up listening to way too much Gucci Mane, Crucial Conflict and Lil Wayne, received a lot of attention last weekend when she was up for a MTV Video Music Award for some of the weakest rapping I'd heard since HWA. I seriously thought she was kidding and was merely a new member of Lonely Island. Maybe Jorma "Jorm" Taccone in a wig. That Jorma, I thought. He's so funny. He created his own skinny, white rapping Madea of some kind.
But no. It wasn't a joke. Kreayshawn is a thing and that thing is happening. And it is happening because ... we didn't listen.
From Insanity Report:
My first thought is, this is exactly what white people feared about rap music infecting their kids. I take back all my original objections to the generalizations. If this is the result of even 1 white kid listening to rap music, then as a member of the Black Delegation, I am sorry. We didn’t mean for this to happen.
Yes. Tipper Gore, with her advisory labels and protests against 2 Live Crew and Prince, tried to warn us. She told us their children would not "get" it and it would warp their "fragile little minds." But we didn't listen. And now, behold, to all the rappers who said the "n-word" like it was their last name, look at what you have created.
You knew not what you did. (Video language NSFW)
Not everyone likes the thing that is happening that is Kreayshawn. Mostly because she's channelling Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction and is using the "n-word" as if she grew up being called it by racists and disparaging Negroes alike. See? She said it with an "a" on the end. That's not racist. That's just "down."
I assume V-Nasty adopted the N-word out of an uninformed solidarity, not because she had some fantasy about being Young Berg, the Jigga Man, Ghostface or Doug-E-Fresh without all the actual uncomfortable-ness of being black in America.
It's a pretty common mistake I encountered a lot when I was an entertainment reporter in California, hanging out the culture kids associated with various art and music scenes, often explaining to them that while it may be perfectly fine to say that shit to their fellow culture kids, don't ever call me that shit or I'll murder you. I don't even let other black people call me a "nigga." I'll be damned if some 15-year-old aspiring skateboard artist who thinks racism ended in 1970 thanks to a horrible public school system he barely attends does. I felt like I was constantly correcting folks who "weren't racist" but also didn't seem to think racist things happened anymore. In California. In Bakersfield.
It's the afterbirth of "progress" -- Masses of under-educated, uniformed kids who think the Culture Wars ended and they won even though Prop. 8 passed. Who think a black person being denied a table at Denny's has to be a lie since they've never seen that shit happen before and they even had a black girlfriend once, but will admit they're afraid to ever visit the American South because they think the Klan still runs it and will shoot them on sight. All the while ignoring every horrible, racist thing that still happens two feet in front of them in California.
During the VMA's corpulent rapper Rick Ross tried to get at Kreayshawn and the two had a little shouting match. But America's Parody Amy Winehouse, minus the talent, was safe since she had several very large black bodyguards to shield her from Ross. Apparently it all stemmed from her "dissing" Ross, apologizing, then dissing again, the N-word thing, her having a terrible flow, breathing air, existing, etc. Of course, Ross shouldn't have got so mad, as we all had a hand in creating this Frankenstein Monster of Suck.
Because we didn't listen.
People still don't understand that it utterly destroyed comedian Dave Chappelle when he realized people weren't laughing with him at his subversive jabs against ignorance and racism on The Chappelle Show, but were merely chuckling with glee at shouting "I'm Rick James, Bitch" without having a clue who Rick James was, thinking because a black character who calls everyone a "nigga" is a thing on the TV white people can reclaim "nigger" from its hateful heritage and re-adopt as their own.
I'm sure Chappelle at many points in his career was told by others wiser than him that people are not that smart, wouldn't get that he was being subversive and he could potentially cause more damage than good.
But he didn't listen.
In fact, he ran away practically screaming "I didn't listen" as he entered self-imposed exile.
Kreayshawn, with her horrible flow, and V-Nasty, with her ... whatever that is ... exist because the natural conclusion to this is that some of the kids who grew up listening to gangsta rap, hip hop, drug rap, whatever and LOVE IT will want to emulate it. Whether that's their reality or not. There's nothing you can really do about how your music will inspire future artists and wannabes. Sometimes you get Eminem. Sometimes you get this horrible shit. Take your medicine, people. I know it tastes bad.
I'll let Darth Kriss have the final word.
Again, to white people…I’m sorry. I had no idea your kids were so impressionable (and stupid) and that left unchecked would enter into such an unbelievable state of fuckery and ridiculousness. I’m now aware of the problem and I will now do my part to slap the headphones out the ears of the next young white kid I see mouthing the words to the Carter IV.