Black People : About Lil Wayne

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hip Hop Commercialized? Buffoonery or something more complicated?
    Dr Boyce Watkins

    I am not a huge fan of Lil Wayne. I don’t hate him, I just don’t love him. His music doesn’t make me move, but it doesn’t make me sick. The thing that challenges my ability to love Lil Wayne is the environment within which he is operating.
    Lil Wayne can be considered, by some, to be a modern day minstrel show: gold chains, diamond grills, 10,000 tattoos on parts of his body that have no business being tattooed, you name it. He engages in the stereotypical rock’n roll/hip hop lifestyle: guns, drugs, alcohol and random women. I fear for Lil Wayne, because at this pace, he might be dead before he turns 35. Lil Wayne makes Tupac Shakur and Eazy E look like conservative school kids.
    Lil Wayne impacts the world in which he lives, sells records by the boat load and impacts far more young men than he probably should. It’s not that he chooses to be a role model, he just is one. But when we see Lil Wayne and express justifiable disdain for his behavior and persona, there is certainly more to be said.
    You see, Lil Wayne is a product. The corporate executives pulling the strings and making the decision to sign deals with Lil Wayne also see him as a product. A product has to sell to its target audience, or it will not reach the sole objective of any capitalist venture: to make a profit. Not just any profit, but the highest possible profit within legal constraints. The corporate model doesn’t care about the community; it doesn’t care about health, workers, the environment or anything else. Like the financial machine that led to the breakdown of our global economic system, cogs in the wheel that pursue any objective other than pure profit maximization are quickly punished and replaced.
    The target audience of hip hop is not black teenagers in the hood…..they don’t have any money, relatively speaking. The target audience for hip hop consists of middle and upper class kids in the suburbs, and those on college campuses. Those are the kids who line up at the record store and cause server outages at I-tunes when new albums are released. That is who the executives are trying to impress, and that is who Lil Wayne must impress in order to get a record deal.
    The problem with Lil Wayne is that the transfer of commodities taking place between the recording industry and white America is one that lies over the economic heads of many African Americans. It doesn’t mean that those in the hood play no role in public consumption, but we are certainly not the biggest players in this game. Like a big bridge in the sky, we don’t impact the transactions, but we closely observe them. We don’t always buy the albums, but we watch the videos, read the articles, and hear the news stories about whose album sold the most copies during its first week. Due to the fact that there is a lack of diversity of images of black men in media, we have children who see the image of Lil Wayne and transform him into an involuntary role model. White kids don’t have to use Lil Wayne as a role model, since they see 50 new white men on TV every single day. Black youth don’t see doctors, lawyers and professors on TV: they see criminals, thugs, athletes and entertainers.
    Lil Wayne’s environmental impact on the black community is what we in economics would call “a negative externality”. The fact that he makes it cool to use drugs, carry guns and engage in anti-social behavior does, in my opinion, cause irreparable harm to the black community. The problem is that the black community has little leverage to control these externalities, since we are neither the dominant consumers of hip hop, the controllers of media or the owners of record labels. Like the bridge in the sky I mentioned above. The presence of networks like BET or magazines like Essence and Ebony is relatively minor when compared to the dominance of CNN, Universal Records or Time Magazine. It’s like bringing a knife to a fight between nuclear superpowers.
    Those of us upset about negative images in hip hop can protest all night at the next Lil Wayne concert and perhaps even have an intervention with Wayne to get him to see the err of his ways. The problem with this logic is that even if Lil Wayne does change his behavior, there is a long list of starving kids in the projects that the record label executives can find to replace Lil Wayne after he has been dropped from the brand. Also, getting Lil Wayne to invoke a more positive image will not change the fact that the consumers and producers of his product (gangster rap) are more willing to purchase albums made by black men when they feel that the performer has indulged their need to enjoy a stereotypical "thug-nificent" fantasy. Wayne may have some degree of industry power, but it is not as much as we might think. The in-studio recording of Lil Wayne’s product is not what creates the magic. The magic of a product is created through the marketing, distribution, financing and purchase of that product. That is done by the labels, and none of the large label owners are African American.
    So, does Lil Wayne represent a modern day minstrel show? My answer is yes. He and others like him are told to behave more “thug like” and in more ridiculous and extravagant ways in order to get the attention necessary to sell records. It is, unfortunately, not smart business for a rapper to brag about being intelligent. Also, it is a lack of diversity of black male images in media that give black youth few alternatives for self-perception that go beyond that of Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Flavor Flav and Juan Williams (the Fox News analyst who, along with Jessie Lee Peterson, enjoys bashing the black community). If any of these men chose to be forthright, insightful and firm in their support of the African American community, they would be fired immediately. But when we protest and challenge the system that is negatively impacting our communities, my argument is that we should look past the puppets and deal with the puppet masters.
    Some would argue that by attacking rappers for the negative impacts of their lyrics, we are simply killing the messengers and going after the weaker scapegoat... Someone is controlling the messages of hip hop, and it’s not that poor kid from the projects who finally made it big.
    The rest: Click here
     
  2. Jahari Kavi

    Jahari Kavi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I wouldn't go as far as saying he's a modern day minstrel show, but he's extremely overrated. His lyrics are below average yet his stans...oops I mean fans call him the "best rapper alive," which is as absurd as it gets, lol. He's made some songs that I've enjoyed over the years (I actually liked him more before he changed his style up), but overall he's far from great.....Plus dudes been rich since he was a young teenager yet he talks about a life that he probably never lived. I've come to the point where I realize that there's negative and positive hip hop music. To be honest with you some of the rappers who are labeled "negative" are some of my favorites. I love G Rap, Ice T, Onyx, Mobb Deep, Scarface, Redman and was always a biggie fan. I love the Alkaholiks and all they talk about is getting drunk, lol. I like my substance rappers as well...your Commons, Ice Cubes, Rakims, KRS Ones, Outkasts, Lauryn Hills, Mos Defs, etc. In the end I like to keep a steady diet of "balance" when it comes to my music. Sure, I enjoy substance and creative lyrics more than anything, but there are times where I feel like jammin to something grimey, funny, or something to make me dance...........The problem I have now is how the game is being oversaturated with these wack dudes (and gals) who push the same garbage all day long. Like I said I'm not looking for every rapper to be Talib Kweli, but we do need some balance back in the game....I don't think that's too much to ask for.
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    There are few songs of lil wyane i have enjoyed somewhat i'm not big on rap
    but do enjoy a few that's out there .
    I think they build him up more then who he is to an degree , the bruh ! is getting phat
    off sales and mixing in songs he's no way the baddest rapper alive but his fashion and style
    makes him huge and these youth fans love him .....dude rap slow and dry to me less he on a track with some other artist that makes him stand out the man rackin bucks !
     
  4. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This guy is little more than a commodity - gotta milk it for what's it's worth I guess - but I do find it amusing.. (not) ... that he is endorsing BAPE (A Bathing Ape) gear.. :huh: Dance, wayne, Dance!
     
  5. Ionlyspeaktruth

    Ionlyspeaktruth Banned

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    Just.....

    Daaaam! I have siad before and will say it again. If I am ever in charge and we get our own... I will make bufoonery a CRIME!:qqb024::qqb024: And to think that some of our young sisters would sleep with a brother that to me is trying to set BUCKWHEET back 100 years is sad as a mofo!:em0400:
     
  6. lite16

    lite16 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I agree with this whole post. (like anyone cares if i agree-smile) I like how you, Jahari Kavi stated it. I think for me it all boils down to balance. I enjoy my hip hop bc of the diversity. I personally believe that is why it became soo big, soo fast in the 80's and early 90's bc you had your NWA's on one end and the "Jungle Bros" crew at another end. And all \sorts in between. it was when Corporate decided to make "Gangsta" and "Bling" the face of Hip Hop is when there were problems. Biggie and Pac manufactured and real beef was sort of the game changer. Bc then, corp could take whole fan bases (West Coast hip hop fans and East
    Coast hip hop fans) and have them focus, and totally engaged in the violence that was and was not happening. Thus, violence became a part of hip hop. After this, Most mainstream artists had to have some kind of street cred before they could make it BIG. If you weren't a drug dealer, pimp, or all out jack @SS, your music wouldn't see the light of day. Underground and college radio is where it's at. Add internet to that as of the new millenium. Things are changing though.
     
  7. Jahari Kavi

    Jahari Kavi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  8. mazimtaim

    mazimtaim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There are not many here who do not know the deal with Hip-Hop. The problem is that we cannot control grown "Black" folk. We can only hope that they do the right thing. If we wanted to get influence over their decision, I think "Black" people collectively would band together to do something about it. But there simply is no collective will. There is will. . .where "we" are. The conscious, the caring, and the informed. But most "Blacks" do not have access to the information that we have. Nor do we seem to have the will to aspire to get "Black" folks the access they need.

    Without the right information, we should expect more Lil' Waynes, and Juelz Santanas, 50-Cents, etc., etc. They simply do not know how destructive these images are and no one thinks to sit down and inform them.
     
  9. Fine1952

    Fine1952 Happy Winter Solstice MEMBER

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    Product, yes....!

    consumer product and manufacturer of nothing....:SuN016:

    That's what this tattoo-ed new age steppin fetchet looks like to me....!:qqb009:

    Great post!
     
  10. Ms Drea

    Ms Drea STAFF STAFF

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    God is Watching

    This picture of Lil Wayne would be a mess of the month for the archives of www.hotghettomess.com. As educators strive to bring forth positive images & thoughts of our ancestors to the youth it is constantly being rejected. Images express many words. When we look back over our lives and think things over, we can surely say that we have be blessed to have studied our great scholars and be able to see the real light. Until folks realized that the negative images that are projected is leading to destructive behaviors in our youth we will continue on this path of ugliness and true mis-education. Something is seriously wrong when a child can recite word for word many raps songs, but cannot write them or sing The Black Nation Anthem.
    This is a clear indication that self-hate, mentacide, PTSS,etc. is in full force and it is time for a healing. To quote Attorney Jam Donaldson the creator of the hotghettomess website,"We Got To Do Better". When & how will the healing began?
    Love & Blessings,
    Drea
     
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