“My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists.”
A few weeks ago I heard some background chatter in the media about a rapper named Lupe Fiasco, who apparently made the above statement. I didn’t think too much about it at the time. The brother was just stating the obvious as far as I was concerned… plus Black people in America, no matter how enlightened they are or are becoming about the “Obama Bamboozle”… most will still vote for him in 2012. The decades of conditioning is too deep and set. He’s got black skin and he’s a Democrat, ergo…
Then I heard more background chatter that FOXNews commentator and host Bill O’Reilly invited Lupe on his show and challenged him on his above remarks. I read some commentaries afterwards from those who were surprised that a conservative Republican like O’Reilly would come to the defense of Obama. It didn’t surprise me at all… Obama is their “nigga”, both literally and figuratively. He represents the third term of George Bush. I find it ironic that during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, he referred to Hilary Clinton as “Bush-light”, while he in fact has become Bush III.
Still I paid little attention to the supposed con-troversy until I read this commentary at Black Agenda Report: “Hip-Hop and The Weakness of Liberalism”.
“Lupe’s remarks only seem controversial or rare because liberals and the Obamatons have made radical critique seem irresponsible or nonexistent.”
I must admit that Hip-Hop has held no real interest for me in years, but according to this article, Lupe is one of a new breed of “conscious” rappers, so he peaked my interest. I went to Youtube and watched a few of his videos, as well as read a number of his interviews and articles about him.
“I don’t vote. I don’t get involved in the political process… Cause it’s meaningless to be honest”
“Even if you agree with it, you should criticize power.”
I downloaded his lastest CD, LASERS and it has made its way into my latest regular listening rotation (along with Jill Scott’s The Light of the Sun and Ziggy Marley’s Wild and Free). I love the raw energy and edge of his music. His lyrical style is clever and deep.
“I’ma part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful… And I believe in the people.”
The more I read about him and listen to his music, the more I understand why his record company postponed the release of his latest CD for a couple years. He doesn’t promote the glorifying of murder… especially of other Black men, the disrespecting and demonizing of Black women, the juvenile bragging about stereotypical Black male sexual prowess nor the worshipping of materialism. And of-course, he sees Obama the media creation, for who he really is and speaks to that truth.
I have mad love for 2Pac. I refer to it as “mad” because it’s a love that you know you shouldn’t have for someone (or something) but you can’t help it. You just do.
I didn’t realize today was the 14th anniversary of his death until I read this article at theloop21. Interestingly though, last week I caught a part of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Mike Tyson and 2pac called One Night in Vegas, which highlighted the similarities of their lives and the events which led up to that fateful night when 2Pac was shot and subsequently died after attending the Tyson vs. Sheldon bout on September 7, 1996.
I never found 2Pac’s music enlightening or even all that positive… but that doesn’t mean it’s unenlightening or negative. It’s not that simple to me… it’s a little more complex than that. His music touched a part of me which I always had to keep in check. It moved deep within me and stoked my black rage, but not in the way Public Enemy’s music did. With 2Pac it enflamed my “I don’t give a fuck about you and much less about myself” attitude. Within all of us is “the light” and “the dark” side of our personalities and 2Pac spoke to my “dark side”… and made it appealing.
I’ve seen a number of documentaries and programmes about 2Pac and in some ways his life reminded me of the fascinating but troubled life of Marvin Gaye, as depicted in his biography “Divided Soul“. Both had polarizing forces struggling with them and they would at times choose to indulge in the best and worst of themselves. I can relate to this for at times that has been my life. However, due to age, maturity and Jesus, I have been able to transcend (or is “suppress” a better term)… for the most part… the more destructive side of my personality.
Every so often, when someone pushes my buttons, I smile and shake my head and think to myself: “if they only knew”. There was a time when I lived my life by these lyrics of 2Pac: “I ain’t a killa but don’t push me, revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin pussy…” But with that said, Jesus isn’t finished with me yet.
In remembrance of a real souljah:
Remember when Ice Cube was hard!?