I was checking my email yesterday and I came across this video in which David Banner weighs in on the state of hip-hop and in particular certain unnamed individuals who hate on the South because southern rappers are the only ones selling records. (Though not so much David Banner himself.) Bullshit as it is, this is a theme you see repeated fairly often in southern rap. I did a story on this phenomenon once a while ago. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
I’m sure it would be viewed as bigoted of me to suggest that he comes off as kind of a ‘tard in this clip, but what can I say? It’s turning into that kind of a week. I mean, his basic argument – that black men have girl-like tendencies because they lacked male influence in their upbringing – is, I think, a rather astute observation. Billy X. Sunday once raised a similar point in a post on this site, but I’m sure David Banner arrived at this conclusion on his own. I hear he’s a smart guy.
As this kid pointed out, David Banner is relatively well-educated as far as rappers are concerned (especially southern rappers!) and was raised the son of a fire commissioner, which would suggest to me that his upbringing may have been a bit more bourgeois than he’d like us to think. If that’s the case, then what’s with all of the n-bombs and the ordering people to shove things in their mouths and the seemingly feigned mangled English? You get the idea that this all might be an act.
I suppose on the one hand a case could be made for speaking like… um, Pimp C in order to be able to more effectively communicate with the kind of people who probably wouldn’t be able to understand you as well otherwise. I think we’ve all seen these statistics that show many inner city high schools where a majority of the kids who “graduate” are functionally illiterate, and that’s not even counting all of the ones who dropped out.
On the other hand, you have to wonder: regardless of what your upbringing is, if you spent all of that time working hard in school (and you have to assume that David Banner did), at what point do the AK-toting shermheads and Dunbar Village rapists of the world cease to be your audience? I can appreciate the desire to want to reach out to those less fortunate, but whatever happened to bringing people up to your level rather than lowering yourself down to theirs?
And of course there has to be a regional element to all of this. Not to turn this into even more of a contentious issue than I’m sure it already is, but I do find that this sort of thing is that much more prevalent in the South than it is anywhere else. A few years ago, there was a similar controversy involving the one-man minstrel show Lil’ Jon, who’s actually the college-educated son of two neurosurgeons. Meanwhile, I can hardly think of a similar example on either of the two coasts.
What do you ‘bags think? Secretly bourgeois, well-educated southern rappers who pretend to be poor idiots is a buncha fake bullshit that’s only serving to even further ruin hip-hop, right? Or is this just another example of me being “racist?”