These Rappers Is Exploiting Sean Bell, Son!

Truth be told, I wasn’t pissed when I heard about the Sean Bell verdict. I was kinda numb, speechless! I didn’t know what to say.I lost count of the many times I drove by the Kalua Cabaret since Bell’s passing in November 2006. I usually look to my right, see the Sutphin Boulevard Air train station and try to picture one of the 50 shots ricocheting through one of the windows. Or I look around and try to picture where Bell’s car was when the cops shot him. That’s when it really gets to me. As cliche as it sounds, we’ve all thought the same thing. It could have been me. The old crib is only 10-15 minutes away, so God knows I could have ended up at Kalua on one of them prostitution probe nights.Coming from Queens, I’m sure Nas and 50 Cent drove by the Cabaret numerous times. Shoot! They may have been patrons once or thrice. Personally, I want to hear what they have to say about the verdict, but I’ve yet to hear from them. [Blogger's Note: Nas eventually called into BET's 106 & Park to give his reactions.]I sure heard from John Hope and Termanology, though. Only minutes after the Bell verdict was announced last week, I received “Blue Devils,” a song billed as a Sean Bell tribute, via e-mail. The song was mixed and all, so I first thought dudes wrote it before for the verdict and had an alternate version stashed had the cops been found guilty. I immediately hit Term’s people and found out that they re-leaked the song in wake of the verdict. “Sean Bell,” John Hope adlibs during the song’s first hook. That’s it! It turns out that the song is a standard police brutality track, not a commentary on Bell’s death.Hope isn’t the only one, though. Since Friday I’ve received a chunk of Sean Bell tributes from upstart rappers. Come to find out, a few of them are new recordings, but most are re-releases dropped to coincide with the verdict. Dudes are even sending press releases in hope that their re-releases get picked up. Sad to say, but Bell has become a marketing tool for some of these rappers. One rapper even pleaded, “please in no way shape or form take this as a publicity stunt” in his email. Publicity stunt or not, it’s working. I never heard of half them dudes before, but the Sean Bell mention made me pay attention. Now I can’t get their names out of my freaking brain.Folks like Papoose, Joell Ortiz and Game, who is scheduled to release a Sean Bell song later today, generate attention when they drop songs, period. Plus people wanna hear what they have to say. It just makes sense. The first to record on the incident with “Change Gon Come (50 Shots)” back in 2006, Papoose doesn’t see anything wrong with the growing number of tributes. “It’s never too late to speak up,” Pap told XXLMag.com. I feel you, Pap. But coming from unestablished artists, I’m not sure what kind of impact those songs have. It’s not like Hip-Hop For Respect or other charity recordings where the proceeds are going to the victim’s family. In Bell’s case, the only person benefiting from those records are the artists. It doesn’t mean those records aren’t genuine or even good. They just come off as a bit too convenient. Like , why are you doing the song? If these rappers really want to take a stand, I’m sure there are better ways to make a difference. I’m sure these rappers mean well, but some of them are definitely exploiting Sean Bell. Speak on it!

  • http://www.YOUHEARDTHATNEW.com LowKey

    I WAS THINKING THE EXACT SAME THING! A song is not going to bring this man back. Talking to the communities…confronting the issues, resolving the problem on BOTH sides will keep things like this from happening again. Not A HOT 16!

  • http://www.theurbandaily.com Kevin L. Clark

    Yeah, that is true… It is a bad marketing tool, but since it has caught on, will it incite more public discussion about police brutality within the communities most affected?

  • http://www.therezidue.com Maurice Garland

    Death Sells = Sex Sells

    i mean, the influx of Sean Bell songs is something I cant be too too mad at. At least they rapping about something relevant. Its better than rapping about the usual BS they try to get put on for. The key is to make sure that artists continue to channel this energy. We dont want to turn too many of them away the same way folks (myself included to a degree) blasted kids who took pics of themselves wearing black in support of the Jena 6. Applaud the awareness.

  • http://www.YOUHEARDTHATNEW.com LowKey

    I mean it will, but not for the simple fact that the artist are doing it, but for obvious reasons. I actually think all these artists making these tribute songs, should go back to their schools and communities and speak about these issues. How many times have we heard dedication songs and nothing has changed. I applaud every artist for their contribution, but it ALWAYS stops after the tribute song…never goes any further. Am I lying?

  • POLO DIZ

    SEE…THATS WHY NO ONE IN THE RAP INDUSTRY IS ORIGINAL NOW…REAL TALK IF U DONT KNOW SEAN BELL…THEN JUST SAY REST IN PEACE OR I SEND MY CONDOLENCE. NOT DO A WHOLE SONG LOOKIN FOR A COME UP…

  • dameSTAtus

    Doggie, please change your avatar/picture.
    Puhlease!

    That little ass hand is really frightening! It’s worse than that Burger King commercial, b/c it’s real!!!

    YIKES!!!

    -A Concerned Reader

    • EReal

      L M M F A O!

      I thought I was the only person thinkin that.

  • http://jesustalkz.blogspot.com/ Jesus Talks

    Chucchh…I don’t wanna hear what MC Gets Busy has to say

  • EReal

    I wonder how that jury looked.

    How can ONE COP fire 31 shots at you when you’re unarmed and it be justfied?

    Yall should be rioting.

    • Around and Around

      Ereal, I wonder if you can walk and talk at the same time….there was no jury it’s a judge. In NYC you have the option of trial by jury or just a judge, those bitch ass cops took the judge….funny how that works.

      -I’m all for these drops by any artist as long as the content is right, you should be able to tell if it’s real or bullshit.

      • EReal

        I dont live in NYC bruh, and I didnt know that was even an option. The obviousness of corruption in this case is sickening, knowing thats how it went down.
        And its not like a strike is something tangible with the economy in the shitter. All I can say is Karma is a motherfucker and I hope those officers involved are marked.

  • moresickaMC

    I think its a good thing. The more rappers talking about REAL issues the better. marketing scheme or not…unless you want ppl to go back to dwelling on ice and rims 24/7

  • LOL

    SO IF A DOESNT COMMENT ON SOCIAL ISSUES, HES NOT HIPHOP AND WHEN HE DOES HES EXPLOITING?

    DAMNED IF U DO DAMNED IF U DONT

  • Be a Nigger Too

    You went way to far Jackpot. How dare you say this is exploitation! Hip Hop IS (or at least should be) a form of expression. Rappers are suppose to write about real shit about whats going on around them and in the world. You write about the world in your blogs..So are you exploiting shit?? You wrote this WHOLE BLOG about Rappers making songs about Sean Bell..Are you exploiting those rappers?? I dont see how u can consider this exploitation. Its not like a rapper hung up a platinum plaque based off of a Sean Bell song. Do you think your blogs through or do you just start typing??

    • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

      Are you serious? smh.

  • Afrothndr77

    The idea that an artist shouldnt speak on an issue that hits close to home for them is so far from the values of hip hop that I was actually surprised to read it on this website. Artists like JON HOPE and TERMANOLOGY have a history of speaking their mind on society. Hope is an MC who comes from a community with a history of conflict with the police, and has spoken to this in several songs. It isnt a stretch to think the the Sean Bell situation may have hit close to home for these artists. Capitalizing on tragedy for your own gain is wrong, but writing a song about something that has left a mark on your community or your own life is what Hip Hop is all about. Songs about police brutality shed light on a problem that many people in this country fail to realize even exists, and as long as its a problem its only right for artists to speak on it.

  • Kinetic

    So, we’re not supposed to say anything? James Brown wrote many a song with a conscious message and was quick to play them when the moment required. Not because he was trying to exploit it, but because either we needed to bring attention to it or we needed to refocus our energy in a more positive and effective manner.

    Honestly, we should be upset at anybody releasing a song killing anybody else. We got enough problems with the police systematically sanctioning our deaths that we don’t need to add to it.

    We should be mad at the radio for not playing any of the tribute songs. How effective of a marketing campaign can you have if you’re releasing songs no mainstream media outlet will consider? How many mixtapes do you really think are gonna add the tribute songs and if they do, what other songs are they sandwiched between? More songs about us killing each other.

    Knowing the trial was coming, we should be a little upset that the print media didn’t want to start printing pictures until after the verdict came out. Maybe the idea of a riot and anger in the Black community sells more copies which sells more adds.

    When you really think about it, it’s a better marketing approach to say nothing about it. Keep it movin. If you actually want to get a name as an unknown, keep dissing people, getting arrested, shooting people (perhaps a defendent or two who just got off free although I am not advocating or promoting such), and making up stupid ass dances. Far easier to get noticed in some tight ass jeans making ringtone raps than speaking out about a real problem in society.

    Can you name ONE artist you’ve never heard of until Sean Bell’s verdict (not the dude who just sent you an mp3 in the e-mail)? I can’t. Not even since he first got shot. Can you name me ONE song that was a tribute song that got any rap artist some real recognition? Maybe, but more than likely, it was an artist who already has a history of speaking out on social injustices and problems in our communities. It’s not a good idea for any rap artist to make tribute songs (unless it’s about BIG, JMJ, or Pun) if you want to hear your music played so for an artist to do so, let’s give them credit. Maybe they’ll do it more often. It’s not like we don’t have a ton of issues to write songs about. The more they do it, maybe the more we’ll listen. The more we listen, maybe the more we’ll act on it.

    Here’s an idea. Since we already know it’s not an effective way and since we already know people are going to be suspicious of the motivations behind it, why not create a section called “Who really gives a damn” and throw all the tributes and serious messages from up and coming artists or those trying to make a comeback. Nobody has to blog about them (let’s not give writers something to write about), but maybe someone will stumble on it and get something out of it.

  • Gina T1

    I was thinking the same thing!!! Total publicity stunt, but it is better than the shit thats out now – at least its relevant.

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    I agree. Mickey Factz was saying this on my radio show because he did a track himself in Jan. Its the only one I feel should represent Sean Bell. I’m not going to speak on his behalf tho.

  • Jerz!

    @ LOL

    Yall mf’s would be tight if nobody said anything shut the fuck up lol.

  • http://xxlmag.com Kane Corleone

    u NY niggas is softer than baby shit.That statue of fuckin liberty would be sprayed with my hood on that muthafucca after that verdict cant believe all you niggas wanna do is talk and march fuck that even them Israli niggas be ridin .I’m sorry niggas wanna make a goddamn freestyle and battlerap this shit out.Nigga had that been LA,CNN would be showing me lootin Foxhills right the fucc now.

    • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

      AND WITH THAT WAY MORE BLACK MEN WOULD DIE. RIOTS IN 2008? SON PLEASE.

  • POLO DIZ

    YEA THAT NIGGA GOT “CARPOL TUNNEL” IN HIS THUMB….FROM JACCEN OFF A LIL MORE THAN THE AVERAGE NIGGA…damn carl cherry….

    YOU GOTTA LUBE UP AND LET THE MUSCLES RELAX EVERY NOW AND THEN…

    AFTER ABOUT 3 MONTHS OF THAT MAYBE U CAN POST BETTER BLOGS..

    • Gluteus Maximus

      this is amazing…POLO DIZ…are you a cock rider??? Youre first comment is in agreement w/ Carl’s blog…but after the rest of comments criticizing his…criticism, now you want to hate on him…

      btw, find a dictionary before you start trying shit on the bloggers…”carpal tunnel”….you asswipe…

  • Ali

    I thought about the “why would u just do a song? do more” thing but I never thought that they would use the verdict to their advantage to get fame or sumn….good post….makes sense