This past weekend, in between shifts at the BGM and a trip to the O’Fallon, MO Heritage and Freedom Fest, I saw Killer Mike’s new video for his song “Pressure” featuring Ice Cube, and of course I was taken aback.
The video combines footage of everything from 9/11 to the LA Riots to the Jonestown Massacre, as if it was some hip-hop-themed episode of one of those shows Fox used to run back in the late ’90s, like When Animals Attack. You can hardly look at it and not feel… shall we say, touched on some level. No Boutros.
However, that wasn’t the only reason I found the “Pressure” video bothersome. I also found there to be several similarities between it and various al Qaeda recruitment materials, and I’m wondering if, in creating the “Pressure” video, Killer Mike means to align himself with the terrorist cause, of if he’s just trying to rile people up, to get his career back in order. Either way, this is definitely some dangerous ground he’s treading.
The obvious reference point for the “Pressure” video, whether Killer Mike and his director want to cop to it or not, is “Dirty Kuffar” by
Lupe Fiasco Sheikh Terra featuring Soul Salah Crew, the legendary terrorist rap video that hit the Internets about four years ago. (Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ!)
The “Dirty Kuffar” video begins with footage from CNN of a marine killing a terrorist and talking about how good it felt, and then some masked terrorist guy starts rapping about… I don’t know, probably about how he hates freedom and how he’s hell bent on destroying Western Civilization. I don’t speak terrorist. I know there is a part towards the end where a guy brags, in English, about how his fellow terrorists took down the World Trade Center on 9/11. I’m assuming they made sure to put that part in English just to taunt the families of the people who died on 9/11. Those terrorist fucks.
Regardless of whether or not Killer Mike and the guy who directed the “Pressure” video, Giovanni Hidalgo (presumably not the Latin percussionist?), saw “Dirty Kuffar” and attempted to emulate it in their own video, there’s a remarkable similarity between the two videos. Beyond the fact that they both include very similar footage (war scenes, images of George Bush and Tony Blair, footage of 9/11, they even both feature clips from the film Bamboozled), they both seem to espouse a similar message. Namely, that the price of “freedom” is death. Or in other words, that acts of terrorism are justified, if they’re for a worthwhile cause.
Or am I reading too much into this?
I’m sure the TPARs of the world will suggest that I am (TPAR = Giovanni Hidalgo?), but I don’t know. It’d be hard to watch the video and not see just that. In “Pressure,” Killer Mike talks about giving his life for whatever cause he supposedly stands for. (Presumably, black people’s right not to go to jail for selling drugs, and an Obama presidency.) And the video ends with Malcolm X – a Muslim, we should note – talking about how, in order for the black man to be free, he has to give his life. Oh, really? Which doesn’t strike me as being all that different from what the terrorists believe. Or is terrorism no longer terrorism when it’s your cause the terrorists are fighting for?
Oddly enough, this is hardly the first time Malcolm X’s name has been invoked in this context. A while back, I brought you fruits the story of how al Qaeda put a tape out specifically targeting black Americans. In it, not only does Osama bin Laden’s no. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, quote from the exact same Malcolm X speech that’s excerpted in the Killer Mike video, but he also invokes a lot of the same house negro-field negro rhetoric that Killer Mike puts forth in his verses. Hmm… What’s more, as I was consulting Wikipedia re: “Dirty Kuffar,” I read that the terrorists have their own Malcolm X film, Malcolm X: Prince of Islam, the credits of which feature a rap song by, you guessed it, Sheikh Terra and Soul Salah Crew.
Damn, Killer Mike!
Having said all that, I seriously doubt that Killer Mike is aware that his thought process, as put forth in the “Pressure” video, is so aligned with that of the terrorists. Most likely, he didn’t have all that much to do with the creation of the video. There’s some performance footage of him in the video, but if you notice, his verses – a fairly unsophisticated rant against black Clinton supporters and the police, and especially police who happen to be black Clinton supporters – don’t necessarily coincide with the images on the screen. And yesterday, days after the video hit the Internets, I heard some radio interview where he was talking about how he hopes there’s gonna be a video for “Pressure.” Which I took to mean he must not have had much, if anything, to do with the making of it.
If not, he might want to see about distancing himself from the video. Whoever did put it together has got him looking like he’s with the terrorists. Or at least more so than he should if he ever wants to ride on an airplane again.