David Mongan put me on to a Global Grind link proudly exclaiming that David Banner has answered Ruthell Thimmontheth call to acthion in the wake of Derrion Albert’s killing. Banner’s response comes in the form of a song entitled “Something Is Wrong”, a lament for the slain teen and a discussion of other societal ills.
I remember buying—not illegally downloading [this time], mind you–Mississippi: The Album on the strength of “Cadillac on 22s”. It’s not a brilliant song. Shit. It’s not even a particularly good song. But aside from being infectious, it showed me a thoughtful side of Banner that I didn’t get from “Like A Pimp”, “Fuck ‘Em” and “Might Getcha”, which were in heavy Mexico rotation. I gravitated toward the record and saw something more in Banner that made him intriguing enough of a figure to drop $15 or so on his album. I’d later discover “Fire Fallin’”, “Mississippi” and his charge that northerners need come on home to the south and get somethin’ to eat. These set the backdrop for the socially conscious, but conflicted, oft misguided and… well, ignorant figure that Banner has become.
Being the most vocal at a given point in time doesn’t intrinsically make one the smartest or most influential. Shit, everybody and Bow Wow is jawing over Albert’s death and inner-city violence all of a sudden. Hopefully Banner’s influence isn’t strong enough to get people fucking with “Something Is Wrong” like it’s some Public Enemy shit. Fuck am I saying? Of course it isn’t. But, still…
[Blogger’s Note: If The Negro Channel asks you to participate in a panel discussion and the only panelist you can identify by name is Nelly, get the fuck up. Walk out. It’s a trap. You are being made a fool of.]
I understand the purpose of the first and second verses, but “Something Is Wrong” takes a very strange turn at the third. After another one of his heartfelt odes to the issues at the heart of inner-city violence, Banner takes a very Jamaican turn and attacks homosexuality at what he believes to be its very core.
Are we supposed to gather that Banner believes gay men to be the product of sexual abuse? Even better, are we to believe that Banner drove by a young man in Apple Bottom jeans, and stopped his car for conversation? The obviously fictional dialogue in Banner’s verse shows how little interaction he must really have with the gay community, which obviously affords him the luxury of speaking authoritatively on matters of homosexuality.
Banner’s not new to convoluted logic as it pertains to sexual orientation. I remember walking away from Mississippi: The Album wondering if this nigga really thought the absence of fathers from nuclear families makes boys gay. By this charge, 90% of Harlem must be gay, because I didn’t see a child with a father for miles growing up. When we finally found such a mythical beast on an enchanted journey below 96th Street, we captured him and detained him for observation.
Ruthell may have called Banner to address political matter du-jour—put a pin in that, we’ll get back to it—but I am calling Banner to actually listen to the stories of young, black homosexual men. There’s more to the gay community than the “turnout” cases we ghetto negroes associate with prison and rape. I’m sure he’ll find that far more gay men have found torment in persecution for being themselves than from paternal rape or abandonment.
Banner should go talk to a group of these young men instead of the corner boy transvestite of his hallucinations. After listening to their stories with an open mind, he should rewrite that third verse. After all, it is ignorance—the greatest of dangers—that kills most. It turns the boys in the House of Dereon jeans into Derrion Alberts the world over.
As for Uncle Ruthell, maybe we thould get a bunth of rapperth to discuth economic rethponthibility and the conflict thurrounding the African diamond trade?
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