Rhyme and Punishment
As I mentioned earlier this week, the past 10 days or so have been like a hip-hop rapture. It’s as if some of these rapsters are magnetized to the insides of open cages. Can we even count all of the arrest and incarceration stories from the past couple of weeks? Off the top of my head I can recall B.G.’s gun charge. Wu-Tang Clan “entourage members” got caught holding enough X to keep a sorority house rolling for… hours. Katt Williams is either a jewelry thief or a kidnapper. Lil’ Boosie doubled up his sentence for no good reason and is asking for Jesse Jackson’s support—which is a blog unto itself, I promise. And, now Gucci Mane has violated probation and is going back to his favorite seasonal getaway.
I must say, Gucci Mane’s fuck up hurts me the most. This is not because I’m one of those Free [Rapper Name Here] t-shirt-wearing morons who thinks niggas should be exempt from law because they’ve got a hot single or two. I’m at home terrified wondering how much Wokka Fuckin Lame we’ll be exposed to in Gucci Mane’s absence. You know shit is fucked up bad when a nigga would rather hear OJ Da Jewmane singles—or, a touchdown reading Hop on Pop over the "Laffy Taffy" instrumental.
Much like Boosie Bad Azz before him, Gucci Mane violated the terms of his probation, leading to an arrest. Clearly this man doesn’t take his freedom or his new-found position of positive influence seriously. What’s that? You didn’t know Gucci Mane had a new-found position of positive influence? Aside from Gucci's post as “money getter hood example mane”, I didn’t know either until I saw him delivering a surely state-coerced public service announcement at The Negro Channel Swag Salesman Awards weeks ago. That shit was like the I Have A Dream speech for his monkey-ass minions.
Aspiring rapsters, take note. Issuing a public service announcement at the end of your song about doing the very thing you forcibly denounce is not helpful. I mentioned on my show/podcast that Gucci’s PSA reminded me of when Hot 97 made Ol’ Dirty Bastard issue a similar decree before “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s PSA went something like: “Hey, kids! Remember to always use your condoms, because the only thing I like raw is my musiiiiiiiiiic!” Now, you know damn well that’s some old bullshit. Dirt Dawg was an escaped Tuskegee Experiment who had a lost tribe of Israel on his tax return. I bet he couldn’t explain how a condom worked. Needless to say, his message was rendered ineffective by both his music and path. To this very day “Oooh, baby I like it rawwwww” is a soul-stirring ode to the joys of unprotected sex makes that me have to check myself before getting too wasted and going Kojak. In fact, all that preemptive PSA ever did was fuck up the intro to the song when my homie Papo would record it off the radio and bring it to school on one of his many charming, static-filled FM “mixtapes”.
[Blogger’s Note: Papo, your radio rips were the best. You inspired me to record Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito weekly, which changed my life. Muchas gracias.]
But, um… back to the lecture at hand. I’m glad these niggas are getting locked up. This has noting to do with my being a hater or ‘loving to see a black mens fail while he’s trying to feed his family.’ Save the bullshit. Niggas can feed their families without the jackassery. Dare I say, they should be charged to. Sadly, facing consequences like jail time is the closest some of these failing black mens will ever come to accepting responsibility for their actions. In which case, fans are better served seeing news reports of such supermen in handcuffs doing time and being told to keep their heads up than listening to hollow pleas to avoid everything they not only endorse in their music, but replicate in their real lives.
[Blogger’s Note: I’m not talking about the white boy from Smallville, Kansas when I talk “supermens”. Read Crime and Punishment. Get some Nietzsche footnotes. It might hurt just a little bit, but the shit is good for you. I promise.]
Besides, all that “real [pron: dumb] nigga shit” is fun, games and flocka flames until it’s your grandma said niggas knock over whilst keeping shit real. It’s bad enough when the shit is “only entertainment”, as Dr. Dre would say. It’s another beast entirely when life imitates art imitating life in a vicious circle of societal decline.
Ultimately, I believe society is responsible for itself. We shouldn’t depend on law and other social conventions to ensure we do right by one another. That’s to say we should care more for our personal and common well being than dodging jail. However, as of today, law seems to be all we have. Maybe laws are a necessity due to a negative or evil human nature. Perhaps there is no greater evidence of this than the creation of laws intent on harming people. Yes, there are tons of fucked up laws. But, these rapsters going down on drug, gun, burglary and fuckery charges are not Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Blogger’s Note: Investigate what King deemed necessary to change the laws the found unjust.]
I guess if nothing else is a deterrent, niggas need at least remember that the former always wins in The State vs. Your Favorite Rapper/Criminal.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Who’s getting locked up next? Did I miss any of our leaders? email@example.com