The Awl, a site run by some of the fruits who used to work for Gawker, runs a lot of suspect hip-hop journalism, usually of the pretending to like LCD rap for irony purposes variety, but a post yesterday, on anti-semitism hip-hop, might be the most suspect of them all.
You can tell it’s BS, because of the random nature of the reference points. The guy who wrote it claims that the first time he was offended by hip-hop was the line in “Baby Got Back” that goes, “Turn around. Stick it out. Even white boys got to shout,” and the second time he was offended by hip-hop was the time in Dave Chappelle’s block party when dead prez changed a line in “Hip-Hop” about police to read, “And it won’t stop until we get them crackers off our block,” – two events that took place something like 15 years apart. Even I was offended by hip-hop more than twice in that time span, and I wrote that shit the other day about Lil B stroking it to pr0n with other guys in the room.
Let me guess – the only time this guy spent a significant amount of time listening to rap music was when “Baby Got Back” was popular, when he was in college, possibly at parties where people pretended to be black, for the lulz, and then several years later, when they’d play rap music on Chappelle’s Show, which he found hilarious, especially the part where Chappelle went, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” But then he went to see the Dave Chappelle movie, and he got weirded out by the line in the dead prez song, especially because there were a lot of black people in the theater, even though the Roots were involved.
(Admittedly, I’ve been known to get weirded out in theaters with a lot of black people. A few months ago, I went to see the godawful Shutter Island, and it was like a fucking zoo. People shouting at the screen and shit. The old black people sitting next to me came in there with a motherfucking picnic basket, but in one of those huge, gaudy purses black women carry. I started to get up and sit somewhere, but I thought maybe she’d at least have the decency to offer me a sandwich.)
The first example of anti-semitism in hip-hop in the post is the line in the Clipse’ “Wamp Wamp” about how their pancake mix cools to a tight wad (like a Jew), which suggests to me that the guy heard someone on The Awl talking up the Clipse, as is their wont, he DLd, had a look, heard the line about the Pyrex being Jewish, and decided to put hip-hop on notice about its anti-semitism, as if anti-semitism in hip-hop is something anyone should give a shit about, even if it were true. (I’m tempted to revisit the lesson from the first season of the Real World about why black people can’t be racist, but I already had to go in once this week, re: the infamous Slap Heard ‘Round the World.)
Per the New York Times’ rule on what constitutes a proper trend piece, the other two examples he comes up with are a line from Ghostface’s Ironman that I didn’t even know existed, despite how many times I listened to that album back when I was like 15, and despite my penchant for baiting Jews on the Internets (you’d think that line would have popped out to me), as opposed to the much more famous reference to the Jews, on the superior Supreme Clientele, and a few scattered references to Jews from Jay-Z’s oeuvre. The latter doesn’t really count, because not only is Jay-Z arguably the most famous rapper evar (the king of the world or some shit, according to Rolling Stone magazine), but he’s got like 13 albums. You can probably find a reference to anything you want, somewhere in Jay’s vast body of work, similar to how it’s so easy to find a passage in the bible to back up your argument, regardless of what you’re trying to argue.
I’m assuming that’s why he gets on Jay-Z worse than anyone else: It’s one thing if you only mentioned Jews once during the course of your 10 or 15 year career (he really does seem concerned whenever a rapper so much as mentions a Jew), at least as far as this clown is aware of, but Jay-Z has done it at least three times – four, if you count him mispronouncing l’chaim in “Roc Boys,” which he apparently is, since it isn’t clear to him why it was necessary in the first place. If Jay-Z feels like he can mention Judaism in his raps all willy nilly, without consequences and repercussions, the rest of these dreaded n-words might take that as a green light to make songs about how Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever, which he’s sure they would, if rappers didn’t spend so much time sitting around in the studio worrying about how their words will be received. It’s only a matter of time before Swizz Beatz loops up that Bill Hicks line from “I’m Sorry Folks.”
The worst parts are the parts where he seems to suggest that Jay-Z should be happy that Jews built Def Jam Records (which, admittedly, they did), so he’d have a platform from which to spew his anti-semitism in the first place, and the part where he seems to wish that the RIAA had a policy on going over rap albums with a fine-tooth comb for any potential perceived (by the most paranoid of Jews) anti-semitism, which would presumably be done away with, like Mos Def’s “The Rape Over.” (How did he miss that one? It’s the very origin of the term tall Israeli.)
And I quote:
Aside from [the Professor Griff interview in the Moonie newspaper], hip-hop and Jews have enjoyed a mostly fruitful history together. Rick Rubin, The Beastie Boys, and Lyor Cohen all helped build the Def Jam label into the conglomerate it became, paving the way for Jay-Z to reach the stratospheric heights he found there later on.
Lest we forget, a time once was where blatant, mean-spirited verbal assaults were openly expressed toward Jews on the grab-him-by-the-horns level that Borat was lampooning. Now the charge of stinginess with money seems to be the sole remaining stereotype of Jews deemed acceptable by RIAA standards.
And then he concludes by resigning himself to the fact that complaining about anti-semitism in hip-hop would be bad form, when rappers are way harder on teh ghey people and women. “What more can you expect, from those people?” he seems to be saying.