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Dr. Boyce: 10 Things I Need to be a Rapper on the Radio – Coonery 101

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, YourBlackBloggers.net

It’s hard for me to critique the monstrosity that has become commercialized hip-hop culture.  I love hip hop and didn’t even start listening to music until hip-hop hit the scene.  I am a serious fan of quite a few artists, both young and old.  However, hip-hop (at least the stuff we hear on the radio) calls for an intervention, like the relative you love who has been hitting the crack pipe for way too long.  The intervention is necessary to protect our kids from receiving poisonous messages that are wired to ruin their lives.

One of the things that drives me crazy about commercialized hip-hop is that the art form has lost the bulk of its creativity.  When I listen to white guys on the radio, they sing about all kinds of stuff:  the birds in the sky, the iPod they just bought, the girl they are trying to go out on a date with, their days in high school, etc.  Brothers don’t have that kind of range:  We’re only allowed to rap about the same tired stuff that the other dude rapped about in the last song.  “Imma spend it on ya shawty, bottles of Patron fo ya shawty, got my gun for the haters, diamonds on my neck, I’m a playa”…blah, blah, blah, whatever man.

So, to make my point, I thought I would lay out the 10 things that any person needs in order to be a rapper, at least the kind of rapper who gets on the radio.  Call it the Creative Coon Instant Rapper Fun Kit.  I’m sure that every white boy in Iowa already has one:

1)      A really large and overpriced piece of jewelry that you borrowed money to buy:  It can have diamonds, gold, platinum, or whatever and has to be really heavy, as if it might crush your testicles if you move too fast.   Oh, why is your favorite jeweler snickering at you and calling you in the middle of the night to tell you about another piece he just made?  Because he knows you’re gonna be broke after your next album drops and wants to milk your dumb a** before it’s too late.

 2)      Your body must be tattooed so much that even your mama doesn’t recognize you:  I’m just waiting for a rapper to tattoo his own eyeballs, now that would be gangsta.  You better keep making hit records, because it’s hard to get a job with tattoos all over your neck, just ask Thugnificent from the Boondocks.

 

 3)      You have to be drinking out of a bottle of something that is eventually going to kill you:  If you are going to be a real rapper, liquor must become a food group.  You know Uncle Joe, the alcoholic who lives in yo grandma’s basement?  He used to act just like you 20 years ago.

4)      A gun so you can blast all haters on sight (The Haterologist Extermination Program ):  You’re only keeping it real if you shoot another black man, white boys don’t count.  You can even sell more records if you rap about it, especially if you went to prison.  As black men, we can officially say, that we’ve killed more black people than the KKK (Oh snap, did that rhyme?  Now dats wussup!)

5)      A whole lot of gold, diamonds and other random jewelry in your mouth:  You should be setting off metal detectors, even when you’re butt-naked.

 6)      A pack of random women around you, preferably strippers, all of whom you slept with last night:  Don’t worry about the fact that they’ve had sex with hundreds of dudes before you.  AIDS only happens to other people, Eazy-E was a fluke.

 7)       A pound of weed, an ounce of coke, or a bottle of ‘Sizzurp’ somewhere in the vicinity:  There’s nothing more productive than a black man who is so high that he can’t even get out of bed in the morning.  That was Dr. King’s dream, Malcolm’s too.

 8)      A gang of dudes who follow you everywhere you go for no particular reason:   You’re not a real rapper without a bunch of straight-up thugs from your childhood who are there to “protect” you, but end up shooting somebody at a club who then sues you for everything you’ve got.

 9)      A pocket full of cash so you can make it rain at the club:   Don’t save or invest your money, that’s actin white.  Just go to the club and throw money in the air and take pictures on Twitter with hundred dollar bills hanging out of your hat, that’s what Bill Gates and Oprah do with their money too.

 10)   A full-fledge plan of weaponized, mass-marketed self-destruction:  By being determined to reflect only the worst and most ruinous parts of your humanity, you have become a virus to your community and an exaggerated caricature, thus creating a modern day minstrel show.   Your over-the-top behavior is a reflection of the crabs-in-a-barrel mindset of impoverished, uneducated black men competing for attention by showing that their urban experience is more authentic than the next dude.   You are exporting a false version of the “hood experience” to those who believe that the trauma of urban America is exciting, fun and intriguing, like watching elephants mate in the middle of the jungle.

Every little boy who looks up to you and emulates your distorted perception of manhood and blackness is walking right off a cliff that lands him in a casket, the poorhouse or a prison cell.  You, and the multi-billion dollar plantation owner who keeps you high, ignorant and unfocused, are destroying the futures of millions of kids who ignore their parents and pay attention to you.  When you consider the death toll of black men in America, one can easily argue that you’re part of an extermination plan no less deadly than what Hitler did during World War II.

It’s time to wake up and smell the exploitation.

 Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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17 Responses to Dr. Boyce: 10 Things I Need to be a Rapper on the Radio – Coonery 101

  1. Calvin Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Thank You!

  2. nyblackatheist Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Good article,but I think you are giving too much attention to “negative hiphop”.Create a lane for the socially conscious hiphop.Fuck the radio it is not going to change.Checkout my website FREETHOUGHTHIPHOP.COM. HOTEP

  3. mrsshya Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 1:52 am

    They exasperate us, what more can be said? I once went to a speech given by a Black Revolutionary. He provided an interesting twist. He said, every young man you see walking down the streets with their pants hanging is “resisting”. I say, that when we act like we care about lost young people and try to correct them, they resist. But when we act like we don’t care, they really go wild: doing all the things mentioned in Dr. Boyce’s article.

  4. makar72 Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I believe that giving a voice to someone in their 20s is dangerous… But giving a voice to someone in the 20s who doesn’t really care about their community is lethal!!.. A voice that is pervasive in our community such as the voice these young lost boys have is detrimental to our future as a culture.

    nyblackatheist, you may have something to say but I would be shocked if what you have to say really is about protecting womanhood and uplifting manhood. I am close to 1/2 century old and I am still realizing how much I don’t know. My question to you is this… How much are you listening to your elders?? If you say you don’t have any you deem worthy of listening to, you have lost me. Young men need older men they are accountable to. If you don’t have any you are lost my friend. No matter how eloquent you are… No matter how much the so-called streets have taught you.

  5. Dr. Lorraine Mayes-Buckley Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 3:11 am

    With freedom comes responsibility. there are no responsible hip hop artists any longer. It’s all about the all mighty dollar; and people wonder why we are killing each other…smh

    • Vandellish Reply

      May 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      With all due respect, nothing could be further from the truth. There are number of responsible rappers out there. As NYblackatheist mentioned in an earlier comment the reason that you believe there are no responsible hip hop artists is because they aren’t given air time in the mainstream. I am an avid follower of real hip hop and I can list at least 20 ‘responsible’ rappers right now:
      Pharoah Monche, Mos Def (Yassin Bey), Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Common, Chuuwee, Mega Trife and Nonsense, Lupe Fiasco, NY Oil, Jean Grae, J-Live, Phonte, John Robinson, MURS, Tabi Bonney, Radar Ellis, Skyzoo, Stalley, The Roots, etc…

      To paint all hip hoppers with a negative broad brush is what’s truly irresponsible. It’s the equivalent of watching ‘Basketball Wives’ and then saying that ‘there are no good black women out there.’ Bullshyt!!!!
      We need to understand that there is an agenda behind the mega-promotion of all these negative images of our people in mainstream media that goes far beyond making a dollar. Once we begin to realize this we can fight it and it starts with paying more attention to what’s brilliant and positive and ignoring what’s negative and just plain bad.

      • Craig Reply

        June 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm

        Very thoughtful response Vandellish. Similar to BB wives, Mob Wives, Bad Girls Club, Love and Hip Hop, if they don’t act ignorant, nobody wants to air/see the show. Unfortunately ignorancy sells.

        I read Dr Boyce’s comments with a good laugh because I got the intended message and the sarcasm in it however thanks for your perspective as I didn’t think of that view.

  6. Enough Is Enough Save Our Children Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Great write up Dr.Boyce,I concur with your view.It takes courage to tell the truth.Some of the truths about rappers are not being told, due to denial & ignorance.I don’t believe in going along to get along.A lot of rap music influences “Gun Violence”,Drug use & Disrespect of women.Keep writing the truth Dr.Boyce,those who don’t like it will get it over in time.If they don’t too bad!

    HOW HAS GUN VIOLENCE BEEN PROMOTED THROUGH TODAYS MUSIC?
    Some of todays music does promote violence,most of those who use lyrics about “GUNS” in their music,generally are the same artists who are arrested for “GUN” possession. Violent lyrics in music,means big business for most record labels promoting Hip Hop artists,who’s lyrics promote violence.Our youth & young adults today are disillusioned by what they hear in music,that glorifies violence and going to prison.Most of the artists have never been shot or to prison.Artists who are arrested,the charge is commonly weapons and drug possession.The youth today are being setup by the music industry and by other entities.The message in music needs to change.Todays message is kill or be killed.A lot of record companies are profiting from music that promotes “GUN VIOLENCE”,so the question is what do we do to stop it?…………………………NO VIOLENCE-KNOW PEACE!

  7. al Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 5:40 am

    REBELS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CAUSE,NO DIRECTION ONLY BLIND AMBITION .THEIR MAIN GOAL IS TO CHASE THE [AMIGHTY DOLLAR ALL THE WAY TO HELL=SELL MY SOUL KILL MY OWN PEOPLE IF THAT,SWHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THE FINANCIAL GRADE AND OR SURVIVE IN THIS JUNGLE WHERE EVERY LITTLE PUNK ASS PUSSYCAT WANTS TO BE A LION.THESE PEOPLE ARE OPERATING ON PURE IGNORANCE,MENTAL INSECURITY AND WORST OF ALL [SELF HATRED MEANING YOU CANNOT HATE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING UNLESS YOU ARE ENTERTAING SOME SOME SEMBLANCE OF SELF HATRED ON A CONSCIOUS OR [SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL ]MAYBE IF WE WERE UNDER THE RULE OF A DICTATORSHIP WHERE WE HAD LIMITED FREEDOM LIKE YOU HAVE TO BE OFF THE STREETS AT 9PM -YOU CANNOT USE FOUL LANGUAGE IN PUBLIC NO GANG BANGING ALLOWED .YOU EITHER HAVE TO HAVE A JOB OR ATTEND SCHOOL AND A BUNCH OF OTHER RESTRICTIONS YOU KNOW THE SIMPLE THINGS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED THESE DAYS.YES THESE KIDS NEED MENTORING BUT HOW MANY BLACK PROFESSIONALS ARE WILLING TO ENTER THE URBAN AREAS OF THE BIG CITIES TO OFFER DIRECTION AND ADVICE TO THE YOUNG POTENTIAL SCHOLARS OF THE FUTURE OR THE POTENTIAL DOPE DEALERS AND KILLERS OF OTHER BLACK FOLKS?MOST PROS.PLAY IT THE SO CALLED SAFE WAY THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY AND MOVE TO THE SUBURBS,THEY WILL ONLY COME TO THE HOOD IF THEY HAVE NO CHOICE OR SOMETHING TO GAIN.BUT LUCKILY THERE ARE THE FEW EXCEPTIONS WHO DO MAKE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIUON

  8. Dee Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I’m convinced that these rappers are terrorists to the black community in every sense of the word!

  9. Epic Foxx Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Lil’ Wayne doesn’t own any radio stations.

    Neither does Gucci Mane or Drake.

    They’re all foot soliders. So you want them to make more positive music, they could, but there would be someone right behind them making the same old BS that the labels would love to employ.

    If you don’t perpetuate a negative image of black people, you don’t get played on the radio. That’s bigger than bitches and hoes. It’s about Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Clear Channel, and Time Warner. It’s about Jimmy Iovine, tall Israelis, and old white executives in suits.

    Granted, rappers need to take responsibility, but when it’s coming in thick and green, people without a strong resolve will crumble under the weight of corruption. You make music for either the love or the money.

  10. t_99 Reply

    May 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This is exactly why I have my sons listen to the news, jazz, afrobeat, classic hip hop, reggae, …hell anything other than today’s commercialized hip hop. That stuff is “stuck on stupid”, and I refuse to participate in the poisoning of their minds.

  11. Darealiss1 Reply

    May 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Great write up Dr. Boyce. I couldn’t agree with you more. The simple fact is that our black population is too small for major setbacks like this. White people can damn near do all bad in the media, but the outcome won’t effect them that much because it’s sooo many that do a wonderful job in this system. That’s not the case for us…we have to wake up and realize that we have been tricked into helping America basically rid itself of African Americans. For every one famous dumb rapper, there are 10,000 car loads of black men following their lead. Hate to say it, but my main man Ice Cube messed up when he brought that gangsta rap. I loved it, but it helped the system wayyy more than it helped us. Thanx Doc

  12. Mandingo Reply

    May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    It’s not about being commercial as commercial is simply about promoting and selling.IT IS ABOUT WHAT IS MADE,PROMOTED AND SOLD.There are two types of HIP HOP…..THE POSTIVE and the negative.THe racist Europeans in the US and their Semitic Jewish allies encourage,promote and sell the negative because they are our enemies…..that’s what enemies DO.It is our duty as conscious Afrikans to emulate Marcus Garvey and make ourselves SELF-RELIANT by owning and controlling our own economy,i.e. radio and TV stations,print and internet press,publishing companies,manufacturing companies etc and constantly push our OWN AGENDA FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT AS A COMMUNITY.Start by putting down the negative enemies of our people,the rappers crappers and support with all our might the positive Afrikan rappers irrespective of gender and age.AMEN RA BE PRAISED.

  13. fred5399 Reply

    May 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    “A people cannot be both ingorant and free” Thomas Jefferson

  14. Playrighter Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Dr. Watkins: This is a fascinating and entertaining diagnosis.

    It would be enlightening to see similar takes on black women, white women, and white men. What would similar “10 Things I Need to Be” look like for other groupings?

  15. Chris Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    While I understand the satirical purpose behind this particular article and “diagnosis”, it is only a symptom of a much larger and severe sickness that plagues not just the music industry, but many other industries and media.

    What’s really interesting is that the emphasis should be on the fact that it was referenced as a rapper on the radio as opposed to broad brushing all of hip hop and therefore leaving open to discussion in regards to the positivity that is largely overlooked in underground hip hop.

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