EPIPHANY

Your place for social commentary

The BET Awards

I watched the BET awards Tuesday night and I enjoyed the show.  I think the tribute to Diana Ross was great. I especially thought honoring Don Cheadle was appropriate and I enjoyed the Public Enemy performance.  As always, Chuck D and Flavor Flav put on a good show, complete with a few S1 W’s. Question: during the “I’m Black And I’m Proud” performance was that Doug E. Fresh in the background with the white blazer and sunglass on doing his signature head rub move?  If you blinked you would have missed it, but those with TiVo please play it back and let me know.

As with most award shows, there was plenty of speeches and scripted banter.  I will break down my three favorites.

 Music is about changing peoples lives…..there is content in hip-hop—Ludacris 

I am fully and wholly in agreement with this statement.  There are a lot of hip hop songs out there that make me cringe when I hear them, but it does not dismiss the entire genre. I used to love The Whisper Song.  Something about the beat just made me want to dance.  Eventually I heard the non radio version and that was that. There was no way I could bop to that beat knowing the true lyrics of the song.  Believe me I tried, but I just couldn’t do it.  The lyrics may not bother you, but “…wait til you see my d!*k” is just not for me! I still love hip hop, and I think there are plenty of artists out there making music that is relevant to our culture and generation. 

As with every form of entertainment and every era, there are components that may not be for everybody.  In 1981 when Rick James released Super Freak, did our society rally against R&B and seek to shut Motown down?  Vanity 6 hit the charts wearing lingerie.  The “6” in the group name was derived from their total number of breasts, but as far as I know most people will still get their dance on when they hear Nasty Girl.  Let’s be honest, was there really much content in 80’s R&B/Soul Music?  Did that music tell the story of a generation or did it just provide us with good future hip hop samples and bad hair?  Did Mtume really seek to change anyone’s life?  Are bustiers, garters, braids and beads morally and socially superior to gold fronts, excessive jewelry, saggy jeans and thongs?   Were Jheri Curls better than hair weaves?

 We do not have to say the “F” word, we do not have to pump and grind, we do not have to do some of these things to have longevity in our career.  I think it’s very important for us to know that you can stand tall, and be classy, be ladies and gents, and have a long career–Diana Ross    

I agree with this statement too.  Some artist are totally classless one hit wonders.  These  days good production and mediocre lyrics can propel a person to platinum status.  In order to hide their inherent lackluster talent a female artist may play up her physical attributes, and a male artist might spin a ghetto wonder tale in hopes of gaining “street cred” and a fan base.  It’s all smoke and mirrors and eventually said artist will be thrust into relative obscurity.  There is also another side to that coin.  What about the girl that was raised to think all she could be was a scantily clad stripper, or the boy that only knows about being a low level drug dealer or a stick up kid?  Their demo tape falls into the right hands and he/she gets a deal.  Her image will probably be less than “lady-like”, he will more than likely rap about poverty and the drug game, and on the block they will both stand very tall.  We can not continue to blame the labels for that. Record labels do not hold the key to curing the inequalities of the hood.  Some of these artists have lived these lyrics.  Shouldn’t we be more concerned with curing that aspect of our society than shooting the messenger?  We have the free will to spend our money on the things we find deserving.  If you’re not a fan of hip hop, don’t listen.  Don’t spend your money on it.  Don’t go to places were the genre is predominant.

 Let’s all step up as parents and raise our own kids and let’s stop expecting other people to do it for us–Nelly 

Nelly sparked a controversy with his Tip Drill video.  I am guessing he’s doing some serious parenting to make sure his daughter never ends up with someone swiping a credit card through her behind.  As a woman, I do find a lot of the things I see in music video’s offensive, but that is because I know better and none of that is my reality.  If I were a parent I would make sure my child knew better than to emulate ANYTHING they saw that was contrary to the family values I was trying to impart.  I think the whole “entertainers as role models” thing is a cop out, regardless of the industry.  These people are in the limelight because of their talent, not because they are better than you or me.  Most of them have no desire to be an example for the next generation (except as it relates to fashion).

Think about the kids that know all the words to Pop Lock and Drop It, but can not tell you the answer to “what’s seven times six”.  We’ve all seen the email of the little girl in a pamper dancing to Crazy in Love, or the little boy leaning with it and rocking with it.  Do those kids know their phone numbers?  Who’s fault is it when the child is disruptive in class?  Too often we blame the schools for being overcrowded, or the teacher for not being able to “control” him.  What about the parents?  If parents were more involved in their child’s day to day activities instead of relying on music videos and cartoons, our children might not have such short attention spans and teachers might spend more time on educating and less time on discipline.  When I was a kid I got my daily dose of VJ Ralph McDaniels and Yo MTV Raps, but my homework was done, my grades were good, and I participated in extra-curricular activities.  Run DMC and Big Daddy Kane did not teach me right from wrong, I had parents for that. I listened to DJ Red Alert every weekend.  De La Soul and the rest of the Native Tongues posse was pretty much acceptable but I knew better than to pump Wild Thang by Almond Joy in the house.

I admit there is a lot of misogyny in SOME hip hop.  There are a lot of negative images in SOME hip hop.  Whatever side of the argument you fall on, we all should agree it is still a form of entertainment and not an avenue for teaching life skills.  The billions of dollars pumped in to the industry are not meant to finance moral values.  Hip hop is only a portion of our culture, and is not necessarily representative of the majority. If we, as the parents, aunties, and uncles of this impressionable generation are on our job, kids will know better and thus do better!

 JerzeeChick.

Advertisements

June 28, 2007 - Posted by | Education, Changes, Hip hop, Society

8 Comments »

  1. That Is What’s Up! I love your portion of the blog that mentions values and the educational system. You were explicit with your words, “If parents were more involved in their child’s day to day activities instead of relying on music videos and cartoons, our children might not have such short attention spans and teachers might spend more time on educating and less time on discipline.” That is one of our biggest issues. It seems that parents today (old and young) are going against everything their parents have instilled in them. I always say, “What was so wrong with the way we were raised?” The answer, nothing. We can cannot continue to allow the television the babysit our children. It’s okay to tell children no to the things they don’t need as children. Parents, your children are your best. It’s really not cute for little girls to walk around with words written across their behinds, hoop earrings with their names (so anybody can call them as if they know them), and braids and/or weaves pass their shoulders. Just think it, we should want more for our children than we want for ourselves. Their is no need to exploit our own. Instead of clapping and giving praise when they share with you the lyrics to a song or the lastest dance move, start probing about what they’ve learned in school, attend the PTO/PTA meetings, and most inportantly, lead by example.
    JerzeeChick, excellent job!

    Comment by Calandra | June 28, 2007

  2. Ahh, the BET AWARDS 😉
    I enjoyed the show.I just thought it was a little long.I don’t recall seeing Doug E Fresh, but the show will be back on again tomorrow,I will look again ;-).
    The tribute to Diana Ross was wonderful, now if only they could HONOR or Recognize Franklie Beverly and Maze 😉
    I also agree with what Ludacris said, Hip Hop, R&B ,JAZZ and Gospel music are about changing people lives. BUT RAP music is not about changing peoples lives.Some would agree that Hip Hop and Rap are the same, but to me they are not.
    Part of the difference between the two is the lyrical content and the beats.Yes, I do love me some Southern Beats, but some of the lyrical content is garbage.For instance,the song by Hurricane Chris” Bay-bay-bay.The lyrics are WIGGEDY WHACK, however I love the beat to this song, if only I could find the INSTRUMENTAL VERSION, lolololol.
    I feel that when I hear a Hip Hop song, the song has a purpose,or a meaning.REAL Hip Hop artists leave messages in their songs ( e.g.KRS – One, ” You must Learn”,Biggie -” Juicy”.After listening to Juicy, I understood his plight.Hell, he made me not wanna be poor , lololol.You can listen to a song like, Kurtis Blow’s ” These are the Breaks” and will still jam to the song as if it had just came out.That song is about 20 years old and everytime I hear it i still say ” That is my jam”.Now to me, that is Hip Hop. Rap Artist cannot put out songs that stay with you for a lifetime.So to me, that is part of the difference between the two.
    Diana Ross’ comments were needed especially after 50 cents performance..Boo- Boo, I want my money back after his perfomance ;-)It is sad that we can get on stage and walk around ” hold’n our crouch, screaming, b’s and h’s” and at the end of the year when he files his taxes he has grossed annually over 3 million + dollars.This is why I have always said that the “CONSUMER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MOFO IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY “If we stopped buying this shyt, they would not have anything to gloat about.The sad thing is that 50 cents does not know any better.His mother was a DOPE FIEN,and who knows where Dad was, so why should we even EXPECT him to be RESPECTFUL when in the presence of legends like Diana Ross and Berry Gordy and so on.Some would say, what does his mothers’ drug habit and hos father not being apart of his life, have to do with anything. It has alot to do with the way he acts as a grown man.I am not just talking about 50 cents mother and father.I am talking about mothers and fathers in general NOT teaching the children the basics of life, like respecting your elders, respecting yourself, and respecting OTHERS.This has to be taught at home.There is no text book that you can buy for this.I have a son and I am working very hard to make sure that he understands what it is to be respected and what it is to get respect.I believe what Nelly is saying, however it does take a VILLAGE to raise a child.If my child is not in my care, wherever he is, I expect my child to behave and listen to the adult.In turn, I expect the adult to punish him ( meaning, no tv, time out, spank on the butt or the hand etc.) if he has been acting up.I am not saying, you have permission to beat my child,( because then I would be charged with aggravated assault or murder:), but what I am saying is that, whomever the adult is that is caring for my son ( outside of school)I EXPECT them to discipline my son if he gets out of hand.So,NO, I do not EXPECT other people to raise my son, However, I do EXPECT that if he is in your care, that YOU continue with what I am doing at home and that is TO discipline the child if they get out of hand.IF you are a parent and you belive that Rap artist or Hip Hop artista are role models, then you are a fool.Everything you see on TV when it pertains to these videos is not reality.If you ALLOW BET to raise your child, then do not get mad at the end result.IF all PARENT’S STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE AND agreed to take RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR CHILDREN’S ACTIONS this world would definitely be a better place 😉

    Comment by tgilmore | June 28, 2007

  3. I’m n total agreement with it takes a village (community) to raise a child. We know back n the day when our neighbors (heck the block) used to get us, what happened? Each one teach one is all I can say! Smooches

    Comment by jerzeecook | June 28, 2007

  4. I enjoyed the awards show. But to me it is the same damn thing every year. Yes don’t get me wrong Monique is funny but she needs to leave it to Beyonce. Jennifer Hudson did her thing Kudos to Jennifer. beyonce performance was nice but it was what you expect from her. 50 cent was straight out faking walking ariund saying “I’m trying to see who’s in here” If that was a hip hop awards show he would not have done that or probally came. My whole thing is with these rappers is kep it real and stop selling this imagine that is not really cool. I have a son I have to worry about growing up listening to what I call is JUNK. Some of it I can get down with it and some is just plain out disrespectful to not only us but to themselves. All I can say is protect your kids the best way you can don’t keep them from it but teach them that it is only words…

    Comment by Sexy_n_dc | July 3, 2007

  5. holla back

    Comment by Sexy_n_dc | July 3, 2007

  6. I think hip hop is only a microcosm of an abundance of other issues that afflict us both at home and abroad. I agree with many of the comments/feelings about the ridiculous videos, language, etc. But like everything else in the world…people have a right to express themselves however they see fit. If hip hop isn’t for you – don’t buy it, don’t watch it and don’t endorse it.

    But by all means, don’t pigeon-hole the entire art form and deduce it to nothing. A lot of people put their blood, sweat and tears into the game that led to this art form reaching the masses. What corporate America did to “our” form and what “we” allowed corporate America to do to our art form runs parallel to what MLB (Major League Baseball) did to the Negro Leagues.

    Once the “powers-that-be” realized that they could market the inferior black man and turn them into the “black superstar”…the Negro League folded. They took all of the major talent out of the “premier” league at that time and intergrated them into MLB. And now, a little over 60 years later and MLB is ridding themselves of the “negroe” and replacing them with the Latino…just as these record labels got rid of the Chuck D’s, X-Clans, Paris’, Bambatta, KRS’s.

    I don’t think anybody between the ages of 33-45 would say that hip hop was not better during the “Conscious Era”. There’s an old saying, “You can tell a tree by the fruit that it bears.” Hip Hop is just producing the bi-product of what the established has planted…a bunch of ignorance. We all have to come together to take back our voice and our art form and return to its true place in music (artist, fans, parents, listeners, consumers, investors, etc.)

    Comment by Linwood | July 3, 2007

  7. I too enjoyed the BET awards….unfortunantly, I can’t say I thought it was a good idea to have Public Enemy do the finale. I am still wondering who can possibly sing “Im black and Im proud” while looking at Flava Flav bounce around with horns on his head. I think of alot of things I could say when I see him, but black and pride are not on that list.

    As for the Whisper song….you took the words out of my mouth. The only difference is that in the might Duval County….we get the unedited version on the radio. So the onetime I made the mistake of leaving my IPOD at work, and had to listen to the radio, I got a rude awekning…..so I knew long before I got to the club, that I would be taking a potty break during that song.

    You and KP have an awesome blog! Thanks for the laughs…..

    Comment by Andrea | July 6, 2007

  8. I must say the BET awards are a class act (mostly)… I especially enjoyed Erykah Badu’s tribute to Diana Ross… I know its not right when the cover is better than the original…btw- what happened to the “Sugar Water Festival?”

    Comment by The "principal" diva...lol | July 6, 2007


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: