Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The World's Gone Mad- Part 1-Nas and Kelis

Nas and Kelis arrived at the Grammy Awards in matching “N*gger” wear.

Why did Nas and Kelis walk the Grammy red carpet modeling these offensive outfits? Nas has an album coming out entitled N*gger, and the couple exploited the live’ness of the Grammy’s to promote his music. Stopping to speak to a CNN reporter, Nas worked to explain his choice of CD title: "It's all the experiences we got through every day -- all ethnicities, black white, indifferent. We've all been discriminated at some point whether it's in the Dominican Republic, whether it's China, whether it's Iraq where soldiers get their heads blown off for reasons we don't know why[…] no longer are black people n*ggers, today it's also me and you." Huh? Kelis tried to make this mud a little clearer by adding that John Lennon recorded “Woman is the Nigger of the World.” Well, Lennon’s protest song was to be inspiring. Can you imagine Lennon in a t-shirt hawking "Woman..." as the latest Def Jam joint? Here is an excerpt of Lennon’s particularly feminist tune, which makes an urgent call for action:

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is...think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about it...do something about it
We make her paint her face and dance
If she won't be a slave, we say that she don't love us
If she's real, we say she's trying to be a man
While putting her down, we pretend that she's above us…

Nas is, quite simply, a media-savvy marketer. When asked to reflect on the provocative notion that “hip hop is dead,” (the title of his last CD) Nas passed on this opportunity to be even a bit political by saying, “that was last year, and that’s been done. That train has left the station.” Yep. That was last year’s album. We are all now supposed to move on to the new one.

So, Nas got his 15 seconds of expiring fame, and CNN allowed him to join the Katt “Wearing a Noose as Jewelry” Williams club of setting Black folks back at least a millennium.

Nas was loud and wrong about something else. He said he was worried about Blacks’ voting rights expiring every 23 years, and wanted a new president to come in to change laws so this cannot continue to happen. Nas (I just know you are reading this): on March 30, 1870 the 15th Amendment assured you the right to vote, and that does not expire. The Voting Rights Act of 1967 is a permanent federal law. It does have a few sections that must be renewed, such as the availability of bilingual voting materials or the use of federal poll watchers, but the right for Blacks to vote does NOT expire.

I wonder if the same people who tripped over getting a peek at Janet Jackson’s breast are flooding the FCC with calls about CNN showing Nas’ shirt and letting him say n*gger on live TV. Oh, wait, a woman’s body is offensive, but N*gger, well that’s just entertainment.

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