Thursday, January 5, 2012

NWA, Public Enemy, Will Smith and the racial quota.

One of the best TV characters in the modern age is Token Black from South Park. Not because he’s hilarious or anything. But because he exists. As you probably know, the idea behind his existence in the show is that every social scenario portrayed in the media needs a black guy. But just one.

Nothing says that more than the Olive Garden commercials. Good holy shit, I hate those commercials. Allow me to provide the parenthetical message they project.

Just neato! My racially balanced group of friends is having a great time at Olive Garden. Look at us laughing and sharing breadsticks! We all dress the same too because all races in America share the same interests, especially when it comes to over-cheesed and over-salted food. See the black guy in the group? And the Asian woman? They prefer sharing a meal at Olive hanging with two white people as long as they conform to whitey’s ways of life.

Which brings us to the Class of 2013. Three major rap acts eligible for nomination are Public Enemy, N.W.A. and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Now, given the social ceiling of one black guy per group of whiteys, which of those three do you think the geezers at the Rock Hall will nominate?

These guys?

These guys?

Or these guys?

Of course it'll be the one with Will Smith.

That’s because when he rapped about the summertime and how parents don’t understand, it’s like he really knew how all blooming, wide-eyed teenagers feel. Ugh.

I didn’t learn shit from Will Smith. If it wasn’t for N.W.A. and Public Enemy, this white boy from a town of 4,000 in the woods of Western Pennsylvania would have no clue how the rest of this country really is.

But that shouldn’t even matter in the Rock Hall’s consideration. Instead of asking themselves, "Which one of black guys do we nominate this year?” they should ask, “Which artists were the most popular and revered by consumers and fellow performers?" And that question should be asked among the entire list of eligible artists, not just the racial tokens.

So, again, which of these artists eligible in 2013 do you think the geezer at the Rock Hall will nominate?

This guy?

Boy George really just made the same music everybody else did in the 80s. Plus, he at one point in walked outside of his house looking like that.

These guys?

I still can’t fathom how the Goo Goo Dolls have stayed popular in the past 15 years. I’ll give them credit for keeping their careers alive without having to do a reunion and releasing a handful of greatest hits records. However, the songs on their first record sound like they are reproduced versions of songs lying on the booze-soaked floor of The Replacements rehearsal space – songs that didn’t make the cut to be considered B-sides.

These guys (and gal)?
I actually have nothing against the Pixies. They deserve a nomination and induction. At best, they'll get a nom. No golden ticket. Because Cleveland Does Not Rock.

These guys?

These guys?

NWA and Public Enemy changed the direction of rap. It went from diluted and pasteurized to a concentrated dose of reality kids didn’t know existed.

Their influence was so huge that other candy-coated rap acts changed their marketed image to blend into rap’s new backdrop. Look no further than MC Hammer, who changed his name to “Hammer” in 1994 and recorded this song.


By the way, MC Hammer is also up for nomination in 2013.

No bullshit.

1 comment:


    I feel the same way about gangsta rap - it completely changed my perspective on life and how our economic status relates us to each other much more than our race. After all, "Cash Rules Everything Around Me." I don't dislike Will Smith, but I certainly don't enjoy his music, but I'm sure he'll get in on the first ballot - after all, he was able to make music videos for Men in Black, Men in Black II AND Wild Wild West (and nobody but me saw that flick) - if that doesn't get you into the hall, i dont know what will.