Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The other night, for the first time since the Clinton impeachment hearings, I had a bona fide date that didn't require a financial transaction. Granted, the sex not being a usual guaranteed occurrence kind of sucked, but having someone that actually liked me for me made a brother feel like less of a scumbag for once - there's something special about a chick hanging on your every word, instead of her having that ever-so-loving "I'm only listening to this chubby bastard talk about Hip Hop all night long because he's paying" look in her eyes. We did what any single 30-somethings would do: we had a great dinner even after I blurted out a Tourettes-like, "If you order from the right side of the menu, baby, we're fucking!!" We talked about the charred remains and dismembered bodies that made up our past relationships - she was so cool and old school, she didn't even throw a drink in my face when I said that preceding our first sexual experience I wanted Heavy D's "Mr Big Stuff" to play in the background while I walked in the room grabbing my cock while swaying back and forth to the beat.

When we got back to my crib, I didn't even think about making a move. Sure, I had the utmost respect for this woman, but it had more to do with the fact that saying amateurish shit like "I want to make love to your throat!" wouldn't go over so well. Besides, her shirt was kind of a silky material - if any miscellaneous ejaculate landed on that I'm sure she'd have her hand out like a Maitre d'. So any act of kindness on my part that night was simply thought of as a booty investment, coming off as the gracious host with a heart of gold I knew would pay off at some point - whenever she decided to "deposit" that ass on to me, to continue with the banking metaphor a bit further.

She wanted some wine - some of the finest storebought stomped grapes were in front of her before the completion of her sentence. She wanted some romantic music in the background for ambiance - I popped in a Public Enemy "Greatest Hits" CD (Nothing gets a chick in the mood like Welcome to the Terrordome.) After we chatted a bit, she wanted to watch a movie - No problem. I slide in a movie called "Idiocracy" that I had randomly selected from Netflix a few days before. The only thing I knew about the flick is that it was written and directed by Mike Judge, the man responsible for "Beavis and Butthead" and the classic "Office Space", so I figured that this movie was destined to be an absolute side-splitter. The thing is, it was only partially funny in that "this is some really silly shit" sort of way - sure it was a comedy, but mostly me and my date found ourselves laughing at parts that weren't meant to be funny at all. Even though I can't say that I'd recommend that particular flick to anyone I even remotely liked, I have to admit that the storyline of said flick was the perfect analogy concerning the way I feel about Hip Hop right about now.

See, the movie Idiocracy is a flick where an average Joe (Luke Wilson) and a prostitute (Maya Rudolph) are subjected to a military experiment where they are supposed to Hibernate in these coffin-like chambers for an entire year. (Think Hans Solo in Empire.) Instead, they are virtually forgotten about due to a military scandal, and they emerge 500 years later in what looks like a massive landfill. When they get amongst the people they find out rather quickly that society has intellectually regressed - to a world that embraces anti-intellectualism to the point that humanity is uniformly stupid, with people blissfully ignorant, murdering the English language, talking as if they were recovering from some sort of massive stroke. That's when it struck me, this movie is the perfect metaphor for Hip Hop.

It seems that much of the Hip Hop has regressed. An artform that once prided itself on the written word and brilliant oratory skills - now scoffs at such high standards as if they were old hat, some notable Emcees even going so far as to say that they don't freestyle, some of them even looking down on one of the main elements of Hip Hop - B-Boying. Hip Hop fans have regressed, so thirsty for something worthwhile that a lot of the time people praised as the next saviors are only marginal at best - I won't even go into the people who I respect that have recently sang the praises of acts like Lil Wayne, Dipset, or anyone else who would have had their demo thrown in the circular file circa 1989. Like the movie Idiocracy, I feel as if I've been frozen from the year 1989 - only to return to a place where everyone around me seems to be drooling lunatics, unaware that what they think is logical debate is actually nothing but incessant incoherent rambling.

Personally, I wouldn't lose one ounce of sleep if the words "Nigger," "Bitch," and "Ho" were deleted from the Hip Hop lexicon - as an aficionado of lyricism I feel that those particular words are used to mask the obvious shortcomings of untalented rappers the world over. But is Russell Simmons really the one to bring this to the public's attention? I mean, is he really concerned with the direction Hip Hop has taken, or is he trying to save face - attempting to make everyone who saw him on Oprah last week forget that he came across as articulate as Barney Fife on a two-day crank binge? People who, I admit, are much smarter than I'll ever be, are taking a backseat to logic in terms of this proposed "ban" - coming across like those same knuckle-draggers I saw in that bad movie - blaming Hip Hop because they universally suck as parents. Censorship is a slippery slope, and even though I wish all utterances that disrespect women to miraculously leave rappers mouths like evil spirits during exorcisms - the sad reality is that it won't stop there, and some of your favorite rappers will soon find themselves being Public Enemy #1 in the name of good old-fashioned obscenity. Also, aren't there other words that can be used to disrespect women? I'm sure that some rappers will "take it old school" so to speak and start calling women "Stunts" and "Skeezers." Or even taking it extremely old school and start referring to young ladies as "Harlots," Jezebels," "Hussies," or even "Trollops," for gods sake. So those words acceptable as long as the words "Bitch" and "Ho" aren't mentioned? How about going beyond the music itself, taking an adult look and analyzing why misogyny and the denigration of women is an epidemic in our community? Not doing that is like treating the hypertension but not taking the greasy foods out of ones' diet, or taking the Styrofoam cup out of the bum's hand to stop him from begging. What kind of diseased mind-fuck is that?

I don't exactly know how Idiocracy ended because I was too busy dancing naked to a Heavy D tune - but I'd like to think it concluded with the rest of the world catching up to Luke Wilson's character on an intellectual level. Man, I really hope that life imitates art.

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