Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why You Should Never Ask A Rapper About Politricks: Exhibit B

[Warning: Gratitutous use of the "N-Word" ahead. Consider yourself warned!]

Nas, whose album titles are far more interesting than his albums nowadays, has an album called Nigger coming out sometime soon. Considering the upheaval at Def Jam records, and the generally bad numbers in the music industry as a whole right now, "sometime soon" could just as well mean 2010. But of course, that didn't stop Nas from using last night's Grammys to get some free pub, while making a political statement.

Exactly what his politcal statement is, I'm still trying to figure out.
Never one to steer clear of controversy, Nas wore a T-Shirt to the Grammy Awards last night featuring the title of his new album ‘Nigger.’

Despite protests from some quarters, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Nas is seemingly intent on pushing the title of the record. His wife Kelis was also at the ceremony wearing a jacket emblazoned with the divisive album title.

Speaking to CNN at the industry bash, Nas defended his fashion choice, saying: "Its all the experiences we go through every day, of all ethnicities - Black, White, indifferent.

“We’ve all at some point felt discriminated on, whether it's in Dominican Republic, whether it's in China, whether it's in Iraq with soldiers getting their heads blown off for reasons we don’t know why. The meaning of the word is supposed to be ignorant.

“So no longer are Black people still niggers, it’s also me and you (a white correspondent). I want people to think about what I’m thinking about today.”
Peep the video and note how comically uncomfortable the interviewer is with getting anywhere close to saying "The N Word".

Uh, Earth to Nasir Jones: The Voting Rights Act is a permanent federal law, which allows the right for everyone to vote, regardless of race. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 which covers some minor pre-clearance requirement of Section 5, the authority to use federal observers, and some of the statute’s language was extended last year. I suppose it's never too early to start worrying about it being renewed in 24 more years (not exactly the 23 noted here), but in the grand scheme of things, if that's the biggest of your problems, then clearly you're doing a lot better than the rest of us. Nas probably also knows some Nigerians who want to give him some money if he just emails them back, and also is expecting a check from Microsoft for all those forwarded emails any moment now.

Talk about Barbershop K-Nowledge at it's worst. Damn.

Then again, what else do you expect. It's not like Nas is sitting around everyday reading the NY Times. And that's a shame, cause if he did, he would already know this album is doomed to fail, just by virtue of it's name. There is no way in hades Walmart, Tar-jay, and whatever bargain retailer of choice is gonna put that one on the shelves. Just imagine the embarassment...

[scene: suburban kid in line at local Walmart...]

Uptight Cashier: "Damnit, this CD isn't scanning. Price check on 6!"

Black Clerk: "Uhhm, yeah, what is it?"

Uptight ashier: "Yeah, go get me the price on this album, Nigga."

Black Clerk: "Muth***** say WHUT!??!"

[and... scene]

Needless to say, this could get a little ugly. On the bright side, Al Sharpton would rack up, which I suppose is a good thing.

I'm sure that once all the weed smoke clears, Nas will say the album's trying to make some grand cultural statement about how a simple six letter word encapsulates the systematic oppression of a people for 400+ years, and how it's modern day effects are just as toxic, and whatnot, blah blah. And I'll just remember that this is the same Nas who made a gangbang anthem a few years ago (what did you think Oochie Wallie was about?), and the same Nas who hasn't said anything interesting since Illmatic, which was only, ohhh, more than a decade ago.

Nice try Nas, but we'll pass my Nigger. Maybe you should consider the same.

And before I forget, your bubbleheaded wife is thisclose to getting issued a H.S.D.

Reading, folks. It's called reading. It ain't Kryptonite. Try it sometime.

Question: Do you have any idea what the hell Nas is talking about?

Looks like Nas had a Super Bowl commercial pubbing his album that Fox refused to run. Peep this.

Nas Wears 'N*gger' T-Shirt To Grammys [Gigwise]

11 AverageComments™:

Anonymiss said...

I love Nas as a rapper but he needs to make use of Snopes. I got an email years ago from my friend regarding this topic of the Voting Rights Act.

I hit up Snopes, saw that this myth was debunked, and then forwarded this link to my friend and everyone she'd emailed.

LOL at the discomfort of the interviewer!


ebw-educated black woman said...

AB, as I'm sure you know, Dick Gregory's autobiography was entitled Ni**er.
Gregory’s autobiography, Nigger, was published in 1963 prior to The assassination of President Kennedy, and became the number one best-selling book in America. Over the decades it has sold in excess of seven million copies. His choice for the title was explained in the forward, where Dick Gregory wrote a note to his mother. "Whenever you hear the word ‘Nigger’," he said, "you’ll know their advertising my book."
I'm sure what Nas is really trying to do is sell CDs. At least I hope so...because we all know Nasir is no Dick Gregory.

AQUILOGY said...

It's just a word people!!!!!!

ebw-educated black woman said...

AB, any thoughts on Jay-Z's parterning with Steve Stout to open an ad agency? Jigga says companies don't know how to market multicultural audiences.
“There are people who don’t understand the culture,” Jay-Z said, citing as an example a commercial for a wireless carrier “that shows guys break-dancing in the phone store.”

“It’s just not something we do,” he added dryly.

“We go into the stores and want the same thing as everyone else,” Jay-Z said, adding: “We may care about the style of the phone a little bit more, but we want our phone to work. We care about the functionality.”


Dark & Stormy said...

I'm kinda torn on this one. I have always been a fan of Nas, even if I tune him out occasionally (circa release of Nastradamus). If this album can be used as an educational tool and true vehicle for expression, then I'm all for it. But I am not convinced thus far. I am disturbed by he & Kelis' choice of attire for the Grammys. There is a time and place for everything. The red carpet is not a highway billboard.

@EBW- I think Jay-Z makes a valid point and I am interested to see the impact that he & Stout can have on "urban" marketing strategies.

AverageBro said...

@ anonymiss

Yeah, seriously, Nas must think there's black market for kidneys in Mexico, that Denzel gave that $1M to the soldiers home, and that Microsoft is still giving away money for fwd emails.

Seriously, Nas, WTH!?!?

@ EBW,

Ditto. I have no idea what grand political/cultural Statement Nas is shooting for. But I've heard/read Dick Gregory and I think we can all agree, Nas is NO DICK GREGORY!!!


I dunno, just sounds like another way for Jigga and Stoute to make a dollar for themselves exploiting black culture. Stoute's been running this angle for years, I guess Jay-Z gives him even more cache/clout.

Big Man said...

Nas has been sounding stupid for a minute.

Didn't GZA mention that he and Nas have both been victims of chronic weed habits?

And good point about the album sales in Walmart and Target.

Kevin said...

This is a case of good initiative, but bad judgement. The word "nigger" really means ignorant. Look it up in the dictionary. However Nas and Kelis made themselves and their message look "ignorant". They could've done that in a better, more tasteful way.

AverageBro said...

I guess I "ethered" Nas on the NPR show today. Didn't mean to come off that hard on the guy, but c'mon Nasir. Get it together.

AverageBro said...

@ kevin

Actually you're a little bit off there.

"Earlier variants (such as neger or negar) derive from the Spanish/Portuguese word negro, meaning "black", and probably also the French nègre, which has also been used pejoratively (but also positively as in Négritude), derived from negro (the ordinary French word for "black" being noir). Both negro and noir (and therefore also nègre and nigger) ultimately come from nigrum, the accusative form of the Latin adjective word niger, meaning "black"."


Brother OMi said...

i agree with your comment on NPR, Nas hasn't had a great album since the 1st clinton administration...

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