Monday, February 04, 2008

29 Days of Lupe: Speaking Out

It's political season, no doubt. With Obama still flexing his muscles, rappers have had something to say, I guess. Wasn't it a foregone conclusion that rappers would have a bar about a black president? Half of these fucks probably don't vote, so why now? Because it's a rally cry that your musical content is important.

A few weeks ago Rhymefest and Lupe supposedly got into a internet message board battle over some of Lupe's comments on Obama. Of course Rhymefest is a politcal rapper and he's always been quite opinionated. Ditto for Lupe too. But with Lupe, he says what's on his mind. And I really like that. I think Fest talks sometimes just to talk, to act as if he knows everything, like 'oh if I want political rap, Imma go to Fest' and that shouldn't be the case.

Well, what the fuck happened? Lupe said in an interview that he doesn't support any candidate, especially Obama. He said he'd heard Obama wouldn't think twice about invading Iran, a Muslim country. I heard the same thing too. Obama has also said that before pushing the button, he'd offer and devise a plan for diplomatic relations with Iran. Since Lupe is a Muslim he's not vibing with that. I'm not a Muslim and I'm not vibing with that either. Lupe then said if he'd vote, he'd support Hilary. Fest blew up and in a way insinuated that Lupe was a traitor to black people. That not supporting Obama, and consequently supporting Hilary, or not even voting, would ruin his people's struggles even more. I'm not sure how it all ended but it doesn't matter to me who got the W (because neither of them did, in my view).

Why does it matter? At the heart of the idea of politics is speaking your mind. When you're a popular figure and you've got a product to sell, the fewer words, the better. Or that's how it's supposed to go. Should musicans speak their mind or should they shut up and sing? To one degree they should just sing. But I more than respect those who give their opinions without hammering it into our heads or if it comes off fakey--and I don't have to agree to respect them. Music, and even more so, Rap is an art form of raw (and harvested) expression. Thus rappers should speak out and just plain speak their mind. Lupe isn't trying to please anyone with his comments; he might even alienate some fans with his comments. But remember they're his. I don't want to hear an "I Support Obama" campaign from Young Jeezy all of a sudden, it wouldn't be real. See Bluff Daddy's commercialized "Vote or Die" campaign 4 years ago. Diddy... you're a fucking greedy, cocksucking, savvy capitalist, you don't give a fuck! I'm not saying that Fest doesn't actually support Obama but it definitely comes off as all blacks should support Obama or else. Lupe didn't care to patronize people's perceptions. Let him be an individual. Can't we all speak our minds? Rap doesn't really allow for that; it's an ironic art form that promotes expression but ends up swagger jacking everyone else.

Politically speaking, I'd like to striagthen things out. There's this idea that because you're black you've got to support Obama or if you're a woman, Hilary. We shouldn't play favorites based on similiarities. Because, especially in politics, it's an easing selling point. Let me smash your conception that Obama will help black/brown people's plight: He won't! Simple and plain. How do I know? He's a fucking senator, a politician. They really are all the same. Plus Obama really isn't black; he is but then he isn't (plus he's only half black and that black is African/Kenyan). I'm not trying to take anything away from him but he isn't the best candidate (The Repercussions of Voting Obama could be another post in its entirety). And I can see him butchering our foreign policy just as bad as Bush has, relatively speaking. Yeah, he's better than Hilary (I mean c'mon Lupe, she'd just as easily push the button as well). It's hard to explain why I hate Hilary but I don't agree with anything she says and the more I hear about Bill Clinton the more I hate the Clintons as a whole. I'd liked to have seen Edwards get more press but 'oh, well'. At the end of the day it still comes down to voting for the lesser of the two evils: I'd rather vote Puppet 1 (Obama/Clinton) than Puppet 2 (McCain).

Oh, and Lupe does have it right: what if we didn't want to vote, could you just check no candidate and there could be a recasting of sorts of presidential hopefuls, or even better, re-doing the whole political system. If only that was possible.

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