Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Give Hip-Hop and Earful (Part IIII) and decide Hip-Hop has had enough

There once was a rapper named "The Teacher,"
Though at times he sounded more like a preacher.
So I put his name in my blog, and ripped this pedagogue, because I needed some words for this feature.

There once was a man named "The Poet,"
Who thought the revolution could not be promoted.
So he wrote a verse, about the TV curse, and "The Teacher" sat down and rewrote it.

Gather round nerds and I will spin you a tale of whimsy and rhyme about KRS-One (The Teacher) and Gil Scott-Heron (The Poet). Amidst growing racial tensions in West Coast inner-cities during the early 1970s, GSH whipped up a piece of legendary rhymery titled "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

Hip-Hoppers paid attention to the works of GSH (and people like the Last Poets - who Amiri Baraka called "the prototype rappers") as testament to black consciousness and early spoken word/hip-hop wordplay. One rapper even took it among himself to remix the hallowed work.

KRS-One has taken it on himself to become the international ambassador of "Hip-Hop as a Legitimate Culture." He got his moniker - the Teacher - from his history injected rap lessons. He even built a temple in honor of rhyming words together over sampled beats. So it came as much surprise to many when KRS reworded "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," not for a new track, but for new Nikes.

The Revolution is basketball/Basketball is the truth - KRS-One in 1995 Nike ad.

How many people got Nike's on?
If you got your Nike's on, put your feet up in the air
If you don't got Nike's on
I think you need to keep your feet down

- Boogie Down Productions song "Nervous Lyrics"

So when Rap Pages editor Sheena Lester confronted KRS for "loaning his mighty sword to capitalist devils," KRS was all like, "well ["well" is mine] Nike doesn't own niggas. Niggas own Nike."

Nike CEO Phil Knight in whiteface

Nike exploits. They exploit Third World labor. They exploit kids by tricking them into buying shitting sneakers. They exploit culture by twisting anti-corportate messages into advertisements. I can't stand it when Spike Lee does a Nike ad after the scene where he lectures high-school B-Ball studs not to be taken advantage of in Hoop Dreams. I simply don't like it when Common - who used to use 'commercial' as an explicative - designs a shoe for the company (at the low price of $300+). I heard KRS at the pulpit in London blabbering about the 'realness' of hip-hop culture to a polite BBC audience. KRS: "Principles are the condom you use when having intercourse with corporate interests."

Good image. I guess that means rappers have 'cut the resevoir tip' so they can get 'this rich bitch pregnant.' Better image.

The floodgates have opened when someone as revered as KRS sets the standard. Mos Def is a bitch for writing an original song for GMC trucks (although he may not be around for long because I heard he made fun of Suge Knight. And so my rant concludes, not with a bang, but not with a whimper, but with a whisper: Wait till you see my ohhhh


Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck dat shit up dawg, 187.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

intelligent hip-hop??.....blog???

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as sad as this commercialization of hip-hop is, this is not the only movement corrupted...BOB DYLAN WAS IN A FUCKING VICTORIAS SECRET AD!


3:11 PM  
Blogger jon_jokah said...

hey cultural neighbour

i'll follow your blog


3:45 AM  

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