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adam wright

I'm a huge Saul fan. Have all his books, have all his albums,seen him live, etc. And i'm going to be honest, this doesn't really sound like him, which kinda weirded me out while i was reading it.
Taken on its face, there really isn't a whole lot here that hasn't been said before. The fact that religion (and in turn religion-based Governments, which pretty much all of them are.) have always held men above women and required the competition and masculine traits that Saul suggests. Rap is not the first venue to suggest misogyny and power and it won't be the last. I love his point about Bush and 50 Cent employing the same power and unapologetic decision-making tactics. I also loved his line about fixing the problems or a branch by censoring the leaves...that's genius.
I have never been a huge of Oprah. She depends on sensationalism and hot-button issues to stay relevant and i rarely agree with her stances on issues. I also think that to be a powerful black woman you should be helping to raise up other black women. Not by attacking rappers but by actively marketing to and focusing on black women. It doesn't take an entire show viewing to see that Oprah's audience, both live and on TV, are mostly white.
I'll think about this and perhaps post my own blog on it later.

Kevin

On the Bush and 50 tip, did you see the article about 50 saying he wants to meet George Bush because he thinks W is a gangsta too. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1514482/20051123/50_cent.jhtml?headlines=true

Lewis Cash

I really enjoyed reading this letter. I really know nothing of Saul Williams, but it is clear that he is very smart and articulate. I loved his ideas about vulnerability and how that relates to power hungry men (Geo.W.) and nations (US of A).

One question I would like to ask him is if he was implying that it is ok and correct to listen to music, radio hosts, etc. who are simply "mirroring our society." I question how we go about making the change. My answer is to try (and I do me try, because it doesn't always work for me) to abstain from any medium or representation of any sort of racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other type of narrow mindedness. Your thoughts?

ron werner

First off Nole, thanks for taking the time out to read something semi-related to hip hop. I really do appreciate your voice in the dialogue.

The point you bring up about abstinence from racist, misogynist media is a good one. Talk about a hard thing to do! Whereas I do not believe in censorship, the self censor/disciplined media life is an area that every once in a while I test the waters on.

I have (for the most part) abstained from the legal purchase of these records, and am continuously disappointed when lyricists with actual talent go the way of the mainstream in the name of money and record sales. But on the flipside, there is something about a good beat, silly lyrics that makes you still bob your head and want to dance. Maybe this is because I have been trained since an early age to associate good beat and silly lyrics with the physical action of bobbin' side to side and movin my feat (starting way back in the days of "baby got back"- thru today with absurd songs like "my humps"). Granted, there is nothing inherently "moving" or positive about these songs...and in the technical sense I hate everything they stand for in our society- yet, I still listen.

Maybe it is time I "test the waters" again, but for the most part- I have little desire to. Kevo, as a fan of hip hop- what are your thoughts on the issue? How do you wrestle? Nole, do you have any "guilty" musical pleasures?

I would love to hear all other takes on this issue of self censorship/abstinence!

Lewis Cash

Ron, I understand that enjoy a lame song head bob, in fact I did that just recently at the gym to The Grey Album (99 Problems is such a cool beat and mixed with The Beatles, it is so good). But I can't get past the blatantly degrading song topic. It is so frustrating.

As far as guilty pleasures, the only comparison to this issue in the music I enjoy would be the continual reference to drugs (see: Eric Clapton "Cocaine"; The Beatles- Everything After the Tiny Bopper Years, etc).

ron gp

The conversation continue's over at Nole's Blog- lewiscash.blogspot.com.

Come conversate!

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