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Sunday, October 29, 2006

When Chicken Noodle Soup Puts You in the Hospital

I'm really not trying to make Sunday "Anti Hip-Hop Day" but the stories just keep on coming. There is a new dance craze and accompanying song called the "Chicken Noodle Soup" that has once again caught the fancy of today's youth culture. To be fair, the song (performed by DJ Webstar and Young B) itself is pretty innocuous and is far from "gangsta." The dance? Well it is reminiscent of shuck and jive jigs from the minstrel period. But you already know how this minstrel drivel is playing itself out. However, the current rap landscape is so treacherous that just about anyone can strike a landmine and fall victim. Case in point, a young girl even as we speak, is fighting for her life due to a shootout that occurred during a DJ Webstar and Young B appearance yesterday in Harlem, N.Y. To date, no one in the hip hop community has ever taken responsibility for their music or rather who the music attracts. It's unfortunate that the young victim's parents did not dissuade her from attending this concert. We are at a peculiar time in history where discernment is paramount for survival. These hip hop venues are known to attract the thug element and if you value your loved ones, they should be warned to sidestep such concerts. This thug element has been around since my beloved Run-DMC days and I didn't attend those concerts as well. Let's pray for this young lady's survival and hopeful recovery. Click on the link below for more on this tragic story.

  • Girl shot at H'ween bash-'Chicken Noodle' link eyed
  • And yet it continues......

    Yes...it continues. This video by (alleged)hip hop artist, Jibbs is entitled, "Chain Hang Low." If the title of the song isn't self-explanatory in it's minstrel affirmation, the chorus (as also noted by famed blogger, Byron Crawford) is a direct send-up of the Zip Coon minstrel show song. It's not an allegorical assertion anymore....Coonery is now acceptable. Enough People....Enough!!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_Hang_Low

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turkey_in_the_Straw

  • Byron Crawford
  • Still More on the Minstrel Front.......

    The above video is yet another example of Black minstrel buffoonery at its best. Why African-Americans are not deserving of a true comparable sepia version of The Bachelor remains a mystery. This image is broadcast to millions of people and yet we wonder why African Americans continue to be disrespected on a daily basis. I am not asking for censorship just balance. Another question one must ask is-Is it legitimate for Flavor's show (or any minstrel image) to be representative of anyone? Is the redneck culture displayed on shows like Jerry Springer positioned to be representative of White mainstream America? Conversely, neither should the majority of African-Americans allow for similar branding. I hope you are writing the networks regarding this (un)balancing act. You can bet that my letters have been drafted.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Just A little Bit of Site-Seeing......

    Due to time constraints, I haven't had time to post anything substantial for the last couple of days, however I did come across some interesting sites for the class.
    Enjoy and stay tuned!

  • Race And Class: Hip Hop

  • Act Like The Middle Class Negro You Are

  • http://www.madamecjwalker.com/

  • Lawrence Otis Graham

  • Prince's 3121 now in Las Vegas
  • Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Was Stepin' Keepin' It Real? or is Minstrel Rap?

    As the two above photos demonstrate, who was the real Stepin Fetchit? I wonder if someone at the NY Daily News reads my blog? Things that make you go hmmmm. The more likely reason is that others are starting to see that the current rap scene is taking us back to the 1930s. Take a gander at columnist Errol Louis' latest diatribe regarding the emergence of the minstrel rap genre. Also check out my previous entries regarding the Stepin' Fetchit/gangsta rap analogy.... links are below.

  • All rhyme, no reason for rap world's modern minstrels

  • Get Rich or Die Trying.....or New Millennium Minstrelsy

  • The More Things Change.......
  • Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Getting Closer to Invisibility......for real!!

    Ok...this actually has nothing to do with Ralph Ellison's seminal work, Invisible Man, I just thought it makes a cool seque for yet another geek moment here at afronerd. While others (ok the dudes at American Renaissance) pontificate on backward precepts concerning superficial ethnic distinctions amongst humans, it appears that scientists are getting closer to actually making objects disappear. I mention this because racism at its core is not only morally reprehensible but inanely primitive. Let's look to the future for a change. Maybe we can cure some diseases along with not being concerned about someone's hue. More on the invisible story below:

  • Scientists create cloak of invisibility
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    And now for some actual Geek news for a change.......

    I just found out that a remake of the Bionic Woman TV series is in the works. You know I had to lighten things up a bit. Sometimes I forget the blog is called afronerd. Click below for more info:

  • NBC Working on a Remake of the Bionic Woman
  • Monday, October 16, 2006

    This is what they think about you......

    A few months ago I highlighted the existence of American Renaissance magazine and the accompanying website,
  • http://www.amren.com
  • which many would consider to be an outlet for intellectualized racism. I visit the site quite frequently to attempt to get an understanding of what these guys are about. The site racializes everything and everyone, so suffice it to say that they espouse the Black/Brown man is the bogeyman excuse for all of the world's woes. For the last week or so I have attempted to converse with the commenters in the amren site and it is, of course, a wasted effort. We are talking about some real hardcore racial ideologues(aka racists).

    I think that there are a number of disturbing trends within aspects of African-American culture which must be addressed, however amren supporters believe that certain Black pathologies apply to all Blacks and this is just false. My blog attempts to show the other side as well as critique the Black underclass subculture. Discussing facts, making Black cultural distinctions and emphasizing White corporate culpability is out of the realm of reality with these folks. I would suggest that you visit this site to see just how the inability to control our imagery warps reality for people of color as well as many White folk. Some of these people make valid points, however their grotesque adherence to warped generalizations pertaining to African-Americans (hence the racism) and their reliance on anecdotal experiences serving as fact, make our fight a difficult one. Again, this is what they think about you....Let's fight for the respect of individuality and not let the pathologies of some be representative for all of us. More on this subject below:

  • Promoting 'Preservation' Of Whites in Suit and Tie
  • Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Racial Profiling..the Complexity of it All...

    There has been a story that has been brewing for the last couple of days regarding the possible abuse of police power and racial profiling in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. For those who may not be familiar with Park Slope, it is a middle to upper middle class section of Brooklyn whose inhabitants are of various racial strata. In this case, there have been a rash of robberies occurring in a nearby train stop, which allegedly prompted a police directive to investigate either all Black males or all Black male teenagers, specifically. After an internal investigation, local police are claiming that this directive was never issued. Now local political/community leaders as well as the media are asking for more definitive answers. Once again, I find myself confused as I often take a contrarian viewpoint when it comes to these matters.

    Let me first state for the record, that any indiscriminate racial profiling is not only morally wrong but just bad police work. Where my contrarian nature comes into play deals with my belief that some profiling is necessary and impossible to avoid. When I often come across a radio or tv show that has racial profiling as the topic, the de facto Black or Latin position frequently implies that no profiling tactic should be implemented by authorities. The truth of the matter is specific profiling is a highly effective method in catching criminals. Again the operative word is specific. If one does not want to get harassed then perhaps not wearing the costume of a criminal might help in not being interviewed by the police. I'm not a supporter of current hiphop fashion trends....I fail to see these fashions on the catwalks in Paris or Milan. But again we allegedly live in a free country. My suggestion...try not to fit the stereotype, it works for me. For more on this story check out the links below.

  • Heats on 'Profile' Cop

  • Commish Says No Profiling, But Officers Say There Was
  • Friday, October 13, 2006

    Enjoy them while you can....

    Ok the next entry I will elaborate on the music situation but I couldn't resist and provide you with another musical moment....a recent one. This was a BET award special which included a tribute to Chaka Khan. Notice how into the music the audience was during this broadcast. Why no one wants to play the real music anymore? Your guess is as good as mine but I do know that this level of talent will not be around forever and then what will we do? Are Rihanna,Yung Joc or TI supposed to carry the torch? Heaven help us.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    What happened to the music?

    What happened to the music? This is a question that I ask myself almost on a daily basis. I sincerely try to listen and get into the current musical landscape but I can't seem to get a connection to anything that remotely challenges or excites me. I'm not going to blame hiphop entirely for my dilemma....just partly. It pains me to think that I can't find the next Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder or Prince amongst today's artists but then the corporate structure is not exactly willing to invest in musical talent as it once did. In my estimation, Black music was the first casualty in the war against good music. No one seems to notice that we really do not have bands anymore in the Black music category. The only ones that come to mind in the modern era are Mint Condition, The Roots and Robert Randolph's Family Band. Well, actually let me rephrase that....more bands come to mind if you count the brief popularity of neo-soul during the mid-nineties but without corporate and public support, that glimmer of hope has fallen by the wasteside.

    It has been stated before that hiphop came into prominence because of the cutting of school music programs dating back to the mid 1970s which I am inclined to believe. But now we are at least two generations removed from learning music theory and playing instruments and the seams are starting to burst. Even if you evaluate hiphop closely, generation Y discusses music in terms of fashion, cd sales and violence and not lyrical dexterity or content. What is going on and how can this be turned around? I think I may have some answers which I will address in my next entry. Meanwhile check out the clip below and remember how things used to be:

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Enough with the Urban Legend emails people!!!

    I'm pretty sure that you have received an email or two(or a hundred) that denotes some kind of controversy that stirs a fire in the belly and demands immediate attention. I retrieve these kind of emails almost daily....whether it's a repeal of the Voting Rights Act or the alleged death of Jaleel White, one must make it incumbant upon himself to verify the facts. The latest email I received dealt with the alleged popularity of the pre-teen Aryan folk act, Prussian Blue(check out their video above). Think of the Olsen twins wrapped in swastika robes. These girls came into the public consciousness via a ABC Primetime interview which showcased their prodigious musical talent as they espoused their racist ideology.

    According to the email, Blue reached #4 on the Billboard charts with 91,000 copies sold. The email further detailed how this popularity spells doom for Black people if a racist musical act has found popularity. Rev. Jesse Jackson was even quoted in the email. Of course me being forever skeptical, researched this story (as I have with many nebulous emails) and found no evidence that the story was factual. But truth be told, I almost wish it were true. Why not have a hate group reach the top of the charts? Heck one could argue that the present musical landscape is already full of hate music. If the email were true, perhaps we would have an actual referendum on gangsta/bling music and decide whether it should get the amount of airplay and attention that it presently receives. One could only hope. I see a Prussian Blue, G-Unit tour in the future. Sounds like a plan. Check out the email in question below:

  • Racist Group #4 On Billboard
  • Sunday, October 01, 2006

    Queensbridge Projects........a history.....

    First off, I must apologize for not blogging with greater frequency. I promise that for the month of October going forward I will commit to more entries. I'm always a sucker for the contrarian. A few days ago I just happened to be listening to Air America radio when I came across an interview with Selena Blake. Not only is Ms. Blake a resident of the infamous Queensbridge projects but also a documentarian of Queensbridge: The Other Side, a film showcasing an alternate view of the nation's largest project development. I will be the first to say that I am not a fan of the projects...any project development, not just Queensbridge. But I am keenly aware that just because someone is from the projects doesn't mean they are about the projects. Unfortunately, the commercialized hiphop music that is presently being force fed the public did not get that memo. For those who are not from New York, you may be familiar with Queensbridge as it is the birthplace for many New York based rap acts-Nas, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Mc Shan, Marly Marl, Roxanne Shante and a whole host of others have called Queensbridge home. For more info regarding Ms. Blake's efforts, check out the links below:

  • Queensbridge the Other Side

  • Queensbridge, the Other Side Focuses on Housing Project