Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls..."

Yesterday, a 16 year old African-American male was shot seventeen times in Chicago.

If you find the previous statement striking, you're either out of touch or have set your expectations for black people entirely too high.

 The 16 year old in question is rapper "Lil Jojo", who was riding his bike when a vehicle pulled beside him and shots poured out. He apparently was at odds with fellow Chicago rapper, "Lil Reese" (who is 19 years old and associated with rapper Chief Keef, a recent Interscope signee). While I won't deem Reese the assailant in this murder, he is recorded on video telling his rival, "Imma kill you".

As ironic as it might seem, I didn't decide to do this post to whine about black on black crime or youth violence in our community (though I would recommend you check out Lupe Fiasco's thoughts of Keef).  We're more or less desensitized to that at this point. I wanted to occupy your time with another aspect in this whole situation- the response on social networks. Feast your eyes:

                                       The the final two tweets are courtesy Chief Keef, himself only 17 years of age.

I don't blame Hip-Hop for this young man's death...but the more prominent members of the rap community (read: the ones with significant influence) never seem to discourage our youth away from killing one another. And those of you who do blame Hip-Hop, know that there are some pretty successful, affluent, and intelligent young black people who listen to nothing but Hip-Hop. The problem is bigger than a genre of music...I'm just having trouble pinpointing what it is... *sighs*

...but at any rate, you should check out some more of the big things coming out of Chicago:

-P. Maestro


  1. That's crazy! I was just about to cite that Lupe interview where he mentioned his thoughts on Chief Keef. It's bigger than Hip-Hop like Dead Prez said. I think the music is just a reflection of the mentality of these kids. It's like life imitating art. Even Lupe Fiasco came up on gangsta rap but he was also raised by his parents. There is a sub-culture with no guidance and a society that doesn't care as long as "the problem" stays off their doorstep.

  2. The word will never know what is the root cause because no one that can truly make a difference in or childrens lives is looking for the answer.
    -L.A. Grant

  3. I think the issue involves those people who wish to live the life that these popular rappers portray in their music. These people probably don't even research these rapper's background to learn about them before the fame. While some of them have lived the lives they describe in their music, just as many have not and actually are no where near as "gangsta" as they make themselves seem. As long as the people allow themselves to be influenced by the music, the longer this will go on. Rappers, like other artists, are a brand. They are a product, and if they want to continue being profitable they are going to resume marketing themselves in a way that makes profit. As long as people support that, why change? We want to see a difference then we need to expect differently. This incident is saddening, but he wasn't the first. And if nothing changes he certainly will not be the last. The people know what they need to do. It's more so will they actually do it.

  4. The problem isn't the music in any way. The problem is the principles by which the members of the culture stand.

    Here you see social approval for cold blooded murder.... You see that a young man died, and that many other young men are not only happy about it, but are cheering the murderers on.

    The problem is not music in any way. The problem is the moral standards by which these men, these murderers, live.

    -DJ K

  5. When you consider what the subject matter is in so much rap, you could easily argue that rap is another source of approval of this particular moral doctrine. The point is that it is not rap that is causing the behaviors, it is a code of moral values that is enforced by some rap and many people who listen to it.

    It is important to understand that justification for an action hinges on the moral value system of the individual acting.

    -DJ K

  6. violent culture...violent music...just sayin'

  7. The important thing is the reasons by which the culture has proceeded to it's current condition. It is certainly a violent culture, but categorization alone is not a usefull tool. Categorization is useful to organize the phenomena, but it is reason that is the key to understanding it.

    The question is, why is the culture violent? And, what is keeping it that way?

  8. Is it really all chief keef to blame? I mean look at the economic system in chicago and the issues with hospitals, prisons and jails. African Americans are BUILT TO LOSE out here. And you are expecting an 18 year old gang affiliated kid form the ghetto to be the "image" of africans to america? NO!! There is a bigger issue at foot here and its why the white people in record companys are allowing music like this to be promoted in our culture more than music with meaning and soul? They want us in jail, they want us in the ghetto that want us to fail... I can't blame chief keef for taking his position and earning a dollar to get out of his situation. I can't.

  9. These are kids. Teenagers. Impulsive boys and girls bumping and grinding and competing and getting on like people have been doing since time untold. Youth act in the heat of the moment, too often with tragic consequences. The tragedy lies in the free trade of guns in society. A gun in hand empowers the bearer. All salient decision-making flies the coop and the stakes become a match of the powerful vs. the powerless. Humans do it on a regular basis, but with guns, the stakes ratchet up to the nth degree with everyone backed into a corner. There's no backpeddling from it. Take the guns away and most of these victims will still be alive today. The contfrontation may still happen, but not the end result. The people do not have a right to bear arms in any situation. That's where our society needs to focus the attention when dealing with criminal violence. Take the medium out of harm's way...

  10. posted above:

    "The word will never know what is the root cause because no one that can truly make a difference in our children's lives is looking for the answer."
    -L.A. Grant"

    So true - blame whitey, blame economics, blame slavery and past civil rights abuses but the truth is that a culture that does not value parenting kids, literacy and self-reliance is a culture of self-destruction. That can only change from within and blaming anyone else is kicking the can down the road.