Tuesday, July 12, 2005

At the Studio

Based on A Qualified Negro's own independent research, nine out of 10 Negro males between the ages of zero and 49 have rapped or beatboxed in the last 24 hours. Of those, approximately 80% are pursuing rap careers in their spare time. These percentages, based on a randomly selected Negro sample, are obviously higher at historically black colleges, housing projects, street corners, basketball courts, black barber shops, county jails, check cashing locations, Kentucky Fried Chicken locations, black churches and hip-hop clubs. In those places, Almost Every Single Negro wants to be a rapper.

A few weeks ago, while conducting research for this study (which will be published in the journal Quintessential), I visited the local public radio station's underground rap show. In a bathroom-sized studio, host Matt Sonzala interviews local rappers and wannabes and plays their new music on the air. Anyone who wants to rap can stop by. Matt's policy is not to discriminate among his guests; every aspiring rapper will get on the air if he waits his turn. This means that the show, which is called Damage Control and airs on KPFT, is usually the first to play the hottest hip-hop coming out of Houston. It also means that a fair share of Talentless Negroes get their chance to clutch the mic.

Most remarkable is the sheer volume and variety of Negroes who patiently wait to rap. On Wednesday nights when the show airs, Negroes line up around the block to get into the show. It's like Six Flags on Negro night. It's quite the spectacle given the station's location in a white residential neighborhood. Among the hopeful, you'll find an Old, Cross-Eyed Negro who has clearly been to prison and had that booty licked more than once. Or a set of Giant Nigerian Negro twins that rap in Ibo. Or a College Negro wearing his Jansport backpack full of books he hasn't read. There are Little Negroes and Big Negroes, and Smart Negroes and Dumb Negroes and Rich Negroes and Poor Negroes. They all rap. You'd be surprised to discover which Negroes are talented and which aren't.

What's it all for? Superficially, it's about bitches and bank. (That's why I rap.) But it's also about fulfilling the Negro Dream -- making it out of the hood, buying your mama a new house and telling the whole world about it over a tight beat. White folks have Horatio Alger; Negroes have Mike Jones. When he performed at the BET Awards, Every Rapping Negro in Houston shed a tear.

Back then, hoes didn't want me
Now I'm hot, hoes all on me
I'm Mike Jones!


He bared his gold and diamond capped teeth. He brought 50 of His Closest Negroes on stage, some carrying pimp cups, others still wearing their backstage passes. He threw wads of cash to wealthy audience members. It was a Negro's Dream fulfilled. That is why Negroes line up every Wednesday at the radio station. That's why nine out of 10 male Negroes raps at least once a day.

10 Comments:

Blogger sJea said...

qn...apparently...atlanta and houston are ranked numbers 1 and 2 in the nation for cities with the most wannabe negro rappers...as well...i'm sure they place high on the list of cities with the most wannabe negro producers, wannabe negro girl groups, wannabe negro boy bands, wannabe negro videoho's, wannabe the next negro superhead...and on and so forth...

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Camille said...

who?!
mike jones...

A friend of mine from Oklahoma City introduced me to his underground mixtapes about 2 years ago.

Nice to see he's achieved the Negro Dream...

'...I am the hope and dream of the slave????'


Out here in San Diego, the cragguh ass craggus would NOT go for a radio station in their 'hood that brought with it a train of Negroes every Wednesday.

...and while I think too many of us are all tryna be rappers (whether it's because it's easy or what), it's nice to see a radio station that supports those tryna capture a dream. Clear Channel has cornered this San Diego market.

Peace and Love.

((can't post on Kim's blog anymore for some reason - so tell her congrats on the new gig!))

8:02 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

Oh, now that is a funny post.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Stephane King said...

you silly.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Janie said...

AH, Mike Jones. The only rapper who says his name at least 6 times in each and every song on his album. I think he was the death blow to good hip hop.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Amy Goodman said...

Mr. N, my constituency would have much criticism of my willingness to dignify your blog with a response. But I have a greater responsibility to truth and justice.

Though generations of people descended from slaves stolen from the African continent are weeping, I will make no criticism of your use of "Negro." You are obviously looking for laughs at the expense of African people. I do, however, have some serious comments about the rest of your most recent post.

The media (excluding independent media) is focused on denigrating the African-American male. And here you are, Mr. N, criticizing your own people for having a dream. Your thinly veiled sarcasm speaks of a deep distaste for and fear of the lifestyle of many African-American men. I refuse to quote your "statistics" as they are probably false. Nevertheless, many African-American do men believe that the pursuit of music is the only viable means out of their poverty.

What you fail to understand is the socio-economic condition in which the African-American man finds himself. He is excluded from college by a racist, capitalist system that rewards straight, white men. He is denigrated by a society that values the rights of a brain-dead woman in Florida, but judges Affirmative Action to be unconstitutional. He is pushed to the very extremes of our nation.

You are obviously educated. Why don't you hold a class to teach the aspiring African-American men how to run the radio station instead of simply performing there? Why don't you organize these young men into study groups so that the educated can teach the less fortunate? Or economic collectives where the wealth of the rich can be shared with the wisdom of the poor?

Horatio Alger and Michael Jones do have something in common. They both serve the establishment. Alger preached the impossible dream that, in America, "you can be anything you want to be." Mr. Jones exemplifies the same message. The problem is that between the neo-laissez faire sentimentality of Mr. Alger and the sexist flash of Mr. Jones, we are force fed a cadre of extremely fortunate icons, the status of whom none of us can realistically achieve.

In closing, I would like to say that despite its appearance in this sexist, capitalist, racist blog, KPFT is a Pacifica radio station and boasts a plethora of excellent programming.

12:58 PM  
Blogger The Quintessential Negro said...

Very well stated, Ms. Goodman. If I didn't know better, I'd guess that you were a Negro yourself. Wherever did you learn so much about the Negro people? Please teach me more about myself at your earliest convenience. -TQN

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Camille said...

LMAO!!!!
That was classic.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous The Secret of Sseh said...

Mr. Negro, or Mr. African American for all you sensitive nergroes.

That was pretty funny.

To Ms. Amy "I want to write an Essay" Goodman:

"What it is ho, whats up. Can a nigga get in them guts"

"Hey girl.... wait to you see my d!ck....you will never get enough...like bim bim bim bim"

8:26 AM  
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12:15 AM  

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