Friday, 3 June 2005

That's Gotta Hurt!

Whitest white guy ever, pops up at Pop Matters to criticise Hip-Hop politics.

O-Dub over at Poplicks writes a cruel annihilation of the article then realises it's better to build than destroy. What he writes instead makes you wonder what kind of a slapping the original was. Damn!
What I find most lacking in Rubenstein's discussion of Public Enemy (who became his strawmen in this essay), it's that he misses the point. P.E. didn't become the most important rap group in the late 1980s because of their politics. They did it because of their style and attitude. If all it took to sell units on the street was to have a good speech, Farrakhan would be sporting platinum plaques on his mosque walls. P.E. electrified critics, fans, etc. because their sound and image was unlike anything else out there. Politics were part of their performance, not the other way around. Anyone who's ever listened to a Public Enemy album should be able to pick up on this straight away. Suggesting that Bob Dylan was sophisticated while P.E. were simplistic and dogmatic is nothing more than typical white noise supremacy.

Update: In a sort of hilarious counter-point Muriel Gray in The Guardian calls Bob Geldof a genius for getting a bunch of irrelevant white guys (and Youssou N'Dour) together to play their hits and lecture the youth of today on what it's like to have a political conscience. She defends their motives mostly on the grounds that they're all millionaires and/or haven't had in a hit in a while. May be the idea is if you get someone this clueless to talk up the event, the event itself won't seem too bad. Fortunately I don't think it works that way. I mean nothing, but nothing, is going to make the idea of Sting and Madonna doing Imagine as a duet seem anything less than woefully misguided and an affront to right thinking people the world over.

No comments: