December 06, 2006

Diggin' in the Crates, History 101: What YOU heard may not be what I said.

Stevie Wonder - Heaven Help Us ALL (download/stream)

A word. More than merely the individual letters put together to make a string of recognizable sounds. More than simply the definition found in Merriam-Webster's (ie Supremacy's) dictionary. A word evokes a guttural response. Upon hearing a word, almost immediately, a flood of feelings, memories, smells, associations, and emotions collude to form YOUR definition. Your perogative.

Yeah, I SAID it. It's not what I said, it's what you HEARD. Freedom of speech also entails freedom of interpretation.

Nigg**. Wait for the flood. What's YOUR definition? I figure, if Paul Mooney and Jesse Jackson can be considered
black leaders, diggin in the crates, in MY history books, could help me understand the various definitions of nigg**.

Above, is the cover of MY history book. Below, you'll find MY history book's version of the story of the N-word (NO Prentice-Hall):

Back in the days colored folks lived in COLORED TOWN. 9-to-5, working to hold whitey's world up, then right back home. If the N-word was used, whitey didn't care, he was usin' it too, he went home and forgot about the coloreds. Lee Dorsey pined, "We may seem happy like everything's alright, but from the outside looking in, everything's uptight. But deep down inside we're covering up the pain....Who's gonna help brother get further?"

The late 50's and 60's brought a new era of hope, never imagined: the Whatnauts screamed: "No matter how hard you try you can't stop us now." People began listening. Pop Staples said, "If you disrespect anybody that you run into, how in the world do you think anybody's s'posed to respect you? You the kind of gentleman that want everything your way, take the sheet off your face, boy, it's a brand new day."

Whitey began listening. He didn't have HIS word, and THEY were usin' it too. If they can say it, we want it back! Patti Smith reminded us that we can make our own definitions: "Jimi Hendrix was a nigger. Jesus Christ and Grandma, too. Jackson Pollock was a nigger. Outside of society, that's where I want to be. Outside of society, they're waitin' for me." Yeah, you SAID it, but I'm gonna INTERPRET it.

He may have been too high, too stoned, and a member of an alien Mothership, but no one could misconstrue his demand: Don't call me nigger, whitey!" If you weren't listening before, you sure as hell didn't miss that. Aaron Neville reminded us that with actions and demands, come responsibilities: "Check our your own backyard before you check out someone else....I might even carry some of your load, right along with mine....Talk about me if you please but I must be Hercules." Who's gonna take the weight carried by the weary? Must be Hercules. Some words carry a lot of baggage. You called me nigg**? My emotional baggage just got heavier.

Are you helpin' me carry OUR load, OUR collective burden? You may look like me, but that don't make you my brother, my nigg*. The O'Jays told us that you needed to earn it: "How can you call me brother, if you keep tryin to rip me off? How can you call me brother, if you ain't even searchin' for the truth?" The battle ain't just US versus THEM, it's US versus US. The battlefield just got bigger.

Curtis upped the ante: we're destroying our world with so much pollution, eventually, we won't be able to see and breathe. We'll all move underground, "Near to hell, it's just as well." Damn, he's tellin' us this is a good thing, kids keep turnin' on the heat and opening the window and using them hair products: "There'll be no light, so there'll be no sight. And you'll judge your fellow man on the stand, by what is right. We'll all turn BLACK, so who's to know? As a matter of fact, color, creed, and greed must go."

No wonder, Q-Tip flinched: "I start to flinch, as I try not to say it. But my lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it. My lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it."

Diggin' in the Crates, History 101.

The N Word:
The Mixtape (alternate link 1, alternate link 2)
1 - The Whatnauts - Message from a Black Man
2 - Aaron Neville - Hercules
3 - A Tribe Called Quest - Sucka Nigga
4 - Patti Smith - Rock 'n' Roll Nigger
5 - Sly & the Family Stone - Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey
6 - Phil Ochs - Colored Town
7 - Schoolly D - Am I Black Enough for You?
8 - The O'Jays - Don't Call Me Brother
9 - Curtis Mayfield - Underground
10 -Lee Dorsey - Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
11 - Staples Singers - Respect Yourself


Blogger vik said...

hey peoples -

have any SUGGESTIONS for additions to the mixtape? it is by no means a complete list of N-word tracks. if you have suggestions, post the track or the title and i'll look for it.

our history book is a process in the making.


12:03 PM  
Blogger Amadeo said...

Let me run through my collection and see.

1:44 PM  
Blogger H. Lewis Smith said...


Los Angeles, CA., - Author H. Lewis Smith has written a thought provoking, culturally divided book that will not only spark heated conversation, but can also bring about real change. The N-word is often used in the African American community amongst each other and is generally not a problem when spoken by another African American. However, once the word is used by a Caucasian person, it brings on other effects. The question is "who can use the word and why?" Smith believes it is a word that should be BURIED!!!!

The book is written in a manner that all can understand. The points are well-taken and the wording is easy to follow. There are quotes from great people in our history including Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin and many, many others. Smith has mixed history with honesty, love with life, education with effects. This is a great book for educators, parents, managers, professionals, newsmen, and anyone else wanting an in-depth look at the N-word, the effects and the solutions. A MUST READ!!!!

To learn more about Bury that Sucka, please visit

3:36 PM  
Anonymous CB4 said...

Damn.. another POWERFUL post. I have to say - you're an incredible writer.

Here are some possiblities to add to the list (I'm not sure "exactly" what you're looking for, but anyways):

Bob Marley - Slave Driver
James Brown - Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud
King Sun - Be Black
KRS-One - House Ni***'s
Public Enemy - I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo Nig*
Intelligent Hoodlum - Black and Proud (sample's James Brown's song, so maybe not great to use them both)
Jungle Brothers & Q-Tip - Black Is Black
Poor Righteous Teachers - Speaking Upon A Blackman
Positively Black - Nightmare On America Street
Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona
Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier
Ras Kass - Nature Of The Threat (Not sure if it fits with the others, but possibly).


6:46 PM  
Blogger vik said...

d-d-d-damn cb4! nice list....when i put together the tape, i knew i'd leave things i just wanted to throw it out there....see what other people wanted to add..

i may have to do another post!

do you have any of these tracks to upload to zshare?

thanks for the compliments,
PEACE -vik

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for some reason Pharoahe Monch's "Book of Judges" popped into my head...and the brother before me beat me to the King Sun. Thorough list you got there.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous CB4 said...

I uploaded them all on sendspace:

Here's the list I came up with... not all of them relate directly to "the N word", but I think they fit with the theme.

Bob Marley – Buffalo Solider
Bob Marley – Slave Driver
KRS-One – House Ni**as
Dead Prez – I’m An African
Eric B & Rakim – In The Ghetto
James Brown – Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud
Jeru The Damaja – The Frustrated Ni**a
Jimmy Cliff – I’ve Been Dead 400 Years
Jungle Brothers & Q-Tip – Black Is Black
King Sun – Be Black
O.C., Chubb Rock & Jeru The Damaja – Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers
Peter Tosh – African
Poor Righteous Teachers – Speaking Upon A Blackman
Positively Black – Nightmare On America Street
Public Enemy – By The Time I Get To Arizona
Public Enemy – I Don’t Wanna Be Called Yo Ni*a
Ras Kass – Nature Of The Threat


7:32 PM  
Blogger vik said...

yo cb4!
that's what i'm talkin' bout. this is what the internets is for. findin like minded people. politicin.

i'm gonna have to post a part 2 to our ever-evolving history book.


@malik - welcome. what album is the monche track from? i don't know if i got that.....would you be able to post it?

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the joint was from his new album that hasn't been released yet...ima see if i can upload it on here. i'll get back to ya, kinfolk.

you can listen to it here>>

9:21 PM  
Blogger vik said...

@malik - thanks for the track. it's HEAVY. where is monche's album?

10:20 PM  
Anonymous deconstructo said...

I'd recommend spending a little time in your Last Poets crates, because:

Niggers are Scared of Revolution
Die Nigga!
Jibaro/My Pretty Nigger
Run, Nigger
White Man Has a God Complex

all make "liberal" use of the N-word. Great lists, btw, and nice mixes. Thanks.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

cb4 - could you please put these additional tracks back up. THANK

1:08 PM  

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