January 07, 2007

Langston Hughes and Curtis Jackson Fistfight in Heaven

Thanks to Rizoh from
the Rap Up for the rapper-turned-author image.

Gwan a School - Sister Nancy
America Eats the Young - Tragedy the Intelligent Hoodlum and Chuck D
Brainwashed - The Kinks

Rapping has truly become a side-hustle. Rappers don't even bother rapping anymore. Remaining relevant has nothing to do with releasing albums. They have book deals to garner. They have ringtone sales to worry about. They have coauthors to hire.

They have a stereotype to keep alive. They have an image to uphold. They have movies to make. Yeah, there are drugs in the ghetto. But the
face of the enemy is changing. The war on drugs may have the wrong guy in its scope:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans dying from the abuse of illegal drugs has leaped by 400 percent in the last two decades, reaching a record 28,000 in 2004. The F.B.I. reported that drug arrests reached an all-time high of 1.8 million in 2005. The Drug Abuse Warning Network, a federal agency that compiles statistics on hospital emergency cases caused by illicit drug abuse, says that number rose to 940,000 in 2004 — a huge increase over the last quarter century.

Why are so few Americans aware of these troubling trends? One reason is that today’s drug abusers are simply the “wrong” group. As David Musto, a psychiatry professor at Yale and historian of drug abuse, points out, wars on drugs have traditionally depended on “linkage between a drug and a feared or rejected group within society.” Today, however, the fastest-growing population of drug abusers is white, middle-aged Americans. This is a powerful mainstream constituency, and unlike with teenagers or urban minorities, it is hard for the government or the news media to present these drug users as a grave threat to the nation.

Curtis Jackson and his entrepeneurial spirit step to the plate. Curtis needs to keep supremacy alive. It's his only avenue for money, he stopped rapping years ago. Scary black drug-dealers sell. Scary black drug-dealers scare suburban mothers. Did I mention that scary black drug-dealers sell? If an image no longer sells, does it still exist? If a stereotype fails to reap a profit, does it fail to exist?
50 Cent, literary stalwart. Puh-lease. Langston Hughes could've kicked his ass, literally and figuratively. The real question is yet to be answered. Are we gonna BUY into this ish? As we await the results, print out the following pic and buy yourself some real books.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work, fam. Check my blog out at http://poisonousparagraphs.blogspot.com/


5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well done!

7:52 AM  
Blogger vik said...

dart and anonymous - thanks. i do what i can DUDES

8:56 PM  

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