Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blood Beats Excerpt

Track 6: For the Love of Money (I'll Bee Dat)

      What’s even more depressing than the sight of Tommy Wear blanketing the world (is there much on the planet that’s uglier?) is the way so much contemporary rap conflates life-or-death political inequity and social injustice with the desire to wear designer gear, party with old-money blue bloods in the Hamptons, or bathe in Cristal. Genuine need and market-stoked wants have been fused. A handful of rappers’ newfound ability to shop without end is heralded as radical social change, as the whole point of centuries’ worth of social struggle. Even those still oppressed on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race or class are conned into believing this, to the point that many participate in their own silencing because there’s no profit potential, no strobe-light validation, in serious voicing of their real-life issues. When the late Audre Lorde warned that the master’s house can never be dismantled by using the master’s tools, could she have envisioned a time when there wouldn’t even be a desire to dismantle that house — that, in fact, we would master the tools only to turn them on ourselves in order to protect that same house?

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