Lil Wayne: Artist or Modern Day Minstrel?

minstrelToday I’m handing out awards. The category: 21st Century Steppin’ Fetchit Coonin’ Buck Singing Shining Modern Day Minstrel.

And the award goes too…

*drumroll*

Lil Wayne!

The crowd goes crazy and stands to their feet!black-white-minstrel-showAs a lover of hip-hop; a lover of lyricists; a lover of artists such as Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, KRS One, Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Roots, Slick Rick, Brand Nubians, Eric B. and Rakim, LL Cool J, Mc Lyte, K Solo, Roxanne Shante, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Dead Prez, Latifah the list goes on and on and on, I have been totally disgusted with this generation of rap. 90% of the rappers out now are WACK lyrically. 95% of the rappers out now are OUT OF THIS WORLD mentally. 98% of them are not in it, emotionally. This recipe is only built for disaster and Armageddon has hit the rap world.

Our 21st Century Steppin’ Fetchit Coonin’ Buck Singing Shining Modern Day Minstrel award recipient, Lil Wayne, has a song titled “Whip It Like a Slave.” I would not have known this because I do not own a SINGLE Lil Wayne album but through hearsay, it was brought to my attention.Lil%20Wayne

Long hair pretty eyes light skin fine legs,
Phat a**, skinny stomach, pretty feet, pretty woman
Walking down the street cause I put her out my jeep,
I don’t save em, I slave em, they want weezy f,I bad grade em,
I don’t degrade em, I serenade em,
100 on the charm
100 on the arm
Rings so thick I can’t even make a fist
Nigga f*ck how you do it cause I do it like this
Yeah, and I just do my wayne
And every time I do it I do my thang,
say I do it how I do it when I do it everyday

and I whip it like a slave like a mother f***in slave
yes I whip it like a slave yes I whip it like a slave
I whip it like a slave like a mother f***in slave
yea I whip it like a slave like a mother f***in slave
then I beat it I beat it I beat it I beat it
I beat that….block
I beat that block like it misbehaved

then I whip it, I whip it, I whip it, like a slave

There are a number of things wrong with this passage. Most of these things have plagued blacks for generations and it is clear as day that Weazy f baby is directly affected by these things. His reference to light skin, the misogynistic tone, the trivialness of the insurmountable cost of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the downplaying of the damage drugs did to black communities are some to name a few.

My friends and I discussed our issues about this song over the weekend. Some believe that one of the many white music conglomerates that’s been pimping these artists suggested the title and Wayne, like a puppet, a 21st Century Steppin’ Fetchit Coonin’ Buck Singing Shining Modern Day Minstrel puppet, just did as his masters told him. Other’s go by Wayne’s history and chops it up as they think he’s that ignorant and stupid enough to make a song like this. I believe it could happen both ways. The point is, it happened. If he thought of it himself, that’s a problem. If the powers-that-be suggested it and he agreed, that’s a problem as well.

Lil Wayne is not the only Coon artist out there. He’s not the only one poisoning our airways with this garbage. So why do I feel so fired up about this song? Because no one else seems to be fired up about it. Why?

Oh, wait! I just figured it out. Lil Wayne is black. Had this song been created by a white artist, black folks would be ready to take it to the streets. If Bill O’Reilly uttered “whip it like a slave” on his national TV show, we would be ready to burn down the Fox network. I can hear Rev. Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine (by the way I loooooooove Mr. Ballentine), Michael Baisden, Michael Eric Dyson, Dr. Cornel West and the countless other old school and new school ‘leaders’ (I use the word loosely for some) talking about this subject. I can hear the buzz in chat rooms across the World Wide Web. The blog world would be on fire had New Kids On The Block sang this song. I can almost imagine the diss records that would be in immediate production if Eminem had made this song instead of Lil Wayne. But all I hear are cricketts.

I guess because the man uttering these repulsive words is black means its ok, huh?

When little Johnny comes beep-bopping down his suburban street and ventures out to the urban streets with earphones in ear chanting “I whip it like a slave, I whip it like a slave” what’s going to happen? This song will mess around and get Little Johnny dived on. But because we have become so far removed from the impact of slavery, racism, the Civil Rights movement, our parents being hosed and not knowing your grandfather because he was lynched for looking a white man in the eye etc. etc. etc, we accept this garbage as ‘our own’ therefore making it acceptable for others to think the same. Sounds like what has happened with the word nigger, doesn’t it?

So what are you going to do about it? Probably nothing. You’ll probably continue to support Wayne or his label or anything affiliated with the production and execution of this song. You’ll probably send your child to his upcoming tour. You’ll probably still make him one of the most downloaded artist for ringtones and Itunes. You’ll continue to make the music conglomerates that sign off on this crap, conglomerates. As usual, you will not do anything but sit by and accept it. I, on the other hand, plan on letting as many people know that this shit will not be tolerated.  Enough is enough already.

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3 comments on “Lil Wayne: Artist or Modern Day Minstrel?

  1. I’m incredibly relieved to have found this posting, as I kept thinking along these lines. I don’t know all of L.W.’s music, but for the populist ones like Bedrock and Every Girl, I think there’s a tightrope being danced across for the sheer thrill of it. The tightrope being somewhere in between misogyny and female empowerment–since no girl is technically “left out” of the great fun being had f*cking him & his pals. They’re smiling, they’re playing with nerfs, everybody’s pretty, it’s overwhelmingly nonthreatening… It must be popularly seen as tasteless “good” fun, which is the vague, bland mush that ends up being a stereotype.

    The problem I keep encountering in my mind is that, by making a controversy– by talking about these things, do we empower the artists/producers/backers who propagate these idiocies, or do we empower ouselves by questioning them?

    Feel free to email me you responses, I’m curious to hear what you think.

  2. Wow… I must say I am very unpleasantly surprised. I am a fan of Lil Wayne but I must admit that I figured by now he would have graduated lyrically by now. Apparently he is appealing to his audience.

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