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Troy

Where is the Major Motion Picture for Public Enemy?

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I think a film about Public Enemy could be as commercially successful as one about N.W.A., but of course white folks in charge will choose to perpetuate all the negative Black stereotype they can find.  I think it is all they know how to do... maybe it is all they want to do.  

 

Edited by Troy

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Kam just reviewed the New N.W.A. flick he gave it ★★☆☆

As I was publishing the review I discovered a ton of interviews where Easy-E was dissing Dr. Dre calling him gay and a cross dresser.  Easy-E also said Ice Cube was a fake gangster. There was a lot of publically shared animosity going both ways.  I even saw a clip of Suge Knight, on Jimmy Kimmel no less, joking about how to kill someone by injecting them with AIDS infected blood (Easy died of AIDS).  The whole thing was a deadly mess... Suge, Biggie, Easy, Tupac and on....

I'm not sure if any of this is depicted in the film, but given the recent interviews I've seen of Ice Cube praising Easy-E, I'd bet the controversy has been played down.  

And given how people today view movies as if they were documentaries, it looks like there will be ample opportunity for some revisionist history as it concerns the negative impact of Gansta Rap.

I will definitely check out the flick when I can stream it at home.  Truth be told, NWA were my boys, back in the day, I still listen to the straight outta compton music to this day.  Folks like to say NAS's Illmatic is the best rap rap album. In my book straight outta compton was far better.  Maybe it is generational thing, maybe an anger thing, but the cats from the CPT, really spoke to me.

straight-outta-compton.jpg

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I don't get to go to movies unless they are family films so I'll be streaming just like you. As far as all of that drama with those dudes I remember it well and this was almost common knowledge. The only gangsta in the crew was Eazy E. These dudes were not crippin or bloodin/banging. DJ Quik was and was the first to bring that element to Hip-Hop. NWA was the first to be prominent out of Cali, but there was a huge undercurrent and funny enough the person to do it best was Ice T before NWA. By the time Ice Cube, and then Dre left that group, it was all about the money. Honestly they had some really tacky songs, but some really important ones as well. I do agree there is revisionist history happening probably, but NWA didn't even have gang affiliations. Hollywood actually did more to spread Gangsta rap and the gang issues than NWA ever did. Colors brought Crips and Bloods to the entire country. People outside of Cali didn't even know about the gangs until that film. As a matter of fact gangs were regional. NY had their gangs, The Midwest had their gangs which filtered to the south and the West Coast had their gangs. After Colors branches of gangs began to show up in every part of the country. NWA brought a lot of things to the mainstream and they sold a lot of records, but they did very little in contributing to Gangsta rap. As a matter of fact the whole idea of "gangsta" rap is a label that eventually led to groups like Compton's Most Wanted being signed and the Banging On Wax series of crips vs bloods. Hollywood glamorized it. You ever notice there aren't any Hollywood films or songs that are big about Gangsta Disciples or Vice Lords? The only prominent VL is Common and he's crossed over so much people don't even know he banged. There is a lot to discuss here.

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Agreed, but I don't make a distinction between Hollywood and their tools (the rappers themselves).   

  

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I stumbled across this 2015 documentary on Public Enemy (really just a recording of a concert they gave in London), on Showtime, while looking for a movie to watch last night.  The flick was about 1 hour long and was "OK."  I watched it in about 20 minutes, skipping through much of the music, while my wife dozed next to me. 

I always liked PE's music, but their performances are not much better than listening to the music alone.  Apparently Terminator X was replaced by DJ Lord (I winder when that happened).  They closed the show with a song I was unfamiliar with and liked.  I will look it up a buy it.

 

Chuck D said their music was appreciated more in London than in the US.  

Here the BBC made a documentary of Public Enemy, "Prophets of Rage" as part of their Black Music Legends of the 1980s series.  I have not watched this documentary yet, but I'm confident I will enjoy this one more.  It has Professor Griff in it.  Who wasn't even mentioned in Showtime's so called "documentary."

 

Still no major motion picture.  I'd see that happening anytime soon.  Maybe a Flavor Flav bio pic would get greenlighted 'cause Flav is dysfunctional enough to appeal to a broad white audience.  

 

Edited by Troy

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Blame Spike Lee. If anyone should be on a PE movie it should be Spike. PE provided the soundtrack of Spike's most famous films. As a matter of fact when you say Do The Right Thing it's almost synonymous with Public Enemy. The DJ Lord replacement happened for this new release. The replacement is really noticeable. The music quality is very bad to me although the lyricism is still on point. In regard to being loved abroad this is the case for all Black music.

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I don't know PE second album was killer. They are like to sides to the same coin. What did PE do other than selling albums and t shirts. 

Edited by Delano
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The same could be asked about NWA Delano. At least with PE the music was critical and socially aware, not just on two or three tracks either. I like to say that with Black folks as the music goes, so do the people because we are so tied into the drum and music as a people. Our first language in America wasn't English it was music. Songs have always either been at the forefront of movements in the US or a part of the movement. Every major change in this society can be signified by music. The only time there hasn't been change in this society is in the last 20 years and guess what? The music has been stagnant and without real power. One could literally argue that the lack of powerful and meaningful Black music in the mainstream has contributed to the lack of advancement in the black community. PE has done their part as purveyors of positive and meaningful art. A movie about them would be welcomed and give a lot of insight into their connection to the Nation and condemnation of the media and Hollywood for over 30 years now.

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Yes it does sound like a diagnosis, lol. It definitely is a case for me of the chicken or the egg. What comes first, the music or the movement?

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As usual, when it came to earning respect, black women fared very poorly in the musical revolution which Rap ushered in. They are still trying to get out from under the labels of bitches and ho's, still trying to change the booty shakin images that garnished Rap videos.. Where lyrics were concerned, Rap didn't reflect black womanhood, it shaped it in a negative way, and turned gullible young women into promiscuous groupies and abused girlfriends, eager to participate in the gangsta life.

In a way, Rap could be deemed a necessary evil created by a society where art imitates life.  But "evil" it was because in the process of exposing the sordid street life of the inner city, it glorified it.  Rap made and continues to make millionaires out of street poets, but has done very little to improve the lot of the rank and file who relate to it.    

Edited by Cynique
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Rap is predominately male. However there are a few females that weren't dish towels. Sha Rock, Lisa Lee, Salt and Pepa, Yo Yo, Queen Latifah, Mone Love, and my favourite MC Lyte.

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Yes, female rappers couldn't whip the males, so they joined them. But I'm not talking about the performers. I'm talking about the general population of black women who suffered from the effects of being demeaned by the male gangsta rappers.

 

Edited by Cynique
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On the whole I agree with the statement about the misogynistic nature of Hip-Hop. However as with all aspects of life, it takes two to tango and this mistreatment of women was gradual. For the first decade of Hip-Hop there wasn't an equal playing field but it was close. It wasn't until right around 88-89 that Hip-Hop began to change into the abusive music it has become. As a matter of fact, Ice Cube made it a point to bring on Yo-Yo who created the IBWC (Intelligent Black Women's Coalition) at the same time that Queen Latifah headed up the her record label and created the song U.N.I.T.Y addressing the constant barrage of calling women bitches and mistreating them. 

The unfortunate situation was that mainstream Hip-Hop continued it's onslaught and as gangsta rap began to fade, southern Hip-Hop and Masta P and Cash Money came on to the scene with ridiculous infectious songs that women danced to these songs instead of fighting against it. I mean, women danced to "Girl you look good, why don't you back that azz up!" There has been a degradation in the mainstream since that hasn't slowed down for 20 years. 

Whatever power Hip-Hop had when the Message and White Lines and Fight The Power was made has been pushed to the back by the mainstream garbage that takes the lead in the community. As I've said though, as the music goes, so do the people and the music hasn't done shit in 30 years in the Black community and look at where we are.

Edited by CDBurns
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CD Burns when was there an equal number of female wrappers

So was Marvin Gaye's song You Sure Love to Ball about female empowerment.. It was a dog at his wife and helped him meet his contractual obligation and his divorce settlement. And what's going on is one of the most conscious albums ever.

 

 

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"there wasn't an equal playing field but it was close" is what I said. I remember at one point rocking Jazzy Joyce, Sweet T, Finesse & Synquis, Salt & Pepa, Mrs. Melody, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Oaktown 357, JJ Fad... there were a lot more women rappers in the 80s, and early 90s. Even Angie Stone, the singer, was a part of the original Sugarhill Records. There were a fair amount of women in the game and they could battle with the guys. When I say close I don't mean that it was exactly equal, but women definitely had a presence. What did happen at that time was that every crew had a female counterpart or participant. This basically remained the way things were until the last ten years or so. Even Jay Z had Foxy Brown and Biggie had Lil Kim and Master P had Mia X. They were no where near as strong as the female emcees were in the past... Today though that female voice is basically non existent and the females involved are basically saying the same things as men... so where is the balance? There isn't any and well, there never has been.

When we look at music from the past the attacks on women were very rare, actually non-existent. There wasn't any music that attacked women. Even Marvin Gaye's Hear My Dear album was supposed to be garbage to fulfill the divorce but he was so talented it still came out and became a classic. The attack of women in song didn't happen until Hip-Hop so Cynique is right.

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Ice Ciube and Dre produced it. West coast rappers know how to handle their business. 

Edited by Delano
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Guest Saradipity
On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2015 at 10:34 AM, CDBurns said:

 As I've said though, as the music goes, so do the people and the music hasn't done shit in 30 years in the Black community and look at where we are.

Interesting conversation by obviously erudite and well-versed people. With the quoted remark, however, I differ. It is not "as the music goes, so do the people," rather "as the people go, so does the music." Music is an adjunct to black movements, not the purveyor. The classic example is James Brown's "Say it loud - I'm black and I'm proud!" This song came at the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement and the beginning of the Black Nationalist Movement. Through struggle and Dr. King's assassination, African-Americans had sluffed off the racial label of "Negro" and proclaimed them/ourselves "black," a label that a decade previous was utterly despised and could earn the caller a knifing. As such, "I'm black and I'm proud" was art imitating life in the late 1960s, not vice versa. Artists don't create out of a vacuum. Music is a reflection of the artist's life and environment, not just his or her imagination.

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If music is a reflection of the life and environment then how is it that the drum was the connective tissue of the African? The Atumpan was a talking drum that allowed communication, a non-verbal communication for the African. This is why the slave owners took the drum away. As many of the tribes where slaves came from in West Africa utilized the drum the varying languages didn't matter. Slaves could organize to the drum so it was removed as a form of control. No drum, no religious practice, no language. I state all of this to get to this point, through song the African was able to both congregate without the masters knowledge and plan escapes. So I have to ask again what came first the music or the movement? It was the music that allowed the movement because the slave learned coordinates through the music. Now if we fast forward to the Harlem Renaissance, what came first the Harlem Renaissance Movement or the music? Any educator or person informed about that time period will tell you that it was the Jazz artists who generated that foundation of art in the Harlem Renaissance. The art, poetry and creativity of that era was based in the music of the people. Granted that you had writers and poets who were the unofficial legislators of the Black movement of empowerment, but music was at the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance. 

I would challenge you to look up a sister named Bernice Reagon and her most known writing, "Black Music In Our Hands". She states explicitly that there is no movement without the music. I tend to side with her and state that as the music and art goes, so do the people. There is no other explanation for how Black people are in a degrading station although we have more access than we did at any other time in history today. James Brown picked up on the Black Power Movement, he was not the initiator so he followed suit as the Civil Rights movement continued to progress. 

“Jazz,” Stanley Crouch writes, “predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.”

Not only was jazz structured similarly to ideals of the civil rights movement. Jazz musicians took up the cause, using their celebrity and their music to promote racial equality and social justice.

I place this quote here to show you that this is not an idea that I am discussing without serious consideration and knowledge. When you begin to explain that as the people go, it only perpetuates the idea that the importance of music in Black America is only a response and this is a dangerous, very dangerous position for those who are sharing ideas to state because it allows the music to not have any bearing or ability to create the change that it always has in our community. 

Filed songs led to movement. Gospel and Blues led to organization and empowerment. Jazz inspired and actually generated more opportunities in America almost as much as any philosophy espoused by Frederick Douglass, BTW and WEB. Once again if you stopped to look up Bernice Reagon (If not here is the article http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai3/protest/text3/inourhands.pdf, I'm positive you will reconsider music and its influence in the Black community after reading it,) you will see that as the music has moved, so have Black people.

I leave you with this one thought. We have seen the rise of death of Blacks by cops and by each other in the last 40 years. Can you name the forms of music that has done anything to offset or empower the people? No.

Not until the last year or so have you seen a movement Black Lives Matter which started unofficially in 2013 actually started years earlier in response to the Fruitvale Station murder http://grist.org/politics/stopping-a-bart-train-in-michael-browns-name/. What's interesting here is that even in this case, although it's not mentioned in the article Davey D had already been bringing this to the forefront of the conscious community of Hip-Hop. In Oakland where the Black Lives Matter movement was birth, people like Boots Riley of The Coup (Hip-Hop) had long been carrying the banner of Black empowerment in that area. 

I'm not giving all of Black empowerment to music, but I am laying a lot at the feet of the lack of empowering Black music in the last 40 years. I promise you if the music begins to speak towards empowerment ala Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" or D'Angelo's "The Charade" what you will begin to see in America is a real shift that empowers the people and a new movement that sustains and changes things. Until then we will just twerk and Nae Nae ourselves to death.

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Guest Saradipity
1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

If music is a reflection of the life and environment then how is it that the drum was the connective tissue of the African?

Because the materials needed to make a drum (pliable wood and animal hide) were a part of every continental African's environment.

 

The Atumpan was a talking drum that allowed communication, a non-verbal communication for the African.

Rap music in not non-verbal. That was the subject - music that said something, that promoted a lifestyle, that reflected a generation's reality, not musical instruments like drums.

 

This is why the slave owners took the drum away. As many of the tribes where slaves came from in West Africa utilized the drum the varying languages didn't matter.

There are no "varying languages" in rap music, the subject.  

 

Slaves could organize to the drum so it was removed as a form of control. No drum, no religious practice, no language. I state all of this to get to this point, through song the African was able to both congregate without the masters knowledge and plan escapes. So I have to ask again what came first the music or the movement? It was the music that allowed the movement because the slave learned coordinates through the music.

And I say, again, that it was the slave's desire to be free that came first. It makes no sense to write a song called "Steal Away" if there is no nothing to 'steal away' from... or to. The music arose out of the slave environment, not vice versa.

 

Now if we fast forward to the Harlem Renaissance, what came first the Harlem Renaissance Movement or the music? Any educator or person informed about that time period will tell you that it was the Jazz artists who generated that foundation of art in the Harlem Renaissance. The art, poetry and creativity of that era was based in the music of the people. Granted that you had writers and poets who were the unofficial legislators of the Black movement of empowerment, but music was at the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance. 

I respectfully disagree. Like I said, music does not arise out of a vacuum. If it did, why didn't continental Africans create Opera, a musical form that arose out of the foppishness and sterility of European court life that the Italians got sick of so made a lush, romantic and bodacious art form called, well, Opera.

1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

I would challenge you to look up a sister named Bernice Reagon and her most known writing, "Black Music In Our Hands". She states explicitly that there is no movement without the music. I tend to side with her and state that as the music and art goes, so do the people. There is no other explanation for how Black people are in a degrading station although we have more access than we did at any other time in history today. James Brown picked up on the Black Power Movement, he was not the initiator so he followed suit as the Civil Rights movement continued to progress. 

Your remarks about James Brown are my own, namely, that the movement came first, THEN the music which reflected the sentiments of that movement. As for sista Reagon, I agree when she says there is no movement without the music. Why? Because out of struggle black people make music. We do not make music first, THEN decide to create a mass movement around it. Kinda like a poet writing about something s/he has NEVER experienced, then the people saying "oh, wow. We should organize around the sentiments in that poem." Makes no sense. 

1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

“Jazz,” Stanley Crouch writes, “predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.”

Not only was jazz structured similarly to ideals of the civil rights movement. Jazz musicians took up the cause, using their celebrity and their music to promote racial equality and social justice.

I place this quote here to show you that this is not an idea that I am discussing without serious consideration and knowledge. When you begin to explain that as the people go, it only perpetuates the idea that the importance of music in Black America is only a response and this is a dangerous, very dangerous position for those who are sharing ideas to state because it allows the music to not have any bearing or ability to create the change that it always has in our community. 

I disagree with Stanley Crouch. I would ask either he or you to explain a causal relationship between jazz and the CRM. And not only jazz but R & B artists "took up the cause, using their celebrity and their music to promote racial equality and social justice." I've already mentioned James Brown and his reflection of the mood of the late 60's & early 70's black community with 'Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud.' Perhaps you can, but I can't think of one jazz recording that in any way impacted the CRM. Thus, IMO, it is not dangerous, just wrong to place music at the forefront of our people's struggle rather than the struggle. You can sing until the cows come home, but unless you go out and kill that steer, or buy that steak at a grocery story, you WILL go hungry. First get the meat, THEN sing praises to how you got it. Artists are important, but it is the foot soldier who does the grunt work that will free us NOT the guy blowing the bugle.

1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

Filed songs led to movement. Gospel and Blues led to organization and empowerment. Jazz inspired and actually generated more opportunities in America almost as much as any philosophy espoused by Frederick Douglass, BTW and WEB. Once again if you stopped to look up Bernice Reagon (If not here is the article http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai3/protest/text3/inourhands.pdf, I'm positive you will reconsider music and its influence in the Black community after reading it,) you will see that as the music has moved, so have Black people.

No, it has not. Black people have decided on a course of action to take to alleviate an injustice and THEN made music about it.

1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

I leave you with this one thought. We have seen the rise of death of Blacks by cops and by each other in the last 40 years. Can you name the forms of music that has done anything to offset or empower the people? No.

Thank you for making my case. Unless the PEOPLE move, decide on a  course of action to alleviate a problem, artists create no music celebrating it. Thus, no music that celebrates, inspires, empowers black people since the music of the Civil Rights Movement era.

1 hour ago, CDBurns said:

Not until the last year or so have you seen a movement Black Lives Matter which started unofficially in 2013 actually started years earlier in response to the Fruitvale Station murder http://grist.org/politics/stopping-a-bart-train-in-michael-browns-name/. What's interesting here is that even in this case, although it's not mentioned in the article Davey D had already been bringing this to the forefront of the conscious community of Hip-Hop. In Oakland where the Black Lives Matter movement was birth, people like Boots Riley of The Coup (Hip-Hop) had long been carrying the banner of Black empowerment in that area. 

I'm not giving all of Black empowerment to music, but I am laying a lot at the feet of the lack of empowering Black music in the last 40 years. I promise you if the music begins to speak towards empowerment ala Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" or D'Angelo's "The Charade" what you will begin to see in America is a real shift that empowers the people and a new movement that sustains and changes things. Until then we will just twerk and Nae Nae ourselves to death.

I disagree. Until the Black Lives Matter movement has a, or even moves in a concrete way toward a real and lasting victory, there will be no music to celebrate/inspire/empower it. Again, first the movement, THEN the music.

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Saradipity, please create an account so that I don't have to manually approve your comments.  We had a racist spam the discussion forums recently so I have to be more restrictive with allowing access--I hope I did not make it impossible for new people to register (I've noticed others posting without creating accounts).  The conversation definitely benefits from voices like yours, so I don't want to put up any restrictions.

I'm not sure why this has to be an either or situation.  

If you look at say, popular rap music, I think anyone could reasonably argue that it has more an influence on the culture than being a reflection of it.   Alternatively Hip-hop music is a was a reaction to oppressive conditions in the inner city, not the cause of those conditions

People can be influenced by music and music can influence people.  Indeed a people and their music go hand in hand. Music can motivate people into action and people create the music.  They are inextricably linked. 

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As I gave links to serious studies on each of my points about the power and influence of music and you simply countered with your opinion about the topic without providing any real evidence other than a counter point, I have to assume you did not read the Crouch link or the Reagon link. I think those articles profoundly show how the music generated the action. What are you attempting to do is play at semantics without looking to understand that in the Black community the music is so intertwined with the movement that the music is the action and creates the action in many instances. 

I have to ask once again in the past 40 years if there has been any sustained movement of the people? 

I have to ask during slavery if there was a specific "music" associated with the movement?

Was there a specific music that is identified with the emancipation of Blacks in America?

Was there a specific music linked to the Great migration?

Was there a specific music linked to the Harlem Renaissance? 

Was there a specific music linked to the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement?

I don't know how you can not answer yes to any of those questions, which makes this rhetorical, but it is intended to validate the extreme importance of music in generating and sustaining the movements. I say this, you are sticking to your guns and your point is valid and is honestly a factual statement. You have to have the people move to create. I'm not arguing that, I'm arguing that the music of Black America is often the predecessor of action and it maintains the action. 

Music in America has always been the road to understanding and integration in America. You say the people have to move first. They do, but to say that the music doesn't create and sustain the movement is dangerous. It absolves the artist of responsibility and only allows for the artist to respond as opposed to the artists establishing the movement.

I do dig this dialogue and I love that it will be here for others to find instead of wasted on Facebook so I am going to link to a few articles that support my position. I am not saying you are wrong, I'm only saying that until the music begins to take the lead in our community we will not have a movement that sustains.

http://www.voanews.com/content/songs-against-slavery-tool-for-abolition/1829393.html Songs Against Slavery Used as Tool for Abolition

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123197292128083217 How Jazz Helped Hasten the Civil-Rights Movement

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/1/89.01.05.x.html "As music shifted in the 1920�s to urban areas job opportunities increased. Along with this was an increase in spending power for black Americans. America itself was also undergoing a change from agricultural center to industrial giant, thus transforming the core population from farm worker to urban dweller....Fortunately they did bring their musical traditions of the blues and spirituals. This tradition deeply rooted because of their African heritage provided a source of employment for many during those lean times. Many found employment performing on the Harlem streets, at house parties, bordellos, or just about anywhere for a meal, a dollar or two.

I hate complex but this is a fantastic list of Civil Rights musical events: http://www.complex.com/music/2013/02/the-25-most-important-civil-rights-moments-in-music-history/billie-holiday

What you will notice is that the popular music of Blacks has always empowered as well as entertained. While every song wasn't political and we can look back to songs like Stagger Lee as showing the playfulness of Black music, the overwhelming quantity of Black Music has always empowered and when it did "just" entertain the making of the music was political because it was created and produced as you've said to the racism of the country not allowing the artist to make music. Yes the actions always come first, but a party doesn't get started until the DJ turns the volume up. Black music is the DJ for the movement in Black America.

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Just as an addition to everything stated the guest poster said, " You can sing until the cows come home, but unless you go out and kill that steer, or buy that steak at a grocery story, you WILL go hungry. First get the meat, THEN sing praises to how you got it. Artists are important, but it is the foot soldier who does the grunt work that will free us NOT the guy blowing the bugle."

Have you never realized the guy blowing the bugle actually initiates the war? Or that because Blacks weren't allowed jobs that entertainment DID feed them? It's funny, hunters often use musical instruments to initiate the hunt, but you are refusing to acknowledge how our music today has completely undercut the movement and has failed the people. I know I keep saying I'm done, but the more I think about the last forty years the more I realize how the music was killed off and our situation got worse. During the Crack era/Reagan Era there were songs like Crack Killed Applejack, White Lines, White Horse, The Message that warned people of the dangers of cocaine, but the voices then rapping where pushed to the side for the boasting form of rap from Def Jam. The Message was replaced by My Adidas. Later in the 80s The Self Destruction Movement and Human Education Against Lies attempted to start changing things and then the LA Peace Treaty was formed because of Hip-Hop, instead of the music supporting and maintaining both of these movements were crushed by the West Coast "G" thang music of the early 90s and since that time there hasn't been mainstream music in support of Black empowerment at all. The closest we've come to the mainstream using music to empower... hasn't come.

You say once the movement gets started then the music will come, but it hasn't. How many more Blacks have to be gunned down by cops before we have the artists get together to create songs like "Change Gon Come"? If the music follows the movement, where is the music. If you can explain to me where it is, then maybe I can move on.

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Guest Saradipity
1 hour ago, Troy said:

Saradipity, please create an account so that I don't have to manually approve your comments.

 

I'd thought to "try out" the forum before deciding whether or not to register. Deciding 'yes' (lol), I registered last night. I signed in today, but found a message that I was "awaiting approval." STILL awaiting approval as I received an email last night giving me the go-ahead. :huh:

 

If you look at say, popular rap music, I think anyone could reasonably argue that it has more an influence on the culture than being a reflection of it.   Alternatively Hip-hop music is a was a reaction to oppressive conditions in the inner city, not the cause of those conditions

I agree that hip-hop music is a "reaction to," i.e., it came AFTER the "cause," i.e., the oppressive conditions faced by PEOPLE who created the music. Ergo, First the "condition", THEN the music. As for the music having an "influence," I agree. My only disagreement is that the reaction (rap) came before the action (the PEOPLE'S condition).

1 hour ago, Troy said:

People can be influenced by music and music can influence people.  Indeed a people and their music go hand in hand. Music can motivate people into action and people create the music.  They are inextricably linked. 

The "link" is uncontested. It is the statement that the music comes first that history tells us is false.

 

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Guest Saradipity
29 minutes ago, CDBurns said:

Just as an addition to everything stated the guest poster said, " You can sing until the cows come home, but unless you go out and kill that steer, or buy that steak at a grocery story, you WILL go hungry. First get the meat, THEN sing praises to how you got it. Artists are important, but it is the foot soldier who does the grunt work that will free us NOT the guy blowing the bugle."

Have you never realized the guy blowing the bugle actually initiates the war?

No bugle boy has ever decided for anybody's army who to fight, where to fight, when to fight or even IF to fight.

 

Or that because Blacks weren't allowed jobs that entertainment DID feed them?

You can sing all day to a hungry infant and s/he will still die unless food.... SUBSTANCE... is provided. Entertainment is an adjunct to people's lives, not the substance.

 

It's funny, hunters often use musical instruments to initiate the hunt, but you are refusing to acknowledge how our music today has completely undercut the movement and has failed the people.

This is the first you've said of music "undercutting" the movement (WHAT movement???). I'm not sure of what you're saying or even referring to here as this is a new idea, i.e., music "undercutting" mass movements.  

 

I know I keep saying I'm done,

I must have missed that, but such a statement means the writer is finding the convo tedious, boring, whateva.... and since I am not that invested in the subject, I am more than willing to agree to disagree. :)

 

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Touche' I was implying that the music has not supported and does not help the current movement the entire time without saying directly that the music undercuts. Which is why I have been saying since I've started writing that the music initiates, and sustains a movement. You and I actually agree though because like you've said, "What movement?" There isn't one and there won't be one until the artists decide to create the movement. All of this ties back into my statement that music is a case of the chicken and the egg. Does the music create change, or does change create the music? This is the foundation of our discussion. I say the music creates the change, you say no. I've given you articles that support my position so I don't stand on just my opinion. You decided that someone elses research doesn't matter and that they are also wrong. Crouch is wrong, Reagon is write, but it's not quite the same in your opinion. 

You can feed a baby all day and the baby will be full, but not nurtured. If you sing, or read, to a baby the baby becomes empowered and learned, so go ahead keep relying on the idea that food nurtures and creates, but art and music doesn't. Feed the people all day and you just have belly's full, but as Bob Marley said, they will still be hungry.

As far as being a soldier, sailor, military person or any person who fights a war, music is always in the process of training. In the military we were awakened by music and we went to sleep to music. We could only march and keep time to a cadence (music) and we could run and train in silence while we PTd, but you better believe PT was made easier by songs. 

I wasn't sure if you wanted to continue, but I've written a lot which is why I said I'm done... but obviously I'm not, lol.  Let's try this one on for size since music doesn't create action. Walk into a party and turn on classical music and watch the movement. Walk into a party and turn on Three 6 Mafia and watch what happens. Music generates action. It always has and always will.

Here is a final point of reference that speaks to how music can create movements, I'm sure you will say the people went into action first and then the song came, but that's semantics:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21143345

"It may be cheesy and too popular for consideration, but maybe Band Aid's Feed the World (1984) is important for just that reason. Until the song was released, with its videos of starving children, the plight of millions of African families was seen as just a footnote in the news. Live Aid generated revenue, but it was the song which caught people's imagination and made us realise that famine abroad was a problem for all of us to fight, not just the people suffering. The response to other subsequent disasters has been markedly different to before, and millions have benefitted as a result." Jamie, Aylesbury, UK

Excellent discussion and while your points are short and concise in response to they are valid and honest. If I look at this from a philosophical standpoint music simply is. It doesn't do anything except create sound. People walk and talk and fight and love. The people create movements that change things. My problem is that there hasn't been a movement to help build Blacks up in a very long time and I don't see one coming to change anything. What I do believe is that when artists begin to create songs that empower, we become a stronger people. If there was more of this in mainstream Hip-Hop things would change.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtDTgYPVe98

 

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Guest Saradipity
3 hours ago, CDBurns said:

Touche' I was implying that the music has not supported and does not help the current movement the entire time without saying directly that the music undercuts. Which is why I have been saying since I've started writing that the music initiates, and sustains a movement. You and I actually agree though because like you've said, "What movement?" There isn't one and there won't be one until the artists decide to create the movement.

 

 

 

I'm sorry, we are past agree to disagree. This is just wrong! Puh-lese!

I'm sorry, but we are past agree to disagree. This is just wrong! Puh-lese!

 

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest (lol).... What music CREATED the Civil Rights Movement? What ARTIST woke up one day and DECIDED to create the Civil Rights Movement?

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Civil Rights Movement "began" around 1950. This is a loose range since "civil" rights began as soon as Blacks were enslaved and people began to fight for freedom and equality.

Because you have chosen to ignore the fact that the music both generates, sustains and inspires action maybe you won't continue to ignore the number of reading selections I've quoted that analyze this discussion we are having. Maybe you will see that all of the music of Black people led to, inspired and sustained the actions of Blacks. Just as people fought for their rights, they were also inspired and motivated and sustained by music and this bond is so evident... I don't know how you could sound so intelligent and completely ignore this fact. Your question is What Artist Woke Up and Decided to Create the CRM? That may be one of the most incredible questions posed ever. Everyday a person wakes up to fight against the wrongs of society they create the CRM. There are people who sing, write poetry, and those who march and they all are fighters in the struggle. Your question "what artist woke up and decided", is indeed a strange and somewhat silly question.

In DuBois’ classic book, “The Souls of Black Folk,” in the chapter titled “Sorrow Songs,” he writes about the religious melodies that were created by Southern slaves and how those songs spoke of justice and a perception that slave and master would one day meet, with the old realities tossed aside, and that their meeting would be as equals."  “Oh Freedom” for instance, and study the words, they reveal the resolve of the throngs of African slaves in North America. The song starts with: “Oh Freedom, Oh Freedom, Oh Freedom over me, and before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave…” These words speak of a fighting spirit and history attests to this." http://workers.org/2006/us/music-0209/

The song What Did I Do to Be So Black & Blue inspired one of the greatest books in the history of literature (Ellison's Invisible Man) and a definite book that was written to discuss the problem of being Black in America. The song was written in 1929: 

 

'Cause you're black, Folks think you lack
They laugh at you, And scorn you too,
What did I do, to be so Black And Blue?
When you are near, they laugh and sneer,
Set you aside and you're denied,
What did I do, to be so Black And Blue?
How sad I am, each day I feel worse,
My mark of Ham seems to be a curse!
How will it end? Ain't got a friend,
My only sin Is my skin.
What did I do, to be so Black And Blue?

Ellison was a musician first. You know that right? How is this not music creating a movement? 

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/classroom/blackandblue.htm

I'm making sure to give you something to look at because you clearly have something disconnected.

Motown Records was founded in 1959, but before than was Black Swan Records: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/black-swan-records-1921-1923  How do you NOT connect the recording of Black music to the Civil Rights movement? How is the act of creating music NOT a revolutionary act? How do you fix your mind to ask what artist didn't contribute to the creation of the Civil Rights Music. Do you think that little of art and its importance in the Black community?

No one person woke up and decided to create the Civil Rights Movement. It was a series of actions. But if there was one person who can be considered as the musical moment that inspired and helped sustain the creation of the movement it would be James Weldon Johnson. http://news.wjct.org/post/50-years-civil-rights-act-james-weldon-johnson

I do think we are done here because as of right now, it's much easier for you to write one sentence responses based on your opinion than for you to offer any real evidence that music is not at the forefront of the liberation of Blacks in America and that the failure of music to support and build Blacks up hasn't hurt Black folks.

 

 

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Ah ha! I see what you are doing. You are conveniently leaving out the points to strengthen your position. 

1. In the above post I used quotes around both began and civil. I also stated this is loose. Why did I do this? To establish the timeframe and to show that "civil" rights has always existed, beyond just the label assigned by the passage of laws. But you are smart enough to know that. You just ignored it...

2. You said, " YOUR contention that artists make DECISIONS to create black mass movements." which was questioning my statement that artists create movements. But you conveniently ignore that I'm giving both facts, research and a position that I'm attempting to defend. So instead of addressing this statement that I made, " Everyday a person wakes up to fight against the wrongs of society they create the CRM. There are people who sing, write poetry, and those who march and they all are fighters in the struggle," you ignore it to try and show what? I have no idea. Clearly I've said artists create and sustain a couple of times, I also said there is no one point that created the movement. When I say artists must create the movement, I mean that if Black Lives Matter is to take root and sustain that music must support it. But I've said this a number of times and you ignored that as well.

3. "You keep impeaching yourself with your own words." No I keep giving instances were music/artists helped to contribute to the multitude of small events that created the CRM. Once again though you know that's what I'm doing... but what amazes me is I've asked you to give an example where music didn't help sustain the movement and you have ignored that as well and not once have I seen any research or articles to defend your "position".

4.  "I'm leaving this discussion because you clearly have no intention of being confused by the facts." You should leave this one. You know why? Because throughout every section I've written I've given facts and research from Bernice Reagon, to Stanley Crouch, to an analysis of how art has created literature and music that has informed ideas and movement and in my final statement I answered your question about art creating movements by saying 

No one person woke up and decided to create the Civil Rights Movement. It was a series of actions. But if there was one person who can be considered as the musical moment that inspired and helped sustain the creation of the movement it would be James Weldon Johnson. http://news.wjct.org/post/50-years-civil-rights-act-james-weldon-johnson

But once again instead of analyzing the material and offering why you don't think music creates movements and sustains the progress of Black people, you ignore. The above article digs into... nevermind.

Like I said, I get it. You have zero interest in presenting a position and actually giving any research to support your position. You are only looking to refute my words with random insertions of "facts" that support nothing because you don't have a position. Unless your position is music doesn't create movements. Which is completely asinine since musical periods studied everywhere are called periods because of the music. Just as literature is broken down into periods, we can only look back on eras and movements and create a title for them. This means that the time period where this entire discussion began (Hip-Hop) has not existed long enough to say that there is a movement that arose from this music (although Hip-Hop itself was born of the issues in post civil rights America). That may be my only flaw in this discussion, but as it stands I can counter this by establishing like I have that the Reagan/Crack era had songs that attempted to inform us, but that moment was shut down by popular rap. The HEAL/Self Destruction/LA Peace Treaty was all Hip-Hop based, but was shut down by the influx of gangsta rap so those moments died. Now there is another situation upon us that really never left, police brutality and gang violence, and the only music being created is overshadowed by dance music and unintelligible rap music in the mainstream. My main point has been and remains this, if Hip-Hop doesn't create music that empowers us as well as entertain, any movement or moment of improvement will have a very hard time staying in the public eye. The only thing that might alleviate the need for music to do what it's always done in the Black community is the speed at which content can be shared, but even that is flawed as Steve Harvey and R Kelly have dominated social media more than Chicagoans shutting down the shopping season.

I really do think we are done. It was good to do this because it definitely created discussion and that is empowering.

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And again your response is to nitpick around what you think makes sense. In a debate/discussion we both choose sides. I chose a side and then delivered points/facts/research to establish that other people also believe that the music moves the people. 

Your position is that this is nonsense, but I haven't seen an article or research that establishes your position. You only have to refute, not defend. You asked what artist inspired a movement, I gave you an article on James W Johnson. You ignored it. I gave you the "Black Music in My Hands" you dismissed it. I quoted Crouch, you dismissed it. Yet, your position is one that doesn't make sense, while there is research to back what I'm saying. 

And I'm stating that the idea of acting civil towards other people should not be relegated to when the term came into existence. People have always fought for civility regardless of the "time period". I extended my position on this by explaining that all time periods are given their names after the movement has been given time to be studied. The "Civil Rights" Movement could just as easily been labeled " the Voting Rights movement. The name doesn't matter in how I'm refuting what you are saying. The reason I discussed slavery, the Great Migration, Harlem, Ellison, Motown/Black Swan, Civil Rights and Hip-Hop is because in a debate you have to build to your primary point. My primary point is that music has always created, inspired and sustained every moment in Black history and that the music today is failing to do so. In order to make that point I had to discuss not only Civil Rights, but all aspects of "Black movement". 

Like I said, you delivered a position that as the black people go, so does the music. I stated that Black music informs, inspires and creates movement. The only difference in what you did and what I did was that I gave something for people reading to study if they choose to. You did not.

I would like to put this to bed with a final discussion of a point I raised early in this back and forth. The talking drum. You dismissed my introduction of the talking drum because it is an instrument and not "music". I think this is where the majority of our disagreement takes place. For me the drum is the beginning of all things in African culture. It is so tied into the spirituality in Dogon, Yoruba and other tribal philosophies in West Africa that to remove the drum is to remove the voice of the people. When the drum arrived with the slave in the US it became a part of a series of laws to remove the humanity of Africans. There was a law against teaching slaves to read in 1739 and there was also a law against the talking drum. The removal of the drum was critical to the enslavement of Africans. "And whatsoever master, owner or overseer shall permit or suffer his negro or other slave or slaves, at any time hereafter, or beat drums, blow horns, or use any other loud instruments, or whosoever shall suffer and countenance any public meetings or seatings or strange negroes or slaves in their plantations, shall forfeit 10 current money, for every such offence." This decree was following the Stono Rebllion of 1739.

If you don't understand the connection between music and movements from this quote. It's you not me who refuses to accept facts. The reason the Stono rebellion was able to be attempted was because the talking drum and instruments were critical to the plan of the Africans. The music has always been an inspiration and sustaining power in the movement of Blacks. I get that you are saying so goes the people... of course the people come first, but to deny the power and creative influence of music and to say it hasn't created anything is just arguing for the sake of arguing.

VF Calverton in 1929 wrote, "The Negro's music and folk art were never purely imitative." (not to rely on a white guy, but this is in response to your statement that music is responsive only.

Richard Wright in 1937 wrote, "Black literature could be as original and as compelling as black music and folklore - if it turned to their own vernacular traditions." This is to establish that black music was at the forefront of the Realist Movement in Black Literature. That counters your idea that music doesn't create. (second edition of the Norton Anthology).

Henry Louis Gates said, "we have given a prominent place to the black vernacular tradition... because it preceded the tradition of written letters among African Americans. Oral expression, signifying, rap poetry.. in the traditional antiphonal "call and response" ... makes concrete the black tradition's first metaphor." The movements of Blacks is sustained by the revolutionary act of learning to read and write. In studying literature and creating literature the Black was given the ability to be seen as more than 3/5ths or as an animal/property. The first works of literature derived from the oral tradition and songs of Blacks.

What do you think?

 

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