Lil Wayne: Whippin’ it like a Slave in Black August
by Minister Paul Scott
“Young boys without substance or content.
You better slow your speed stop the nonsense.”
-The Power Chill Rob G-
A flick came out in the mid 90’s called “Tales from the Hood,” it was kinda like a ghetto version of “Scared Straight;” only with zombies. Perhaps the best part of the movie dealt with a gangsta named Krazy K who was undergoing some heavy sci fi rehabilitation by being forced to relive scenes of the many murders of black folks that he had committed against a backdrop of lynchings and cross burnings. After listening to the latest youtube hit “Whip it “(Like a Slave), I wonder if such a rehab session would work on Lil Wayne? Naw, he’d probably just sit there with that spaced out permanent grin on his face sippin’ Sizzurp through a styrofoam cup and mumbling auto tune lyrics as visions of black death flash before his eyes.
This month is known as Black August, a time when activists recognize the August 21, 1971 state execution of revolutionary George Jackson via an alleged prison escape attempt. Not to mention it is a month rich in black history, including the births of Marcus Garvey and Fred Hampton. Unfortunately, it is also a month when Lil Wayne and the America’s Most Wanted Tour will be hitting cities across the country.
Unlike other rappers, Lil Wayne aka Weezy has never prided himself as being the “Malcolm X of the Hip Hop generation” and when he has his frequent run ins with the law he isn’t all over the TV yellin’ that he is “a black man being persecuted in America just for being black” a la Dr. Henry “Skip” Gates.
He is what he is, a thug; a thug with a college education but never the less, a thug. So there is very little that would come out of his gold toothed grill that would surprise me.
However, his new collaboration with Dem Franchize Boyz got my attention on several different levels.
The song, which is the latest Internet sensation, has been generating thousands of hits on social networking sites. While some will argue that Lil Wayne and the Boyz are not talking about literally tying someone to an old oak and pulling out a bullwhip but are metaphorically referring to cooking up crack, that makes the song even that much sicker as it embraces the genocide of black people, past and present.
While some may quickly point to the ignorance of the rappers to blame for “Whip it,” the finger should really be pointed at the ignorance of a black community that would allow such a song without protest.
When I say ignorance, I am not talking about the negative connotation of lacking intelligence but the functional definition of lacking proper information in regards to the history of African people in this country.
The major problem when discussing the matter of slavery and race overall, in this country is a lack of a proper point of reference in order to put the discussion in the proper context.
For the last century, the issue of slavery has been glossed over by a Hollywood that was more than happy to give us the happy -go- lucky Uncle Remus type or the mammy who was happy to birth massa’s babies. Matter of fact, for most Americans, the image of slavery does not get any more graphic than “Kunta Kinte” getting 40 lashes for not accepting the slave name, “Toby.”
Also, the educational system of this country has relegated any discussion of black history to a 28 day period in February and the content of that discussion does not, in any way, seek to explore the depths of the brutality visited upon the victims of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade confining it to a rosey picture painted of a post Emancipation America that merely substituted one form of slavery (chattel) for another (economic).
It must also be noted that while physical slavery was horrific it was the mental enslavement that has been the most destructive. For long after the physical chains are gone, the mental chains remain.
While many may say that this mentality is exclusive to the ‘ hood, it has historically been the black middle class that discouraged any identification with Africa, therefore pre-1865 history was a taboo subject for the upwardly mobile black bourgeoisie.
As Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote in 1933, “the mis-educated Negro joins the opposition with the objection that the study of the Negro keeps alive questions which should be forgotten.”
So the severity of the slave trade was lost on future generations.
This is also exhibited among members of a Hip Hop generation who will constantly debate the lyrical prowess of rappers who celebrate the abuse of black women and glorify black fratricide but will shy away from any mention of the heinous crimes committed against black people by Europeans.
So we are left with an overly simplistic understanding of the thought process that allows songs like “Whip It” to be embraced in 2009.
This lack of historical depth is exacerbated by the fact that many perceive that we are living in a “post racial” America where the outrage over thousands of examples of police brutality against black men can can be squashed over beer and pretzels.
As Bruce Bridges writes in his book “Reclaiming the African Mind, “the intent of the system of slavery was to rob the African man of his responsibilities of manhood and emotionally castrate him.”
While rappers like Jay Z have dedicated themselves to DOA (the death of the auto tune) we must dedicate ourselves to DOI (the death of ignorance) by raising our voices against ‘Whip It Like a Slave.”
We must do this in honor of those whose lives we celebrate in August and whose deaths we mourn.
As Soledad brother George Jackson once wrote:
“When I revolt, slavery dies with me. I refuse to pass it down gain. The terms of my existence are founded on that.”
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com
He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner
KRS and Buckshot did the original DOA. Good article. I have been listening to so much rap music in 2009 but with the television and radio off, so I had no idea this was out or even considered to be “hot” by the networks. Damn I feel like the whole world is missing out, so much top notch rap music being made and every one is missing it because of some corporate creation who names himself after George Jefferson’s wife.
The joke is on our people, it really is. Because 2009 is a great year in rap music, one of the best yet – and nobody really knows.
These guys are doing nothing living a minstrel show. They rap about things they have never experienced. Anyone who has actually been in the mist of the real drug trade. Will tell you nothing is glamorous about it. Drugs = Death. I see nothing glamorous about selling death to you own people. These kats get on tv shuffle and jive in videos depicting a life that no one wants to be a part of.
I DETEST Lil Wayne, add this to my points for doing so.
We now have entire generations of people raised on this type of “music”. This argument isn’t new, and I don’t say that to discredit the author by any means. But we’ve collectively and individually have been having this argument about lyrical content, misoginistic content, ignorant posturing, the list goes on and on… but again we’ve been having these arguments since the 80’s. And we are always shut down, and shouted out. We are labeled “haters” and such. And the resident hip hop apologists will argue the validity of the sound etc…
What I find to be sad is that so much of this content, whether it is visual, or lyrical is so disposable. I mean Lil Wayne may think he is the sh*t, but he is just the newest minstrel in a long line of them. And too many of our brothers are waiting in line to take his place when he crashes and burns.
This is a prime example of why we need to boycott these mentally challenged puppets. Monkey see Monkey doo has never fit so well up until now. It just disgust me the type of music and movies and video games ect. that is being fed to our youth today. I really hate to see the industry 5 yrs from now. This is so sad that someone from the region that was heavily concentrated with slave trade would make such an objective song like this. This is garbage and it belongs where all the rest of the garbage belongs in the trash. What next is he going to start a white face trend? A big Fuck You goes out to LIL LAME !!!
Jose, you are right, I remember in 1992 during a mark riley show on wlib radio he mentioned that after some commercials he wanted to talk about this trend of vulger language happening in hiphop, since then the names may have changed, the words mostly haven’t changed either, just the minstrel acts replace another after another 1992 to now is almost a generation worth of time, I’ve been saying for along time we have many in our community weened on the trick 97 mentality.
A little Black History, SlabTzu, 2009 is the thirtieth year Anniversary of a musical form or genre created and recorded by “Black” people in America. As far as Hip-hop record sales, I’m not impressed by how much money record executives along certain hip-hop artist are making. I was in Philly listening to a R&B radio station with DJ PAttie Jackson and she must have played like 5 soul songs and then Beyone, Beyone just didn’t fit the rotation with her little pop/hip-hop sound. While I was on vacation they were selling “Little Wayne for President” sweat shirts. Wake up, MY people, Lil’ Wayne job is to sell white people and other ignorant people “Hip-hop” (Helping Ignorant People – hurt Our People) CD’s globally. The joke is on African Americans because they don’t whish to see how they are being exploited globally by the record executive and a few nescient so-called “brothers”. But the Lil’ Wayne sweats.in Wildwood, NJ did it for me. He’s making “Hip-hop” records (the name jews named this 30 year Rap Music thing) for white people in America and those globally, not the music Black people created exactly thirty years ago. Wake up, People!!!!
Like with many things in The States, if it doesn’t appeal to you, browse to the next aisle. I hate to come off like I don’t care, but this same arguement over such content has been going on for quite a while. There are conscious folks overseas as well, so don’t think that they’re falling for it like other sheeple.
The sheeple are going to think that way about AA’s regardless of how much we huff and puff. I say get to as many folks as possible and allow the rest to wallow in the filth. I crept away from the mainstream back in the late ’90s, so Lil’ Wayne & Co. don’t affect me at all. This place, by the day, is coming off like a prequel to the movie Idiocracy…and it ain’t just black folks!
That said, wtf is “Whip it (like a slave)?! BS minstrel or tired sexual innuendo? Both? SMH material!!!
Was Lil’ Wayne one of those guys that came on stage with his pants hanging all down or “saggin'” at the BET Award/MIchael Jackson Tribute? Well, please google “Saggin – Backwards Niggas”. Interesting piece on the history of folks wearing “SAGGIN'” pants. “Preach to teach the young Black youth.” And if the white, latina, asian and others listen they’ll only benefit as well. Cause as they say,” when white people catch a cold, we get pneumonia.” Those that work for the record executives won’t tell you that story.
I happily don’t know the name of a single god damned song Lil Wayne has ever done. I just don’t have time for his music and I certainly ain’t got the money for it, since I do actually buy the albums.
As for the content I’m never sure if I should be mad at dumbasses like him for getting rich peddling shit or at the CEO’s getting richer or at the everyday people like myself spending their money (or downloading) the crap they’re sold.
I do know that we need positive music and innovative music. So I’m asking you all to post the names of your favorite albums and artists for the last couple of years. Keep in my mind I live in Taiwan and don’t hear of anything that is way the hell above ground.
Regardless of which side of the issue you stand on, the bottom line is this…Its not going to stop..I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is what it is..The only thing you can hope for is that the artist that do make socially conscious music continue the struggle and find a way to reach the masses..Is it a difficult task? YES but not impossible..It was cool to be conscious and have a message back in the early 90’s partly because artist that made it in the mainstream MADE it cool to be conscious..(and I really hate using the word conscious because everybody should have a certain level of consciousness)..Ice Cube made it into the mainstream and said “F–ck Amerikkka spelled with a triple K!!” so it CAN be done..
The Mighty Network
I completely get what you’re saying in this piece. I have just come to realize that there is so much garbage and reprehensible music out here that I would have to make protesting my full-time career and passion because once you start the wave will be on in a major way. I would rather spend my energy on the good music and the artists who aren’t architects of negativity.
can we revoke lil’ weezy’s designation of greatest rapper alive? or disenfranchise dem franchize boys? this song is ignorant on so many levels. if a sense of irony was intended, its completely lost in the 3xignorant lyrics. this is self-incrimination, self-oppression, self-imprisonment. i never thought i’d hear a dirty south rapper make a song which could be construed as a modern-day KKK anthem which endorses hateful stereotypes and has no redeeming social value whatsoever. this is simply indefensible.
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Alwayship-hop79, Mr. Ignorance knows “we” right on his tail. Jews exploiting Black youth for the entertainment of white people and others globally will stop. They can’t hide behine the Romans forever. Who said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness? Don’t get me started. Alwayship-hop79, you want Black people to be made minstrel and support helping ignorant people (record execs and owners) – hurt our people (Black youth). Let’s kick the ballistics and fight this ignorance. “You can’t stop the Prophet” by Jeru the saga continues until we defeat this ignorance of aBlack people being “Bamboozled (Spike Lee)” just to enteratin white folk. I love white people, I hate Mr. Ignorance who using “greed”. Break out the pork chop shem. You don’t have to agree with me because I’ve been fighting this battle since 1987, God is going to step in, trust me.
those artists in the early 90’s that were considered conscious by 1993 became considered corny, by the mainstream, mainstream wanted more gritty tales from da hood, that formula still plays itself out today, that is what they deem considered to sell, by 1994 biggie and others had outsold groups like pe and boogie down, x-clan, because that’s when it really became mainstream, to some during the period of 1987-92 the conscious music may of been a fad or cool but that only shows a lack of real consciousness on a personal level of the person, some got caught up in the mainstream boogie and raised kids today who are young adults on that type of boogie, that only shows their level of conscious aswell, not about another side, everything isn’t always 2 sides like european logic deems it to seem, somethings are what they are and what this is, is minstrel acts parading around as artists, people would down ice cube’s be true the game if it were current today, the mindset is different it’s one of balance/compromise.
Reading this article gives mr gratitude for the AfroBrazilian martial art.
On a daily basis my mestre exposes the horrifying reality of slavery.
The past is reborn in every movement. The legacy is alive in every step. The fight, resistence, and evasion continue as strategies to move in spaces occupied by colonizers. DeColonizing the mind becomes a way of life.
In the peace of Jah,
Craig, you know when you say “mainstream” you are talking about “white America”, right? No one ever asked to be preached to by people who makes records, kids can go to church for that, the history of Rap Music or hip-hop is to make records that make the party people dance. That concious so-called rap was to sell records, it wasn’t ever to uplift the Black race.
STOP THE PRESSES!!! PLEASE GO TO YOU TUBE AND CHECK OUT NAS, NICK CANNON, AND AFFLICTION VIDEO ON THE DESTRUCTION OF HIP-HOP. THE MINSTREL BLACKFACE AND WATERMELLON EATING IS DISTURBING, BUT SOMEBODY’S CATCHING ON, EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOUR PARENT THIS ON A CASSETE TAPE CALLED “RAPOLOGIST SPEAKS ’94”. GO TO YOU TUBE AND WATCH NAS’ VIDEO.
My thing is this; older black people are getting mad at the young black artist for the songs, but I’m willing to bet the same people talking shit are the same one’s that smile and boot shuffle in the pink toes face like they are not the one’s who bought and sold us into slavery, and do you try to give the young brothas on the block the knowledge, wisdom and understanding or do u just talk down to them. If they are part of the 85% then it’s your part as one of the 5% who know to try to educate them in a way they can understand. That’s what wrong with the younger generation know the old heads are to busy wiping their hands and talking down rather than giving it to them in a way they can relate to. When its really OUR fault for leaving them in the condition their in now
I wonder if Chuck D would use that term he used in the early 90’s saying hiphop was black americas cnn. Chuck D should revisit that statement today, and let us know how he currently feels about it being black americas cnn. Wonder if he would say it’s BET instead.
ALMIGHTYCVL, hit me on the back channel, buck, got some books and tapes for you to read. I don’t have time to attack the baby, because “he just a baby that don’t know shit”, but lean on me brother and you’ll learn who’s programing these youngin’s. Hip-hop was never the CNN for inteligent Black people. All them negroes were doing back then were making alot of young Black people mad and they all wound up losing their jobs, while some jewish people took over the industry and FLAVOR FLAV later got a Reality TV Show. Flavor told America years ago on a Public Enemy album that he had a white girl. “The Origin of Rap Music” addressed this, but your parents didn’t catch it. CNN my ass! Hip-hop has been helping ignorant people – hurt our people they day after they let Slick Rick record an album for Def Jam/whoever..
the saga of the negro intellect will continue.
Lil Stain is an opporTOMist. It seems some of our people who are so culturally disconnected will never stop to think how their actions negatively impact Africans throughout the Diaspora. Itis clear that he is talking about making and distributing crack to Black people; although drug dealers will sell to anyone because their primary goal is making a profit. That act is alone is horrible enough and should be condemned; but the tom has to add insult to injury and demean the miserable conditions that our ancestors lived through by equating selling death to people with Europeans physically and psychologically assaulting African people. Black entertainers like lil stain are so oblivious to the damage that they are doing; and it is up to those of us who have been able to gain a true knowledge of our history to counteract the poison and white supremacist filth that self hating toms like him continue to push on our people.
I don’t listen to Lil’ Wayne at all as I feel that he, (and cats like him) is a modern day, Hip Hop version of Mantan Moreland – but what’s even worse is how way too many of US support this bullshit and allow it to flourish and grow to the level where some actually would like Lil’ Wayne to be President – WTF????!!!!!! And worse, how, just like the whole slavery thing, alot of us fail to discuss the history of Hip Hop in the proper context and fail to understand the history of many things, especially OUR history, thinking that our history started with and is limited to just this north ameriKKKan KKKontinent. ameriKKKa is only 1/7 of this earth’s landmass, and a SMALL one at that, folks.
As far as Chuck D is concerned, he’s STEADILY been speaking on this situation – check out tunes like VIDIOT and REVOLVERLUTION from such RECENT Public Enemy releases. Just becuause you may not see Chuck on MTV or VH-1, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been saying and doing something about it. Peace!