Is T-Pain an Uncle Tom?: The Coming Out of Closet Conservatives
by Paul Scott
“But they use you for an example. They would rep’ but our heroes got their hands full”
-These are our Heroes-Na-s
Sellout; Sambo; Uncle Tom. These are all terms to describe someone who turns his back on the black community to serve the interests of white supremacy. While these terms have usually been reserved for the likes of Conservatives such as Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele, today we have to add some Hip Hop artists to this dis-honor roll. One being Faheem Rasheed Najm, known to the world as T-Pain.
Recently, Right Wing hitman, Sean Hannity posted a video on his website featuring T-Pain big uppin’ his Fox News television show. Not only that, but when Hannity asked him to say “Conservative victory in 2010” in pure “yessa boss” fashion, he gladly agreed.
This is just another part of the recent trend of the Right Wing to get a black co-signer to prove once and for all that they are not the bunch of racist bigots that we think they are. Recently, there was attempt by the folks at Fox News to use an old interview LL Cool J to promote Sarah Palin’s new reality show.
Historically, black entertainers have shied away from taking overtly political stands. It must be remembered that even during the height of the Civil Rights movement, music giant Motown had its artists sitting on the sidelines while black folks were fighting in the streets for equal rights.
Entertainers have had, perhaps, just cause to be a little cautious. There is a long history of persecution of those who dared to use their popularity as a bully pulpit to speak truth to power.
It is rumored that Billie Holiday‘s 1939 anti-lynching anthem “Strange Fruit” was banned by radio stations. Paul Robeson was blacklisted for his open embrace of Communism and Eartha Kitt was persecuted for her statements against the Vietnam War.
During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Hip Hop artists such as Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Ice T all felt the wrath of the establishment for daring to rap about something other than gold chains and Air Jordans. The list goes on.
So most entertainers got the message and stuck to singin’ and dancin’.
This fear of taking political stances is not just limited to musicians but athletes have also been cowards. During the early 90’s, basketball legend Michael Jordon refused to donate any money to build a black cultural center at the University of North Carolina; avoiding the fate of former teammate, Craig Hodges, whose Afro-centric activism, allegedly, resulted in his being blackballed by the NBA for a time.
This legacy of political apathy and persecution is what makes T-Pain’s photo op with Hannity so alarming. There are many worthy black empowerment organizations that could have used his endorsement to help their causes. Instead he chose to give fuel to a racist Right Wing machine that has been running rampant since the ’08 election.
While there are some who will argue that T-Pain’s actions are just an example of a politically naive hood dude being bamboozled by the media savvy Slick Sean Hannity, I doubt that this is the case. I am sure that neither T-Pain nor his handlers would have allowed his picture to be taken with Rev. Jeremiah Wright or posing with a copy of “Message to the Black Man.”
I didn’t buy the late gangsta rapper Eazy E‘s flimsy excuse for attending a George Bush Sr luncheon nor do I buy the idea that T-Pain’s Conservative endorsement was just a gag. As we approach the mid -term election season, the stakes are too high to play sophomoric games with the lives of poor folks.
It is a widely accepted myth that Hip Hop artists share the same socio-political ideology as their constituents in the hood. Perhaps the sad fact is that the multi-millionaire rappers have more in common with the wealthy, Right Wing Conservatives than they do with the strugglin’ people in the ‘hood whom they are supposed to represent. Maybe, the video with Sean Hannity and T-Pain was, merely, about two rich guys having a chuckle over the gullibility of their fans.
It has ,also, been assumed by Hip Hop conspiracy theorists that rappers and Conservatives are in cahoot’s, just using the classic “every hero needs a villain” scam. Despite the faux Fox morality of commentator’s like Bill O’Reilly, the Right Wingers, actually need rappers to use as poster children to justify their accusations of the “failure of big government,” in order to advocate for the elimination of social programs to help the less fortunate.
Hip Hop fans must handle T-Pain with the same passion that hardcore country music fans used to deal with the Dixie Chicks after they criticized George “G-Dub” Bush. If Jay Z can criticize T-Pain for the over use of the auto-tune, Hip Hop headz should be able to criticize him for being used as a flunky for the Right Wing.
We must begin to hold rappers accountable not only for their lyrics of violence and misogyny but also for their political stances that run contrary to the needs of the children in poor and oppressed communities.
Until he denounces the Right Wing’s attack on the ‘hood, the “T” in T-Pain will henceforth and forever more stand for “Tom.”
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or email@example.com
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I think we should look at the bigger picture here, first of all T-Pain is a footnote and to give him political power that he doesn’t have nor ever will is wrong. Next and more important we should all thank him for his stupidity. This moron has done something that civil rights leaders and entertainers alike have been unable to do. And thats get young black adults to talk about politics and the world they live in. Ten years ago this wouldn’t have happened. Yes I believe T-pain has been partly expoited, that partly he is just an idiot, and mostly he is riding his fame as long as he can because he is a gimmick rapper and that has gone lame. that’s whhy he doing other things to stay relevant no metter how morronic. I don’t think this is his attempt to turn his back on black people, but more of a take care of himself financially mentality. just my thoughts.
T-Pain is free to do whatever he wants to do. It was not the fans that blacklisted the dixi chicks for speaking out in opposition to the war on iraq, it was clear channel. Obama is no better. He supports Zionist that rape and steal and kill in Palestine, so where is the black out cry for that?
There’s quite a few folks who don’t like Obama and have spoken out because of his Middle east stance.. however, many folks have no idea or understanding about Palenstine compared to what they know about Fox News… Thats the first point.. Second pt is that many palestinians as was evidence during the 60th anniversary had a more practical and realistic view of Obama.. which was no one sitting in the white house chair will deviate from the country’s policy in the ME.. not only the president, but many of us who support the holdings, institutions and even politicians on all levels who support Zionist..But make no mistake there has been plenty of out cry including quite a few from the author of that piece..
Lastly your right many fans did not abandon the Dixie Chicks, but the country music industry and fans did.. It was an array of talk show hosts who started the ruckus and pushed to stop having their music played.. and too be honest they had that right.. you don’t like the politics don’t support the artist..
Urban clothing.. 10 years ago young people wouldn’t have talked about politics?? Where are u getting this from? Where about to celebrate the 10 yr anniversary of the Prop 21 campaign which was nothing but young Black adults.. The say it ain’t so Joe campaign in Selma was 10 yrs ago-Young Black adults.. Million youth march-10+ yrs ago.. There’s a long list.. maybe we should stop seeing folks as disconnected without context..
That dude is no more of a sell-out than those on this web site and throughout the country who have been promoting “Hip-hop” (Helping Ignorant People – Hurt Our People) for the jewish record companies and radio stations for the past 25 years. You all have sold your race out, what are you talking about? What has hip-hop done positively for the Black Race? Absolutely nothing.
interesting analysis but falls a bit short. first of all, t-pain is not really comparable to the dixie chicks. second, strange fruit was written by a white jewish poet and was billie holliday’s best-selling song. it may not have received much radio play but was a staple of her live performance. third, marvin gaye’s what’s going on–a response to the vietnam was among other things–was released on the motown label, despite berry gordy’s initial objections. fourth, it was the major labels who deaded political hip-hop more than the artists. fifth, saying “we must hold rappers accountable” for messages of violence is a completely empty statement (see #4). sixth, last time i checked, rappers didnt own Interscope, Geffen, or Universal records, any major film studios, TV networks, or commercial radio stations…
if ise lyfe, beeda weeda, and mistah fab urge rebellion by any means necessary in response to the shooting death of an unarmed black man by police officers, that could be construed as a message of violence (same as cop killer or fight the power)… in actually these artists are arguing to hold the system accountable. Scott makes no distinction between artists speaking on a community platform and artists holding up a corporate agenda. how about supporting artists who do speak out, rather than generalizing that no artists are speaking out–when in fact this is not the case?
and everyone criticizing obama for his middle east stance should be aware that he is the only president ever in history to tall Israel it should sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162859.html
seriously, some of you leftist cats are just as brainwashed as the teabaggers…
T-Pain’s response a WEEK AGO! Dave, you are an illiterate fool and a fraud. And by the way, requiring all brothers to think like your limited ass is pretty damn close to Nazism. Respect diversity you fool!
“This hannity sh*t is off the f*ckin chain. Let’s think for a second, 1st off, I’m not even registered to vote, 2nd, this hannity guy was blocking the door to my bus just to get that drop from me…all you ppl that say I’m goin against Obama, if you go back thru many interviews you will see I don’t give a sh*t about politics cuz no matter who is in office YOUR life is no different. He signed off by saying: “suck my balls, truly yours, the most hated on RNB n*gga in the game. Peace b*tch!!”
JDR.. if u bothered to read.. you would see I did not write the article….I had a very different response to the T-Pain scenario which was I didn’t think it was a big deal and 2-i posted up the uncut video..so people could see how the encounter took place.. 3-The person who wrote this Min Scott was aware of T-Pains response which is why he wrote the piece …
But thanks JDR for being a dipshit.. It’s important to have folks like you who don’t read and assume a lot… As you pointed out.. it adds to the diversity that you say we should all have..
i dont know whether jdr is a “dipshit” or not, but if those t-pain quotes are accurate, it shows that people like paul scott are exploiting rap just as much as the right-wing. scott obviously has an agenda which he doesnt let get in the way of the facts. dont we criticize Faux news for doing the same thing? i thought the rule was to be better than your enemy, not exactly like him.
also, Paul, fyi: making a “Tom” list in an era where we have a black president is more than a little bit retro.
also, the republicans dont need LL Cool J or TPain to cosign their bullshit. there are white republican “rappers” right now doing that.
btw, props to LL for not giving Palin the okie-doke.
Naw Erik.. Paul has been consistent on his views of course he has an agenda.. nothing wrong with that.. he also knew T-pain’s reaction.. I know that from the exchange I had with him off line.. He wasn’t buying it.. just like he said he didn’t buy eazy’s excuse which is his right.. Dude popped on and assumed I wrote the piece which i didn’t.. and I had a different take on it which i told Paul..
paul seems to be jumping on t-pain as a conservative whipping boy. i think the situation is deeper than that.
i respect what paul’s trying to do here, but i dont think he’s doing it in the right way. if you’re gonna make that argument, find a more worthy topic. just saying…tpain got kicked out of a strip club for hogging the dj booth. nuff said.
There’s always going to be house slaves in the mist of runaway slaves and warriors fighting for self.The world is full of sport & play. T-Pain is a worthless fraud just like Michael Jordan was a grumpy,washed-up useless sellout.Anyway t-pain is a shitty rapper who won’t last long!! These so called entertainers whether actors ,athletes don’t stand for anything because money to them is the bottom line. Sell your soul to go platinum or gold or win a championship. Straight stupidity.ITS NOT WORTH IT!!Dont listen to republikkkans or demokrats because they never gave a damn about us!!!!Anyway t-pain and his crew are afraid of revolution and wouldn’t be caught dead taking photo-ops with the New Black Panther Party or The Nation Of Islam. And one final thing the republikkkans and demokrats are different sides of the same quarter–just same old bullshit.Yes We Can but in reality they’re out the door in a flash with a briefcase of cash
The last time I checked T-Pain WAS NOT and never will be a “rapper”…
Let me get this straight…when T. Pain releases songs about strippers, getting high, etc., that’s okay. But when he does a commercial for Sean Hannity NOW the Black community is supposed to reject him?!?
Oooohkaaay. . .
He’s still part of Hip Hop fam.. and yes JR lemar.. aligning himself with Hannity is far worse.. Keep in mind that hannity and company routinely rail against such material as well.. but what’s in play is T-Pain’s potential influence not his moral compass..
“but what’s in play is T-Pain’s potential influence not his moral compass..”
That line makes no sense.
If I have a product to sell and I have jack ass who commands a crowd of millions it matters not about their morals..as long as his followers are buying what I’m selling.. .. Thats why so called shock jocks are sought after by those pushing a product.. Sean Hannity could give a damn abt stripper clubs and drinks.. T-Pain was a tool he could use for some sort of social and political gain.. As for the writer calling for T-pain to be Dixie Chick, that writer has railed against T-Pain and other rappers with foul material for yrs.. He’s not being hypocritical.. But he (paul Scott) recognizes the potential for T-pain to be held up as a guy who is suggesting that Hannity and Fox and the GOP arent that bad..
Oh please, this is just getting ridiculous now.
“But he (paul Scott) recognizes the potential for T-pain to be held up as a guy who is suggesting that Hannity and Fox and the GOP arent that bad.”
Re-read T-Pain’s oh-so-eloquent response to this (the one where he signed off with “suck my balls”). I’d say you really don’t have to worry about him becoming any sort of spokesman for the Far Right any time soon.
Is T-Pain an uncle Tom? I’m not sure how to answer the question since there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between our
-one-two corporate parties.
Davey you make no sense!
I make sense ur just not following.. ur stating he’s not a rapper.. I’m saying he’s part of Hip Hop.. he doesnt have to be a rapper..
It seems the difference between T-Pain and the Dixie Chicks is due to stance, whether right or wrong. The Chicks took a stance against Bush’s policies and were shunned into the shadows since the country music industry is pretty conservative, with a few exceptions. T-Pain just doesn’t care and probably couldn’t pick Hannity out of a police line-up.
If u wanna call Obama an uncle Tom 2 then yeah call T-Pain an Uncle Tom. 5 years ago Obama would have been called an Uncle Tom. To Me we all have been lied to. To think the Democrates are for our people is a joke. Clinton passed a law that gives no federal funding for u to get a student loan if convicted of selling drugs. Well hmm take a wild guess who that effects the most. They are denying us a education. Under Clintons watch more people were put behind bars that we surpassed the whole world. Why is it I ask u that Democrates are for abortion. They want us to kill ourselves thats why. Why is it that Democrates are for Gun Control so if Marshal Law breaks out the black race will be disarmed with no means of fighting back. We need to educate ourselves and think for our selves for once and quit listening to this bs. The Democrates are for the poor to keep us poor. It makes me sick as a black man that if we think outside the box we are considered different its a joke. Im not republican but to me I feel that we should vote republican for our race. I dont vote because I dont like none of them. They all lie to us they tell us things we want to hear then its bs when they are in office. Its non sense like this article that keeps our race caught in the matrix. Think for ur self educate ur self and quit believing the hype before its over. Democrates are for the blacks that is a bunch of bs. Yeah we might have a black president but In my city I have a black police chief and that doesnt and wont change a damn thing. Rise up by education and not violence and Wake UP they are playing us they know it! They studied our culture they know how we think and they use everything against us.