Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Conscious? Rappers.

Somebody asked me to teach this class so that means I'm smart. Ask me something important about US-Sino relations. The answer is the same though..."ballin'"

And for the sticklers, I”m aware that the actual lyric goes, “…dumb rappers need teaching/lesson A (don’t f*ck with B.I.)…”

Many moons ago, Chuck D likened hip-hop to the Black CNN. In his estimation, there was a time when hip-hop was largely reporting the thoughts, situations, and circumstances of the inner city. Well, times they are a changin’. Most rappers today, and specifically mainstream rappers are doing as much glorifying of those circumstances under the guise of “telling it like it is” as they are lying about the fact that most of them haven’t done or been apart of 90 percent of the non-sense they’re rapping about.

Which is why, understandably, when we get rappers who seem to not only read, but are able to articulate their societal views and sometimes revolutionary rhetoric into lyric form, we all exhale. Nas’ Illmatic is a poetic masterpiece even if its proprietor is about as articulate as a 3-year old explaining quantum physics when it comes to defending any stance he may or may not have taken in rhyme form. Oh well, it isn’t like they get called out on much of what they say anyway. Only a select few rappers get asked their true opinions on anything in an arena where actual pundits, wonks, and analysts get the chance to debate back and forth. That list generally includes…well…Lupe Fiasco.

I’ve made my opinions on Lupe Fiasco pretty clear. I’m not a fan. Dude is the posterchild for unrealized potential. He’s the 2000s version of Canibus. All of the lyrical ability in the world without the ability (it seems) to get those incredible thoughts out in a cogent and coherent fashion. He’s all flashes of brilliance and unfinished concepts. Yet somehow, people seem to think that young Wasalu is some sort of political activist or “intellectual” along the lines of Cornel West or Micheal Eric Dyson (two brothers I’m not fans of either).

I guess I hate everybody. So everybody wins.

I can’t tell you how many random interviews I’ve seen where Lupe has been asked his opinion because of how well he puts verses together. I guess it makes sense. If you can write that well, you should be able to transfer that intelligence into spoken word. Fair enough. And he’s not inarticulate. He’s just not as quick on his feet as he is when he’s got hours and months to write a verse.

You know where I’m going with this. In his song, “Words I Never Said” he calls Obama a terrorist (as well as the entire American government) then goes on Bill O’Reilly to defend his position and states some mumbo jumbo about US foreign policy motivating terrorism, states that all presidents are terrorists, etc.  Admittedly, the O’Reilly Factor’s editors had a field day with the tape so who knows what may or may not have been said between the cuts.

Here’s the point though: A lot of folks were up in arms at this non-voting armchair politician but some people came to Lupe’s defense with his statement about Obama and US foreign policy being at fault for terrorist acts. Except much like Lupe, 90 percent of people sounded like conspiracy theorists with completely unsubstantiated claims. Most people were basically pissing in the wind. But some good points were brought up, namely, we’re only mad because it’s Obama he’s talking about.

Fair.

If somebody said that about Bush, nobody would question it. True. And you know what, that’s also idiotic. In Jadakiss’s song “Why” he says, “why did Bush knock down the towers?” and folks were all like, “yeah…why DID Bush knock down the towers?”

And you know what? That was stupid too. I remember Jadakiss got some kind of recognition as being a thinking man’s rapper after that and when folks asked him about it he sounded like a dolt stammering his way through his times tables trying to defend what was a ridiculous statement to begin with. The only difference in the two situations is that 1) all Black folks basically hated Bush anyway so nobody was really going to question that; and 2) nobody outside of the hood cares about what Jadakiss has to say about anything that affects our lives. Somehow Lupe gets placed into this thinking man’s realm and media outlets reach out to him for his opinion on real sh*t despite the fact that I’m fairly certain nothing he’s ever rapped about has transcended the world of conjecture and random musings. But he’s a rapper…that’s rapper sh*t. Which is all well and good…until we get called out on it.

This really isn’t even all about Lupe. Any number of so-called “conscious” rappers generally are as misinformed and uneducated about any number of things once they get past generalities and vagueness.

I don’t even know if these rappers hold themselves to the same standards we hold them too. I’m sure Lupe thinks he can hang with the Sean Hannity’s and Keith Olbermann’s of the world, but learned professors can’t even hang. But these ninjas don’t learn. Maybe that’s our fault for blowing rainbows up their arses. Pun. Pause. 20 Seconds.

In fact, the only rappers I’ve ever really seen hold their own in policy matters have been Ludacris, KRS-One, Chuck D, 50 Cent, Bun B and ironically Cam’ron until the “no snitching” scandal. I’ll stop here, but I wonder…

…do we hold our conscious rappers to too high a standard? Or do we have any real expectations from them outside of rapping that differs from what we expect from the Rick Ross’s and Lil Waynes of the world?

Basically, do you think that the rappers we label as being smart from an intellectual framework are actually…smart?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka YOUNG P DA FLY THIEF aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Basically, do you think that the rappers we label as being smart from an intellectual framework are actually…smart?

    Kanye might be a whiny mo’fo, but no doubt the college dropout could have gotten a PhD

    • LMNOP

      Even people with PhDs are dumb about some stuff. I think you can’t expect anyone to just be an expert on everything. And you can’t trust people who act like they are.

    • AfroPetite

      Basically, do you think that the rappers we label as being smart from an intellectual framework are actually…smart?

      Depends on which rappers are being labeled as “smart” from an intellectual standpoint. Personally I think Mos Def is a genius lyrically and otherwise! He, along with a number of other conscious rappers, is college educated which may not mean much to some but I think time spent in a post secondary educational setting (actually learning) proves some semblance of true intelligence. Not to say that colleges are the sole factor in determining intelligence but a piece of paper that deems you a Bachelor of _________ is telling the world you know something about something.

      • AfroPetite

        ****Yes, I know there are a plethora of people walking the face of the planet who haven’t set nan foot inside a college, let alone a high school, and are experts in their own right but they are the exception and NOT the rule!

        • Qozmic

          I think it’s important to differentiate between being “educated”…which is an ongoing and constant thing…and having a degree. There are alot of folks with degrees they earned, and then haven’t read a book or newspaper or anything illuminating since. Those people are not ‘educated’… that’s not to say all college grads to that.

          I just think it’s important to note that being intelligent is different from being educated, which is different from having a degree.

          • AfroPetite

            Agreed

          • DQ

            Also there is more to being intelligent than just being able to spar with political pundits. Hell John Stewart owns a new politician just about EVERY week (except this past week when he has literally been serving the entire Fox Network)

            • k-steez

              i’m with you on that DQ- sounds like PJ thinks Lupe’s not so intelligent b/c he can’t hold his own with interviewers- but i think a lot of people are smart and could write a good paper on a topic, but still stumble and stutter if someone asked them questions off the top- i don’t think that should detract points from them re:intelligence- it just means they aren’t as good at speaking as they are at writing

          • http://www.twitter.com/makinghisstory Evan McAuthur Kane (Shruggie Low-down)

            there are bright, brilliant, thoughtfully contemplative (and redundant) speakers…then there are opinionated sh!t talkers–and of course the vapidly ign’ant-a$$ lunatics. what chuck-d said about the “black” cnn might hold some truth–but “don’t believe the hype(rbole)”…reporters don’t have to be intelligent to read a teleprompter anymore than a rapper has to be smart to recite from his moleskine or blackberry. creative: yes…smart: rarely.

            it used to be a badge of honor, if not a necessity, to be thought-provoking and articulate as an artist/rapper without the backing of a beat…now there aren’t too many who can boast their own perspective because a lot if it has been skewed by the trappings of success. in other words: the “reporters” aren’t on location anymore…they’re speculating and pontificating from the comfort of a distant studio.

      • johnsom33

        I’m gonna have to disagree, sadly college educations just aren’t what they used to be. Any monkey with a pulse can get his degree(some of my ex teammates are a testament to that.) College degrees are the new high school diploma.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          I can recall looking at the transcript of someone with a degree in engineering and I wasn’t sure how the hell they graduated. the requirements to slide by aren’t stringent at all.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i think we need to make some distinction between college educated and went to college for a year or so. for instance, Common went to FAMU, but never graduated. a lot of rappers went to NYU for a year (like Mos Def) and never actually graduated.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          “i think we need to make some distinction between college educated and went to college for a year or so.”

          This made me really LOL

      • Imperfect

        Agreed. Mos Def

      • http://wewereninjas.wordpress.com/ Jay

        Mighty Mos… My favorite rapper for about 6 years and running now…. and I am definitely a “head”.

    • Bisous

      Honestly Kanye West is not the first person I would call a conscious rapper. He is well known for, ahem, speaking his mind. I am thinking specig=fically of the incident where he said those ill- fated words about George Bush during the Katrina afterman. Yes Kanye has no filter, but does that make him the next Stokely Carmicheal or even Bob Dylan. I think not. I was thinking KRS-One, possibly Common, The Last Poets, Saul Williams, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and a few others “rappers” (I use the term losely because their work seems more poetry based) are artists with a significant amount of political and social awareness. No one is perfect but I do believe alot of rappers are becoming more intellegent both in lyrics and marketing strategy. We can only hope this will feed into their way of life. Being 17 I don’t think alot of kids my age even care about politics in their music, maybe its a sign of the times, but there seems to be less music about senseless violence and copious amount of liquor, drugs and women and more about ordinary life. Big KRIT is another new and promising artist. Sorry if a rambled. I really like this feature.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        naw you bring up a good point. and this is my take on it…i think what we deem as socially and politically aware in music is mostly a surface level statement without much backing it up. or a conspiracy theory set to a dope melody that a lot of people already agree with so we label folks as being aware. i dont know if i really buy it though b/c i’d be willing to be that if we called most ninjas out on the statements they make, they’d follow up those hollow statements with even more generalities. facts and ninjas just dont’ go well together sometimes.

        i guess it makes me quesiton what exactly folks mean when they say “aware”

        • Bisous

          I guess I meant current events, political factions, and international affairs. I don’t know everything that is going on in the world but I try to pay attention to things that directly affect me. Politics have so much gray area so it’s hard to say what’s true or not at times. I just think if you are trying to make a statement, be it through song or some other medium, just stick to your guns. Research it before you talk about it and don’t just go for shock value. Uhhhhhh…yeah.

          • Cafe7202

            I totally agree. This post brought me back to the one and only time I went to see KRS 1 speak on my college campus (early 90’s…yeah, so I’m old). Anyway, at first I was totally impressed with his discussion of history and how we are all fed a whitewashed version of it. He started giving examples and since I didn’t know very much about those specific examples, I had to agree with his assertions. UNTIL he started talking about the Catholic religion. He not only made erroneous statements, but he said religious teachings provided no explanation for certain questions….and I knew this to be untrue. To say you disagree is one thing; to say no explanation is offered is another. And these were not obscure teachings. Anyway, he lost a huge amount of credibility for me then….

      • http://yourchildsmother.blogspot.com/ KMN

        I find it refreshing to see a child (to me, at 17, you’re a child no offense) interested in politics and looking political awareness in your IPod instead of BS…
        Honestly I cry for your generation because there isn’t any balance…at least not at this moment. We had our Queen Latifahs and XClans and PEs and KRS1s and you really have no one…at least folks that aren’t really consistent. And you won’t hear a Arrested Development song in constant rotation like you will a Wacka Flacka song…and that’s a shame. This generation is so much more impressionable (IMO) than previous ones and with the onslaught of info coming towards you via the internet…it’s a wonder y’all haven’t self destructed by now with all of the nonsense being poured from there.
        Y’all need balance and to tell the truth…my generation should be giving it to you like the one before me did…
        I’m sorry and I hope that we can get some more out there for yall…

        KMN

        • Bisous

          I don’t necessarily look for my music for political information I will look at CNN for that. I do appreciate GOOD music though. I think this generation is actually alot better off because their are so many outlets for you to hear about current affairs. 24 hour news wasn’t even put into action until the mid to late 80’s. I believe my generation is very well educated maybe too much sometimes. One of my favorite artists is Bob Dylan. I have yet to find a rap artist of equal caliber in terms of political involvement and subject matter. I do think alot more “kids” in my community and around the world are interested in issues and the music will follow suit. It may not be about Veitnam, Watts, or Civil Rights, but that doesn’t mean their is nothing to talk about I guess people just have to be interested in it.

          • Bisous

            *their = there woops

      • http://wewereninjas.wordpress.com/ Jay

        More people need to get onto KRIT… This may be a bold statement but, Bit K.R.I.T.’s sound and feel is closer to the Dungeon Family sound circa the 90’s than anything else we in hip hop. So refreshing to have (semi) conscious southern rap again.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      perhaps i’m just a skeptic, but i’m often curious as to why folks think of Kanye as a smart rapper. i think he’s extremely culturally aware but smart? i never envision him as the kind of cat who’d do well in school or even have the aptitude to go that far in school. dude is business smart and artistically smart but i just do not get book smart from kanye at all.

      • RG

        Curious. What are the differences between Business smart, artistically smart, and book smart?

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          I was reading something about intelligence and it tried to specify exactly what they were measuring. The authors made it clear that they wanted to differentiate “intelligence” from talent, skill, and creativity. That’s what I would say is the difference. Book smart would be traditional intellidence, I believe, using prior knowledge to solve problems and ability to improvise. Artistic= creativity. Business smart would equal skill. I think the lines are blurry though. I often credit people with social intelligence. It’s in the eye of the beholder perhaps.

          • RG

            Digesting your comment.

          • RG

            What do you mean by social intelligence?

            I can appreciate where you’re coming from. Your last statment is probably the most important. The entire argument about conscious vs. intelligent vs. smart vs. everything is based solely on the defnition of the person making the point. I read an article in undergrad wherein the author attempted to expand the definition of what we consider genius. He went into physical versus mental genius, correlating athletes with neurosurgeons. Very profound article because it spoke to the core of what we consider intelligence. I think we often try to define intelligence in a way to elevate ourselves.

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              I mean people that make friends everywhere they go, easily persuade people and quickly empathize. I believe many of the criminals featured on American Greed had a combination of business acumen and incredible social intelligence.

          • RG
        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          i like the way WIP broke it down. that works for me.

      • http://honeyforsenses.tumblr.com/ sistaPOEt

        Kanye on books:

        “I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life.”

        “I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.”

        Kanye in real life:

        http://www.cracked.com/blog/what-if-kanye-west-is-retarded/

        I wouldn’t describe him as book smart either.

        • Breazy Taylor

          Just because Kanye isn’t a fan reading books doesn’t make any less book smart. He had to have read books to graduate high school and to make it to college. Just because he doesn’t choose to use all of his gifts at the same time doesn’t mean he is lacking.

      • k-steez

        well if he gets 2 out of 3 “smarts” why can’t he be called smart? it’s a rare breed that is 3 out of 3, and we don’t hesitate to call book smart people smart- what gives? i’m actually one of those book smart people, school and tests are really easy for me, but it’s not a big deal- i’m more impressed by business/street/artistic smarts honestly

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          i feel you. so let me restate it like this…i think folks liken kanye to the kind of cat who is classroom smart. and that’s what i was talking about the belief that he’d be a phd candiate type smart. and i dont see that.

          you’re right in other regards though. he’s smart in the ways that make him successful and i dont think he’s dumb at all. in any facet. but i think a lot of us view him as book smart too and i dont see it. thats what i was commenting on…not placing any value on whether or not that matters in life.

          • k-steez

            oh ok, i feel you. i also agree.

      • Dos Pesos

        I think what we call “book smart” is highly overated. A lot of what passes for book smarts is really just rote memorization and regurgitation of what has been memorized. A lot of educational institutions reward this type of memorization/regurgitation, and thats why there are a lot of degreed dummies walking around.

        And apparently I am one of them because I’m not smart enough to connect what I just wrote to the original question about Kanye.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          and that last sentence made me laugh out loud. thank you.

    • http://kineticculture.com NubianEmpress

      Rappers aren’t the only people we ascribe ‘consciousness’ to…is that what the whole headwrap pass was about?

      Who even listens to rappers for political reasons anyway? <~~~not I, said the cat.

      (~_~)

      [that's my 'coldest winter ever' emoticon. lol.]

  • O_Oawok

    I think when most people say conscious they really mean non-negative. :/

    • O_Oawok

      although most “conscious” rappers are guilty of the same misogyny and violence sometimes.

      maybe they just mean conscious that something besides booty jewels and cars exists

    • LMNOP

      Or non-in a coma.

    • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

      Well yeah, the bar is pretty low for in depth political discourse in rhyme form. Rappers should generally stick to trying to catch the overall mood rather than get into the details. I mean how many people outside of ‘street scholars’ take Ras Kass ‘Nature of the Threat’ seriously on a point by point basis.

      • CNotes

        “Ras Kass ‘Nature of the Threat’”

        When I first heard this track in 96, the lyrics ignited a fire of curiosity (and rage) in me. In a way, this was the first time I really gave serious thought about the evils of the man.

    • Qozmic

      That’s why I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘conscious rappers’. I use it out of expediency, but it’s a flawed term at best. For exactly what you point out.

      Also, just because you say something that is negative doesn’t mean your aim is not positive or what you say isn’t true. Negative situations exists… pointing them out is not negative …in my opinion, that’s very positive.

      I happen to agree with Lupe on the Obama thing, btw. And frankly, I see nothing different from what Bush was doing in Iraq and Afgh and Paki…. It’s all state sponsored terrorism to me.

      • DQ

        *I happen to agree with Lupe on the Obama thing, btw.*

        Huh? You didn’t think Lupe was a bit (and by a bit I mean a $h!t ton) oversimplistic in his assertion about Obama and the United States?

        • coldsweat3

          Oh gosh, yes people make generalizations but he wasnt hosting a forum so of course it would be an oversimplification. However, the fact remains that our current foreign policy engages the US government in many armed conflicts and we meddle in the affairs of other nations and are willing to call out some acts of terrorism but never acknowledge oh we totally bomb civilian buildings and have killed at minimum 50,000 afghan civilians alone(the UN usually calculates estimates yearly). Lupe’s message in “Words I never said” which include a Obama criticism about his/the US lack of response on the Gaza strip and failure to place alot of blame on Israel yet if the same was done by a non-ally we would speak so negatively of the situation and call it a “cowardly act” or an act of “terror” (im sure it was done to not harm US/Israeli relations but Israel was really wilding with those airstrikes) Now while i am all for ending terrorism but its going to be hard to kill a concept centered around a hate for america when we are killing thousands of there people yearly, that further fuels Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s mission. Also, Lupe in the O’reilley factor got to explain his original comment a bit more in the unedited version version available on Youtube. He stated that he didnt just mean Obama but any and all US Presidents but was speaking to more of the history of the United States and our actions. I support our country but still acknowledge some of our actions our hypocritical.

          • DQ

            Look, I’m not a fan of the “Israel First” Middle Eastern Foreign Policy – but Obama didn’t invent it. Truthfully neither did either of the Bush’s or Clinton. I think the policy is entirely counterproductive, morally bankrupt, and an anachronism whose original intent and purpose is overtaken by events. But that is not tantamount to terrorism. He’d have been better off likening the situation in Israel to Apartheid, at least that argument has some legs.

            No one in their right mind would deny that we have killed civilians (in Iraq and Afghanistan) but for it to be terrorism it would have to have been intentional and to induce fear. Point blank, Lupe’s completely off the reservation on this one. We are guilty of much and worthy of criticism in many areas (many of which Lupe named) but honestly why should I listen to a dude complain about a system who willingly abstains from the one direct mechanism to CHANGE that system?

            AIPAC > Lupe’s complaints

            • Imperfect

              …and Charles Manson didn’t invent mass murder. Does that make it less wrong of him to do it??

              Instead of comparing Obama (and ourselves) to an already flawed policy…let’s compare him to the “perfect” policy (whatever that is…I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t include only getting involved when we have something to benefit

              • CNotes

                …and Charles Manson didn’t invent mass murder. Does that make it less wrong of him to do it??

                This comparison to Obama’s duty to finalizing decisions with regards to U.S. foreign policy is apples to oranges.

              • RG

                “I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t include only getting involved when we have something to benefit”

                This is arguable. All depends on what the end goal is.

              • DQ

                I understand your analogy but it’s not applicable here for the same reason Lupe’s criticism does not stand up to academic scrutiny – it’s an oversimplification.

                There IS no perfect policy, that’s what Lupe is missing. We live in a zero sum political continuum. There are consequences to engaging Israel as an ally JUST as there are consequences to disengaging them (which IMO would be even worse, we are the only restraint on them right now. Any of you want to see how an unfettered Israel would handle the West Bank and Gaza strip if they know they don’t have to answer to the United States?)

                Lastly, we’ll have to agree to disagree that our government would be motivated by anything BUT having some benefit to gain (or detriment to avoid) to initiate action. Our history is replete with examples that this is EXACTLY what we do. (See Rwanda Genocide)

              • qozmic

                this is my point, too. Nor would a perfect policy STILL have Guantanamo open… or expanding drone attacks into Yemen…and now Somalia as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan …and don’t forget Iraq, which still ain’t over.

                I’m sorry…I’m not automatically in favor of whatever Barack does. If it was wrong when Bush did it…still wrong when he does it. More so even… At least Bush was straight up about where his loyalties lie.

        • RG

          The real problem with US foreign policy is that they lie to the public about their reasoning behind certain actions. Now, while I say that I understand is the reality is we don’t want to hear the truth because a majority of the public is not sophisticated enough to understand the nuances of political and military strategy. The real issue lies in people’s perspectives on what the US’s agenda should be. The reality is that if you want to be a superpower there are certain things you have to do in order to maintain that status, i.e., wars, military occupation, bullying. Now, can government officials say that? H*ll no! Unless they want to commit political suicide.

          What we have to ask ourselves is what is our end goal here? To hold hands, have world peace and sing kumbaya (nice thought, but not realistic) or continue to act in the best interest of the United States? I’m not sure what the answer is or even what I want. I will admit, however; that some diplomatic solutions would be in our best interest versus some of the military campaigns we take up.

          Bottomline, Lupe was oversimplistic in his analysis, but that’s his opinion. Then again I’m pro-Obama (for a number of reasons), so even if I had criticism, you can bet I’m not going on the O’Reily factor to give that fool, Fox or the media any additional ammo. That’s our problem as a community, we lack strategic discipline. We often think that simply talking sh*t will bring about change (see: Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, etc.) I’m mean let’s keep it real, from a perspective of wanting to see substantive change do we really think calling Obama or the US terrorists is helping any agenda? Nope. It’s just lip service and something for the media to latch onto. Especially for a cat that admittedly doesn’t even vote. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free speech and speaking your mind, but sometime the end goal requires you shutting the f*ck up (see: Reverend Wright).

          • CNotes

            I agree with everything you said. Especially:

            “even if I had criticism, you can bet I’m not going on the O’Reily factor to give that fool, Fox or the media any additional ammo. That’s our problem as a community, we lack strategic discipline. We often think that simply talking sh*t will bring about change (see: Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, etc.) I’m mean let’s keep it real, from a perspective of wanting to see substantive change do we really think calling Obama or the US terrorists is helping any agenda? Nope. It’s just lip service and something for the media to latch onto ”

            I was having a conversation with a friend recently about the lack of discipline that OUR people have and how the media can take a segmented issue and create a societal mindset. Strategy is everything when it comes to successfully pushing an agenda; and sometimes that just means shutting the hell up.

          • The Firebrand

            *De-lurking once more

            Full disclosure: I have not heard the song and I don’t know who Lupe Fiasco is let alone his music & politics – but I think you all have pretty well briefed me on the subject.

            My first impression is that this dude is no John Lennon. When it came to merging his music with the prevailing political issues of the day (ending Vietnam war par example) Lennon was not just masterful he was POWERFUL and had resonance amongst the youth. Hells-bells Prez. Nixon was on his a$$ (Nixon was afraid he’d lose the youth vote) because of Lennon’s anti-war stance and his promoting the youth-vote. So in comparison, why Fiasco’s statement is given any credibility (on Fox, no less which is pretty low even for them…) given he has no apparent or obvious history of political activism is mind blowing and just makes me believe he’s no more than a celbri-puppet serving two multually reinforcing-purposes: To (a) disctract the public from far more important policy matters that directly affect them (abortion rights, health care access, unemployment, medicare, etc) by (b) adding to the anti-Obama propaganda that is Fox’s lifeblood to continue its campaign to discredit and delegitimize the President on any and all fronts.

            Now on one other point I have to repost a bit from an earlier comment.
            DC wrote: “No one in their right mind would deny that we have killed civilians (in Iraq and Afghanistan) but for it to be terrorism it would have to have been intentional and to induce fear. Point blank, Lupe’s completely off the reservation on this one.” – I would have to disagree with you. U.S. domestic policy has intentionally induced fear and terror on her own citizens from the eradication of first Native Americans peoples to COINTELPRO to the U.S. Patriot Act, again this is DOMESTICALLY. So INTERNATIONALLY, you can pretty well bet your arse that ths U.S. has been balls deep in the sponsoring and orchestration of terrorism AND engaging in covert wars as early as 1919 The U.S.A. is like the MVP of the league in international douchbaggery by overthrowing governments, knocking off popularly elected officials, supporting despotic dictators, slaughtering civilians from El Salvador to Korea in the internatinal terror game.

            Given it’s Lupe Fiasco as the source I would be apt to dismiss him too, but he’s not totally off the mark even though he may not know WTF he’s really talking abut. I’ll just chalk this up to “one dumbm*@#*%r’s luck”.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              you know, you bring up an interesting point. people who are right for the wrong reasons.

              like let’s assume Lupe is right, i dont actually believe he has the wherewithall to know why he’s right. that’s a personal indictment based upon the interviews he’s given in general. but if the point is still right? do you get credence for making it? i dont know.

              i used to have this issue when i was teaching statistics. if folks got the right answer the wrong way…like sheer dumb luck…did i take all credit or give partial? its a conundrum like no other.

              • RG

                I think it’s situational. In the case of political analysis, just getting to the right conclusion with flawed logic and reasoning is dangerous because eventually that same reasoning process will fail you in some other analysis. Then what happens is the person refuses to change or adapt their process b/c they were right before, so maybe this time they were wrong is an aberration. To use your Statistics example, or math generally, teachers and professors will often take off points for not showing work or arriving at the right answer with flawed analysis. Why? Because if the student duplicates that analysis on another problem, they will probably get it wrong.

              • The Firebrand

                With maths, I think it’s different because no matter how many people learn 2+2=4 and know the method to get there, no one’s answer will differ because that proof is known to be true. There’s no other way of arriving at that answer. So in your stats class I think because you can say: “Show me your work/explain the process you used to reach your answer/Lemme see how you maggicked-up the answer before I flunk your lucky-striking-ass”. One way or the other you can discern if it was a lucky hit or cheating one way or the other- the burden of proof is on them.

                With Fiasco here, he get’s no brownie points, a high-five, gold star, or even a 1-UP for this one. He touched on the premise but couldnt argue his point any more effectively than Sarah Palin can explain her existence on Earth. He earned a stone cold you-a-damn-fool and a haad shake from me and that’s all he gets.

            • DQ

              I don’t think I, or anyone else, is arguing that the United States government is incapable of depravity in pursuit of it’s own interest. Trail of Tears, check, COINTELPRO, check, Iran Contra, check, Tuskeegee Experiment, check, Rendition, check, Abu Grahib, check. It’s no secret that we have installed puppet regimes and propped up brutal dictators and religious states as long as they were pro-western (we’re doing it right now as you’re reading this).

              But my point wasn’t a debate about if we are capable of the immoral, my point was what Lupe called Terrorism is a gross mischaracterization of what Terrorism actually is.

              Terrorism is Columbine. Terrorism is the Oklahoma City Bombing. Terrorism is the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. Terrorism is the Tel Aviv Jerusalem bus 405 suicide attack. If Lupe can’t tell the difference between these acts, and the war in Afghanistan and/or Iraq, than he has no business commenting. He can feel free to argue the merits of the war or how well it’s been executed all day, but he has to, at least have his facts straight.

              • The Firebrand

                “But my point wasn’t a debate about if we are capable of the immoral, my point was what Lupe called Terrorism is a gross mischaracterization of what Terrorism actually is.” — I understand you, but the fundamental problem with your argument is you attack Fiasco’s “mischaracterization” as to “what Terrorism actually is ” on the basis that it doens’t conform with your own view. This to my eyes, is problematic because you have formed a very narrow construct as to whom/what commits/qualifies terrorist acts – as you exclude acts by governments which may/and have indeed engage in terrorist acts. That Fiasco declared that the U.S. commits terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq is no more right or wrong than your own given examples.

                The problem in dealing with Terrorism is defining “Terrorism.” There is no single iron-clad definition of Terrorism (or atleast not one that can be universally agreed upon) because its a very abstract concept that’s also very malleable– any actor whether it has political/social/economic/environmental/religious/secular imperatives or goals– be it a person or persons, group or groups, government or governments that choose to achieve some end by employing an act (or acts) of violence will undoubtably leave a terrorised victim on the other end.

                Oklahoma City, Columbine, Palistinian suicide bombers, Israeli bombs over Gaza, etc. – yes – I concur all of these can be viewed as terrorist acts. But so can full blown acts of war. I could argue that invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and subsequently our special operations/low intensity conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya all qualify as terrorism enacted by the USG. But this isnt the place for that…unfortunately.

                • The Firebrand

                  Blagh I mean to add after …”enacted by the USG. But first we’d have to argue whether if US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were “just wars” to begin with.

                • DQ

                  ***…but the fundamental problem with your argument is you attack Fiasco’s “mischaracterization” as to “what Terrorism actually is ” on the basis that it doens’t conform with your own view.***

                  Negative. I am calling it a mischaracterization because it is incongruent with the consensus view of what terrorism is (or more aptly what are characteristics of terrorism). If we want to go with something more objective than my assertion that Lupe’s definition doesn’t fit convention – we can use Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d). If Lupe has a more compelling and reasoned definition than the one that the State Department uses, I’d love to hear it.

                  I honestly don’t think he’s stupid, but I’m getting the sense that he jumped in the pool without his water wings on this one; if he was better informed I don’t think he would say what he’s saying. He did himself no favors with the interview nor the follow up on Fox (where he doubles down on the statement). He very much sounded like a guy throwing around surface level understanding of complex issues. And if the best defense we can come up with to justify his statement relies on him being able to establish his own personal definition of the word – I don’t think he’ll get very far with that.

              • Justme (the guy)

                Ok, I was gonna let yall have this, since everybody has decided to chastize Lupe for making an oversimplification, but I have to say that I interpreted his statement differently. I think he wanted us to re-think the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” in general. If you have one of the richest and most powerful/influential government/military backing you it’s called policy, but if you only have some loyal compadres, AKs, Qurans, and some cheap bombs then you’re a terrorist? I mean, just the sheer quantity of civiilans (you know the innocent and unarmed citizens of a country) that our armed forces has killed in the last 5 years gives Lupe’s sentiments (not necessarily his wording) credibility imo. Why is it the cool thing to be all pro-imperialism now that we have a cool and colored pres in office?

      • King Tremain

        Do you also agree with Lupe’s practice of not voting as well? Just curious.

        • coldsweat3

          LOL that made actually no sense at all(his non voting practice), being a registered voter and a constituent you can still push for change by lobbying and writing to your representatives. There is never going to be a “perfect” politician with the size of this nation and so many differing views on how to run the government but its still our duty to vote.

        • Dos Pesos

          off topic to King Tremain….is your name from the book Standing at the Scratch Line?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          that was another issue i had with his song…b/c right after he says obama is a terrorist he says “thats why i didnt vote for him” except thats not true at all. lupe doesnt vote period and is proud. its like he was saying he voted against him when the truth is he aint vote period. i do hate ninjas who complain about the system but dont exercise the one abilty you have to make a statement that matters. of course if you think voting is pointless anyway, thats another matter altogether. but still its misleading to say, “thats why i didnt vote for him”.

          technicality i know.

    • http://honeyforsenses.tumblr.com/ sistaPOEt

      or breathing.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i agree with that.

      i think it translates to r&B too. or why folks like alicia keys and india.arie get so much praise. its being positive by not being negative. effectivley they just exist so they get touted as being such positive role models and having wholesome music..when its no different than what mary j. blige was doing (in alicia keys case anyway).

  • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank_0

    You make a good point here. Lupe is a dumb smart rapper. I feel like this could be alleviated with the simple act of watching the “news” and reading.

    • tgtaggie

      If Lupe is a smart dumb rapper, What is Wacka Flocka than? lol.

      • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/category/laughs Naturally Alise

        Wacka Flocka is, ummmm…. ummmmm….. le sigh. Yes, he is le sigh. Like that is on his birth certificate LeSigh Flocka, Jr.

        • http://honeyforsenses.tumblr.com/ sistaPOEt

          “LeSigh Flocka, Jr.”

          Pepe Le Pew is turning over in his grave.

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        A one man war on literacy.

        • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/2011/06/29/unorthodox-care-bears/ Naturally Alise

          this made me cackle…

        • AfroPetite

          Did anyone see that clip of him talking about how voting was “good” and how he wishes he could go back to school to “major” in geometry?

          • Yoles

            i saw that and my soul weeped ……. for the children

            • AfroPetite

              -___-

              I don’t think people of his caliber should be asked anything beyond things pertaining to basic human necessities….eating, drinking, chexing, inhaling, and exhaling.

              • Queen Elizabeth

                no chex for him. we can’t take the chance that he’ll breed.

                • AfroPetite

                  LMAO.

                  you win

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

                  Remember to get your Waka Flakas spade or neutered.

                  • miss t-lee

                    CTFU!!! Bob Barker swag.

            • Yoles

              *wept

          • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            I recall thinking that that was what a caveman must look and sound like if they dropped him in the 21st century.

      • http://www.yourchildsmother.blogspot.com KMN

        Wacka Flaka is an educated fool with the hip hop version of your baby can read called “your rapper can read” with a foreword by whiz khalifa

      • Maximillian

        But voting cool doe…

      • http://yourchildsmother.blogspot.com/ KMN

        Wacka Flocka is a rapper with the Hip Hop Rapper Can Read…with a foreword written by Lil Jon…
        Yeee’ah!
        lesigh…
        KMN

    • Qozmic

      Can you please give specifics to support your opinion on this. Maybe I’m uninformed, but everything I’ve heard Lupe say on that topic is on point, imo.

      • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank_0

        Ok, maybe not dumb but overly simplistic. For example, his thoughts on Gaza while ok on face value the issue is extremely nuanced. Yes, the US materially supports Israel, however, the two countries have clashed quite frequently about settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and there’s increased pressure to make the two-state solution work.

        Unfortunately, there’s only so much push that the US can muster. With the Arab Spring that has taken hold, the foreign policy will have to shift, ie “traditional” allies may not be so traditional anymore (Egypt). Which makes Israel more unsure which means the US must remain as the counterbalance to keep Israel from starting mess.

        • DQ

          Standing @#$%^& Ovation for this comment. If Lupe had said this on t.v. I’d agree with him because it is FAR more representative of what’s actually going on.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I agree. wholeheartedly.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Immortal Technique is the only rapper that I would go through any sort of effort in trying to have a dialogue with about anything of substance. Also, David Banner goes harder for his hometown than any conscious rapper and is far more articulate are expressing his point of view than them either.

    • NinaFontaine

      I so co-sign on the David Banner tip. I find him to be more intellectually and philosophically aware of more than most rappers we expect to be.

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        +1

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          +2

      • Rog

        Cosign on Immortal Technique he’d be one of the only MC’s I’d trust as a go to on political opinions as far as being able to defend what he believes.

        Cosign on David Banner too it’s just hard for me to get the ‘Like A Pimp’ image of him out my head and realize he did just do a whole album with 9th. He definitely did a 180 from his previous image

        Talib Kweli also did a good job in the brief moment he had to explain his views on the immigration issue in Arizona while on the Colbert Report.

      • Rog

        Cosign on Immortal Technique he’d be one of the only MC’s I’d trust as a go to on political opinions as far as being able to defend what he believes.

        Cosign on David Banner too it’s just hard for me to get the ‘Like A Pimp’ image of him out my head and realize he did just do a whole album with 9th. He definitely did a 180 from his previous image

        Talib Kweli also did a good job in the brief moment he had to explain his views on the immigration issue in Arizona while on the Colbert Report.

      • DQ

        David Banner is a college graduate, I’d expect him to be intelligent. Hell I hear he was actually in grad school at one point.

        • http://satcpsychology.wordpress.com MsVivienne

          Yep…Southern University! He was SGA President. (Gotta rep real quick…carry on.)

        • http://www.twitter.com/makinghisstory Evan McAuthur Kane (Shruggie Low-down)

          i don’t expect intellect of anyone (the only thing i expect from a rappin’-a$$ rapper is “creative/artistic intelligence” and most of em don’t even give me THAT)…so i’m never disappointed–only rewarded when/if they don’t trip over that lowly low bar.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          he also has a master’s degree from the University of Maryland if i’m not mistaken in Ed Policy I believe. yeah, Banner is an actually educated informed individual it seems.

          Immortal Technique is interesting b/c dude is definitely on the top of hte list of rappers who actually have something substantive to add to an argument.

          and you know what, back in the day, Paris or Chino XL might be on that list too.

          • miss t-lee

            Paris indeed. He was an intelligent kat. I think they were scared of him because he his raps didn’t seem like they were a facade in the least.

      • Breazy Taylor

        David Banner’s IQ is that of a real genius, so he’s just dumbing his music down but he is not dumb.

    • http://www.twitter.com/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

      Banner prolly the most intelligent rapper *his degrees not keeping him warm at night* but I would not call him conscious…there is no such thing anymore. Cats like Stalley, Jay Electronica, and Big K.R.I.T generate occasional streams of consciousness, but they are as close as it gets…just my nickel.

      • http://verysmartbrotha liquid kisses

        Danner Banner actually made a comment about the lack of Lupe’s intelligence during the then Senator Obama run for Presidency. I believe Lupe made a comment that was widely reported in the media about not going to vote or not voting for him. Banner and several other rappers had the same sentiments that just because his lyrics are preceived to be conscious doesn’t make him intelligent.

  • NinaFontaine

    OK this may get me murked but Common tho! He is FIONE as all get out but when he opens his mouth to talk I want him to have a different inflection in his voice. For his speech pattern to be different LOL. He appears highly intellectual – I think he’s a hot lyricists but to hear him in an interview, is like hearing nails on a chalk board. He talks slow as HAYLE and it seems to take him FOREVER to make a point. Ok that is all……..

    • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/2011/06/29/unorthodox-care-bears/ Naturally Alise

      He is a little less than speedy in his speech cadence. He makes my heart sad in interviews.

      • Yoles

        yall KNOW how i feel about slow speakers and weird speech cadence havers
        i.just.cant.

        • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/2011/06/29/unorthodox-care-bears/ Naturally Alise

          Every time I think about cadence I think of you!!!

      • http://chi11ax.com/ @chi11axDOTcom

        He makes your heart sad…that’s serious. I was forced to see “Just Wright” and the entire movie was an hour longer than it needed to be b/c Common was talking too slowly.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          Hilarious.

        • miss t-lee

          *snickers* Kat does talk slow as all hell. His rappin’ ain’t much faster either.

    • http://honeyforsenses.tumblr.com/ sistaPOEt

      I just stare at his lips the whole time. Speech? What speech? Them lips though…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you bring up an interesting point. have you all noticed how slow a lot or rappers talk? are they high all the time? i’ve bee dumbfounded by how slow these ninjas are. even Jay used to talk slow as hell.

      i just lopped them all into idiot savant status.

  • Amos Banks

    Ice T, Mos Def, Queen Latifah and Will Smith seem pretty bright to me, but they are all from the Old School.

  • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

    I don’t think of rappers in the form of “concious” and “other” I think of it along the lines of “unique/witty” and “other.”

    Common once had a line in So Far to Go (the song I want playing when I enter heaven) that said something like “some depict me as being concious, yeah I use my head.” Now in the context of the song he was oh so nasty in the good way, but out of context and probably a little to the left it can be him saying those other people describe him as a “concious” rapper, while he just imagines himself to be a thinker. See that? Witty. I like that.

    Then you’ve got Waka who did an ad for PETA that just let me know PETA wasn’t worth a damn . Mr. Eau Le Douet. Mr. Floooooooocka. The fact that I only know the choruses to anything with him in it unsettles me. Kind of like that Racks song; like what the hell are ya’ll even talmbout? See that? Other. I ain’t down with the other set.

    It all boils down to who I’d rather converse with. Common > Waka. All day. Erryday.

    • DQ

      Waka’s songs have verses? I thought they were all just repeated choruses?

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Shocked me too actually but yep. Verses. They aren’t coherant or anything, but they’re there.

        • DQ

          How do you tell when you’re on a chorus and when you’re on a verse with Waka? It all sounds the same to me.

          • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            The beat usually revs up if you’re listening to it. If you’re reading it the line directly before it is usually said in all caps rage mode or has exorbitant amounts of exclamation points after it a la: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/wakaflockaflame/nohands.html

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      I remember those PETA pics…That’s when I started calling him WakaFlaka Squarehips. Poor thing seemed to be built like a box with rounded edges.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Common lyric I enjoy: “They said ‘you be on that conscious tip’ Get ya head right and get up on this conscious d*ck”- Poker Face

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i think this goes back to the dumb smart ninjas and the smart dumb ninjas. i think common is a dumb smart ninja and waka is a smart dumb ninja.

      and why do i say this? cuz like it or not, waka is winning musically. by todays’s standards anyway. dude has had 3 #1 hits. sure some of it is luck, but the guy knows how to make songs that folks like for some odd reason. like rick ross.

      the interesting thing about waka is that he seems so damn genuine. you ever listen to one of his interviews? ridiculous comments aside, he seems like one of hte most genuine people on the planet. lol.

      you know who else needs jesus? Plies. have you HEARD algernod? dude sounds like every dude who reads VSB when he’s talking and giving interviews then morphs in to “i get pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenny munay…” when he raps.

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        I can proudly say I haven’t listened to Algernod in years for that very reason. How are you coherant on tv but when listening to you rap I just wanna shake my head and take a cold drink of ginger ale?

        For that reason I think “playing the system” by being one way here and another way there is fraudulent; I like genuine rappers. Hell, Waka does seem like he believes every word he says and damn if it doesn’t make me feel a little bad about his lack of coherancy…or maybe that’s because he’s always puttin on his “I’mma think about this a second” face.

    • http://wewereninjas.wordpress.com/ Jay

      Phonte from Little Brother…

      “I been God blessed with the gift to make music, it took me all over the continent/
      But I got brothers on the block and fam smoking rock so please miss me with that conscious shit.”

      Point being, I don’t think they want the label of “conscious” because we (VSB’s, VSS’s) are gonna hold them up to some unattainable standard. We want them to be the new Huey P. Newton. My take on it… SOMEBODY has to be the next Huey. We got nobody. We’re thirsting for leaders. But should we be looking to rappers?? I say no but I understand why we do.

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Jay…I love everything you just said :)

      • Bisous

        Oh yesssss. Been a fan since I heard Last Dayz.

  • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

    i’m a lupe fan but i don’t think he’s actually that smart.

    rappers that i think are actually kind of smart are mos, talib, j cole…. then again there are probably rappers out there that aren’t labeled conscious but are probably very intelligent. they put on a facade to sell records (read: plies)

    • Queen Elizabeth

      “they put on a facade to sell records (read: plies)”
      truest statement. i regularly try to convince people that souljah boy has to be some kind of genius

    • Yoles

      chino xl is smart and a member of mensa… i don’t know how he would speak about politics and the such but he can put sentences together and hold a conversation

      • Pure Magnetism

        Awww, I remember Chino XL!! Something in his spirit was kinda dark/disturbed. Definitely very smart (and sexy), though.

      • http://enterknight.blogspot.com/ Misty Knight

        I hate Chino XL, I hate his form fitting tank tops, I hate his voice, I hate his metaphors, I hate the hard on he’s had for every popular west coast rapper since 98. (Seriously build a bridge homey) I hate his voice, and his cornrows.
        I know he’s smart, but he just sucks to me.

    • Qozmic

      Wow… I’m really surprise to see all the shade Lupe is catchin. I think not only is he very intelligent, I think some of what he raps is downright profound. Uniquely so even.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        and i tend to find him completely pretentious and pretty much a dbag. lol. potayto/potahto.

        lol. while i know that lupe is a gifted lyricist, i just think he gets a lot of smart ninja credit that ive found puzzling.

        plus…have you heard this latest album? he’s def not going for proundness this go round.

        • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

          yes i’ve heard it and i was utterly disappointed outside of say 4 tracks.

        • miss t-lee

          “have you heard this latest album?”

          That sh*t is a sizzling hot mess.

        • Mr SoBo

          have you heard this latest album? he’s def not going for proundness this go round.”

          Lupe’s comments regarding LASERS:
          “One thing I try to stress about this project is, I love and hate this album. I listen to it and I’ll like some of the songs. But when I think about what it took to actually get the record together and everything that I went through on this record — which is something I can’t separate — I hate this album.
          A lot of the songs that are on the album, I’m kinda neutral to. Not that I don’t like them, or that I hate them, it’s just I know the process that went behind it. I know the sneaky business deal that went down behind this song, or the artist or singer or songwriter who wrote this hook and didn’t want to give me this song in the first place. So when I have that kind of knowledge behind it, I’m just kind of neutral to it like, ‘Another day, another dollar’. As opposed something like The Cool, which is more of my own blood, sweat, and tears, and my own control. With this record, I’m little bit more neutral as to the love for the record.
          I had to create this commercial art that appeases the corporate side. I had to acquiesce to certain forces. Hopefully within that I snuck in some things I actually wanted to say any way I can.”

    • Yoles

      your post made me google plies and i was shocked, shocked i tell you to read: Plies was born Algernod Lanier Washington in Fort Myers, Florida and grew up in the East Dunbar area of Fort Myers.[1] While at Fort Myers Senior High School, he played receiver and defensive back in its football team, was crowned Homecoming King, and was named the “Best Dressed” student of his class… None of that seems like a good to me… not even goon-adjacent and sh*t i’m even goon-adjacent this makes me feel like i too can be a rapper.. there is hope for my old azz in this rap game yet…

      *playing a duet of The More You Know on my viola while watching the shooting star*

      • Yoles

        *None of that seems like a goon to me*

      • DQ

        He was doing his goon apprenticeship at the time when all this was happening. He got his accreditation and now is a licensed and registered goon.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          LOL, can you reccommend any accredited programs? The FSU School of Goon Studies won’t be finished until Fall 2013.

          • DQ

            I think Kaplan has some prep courses you can take.

          • Be On It

            Miss me w/ the FSU hate. You know the school of goon will be at BCC, er BCU.

            [Rattler strike & FSU tomahawk chop]

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              “[Rattler strike & FSU tomahawk chop]”

              Rattler strike & FSU tomahawk chop here too BOI. FSU got the money to build a random school like Goon Studies LOL

              • Be On It

                bwahahahaha! so true! although UF is killing them w/ random money which obviously is not being spent on educating intelligent grads *shotsfired

      • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        I’ve been tellin ya’ll for months now! You can’t be goonin with a name like Algernod.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          If O’shea can be a gangsta, Algernon can be a goon.

          • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            Two shea. :)

    • StillSuga

      I was amazed when I actually heard Plies speak outside of rapping. I thought they had dubbed someone else over him or something…

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i was too. the first time i heard a plies interview i called people to tell them about it. that’s how in shock i was.

        i couldnt believe it was the same dude.

        • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

          the same dude that went to school for nursing. yeah he’s no dummy.

  • O_Oawok

    I don’t agree with expecting “conscious” rappers to be able to discourse about things like that because while they’re influential, they are not leaders/teachers unless they actively take on that role (KRS-ONE comes to mind). We have (or should have) ACTUAL leaders for that. Whether the rapper is conscious of the Yom Kippur War is irrelevant bc at the end of the day art is a reflection of the person’s values and feelings, not an assumption of responsibility for trends in the world, no matter how much the next rapper tries to tell you he or she is a movement.

    • http://www.greenafrodiva.com Green Afro Diva

      I agree, but my thing is when they elevate these rappers when what they are saying is patently false and everyone knows it, yet they get a pass because they are not the commercial, gold chain wearing, scary a$$ rappers. People like them as well as dyson, and west need to either be called out or placed on ignore.

  • Rog

    As much as I dig Mos Def (top 3 favorite rapper easy) seeing him on Bill Maher allude to his conspiracy theory on 9/11 just had me shaking my head.

    Wyclef Jean I’d say would have to be up there considering he did just try to run for a political office.

    “do we hold our conscious rappers to too high a standard? Or do we have any real expectations from them outside of rapping that differs from what we expect from the Rick Ross’s and Lil Waynes of the world?”

    Conscious Rappers (or rappers in general) typically always desire that MC-ing be considered an art (I agree) and if your going to slap such a label on your work it better be able to stand up to the same criticism that art in other fields (paintings, symphony, literature etc.) goes through.

    As far as Lupe is concerned, after watching this panel with him, Bun B, Kweli and Malice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4iSZAgK19E&feature=related) I’m convinced dude tries toooooo hard to convince himself of his own intelligence.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      Running for any office doesn’t necessarily denote intelligence. I find politicians to be some of the most unintelligent people around.

      • coldsweat3

        Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin also are running/have run for political offices, i think we know they are not the brightest young ladies.

        • Rog

          True but as much as I have physical pain every time either one of them opens there mouth, I’d like to thank that their more exception than the rule and are just the ones that get the most attention, sort of the “vocal minority” type.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        ” I find politicians to be some of the most unintelligent people around.”

        I have conflicted feelings about this statement. I think you’re right. Being a successful politician seems to have more to do with enthusiasm, unwaivering optimism and certain level of self-delusion than intelligence. When you hear some of them speak, it’s very strange. I know that they know they’re evading the question they were just asked but they’re able to speak confidently as if what they just said makes all the sense in the world. I’ve observed this a few times but most recently from Michelle B. If you saw her on GMA then you know what I’m talking about.

        Aside from the media persona, many politicians are successful business people with families, careers, and money. It doesn’t really add up LOL.

    • Be On It

      “As far as Lupe is concerned … I’m convinced dude tries toooooo hard to convince himself of his own intelligence.”

      I totally agree on this. Just told the boothang this nearly verbatim the other day.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i think your last paragraph sums it up for me on Lupe.