April 18, 2007

Oprah, Imus, and Hip-Hop

OK, so, I think I watched just about the whole Oprah/Hip-Hop thing...

honestly, I want to see two things:

1. It doesn't really address the issue to have someone like Common, who's the quintessential consciousness rapper, talking about the misogyny problems in hip-hop. I want to see a conference that includes people like Lil' Kim, Trina, Lil' Jon, the Ying Yang Twins...you know, the people who are the actual promoters of these images. I want to see THEM in a room with the likes of those girls from Spelman and Oprah and such.

2. The other thing that was clear to me was that the people from the first panel on Monday and the guys repping the hip-hop community come from completely different realities - they're simply not speaking the same language and it raises the point: It is totally within Russell Simmons or Kevin Liles' power to not put out an album by an artist that they find personally offensive, but SHOULD they not put out a record like, say, "Wait" or "My Neck"? Because that IS a reflection of an aspect of what's happening in the community. It's almost like an alarm bell ringing - if you're house is on fire, do you get mad at the blaring smoke detector?

On the other hand, Oprah raised the ultimate point - do we have to solve poverty to get them to stop calling women hos?