I really do not talk much about rap music on this blog.
I admit to not finding it anywhere near my interest level, and to be honest I can not even refer to it as music. Call it being too old, or lack of awareness but I am at a loss for words when rap blares out at me from a car while parked at an intersection, or spun off at awards shows as worthy of praise.
Tonight however I need to weigh in on this blog and comment on the rapper Common, and his invite to the White House.
An evening of poetry is slated and Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as Common, will be one of those on hand to give voice with other poets, musicians, and students.
I am not pleased.
I looked back on this blog and found the one time I did post on rap was April 2007. I commented that rap had to evolve.
I wrote, “Like many Americans I find the language used in much of rap music to be offensive. The idea that music should be laced with so much violence and foul language runs counter to my notion of music and civility. “
I concluded by terming rap as “rancid”.
Granted, it need not be that way, but too often that is exactly what it is.
Now that may place me way out on the other side of where people view this ‘art-form’ but I suspect that many, if not the majority will agree that someone who spews violence in his work, and uses the ‘n’ word, and glorifies the use of an uzi might not be the best ‘poet’ to have at the White House. If one degrades women and thinks that is an art-form…well…..I just really disagree. If one has anti-gay references in his lyrics to the point that he needs to admit they must cease being used…..what does that say? Should we all applaud his new-found sense of common-sense, or instead ask what was the character of his heart when he used the lyrics in the first place?
I know there will be those who will somehow inject censorship into the storyline had rapper Common not been invited, or better yet uninvited. To them I say there is nothing wrong about disallowing one who has made very violent statements from entering the White House as a glorified entertainer.
After all, an invite to the White House is quite an honor, and it should not be given to someone whose sense of values includes the line “ “tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton”.
That is not a message I want to hear anywhere.
I do not want kids hearing that crap in their headphones.
And I certainly do not want someone who creates such stuff having time at the White House in the way Common will tonight.
Hopefully, I will not need to write about rap for another four years!