Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I present to you, my lil' hardcore right-wing buddy, Bill O'Reilly. You know him. Perhaps, you emphatically hate him. Maybe you love him. Maybe you just agree with him from time to time. Or maybe, even still, you have no clue who he is but you just enjoy this picture of him.

I'm not here to make up your mind for you, but I am here to say this: Big Bad Bill has it out for hip hop. And thanks to this fear-peddler, parents across the nation are holding hip hop as a whole responsible for the deliquence in children. He's had some historically laughable discussions on rap and hip hop. One such included him going after Pepsi because of the endorsement deal they offered Luda. "I'm calling for all Americans to say, 'Hey, Pepsi, I'm not drinking your stuff. You want to hang around with Ludacris, you do that, I'm not hanging around with you.'" And then later returning with "because of pressure by Factor viewers, Pepsi-Cola late today capitulated. Ludacris has been fired." The point that O'Reilly attempted to make (and apparently succeeded) is that Pepsi was "awarding" Ludacris and his music by offering him huge endorsement deals when his music portrays less-than-awardable values. Luda got back on record, however, on "Number One Spot" calling out O'Reilly on sexual harrassment charges he was hit with after revealing his fantasies to a female employee at Fox News (not his wife). The lyric reads:

"I'm never goin nowhere so don't try me /
my music sticks in fans' veins like an IV /
flows poison like ivy, oh they grimy /
already offers on my sixth album from labels tryin to sign me /
respected highly, hi, Mr. O'Reilly! Hope all is well, kiss the plantiff and the wifey."

He also targeted the Muppets (yes, that's right) for pairing up with Snoop Dogg for a Christmas special.

Later he blasted Cam'ron as a guest on his program in what is still, to me, the most compelling and equally entertaining segment I've ever seen on the Factor. Oh, the hilarity. Here's our boy Cam'ron. As stated above his name, he's what they call a "rapper."

Joining Cam'ron was Damon Dash, rap mogul and entrepreneurism extraordinaire. What transpired was Bill flying off into his typical anti-rap monologue while Cam and Dash waited rather impatiently to interject and then Damon going into his "I'm a businessman and I think that's a positive image for children" speech and Cam'ron having fun with it all and later using the platform to pitch his upcoming projects, in true rap fashion. Below is just a brief sampling of the transcript from this program.

DASH: We don't promote entrepreneurship? We don't promote positive and ownership of your company? I'm making it cool to be smart. I'm making it cool to be a businessman.
O'REILLY: All right. Look, but it's not about business.
DASH: It's not about business for you because you feel like it might give you better ratings to portray something negative with the image of hip-hop.
O'REILLY: It is negative. It is negative.
DASH: It's not negative to be a businessman.
O'REILLY: Sure it is. It's negative to make money, Mr. Dash, if you hurt children.
DASH: How do you hurt children by promoting to be an entrepreneur and a CEO and to do right...
O'REILLY: Hold it! Hold it! You're looking at a principal...
CAM'RON: Why don't you want to let him talk? You mad. You mad.
O'REILLY: You won't let me finish.
CAM'RON: Where did you start covering up the fear, right?
O'REILLY: No, wrong.
CAM'RON: I'm going to get at you in a minute.
O'REILLY: You go ahead. You get at me.
CAM'RON: I'm going to get at you in a minute.
O'REILLY: Listen, you guys, you're looking at a guy who teaches inner-city kids and who is telling you face to face that he has problems with kids based upon the rap music, and you're rationalizing it all up and down.
DASH: I thought you were going to mediate
DASH: No, what you're doing is you're giving opinions. That's not being an objective mediator now, Bill.
O'REILLY: No, I can give my opinion. It's my program.
DASH: Well, now it's your program.
O'REILLY: Yes, it's my program.
DASH: Bill. Come on, Bill.
O'REILLY: We’ll have The Dash Factor some other time.
DASH: Let's stand back. I have The Dash Factor.
O'REILLY: No, I've got a question for Cam'ron based on what you just said.
DASH: Don't yell. Come on. Let's keep this civil.
O'REILLY: This is civil. Come on.

Bill O'Reilly is responsible for the inaccurate portrayal of rappers and the industry as a whole. If you believe his absolute and, at times, even slightly bigotted opinions of the hip hop culture, you'd believe every rapper's a thug and every rap album is the most obscene and harmful enemy facing today's society.

In the same way that O'Reilly sells fear to the masses in exchange for ratings (like Oprah, but that's another subject altogether), so too rappers sell an image or a "fantasy" if you will to sell records. Like Dash mentioned in another portion of the interview, Arnold in Terminator is much of the same thing. It's an exaggeration of reality and it falls on the parents to be able to help the children distinguish what's right and what's wrong--what's real and what's clearly fake. O'Reilly not only chooses to make false generalizations about rap and hip hop, but he also fails to put any responsibility on the parents/guardians.

He's just mad because he's not getting any endorsement deals. But turning that frustration into claims on the industry that have very little merit, generally speaking, is not only unfair to his audience, but it's irresponsible.

Bill, don't speak on something you have no knowledge of. You're a bright man that has much to offer. I've seen you speak intelligently on many subjects, but you'll always get clowned when it comes to hip hop. You have no credentials in the subject and have no business speaking on such.


TX said...

Agreed. Bill misses the mark with his broad generalizations. While he puts the blame on hip hop for the plight of today's kids, he misses the real issue: Adults in general (and adult society) has systematically (while not altogehter intentionally) abandoned kids to raise themselves. The category of "adults" includes Bill, Sean, Allen, Ann and every Tom, Dick and Harry who refuses to talk to a regular kid and understand his/her pain and sense of having been left alone by the adult world. Hip hop, like anyone else, is not completely innocent, but last I checked it was not hip hop's duty and responsibility to raise up kids right. NOTE: For a more thorough treatment of this subject, see "Hurt: the plight of today's adolescent" by Dr. Chapman Clark.

j3 said...

brothaman makes a point. you betta recognize. he speaks the truth.