Waka Flocka Flame - For My Dawgs
[Update: Please see the comments for Jay Smooth's well-reasoned response. Maybe he's not so bad after all! lol]
Recently I've been reaching out to a few folks from my days as a more serious hip hop blogger including some left/lib types that I was unduly insulting towards because I disagreed with their political choices. One of them is Jay Smooth who I mostly think of as a smart, funny guy who means well and sometimes does some really cool things.
Unfortunately, his piece for NPR, Waka Flocka Flame: The Leader Of Hip-Hop's Tea Party Movement, exhibits the kind of perverse logic that used to cause me to go off on him on a periodic basis:
"So for those who still struggle to make sense of Waka Flocka Flame, think of him as the leader of hip-hop's Tea Party movement. The other Tea Party has built up a passionate following by appealing to people's desire to rebel against the Washington elite, and to vent its frustration with the establishment by aligning themselves with outsiders who hold up their lack of Washington's traditional qualifications as the most attractive asset you could have."
"A movement fueled only by catharsis can be hard to sustain in the long-term, and you might well question whether Waka Flocka Flame or the Tea Party will still be viable around 2012. But for the moment it shouldn't be hard to understand the allure of the untutored outsider that's made Waka Flocka Flame such a big hit. Those Americans who can't align themselves with the Tea Party might even want to try Waka Flocka Flame, as an alternative way to shout their stresses away."
Come on, Jay. What the f*ck?!? That is some deeply offensive nonsense.
We saw the Tea Party emerge as a cover for anger that a black man became President. That was the real catalyst and we all saw that. They have other issues but the trigger was Barack Obama and a nation that embraced him rather than embracing some right wing ahole.
But what's the real problem here for folks like Jay Smooth? Is it that nobody gives a f*ck anymore about so-called "East Coast lyricism", a tired, outdated aesthetic that is historically implicated in the oppression of every other form of hip hop that has come along? An aesthetic that is embraced by the left because some of the artists say ideologically correct things in the right style to the right beat.
Well, build me a Temple of Hip Hop and I'll build you a cult!
At the end of the day, Jay's take is another variation on Yankee imperialism and I don't care if you say nice things about earlier artists like T.I. and Ludacris, though I can't see how Luda's nursery school rhymes "show that a Southern rapper can have all the complexity and sophistication of their New York counterparts." Nice bone but this dog ain't biting.
Southern artists aren't outsiders. Waka Flocka charts. He just don't need you.
And not being needed is the one thing New York will never understand.
F*ck being Mr. Get Along With Whoever. I, too, will continue to go hard in the paint.